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Generating an MD5 Hash from a String Using LINQ

, 7 May 2013 CPOL
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Generating an MD5 hash from a string using LINQ.

While working on another blog post, I encountered the need to generate a MD5 hash by passing in a string value and didn’t see any very appealing solutions off-hand that didn’t involve iterating through a loop. I elected to visit everyone’s favorite friend, LINQ to handle this. 

The Problem

You need to generate an MD5 hash using a string, but you want a quick and easy way to do it.

The Solution

Firstly, you will need to ensure that you are referencing the appropriate namespace (System.Security.Cryptography) to work with MD5 hashes by adding the following using statement :

using System.Security.Cryptography;

Now, just use the following LINQ statement that will allow you to pass in your value and generate an MD5 hash of the string: 

//Your string value
string yourStringValue = "This is a test";
//Generate a hash for your strings (this appends each
//of the bytes of the value into a single hashed string
var hashValue = string.Join("", MD5.Create().ComputeHash(
   Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes(yourStringValue)).Select(s => s.ToString("x2")));
//For .NET 3.5 and below,  you will need to use the .ToArray() following the Select method: 
var hashValue = string.Join("", MD5.Create().ComputeHash(
  Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes(yourStringValue)).Select(s => s.ToString("x2")).ToArray()); 

Or if you would prefer it as a method :

public string GenerateMD5(string yourString)
   return string.Join("", MD5.Create().ComputeHash(
      Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes(yourString)).Select(s => s.ToString("x2")));

Example :

var example = "This is a Test String"; //"This is a Test String"
var hashed = GenerateMD5(example);     //"7ae92fb767e5024552c90292d3cb1071"


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Rion Williams
Software Developer (Senior)
United States United States
An experienced Software Developer and Graphic Designer with an extensive knowledge of object-oriented programming, software architecture, design methodologies and database design principles. Specializing in Microsoft Technologies and focused on leveraging a strong technical background and a creative skill-set to create meaningful and successful applications.
Well versed in all aspects of the software development life-cycle and passionate about embracing emerging development technologies and standards, building intuitive interfaces and providing clean, maintainable solutions for even the most complex of problems.
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Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 5 PinprofessionalOmprakash Kukana25-Sep-13 20:40 
GeneralMy vote of 1 PinmemberMahdi 8216102128-Apr-13 1:20 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberRion Williams28-Apr-13 15:19 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberMahdi 821610216-May-13 19:19 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberRion Williams7-May-13 3:32 
Hi Mahdi,
Firstly, thank you for your response. I have made some corrections to the article to detail handling this sample function for versions of .NET 3.5 and below. You simply need to add the .ToArray() method following the Select statement as seen below :
//For .NET 3.5 and below, you will need to use the .ToArray() following the Select method:
var hashValue = string.Join("", MD5.Create().ComputeHash(Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes(yourStringValue)).Select(s => s.ToString("x2")).ToArray());

Hopefully that helps you out a bit.
QuestionAn Alternative PinmemberGeorge Swan25-Apr-13 0:01 

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