Use HSI to create and manage checksums

HSI version 4 or later features the capability to create, store, and verify checksums; to check which version you have, use the hsi -V command. At Indiana University, checksums are computed by default whenever you use HSI (version 4 or later) to put files into the Scholarly Data Archive (SDA).


Files containing PHI must be encrypted when they are stored (at rest) and when they are transferred between networked systems (in transit). To ensure that files containing PHI are encrypted when they are stored, encrypt them before transferring them to storage. To ensure that files containing PHI remain encrypted during transit, use SFTP/SCP or the IU Globus Web App. For more, see Recommended tools for encrypting data containing HIPAA-regulated PHI.

Following are a few HSI commands for creating and managing checksums. Enter each command at the HSI command prompt ( ?); replace FILENAME with the name of your file:

HSI command Function
put -c on FILENAME Put a file in the SDA, and calculate a checksum.
put -c off FILENAME Put a file in the SDA, but do not calculate a checksum.
hashlist FILENAME View the checksum of a file.
hashcreate FILENAME Create a checksum for a file already in the SDA.
hashverify FILENAME Read a file back from tape/disk, and verify its current checksum against the one stored in SDA metadata.

To change HSI's default checksum behavior, add the following options to your .hsirc file:

Option Function
cksum_enabled = off Automatically disable checksum creation for put commands and checksum verification for get commands.

Note: At IU, checksum creation and verification are enabled by default.

cksum_type = alt_algorithm Specify an alternative hashing algorithm for new checksums created using the put or hashcreate command; replace alt_algorithm with one of the supported algorithms ( sha1, sha224, sha256, sha384, sha512, crc32, or adler32

Note: HSI's default hashing algorithm is md5.

For help with HSI commands and options, see the HSI Reference Manual. If you have questions or need help with checksums on the SDA, email the UITS Research Storage team (

This is document bcto in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2024-06-10 15:44:11.