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I don't think you need a virus scanner if linux is the only OS you run. However, if the linux box handles files that will eventually get to other windows boxes, then you can try "clamav" to scan them before distributing them.
The claim that Linux does not need an Anti-Virus Scanner is FALSE!
1. Although Linux Viruses that attack the Linux OS are rare, they do exist. Granted the damage to the system is not as severe, it still can be a pain in the butt if it messes up a file you need.
2. Alot of people have home or corporate networks that mix both Linux and Microsoft OSes. If you have file sharing and those files are accessed by Windows, the possibility for Windows based viruses definately is a danger.
My file server is LINUX and it has gotten all sorts of win32 viruses that are infecting my Windows files, especially *.exe. *EDIT* I thought my files were read only, but they were not and changed by the Windows machines.*EDIT*.
The OS is not infected, just my *.EXE files.
My advise: Get a virus scanner. It can not hurt to be safe.
You don't really need to run an antivirus from Linux. Run Kaspersky on any of your Windows boxes, but antivirus aren't needed on Linux. There are better software for integrity protection (search tripwire, samhain, aide, fcheck, osiris, integrit, etc). NEVER USE CLAMAV. It's filled with security bugs that are discovered almost each week.
I am hosting various windows files on my Linux box that I use on Windows computer through a network. For some reason the Linux box was allowing these Windows files to be corrupted with a virus and destroyed several files.
I probably was at fault by allowing to many permissions on these files, but AntiVir appears to stop these viruses and disabling Java in my browser helps too.
IMO Primo's answer deserves the points for pointing to using filesystem integrity checkers instead onf only saying "no AV needed". When talking to Wintendo newbies we need to look beyond how Wintendo cripples things and look at what could hurt a Linux box. Properly hardening the box is a prerequisite and should be mentioned as is using "simple" auditing tools like Chkrootkit and Rootkit Hunter in tandem with any filesystem integrity checker. Check out the LQ FAQ: Security references.
@usaf_sp: "The claim that Linux does not need an Anti-Virus Scanner is FALSE!" / "For some reason the Linux box was allowing these Windows files to be corrupted with a virus and destroyed several files.".
Even though I do not think you can substantiate this claim of yours, I'm always interested learning new stuff.
So, I'd like to ask you to set up a separate thread, explain what's happened and post your evidence there if you can.
If you can't or won't you should remove your claim as we do not like FUD.
If you have a file server that allows clients to change files and some of those clients are microsoft machines, then the Linux box that shares those files really should have an on access virus scanner to protect these files. A linux box without an on access virus scanner will not stop clients from replacing good files with viruses.
To fix my problem I have followed industry standards with concern to File Servers and have installed an on access scanner and tightened the permissions of those shares since these files really have to be accessed and changed by the client.
It may be true that stand alone, non networked Linux machines do not need a virus scanner, but as the demand for even simple home networks grows the necessity to protect your files from Microsoft clients grows as well. If this were not true, then Sun Microsystems would not have outsourced virus detection to Trend Micro and Novell would not couple AntiVir with its OpenSuse distro.
If you have a file server as I have in previous posts pointed out, then YES you definately need a way to protect your files.
BTW- I do not control all machines hooked up to my network. I have to protect these files myself.
Sorry, but you are right I should have been more careful in what I had written. I was new to linux last year, but I have had much much more experience since then.