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Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2011 17:10:10 +0400
From: Aleksey Cherepanov <>
Subject: -show silently needs -format, usability problem

During the contest I faced problem that it is very easy forget
-format key when it is needed by -show key.

1) Documentation: it seems that doc/OPTIONS does not cover usage of
-format and -show together (while -format with -test and -format with
-make-charset are covered). (at least in John 1.7.8)

2) Behaviour: when hashes could be accepted by John in different
formats (like mscash2 or md5_gen(n)) 'john -show' could show no
results thinking about some hashes in one format while this hashes
are already cracked as other format. So I propose to show format
used by -show like at begin of cracking session. (1.7.8-j5; it
seems to be actual with Jumbo or I do not know enough to reproduce
it with formats supported by John without Jumbo)

Widely I propose also to show hints for user about formats that
potentially could be read from this file. (I am not sure that it is

Aleksey Cherepanov

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