To use most of these function it is necessary to create a context; this is done using:
Create a message digest object for algorithm algo. flags
may be given as an bitwise OR of constants described below. algo
may be given as
0 if the algorithms to use are later set using
gcry_md_enable. hd is guaranteed to either receive a valid
For a list of supported algorithms, see Available hash algorithms.
The flags allowed for mode are:
Allocate all buffers and the resulting digest in "secure memory". Use this if the hashed data is highly confidential.
Turn the algorithm into a HMAC message authentication algorithm. This
only works if just one algorithm is enabled for the handle and that
algorithm is not an extendable-output function. Note that the function
gcry_md_setkey must be used to set the MAC key. The size of the
MAC is equal to the message digest of the underlying hash algorithm.
If you want CBC message authentication codes based on a cipher,
see Working with cipher handles.
Versions of Libgcrypt before 1.6.0 had a bug in the Whirlpool code which led to a wrong result for certain input sizes and write patterns. Using this flag emulates that bug. This may for example be useful for applications which use Whirlpool as part of their key generation. It is strongly suggested to use this flag only if really needed; and if possible, the data should be re-processed using the regular Whirlpool algorithm.
Note that this flag works for the entire hash context. If need arises, it may be used to enable bug emulation for other hash algorithms. Thus you should not use this flag for a multi-algorithm hash context.
You may use the function
gcry_md_is_enabled to later check
whether an algorithm has been enabled.
If you want to calculate several hash algorithms at the same time, you
have to use the following function right after the
Add the message digest algorithm algo to the digest object described by handle h. Duplicated enabling of algorithms is detected and ignored.
If the flag
GCRY_MD_FLAG_HMAC was used, the key for the MAC must
be set using the function:
For use with the HMAC feature or BLAKE2 keyed hash, set the MAC key to the value of key of length keylen bytes. For HMAC, there is no restriction on the length of the key. For keyed BLAKE2b hash, length of the key must be in the range 1 to 64 bytes. For keyed BLAKE2s hash, length of the key must be in the range 1 to 32 bytes.
After you are done with the hash calculation, you should release the resources by using:
Release all resources of hash context h. h should not be
used after a call to this function. A
NULL passed as h is
ignored. The function also zeroises all sensitive information
associated with this handle.
Often you have to do several hash operations using the same algorithm. To avoid the overhead of creating and releasing context, a reset function is provided:
Reset the current context to its initial state. This is effectively identical to a close followed by an open and enabling all currently active algorithms.
Often it is necessary to start hashing some data and then continue to hash different data. To avoid hashing the same data several times (which might not even be possible if the data is received from a pipe), a snapshot of the current hash context can be taken and turned into a new context:
Create a new digest object as an exact copy of the object described by handle handle_src and store it in handle_dst. The context is not reset and you can continue to hash data using this context and independently using the original context.
Now that we have prepared everything to calculate hashes, it is time to see how it is actually done. There are two ways for this: one to update the hash with a block of memory and one macro to update the hash by just one character. Both methods can be used on the same hash context.
Pass length bytes of the data in buffer to the digest object with handle h to update the digest values. This function should be used for large blocks of data. If this function is used after the context has been finalized, it will keep on pushing the data through the algorithm specific transform function and change the context; however the results are not meaningful and this feature is only available to mitigate timing attacks.
Pass the byte in c to the digest object with handle h to update the digest value. This is an efficient function, implemented as a macro to buffer the data before an actual update.
The semantics of the hash functions do not provide for reading out intermediate message digests because the calculation must be finalized first. This finalization may for example include the number of bytes hashed in the message digest or some padding.
Finalize the message digest calculation. This is not really needed
gcry_md_extract do this implicitly.
After this has been done no further updates (by means of
gcry_md_putc) should be done; However, to mitigate timing
attacks it is sometimes useful to keep on updating the context after
having stored away the actual digest. Only the first call to this function
has an effect. It is implemented as a macro.
The way to read out the calculated message digest is by using the function:
gcry_md_read returns the message digest after finalizing the
calculation. This function may be used as often as required but it will
always return the same value for one handle. The returned message digest
is allocated within the message context and therefore valid until the
handle is released or reset-ed (using
gcry_md_reset) or it has been updated as a mitigation measure
against timing attacks. algo may be given as 0 to return the only
enabled message digest or it may specify one of the enabled algorithms.
