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The echo command appends a new line at the end, by default. The -n option omits this character. Compare these two executions: > echo -n "test123" | md5sum cc03e747a6afbbcbf8be7668acfebee5 > echo "test123" | md5sum 4a251a2ef9bbf4ccc35f97aba2c9cbda So the difference between the hash values is simply caused by the new line character.

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