A file providing an Operation System shouldn’t be treated as an ordinary file. We can download files using a web browser, however this method isn’t as safe for this use. An operating system is provided under the shape of a disk image of a certain size,

and when using a web browser, some data can be lost on the way. It can be tiny, the size of the disk image can even seem to be the same as the one online, but even a slight difference can compromize the install on your computer.

How do we do that?

If you are using Windows

Choose preferably a program made to handle the downloads, such as Free Download Manager, which is a program under a  GPL license, or a torrent client, such as Transmission.
When the download of an ISO image of your future distribution will be done : NEVER extract it! It would become useless…

Once your download done, verify the integrity of the dowload using a program which checks  the MD5 digital fingerprint of the ISO file, and compares it with the file having a .md5sum extension name coming along with the ISO.

For example you can use Md5summer or WxChecksums, which are Free Open source software for Windows.

For the first one,  a version in French is available, “la version en français”.

We can also use Install-winMd5Sum.exe

or also Checksum Calculator both also pointed to on the Ubuntu community wiki.

You can also burn the ISO image with a program such as InfraRecorder, another Free open source software for Windows. Use a low speed to burn, (for example 5x) on a CDROM, the result is often more reliable that way.

If you already use GNU/Linux

Open a console, type the command md5sum, followed by the -c option, and the name of the md5 file which should be located in the same directory as the ISO image which goes along with it. For instance:

md5sum -c name-of-your-file.md5sum

once the command line entered, the console should return the following message back:

name-of-your-iso-file.iso: OK

By having the ISO image and the md5sum file coming with it in the same directory, some burning software check the md5 for you before proceeding.


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