Provided by: qfits-tools_6.2.0-8ubuntu2_amd64 bug


       fitsmd5 - Compute/update the DATAMD5 keyword/value


       fitsmd5 [-u] [-s] [-a] <FITS files...>


       fitsmd5 computes the MD5 signature of all data sections in a FITS file, and prints out the
       results on stdout. This command can optionally update the main FITS  header  in  modifying
       the value of the DATAMD5 key.

       This  command  is  useful to give a unique ID to a FITS file. The algorithm simply browses
       through all data sections in the input file and passes the data  blocks  to  an  MD5  hash
       function.  The  final  result is a 128-bit signature that can be used to uniquely identify
       the file.

       This approach is meant to provide a tool to tag FITS files with  unique  IDs,  it  is  not
       meant  to  be  used  as  a  checksum for file integrity (the CKSUM key is the solution for
       that), although it could be used in that spirit. The main point is that only data sections
       are  taken into account, leaving the possibility of changing the headers without affecting
       the data signature.

       MD5 hashing is cryptographically  strong,  which  means  the  probability  of  having  two
       different  FITS  files  getting  the  same  ID is almost zero. It should be good enough to
       assign a unique ID to several tens of thousands of frames. Since there is still a tiny but
       non-zero  possibility that two different files will get an identical key, this approach is
       not recommended to tag very large numbers of files (typically: millions of them).  If  you
       do have a large database of FITS files, using a timestamp is usually a better approach.

       The  MD5  signature  is  a  good  solution  to  tag  a list of FITS files which might have
       originated from  various  sources  on  which  the  database  maintainer  has  no  control.
       Typically,  calibration  databases  holding  calibration  frames  for  a given instrument,
       receive data from different actors who might not  be  in  sync  with  unique  file  naming
       conventions.  This  command makes sure it is always possible to assign a unique ID to each

       Notice that if the input FITS file has no data section, the returned MD5 key will be  non-
       zero  (it  is  exactly  d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e).  This signature also offers the
       interesting property that if two files have exactly the same pixels (bit-wise comparisons)
       they will get the same ID, this is useful e.g. for regression tests.

       If  you want to produce files containing the DATAMD5 key in their main headers, you should
       use the qfits library, which always inserts this key. If you are working with other  FITS-
       processing  software,  you  should  allocate  an  empty DATAMD5 placeholder and apply this
       command with the -u option to update the value.

       Notice that this command can also compute the MD5 sum of a complete  file,  not  just  its
       data  sections  (see  -a option). In this mode, the command is completely identical to the
       GNU md5sum command, which is used to compute checksums on files. Input files in that  case
       need not be FITS, though they still need to be regular files.


       -u     Try to update the DATAMD5 keyword in the main header if present.

       -s     Silent mode: run without printing any message.

       -a     Compute the MD5 sum on all bits in the file. In this mode, the command behaves like
              the GNU md5sum command, to be used e.g. as a checksum.  This  option  excludes  all


       Input files to fitsmd5 shall comply with the FITS format, except when used with -a option.

                                           01 Aug 2001                                 fitsmd5(1)