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Old 08-21-2011, 12:51 PM   #1
Registered: Aug 2011
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Question Newbie - Concerned about Anti-virus protection

I am new to Ubuntu (I used Windows for years - until it 'died'. I
installed Ubuntu 11.04 over it via an installation CD).

I am confused and concerned about Anti-Virus protection. I tried to
install 'clamAV' via the Software Center and Synaptic Package Center.
However - it mustn't have as I cannot find it anywhere (to configure it).

I would much prefer an Anti-Virus that scans in real time. Is there
one available for personal-home use???? If not - which Anti-Virus
will allow me to configure it (schedule a time for it to scan etc.) -
and - how would I install it??

This is the 1st of my many posts to this forum. Thank you for any
and all help.
Old 08-21-2011, 03:56 PM   #2
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Along with loosing windoze ( boo hoo ) you need to loose the thought to have an anti-virus program.

The only reason I can think of to have Clam-av installed is to scan a windowze partition, or scan e-mail files for a virus.

There are linux virus's around, however, due to the design of linux, they can not execute and do their harm unless the user ( you ) allow it. You have to make the virus program executable. Any file downloaded to a linux system is stored as non-executable. Keep in mind there are way fewer linux viruses around.

I have been running linux for about 8 years, and have yet to see a linux virus on any system I have. If you search this forum, you will find many new users asking the same thing. The answer is you do not need one.

Now if you will sleep better at night, Calm-av should install. A long time ago I did use it. If I can remember, there is a gui that is separate for it. I think clam-av is run in a terminal. Open a terminal ( command line ) and type clam-av and see what happens. You can also look in Synaptic for calm-av and read the description. That should tell you if it is command line or not.

See this link -->

The gui for clam-av is called KlamAV. Have a look with syaptic for it.

Last edited by camorri; 08-21-2011 at 04:02 PM. Reason: added info and a link.
Old 08-21-2011, 04:12 PM   #3
Registered: Jul 2011
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Hello there, and welcome to!

There aren't that many Linux viruses around, and those that do exist usually target a specific distribution, so it's harder to get a virus in that sense. Although since Ubuntu is common, I do think it is a slightly larger target.

Anywho, (correct me if I'm wrong folks) I believe ClamAV only scans for viruses that can affect Windows. The real security threats to Linux are rootkits.

It sounds like you installed ClamAV from source, but I'm not 100% sure based on the description. What you want to do is find out where you put the ClamAV file. It's probably titled something like ClamAV.tar.gz or something of the sort.

Find it, and extract the files somewhere. You can extract it in a terminal after finding the location where you downloaded it:

tar -zxvf ClamAV.tar.gz
-z is unzip
-x is extract
-v is verbose
-f is file

You can find the official ClamAV download for Ubuntu here:

The INSTALL.txt or README.txt file gives you the basic and detailed instructions to install it which (for a good portion of installation-by-source programs) are:

make install
Type in one after the first command has been fully executed.
However, as I've stated the real threats are rootkits, which can be scanned for by using these 2 programs:


rkhunter's Official Page:
chkrootkit's Official Page:
Old 08-21-2011, 04:17 PM   #4
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In addition, you could consider to run rkhunter or chkrootkit

Kind regards
Old 08-21-2011, 07:19 PM   #5
Registered: Aug 2011
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Thank you all for replying so quickly. Thanks to you I was able to get the anti-virus, as well as the
rootkit protection. Regarding rkhunter - how would I select an option when in the terminal (I would want
the default settings)??
I know I will be posting frequently to this great forum.
Old 08-21-2011, 10:56 PM   #6
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rkhunter --help
That code can help you get started to scan with rkhunter.
Old 08-22-2011, 09:44 AM   #7
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If you are going to install and use tools like rkhunter you need to thoroughly read and understand the documentation. These tools will give you false positives. You will need to review the warnings you get and once you confirm that they are indeed false, configure the tool to ignore them. Generally speaking, unless you are running server processes and have open ports (in Linux ports are closed by default) and get your software from the standard repositories, your chances of picking up malware are very small.

It has been while since I have been there, but the security section on had some really good articles for security for users new to Ubuntu, especially for those coming from a Windows environment.
Old 08-22-2011, 11:31 AM   #8
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aptitude search clamav
if you see clamav as well as a bunch of other packages on lines beginning with "i" then it's installed.
i   clamav                                     - anti-virus utility for Unix - command-line interface 
i   clamav-base                                - anti-virus utility for Unix - base package           
i   clamav-daemon                              - anti-virus utility for Unix - scanner daemon
I would agree with Noway2 and Camorri. The likelihood of you getting a virus is virtually nil. Unless you have very very special needs, it is really not necessary to use one.
Old 08-22-2011, 11:52 AM   #9
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Again thank you all for your help - it was most helpful.
Old 08-22-2011, 12:05 PM   #10
Registered: Jun 2011
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...I agree with the posts above, but if you must (and you don't mind paying) McAfee and Symantec both have a version of their Anti-Virus for Linux and Unix. I actually have instances where I run both, but in the last 3 years, they have not found a virus on any of the systems. It is a huge waste of resources. If you configure the Symantec to scan in real time, you might as well go make a sammich and watch tv, cause you won't get anything productive done on the PC.....


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