Clamming Up: ClamAV Linux Anti-Virus Software

Speaking of Xandros, I’ve been looking around for
anti-virus software for Linux-based systems. One of the other
Daynoters (sorry, I don’t remember which) talked about
something called ClamAV so I decided to try
that.

Before going further, some of you are probably wondering
why have anti-virus software for Linux? While there may be
only 3,000 virus identified in Linux, versus several times
that for Windows, the built-in security of Linux usually
mitigates the effects of viruses. That said, that doesn’t
mean one should be complacent. As the number of people using
Linux increases, the virus writers will spend more and more
time targeting Linux. Indeed, I think some of the the first
root kits were developed for the Unix/Linux operating systems
so all is not lightness.

So, after a few tries at getting ClamAV to install (the
install instructions are written as if you are compiling your
own. Compiling your own is usually not a good idea because of
problems with dependencies but go for it if you are feeling
lucky. In any case, the instructions ignore the various
binaries so you are left on your own on how or what to
configure). With all that, I think I have it running. But as
of yet, I haven’t found how to get it to work with KDE. By
that I mean it runs as a command line program but if I
access/open/run anything using KDE, it does nothing (as far
as I can tell. I opened one of the test files and ClamAV
didn’t keep me from opening it nor did it alert me that it
was infected). In fact, even when running it at the command
line, all I can get it to do is scan some files and then
print to the screen a summary (or a log file).

I assume there must be a way of getting it to work with
KDE? I also assume there must be a way of getting it to
pop-up a box saying “Danger! Virus Found!” rather than just a
summary of the files scanned and the results?

In addition, I’m having problems figuring out how to use
it scan incoming e-mail. I understand there may be some
third-party packages that use ClamAV as a front-end so maybe
that is the way to go. But it would be great if I could just
use the Thunderbird e-mail client and have ClamAV
automagically scan the incoming mail (as I can do with
Windows-based AVG software).

I guess I am showing my ignorance here but I think
anti-virus software for Linux must mature before Aunt Minnie
can be expected to comfortably use it. Until then, the search
continues for something that works well in KDE. Any
suggestions are appreciated.

Aloha!

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One response to “Clamming Up: ClamAV Linux Anti-Virus Software

  1. Dat was me. šŸ™‚

    I am using ClamAV at a client site to scan email on their Linux/CommuniGate Pro mail server. But this is to protect the Windows clients on their network.

    There really isn’t any need for AV software to protect a Linux system. Due to the UNIX-like security architecture of Linux, viruses can’t propagate the same way they do on Windows systems, unless *possibly* you are running as root. (This isn’t to say that Linux security is flawless. Rather, Linux security breaches come from other sources.)