10.3. Checking a Package's Signature

10.3. Checking a Package's Signature

If you wish to verify that a package has not been corrupted or tampered with, examine only the md5sum by typing the following command at a shell prompt (where <rpm-file> is the file name of the RPM package):

rpm -K --nosignature <rpm-file>

The message <rpm-file>: md5 OK is displayed. This brief message means that the file was not corrupted by the download. To see a more verbose message, replace -K with -Kvv in the command.

On the other hand, how trustworthy is the developer who created the package? If the package is signed with the developer's GnuPG key, you know that the developer really is who they say they are.

An RPM package can be signed using Gnu Privacy Guard (or GnuPG), to help you make certain your downloaded package is trustworthy.

GnuPG is a tool for secure communication; it is a complete and free replacement for the encryption technology of PGP, an electronic privacy program. With GnuPG, you can authenticate the validity of documents and encrypt/decrypt data to and from other recipients. GnuPG is capable of decrypting and verifying PGP 5.x files as well.

During installation, GnuPG is installed by default. That way you can immediately start using GnuPG to verify any packages that you receive from Red Hat. Before doing so, you must first import Red Hat's public key.

10.3.1. Importing Keys

To verify Red Hat packages, you must import the Red Hat GPG key. To do so, execute the following command at a shell prompt:

rpm --import /usr/share/rhn/RPM-GPG-KEY

To display a list of all keys installed for RPM verification, execute the command:

rpm -qa gpg-pubkey*

For the Red Hat key, the output includes:


To display details about a specific key, use rpm -qi followed by the output from the previous command:

rpm -qi gpg-pubkey-db42a60e-37ea5438

10.3.2. Verifying Signature of Packages

To check the GnuPG signature of an RPM file after importing the builder's GnuPG key, use the following command (replace <rpm-file> with the filename of the RPM package):

rpm -K <rpm-file>

If all goes well, the following message is displayed: md5 gpg OK. This means that the signature of the package has been verified, and that it is not corrupt.

Note: This documentation is provided {and copyrighted} by Red Hat®, Inc. and is released via the Open Publication License. The copyright holder has added the further requirement that Distribution of substantively modified versions of this document is prohibited without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. The CentOS project redistributes these original works (in their unmodified form) as a reference for CentOS-5 because CentOS-5 is built from publicly available, open source SRPMS. The documentation is unmodified to be compliant with upstream distribution policy. Neither CentOS-5 nor the CentOS Project are in any way affiliated with or sponsored by Red Hat®, Inc.