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echo defaults to include a newline character at the end of the string, which messes with the hash. If you suppress it with -n then it has the same effect as PHP's ?echo md5("string"), "\t-";? Even more, by using cut you get the exact same output, so it works as a drop-in replacement for the original command for this thread.
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another alternative to encrypt strings
If you can do better, submit your command here.
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