The function does return
NULL if the requested algorithm has not
The way to read output of extendable-output function is by using the function:
gcry_mac_read returns output from extendable-output function.
This function may be used as often as required to generate more output
byte stream from the algorithm. Function extracts the new output bytes
to buffer of the length length. Buffer will be fully
populated with new output. algo may be given as 0 to return the only
enabled message digest or it may specify one of the enabled algorithms.
The function does return non-zero value if the requested algorithm has not
Because it is often necessary to get the message digest of blocks of memory, two fast convenience function are available for this task:
gcry_md_hash_buffers is a shortcut function to calculate a
message digest from several buffers. This function does not require a
context and immediately returns the message digest of the data
described by iov and iovcnt. digest must be
allocated by the caller, large enough to hold the message digest
yielded by the the specified algorithm algo. This required size
may be obtained by using the function
iov is an array of buffer descriptions with iovcnt items.
The caller should zero out the structures in this array and for each
array item set the fields
.data to the address of the data to
.len to number of bytes to be hashed. If .off
is also set, the data is taken starting at .off bytes from the
begin of the buffer. The field
.size is not used.
The only supported flag value for flags is GCRY_MD_FLAG_HMAC which turns this function into a HMAC function; the first item in iov is then used as the key.
On success the function returns 0 and stores the resulting hash or MAC at digest.
gcry_md_hash_buffer is a shortcut function to calculate a message
digest of a buffer. This function does not require a context and
immediately returns the message digest of the length bytes at
buffer. digest must be allocated by the caller, large
enough to hold the message digest yielded by the specified algorithm
algo. This required size may be obtained by using the function
Note that in contrast to
gcry_md_hash_buffers this function
will abort the process if an unavailable algorithm is used.
Hash algorithms are identified by internal algorithm numbers (see
gcry_md_open for a list). However, in most applications they are
used by names, so two functions are available to map between string
representations and hash algorithm identifiers.
Map the digest algorithm id algo to a string representation of the
algorithm name. For unknown algorithms this function returns the
"?". This function should not be used to test for the
availability of an algorithm.
Map the algorithm with name to a digest algorithm identifier.
Returns 0 if the algorithm name is not known. Names representing
ASN.1 object identifiers are recognized if the IETF
dotted format is used and the OID is prefixed with either "
OID.". For a list of supported OIDs, see the source code at
cipher/md.c. This function should not be used to test for the
availability of an algorithm.
Return an DER encoded ASN.1 OID for the algorithm algo in the
user allocated buffer. length must point to variable with
the available size of buffer and receives after return the
actual size of the returned OID. The returned error code may be
GPG_ERR_TOO_SHORT if the provided buffer is too short to receive
the OID; it is possible to call the function with
buffer to have it only return the required size. The function
returns 0 on success.
To test whether an algorithm is actually available for use, the following macro should be used:
The macro returns 0 if the algorithm algo is available for use.
If the length of a message digest is not known, it can be retrieved using the following function:
Retrieve the length in bytes of the digest yielded by algorithm
algo. This is often used prior to
gcry_md_read to allocate
sufficient memory for the digest.
In some situations it might be hard to remember the algorithm used for the ongoing hashing. The following function might be used to get that information:
Retrieve the algorithm used with the handle h. Note that this does not work reliable if more than one algorithm is enabled in h.
The following macro might also be useful:
This function returns true when the digest object h is allocated
in "secure memory"; i.e. h was created with the
This function returns true when the algorithm algo has been enabled for the digest object h.
Tracking bugs related to hashing is often a cumbersome task which requires to add a lot of printf statements into the code. Libgcrypt provides an easy way to avoid this. The actual data hashed can be written to files on request.
Enable debugging for the digest object with handle h. This
creates files named dbgmd-<n>.<string> while doing the
actual hashing. suffix is the string part in the filename. The
number is a counter incremented for each new hashing. The data in the
file is the raw data as passed to
NULL is used for suffix, the
debugging is stopped and the file closed. This is only rarely required
gcry_md_close implicitly stops debugging.