Saturday, 25 January 2014

Linux Best File Copier - Copying Files Unreliable MD5

I wrote earlier that I was quite disappointed at how unreliable file copying has been in my quite limited recent experience of Linux. I simply found that the copies were not the same as the originals when checking using Linux's built-in checksum calculator Terminal command: md5sum.

I was on the lookout for a file manager/copier that would do a better job.

Many people recommended rsync -c but I discovered that it is a common misconception that it performs a verification after the copy has been done. This is simply not true.

In fact, I looked long and hard and several people had the same need as me but I could only find one solution:

I found a program that performs copying and checksum verification called Safe File Manager. The only problem is: I'm scared to run it!

The site does not look very professional and the owner of the site seems to be anonymous. In days gone by I would happily use such a program but these days I run a business and I am extremely careful about installing untrusted software that could potentially capture my passwords and ultimately compromise my livelihood. It's a great shame as this program really looks like it would fit the bill.

As an aside, I also discovered that the terminal command sync will force writes to a device. I think this will be handy as I earlier got the distinct impression that writing to USB devices seems to lag and I wonder if some of the md5 mismatches were because the data had not yet been fully copied yet. This command might help me.

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