Saturday, 9 February 2008

Anti-virus software

The issue of whether you should run anti-virus software in Linux is a difficult one. On the one hand, Linux is a lot more secure than Windows, and to the best of my knowledge there are currently no viruses in the wild capable of affecting Linux. On the other hand, it pays not to be complacent as it's possible that viruses affecting Linux may become more common in future, and if Windows viruses make their way onto your computer, you could still wind up accidentally sending them on to others, or to a Windows computer you use. You probably won't need the kind of disinfectant capability Windows antiviral software has, so a simple virus scanner is sufficient.

If you do decide that you want to run a virus scanner, then I recommend ClamAV. This is an excellent open source virus scanner, and is available from the Ubuntu repositories. To install it, open the command line and enter the following:
sudo apt-get install clamav

This downloads and installs ClamAV and some of its dependencies. Please note that on many computers, ClamAV will return an error at this stage. If so, just repeat the above command and this should resolve the issue.

ClamAV does not include a graphical front-end by default. You will therefore need to install this separately. Unusually, there are two to choose from - ClamTK for Gnome users, and KlamAV for KDE users. As I'm using Kubuntu, I entered the following:
sudo apt-get install klamav

If you're using the Gnome desktop, enter the following:
sudo apt-get install clamtk

Once it has installed, start it from the menu. Now, you will be walked through a simple setup wizard. From here it's easy to update your virus database and set the areas you want to scan. Please note, however, that you only need to scan the /home directory as this is where any viruses will be found.

1 comment:

Anti said...

It can define impossible Anti Virus software in Linux is a difficult one. On the one hand, Linux is a lot more secure than Windows, and to the best of my knowledge there are currently no viruses in the wild capable of affecting Linux.