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Thread: Do I need an antivirus?

  1. #1
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    Question Do I need an antivirus?

    I have always heard from people that when someone switches from windows to a mac or linux OS that there is no need for an antivirus program is this true. Also would the same hold true for a firewall program? And if I do need one can what would be some good programs

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    Re: Do I need an antivirus?

    No, you don't. There is antivirus software for Linux, but they scan for Windows viruses only.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Do I need an antivirus?

    The linux flavours or in general Unix flavours do not require any antivirus for the reason that virus would infect if and only if there is an align in the kernel, else virus will not be able to control the hardware. To enter into kernel, one would always need root access, which will lead to chicken and egg situation and hence no virus are seen in Unix flavours.

    I am not an expert, but this is what I perceive it as from my knowledge.

  4. #4
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    Re: Do I need an antivirus?

    Quote Originally Posted by cfree View Post
    I have always heard from people that when someone switches from windows to a mac or linux OS that there is no need for an antivirus program is this true. Also would the same hold true for a firewall program? And if I do need one can what would be some good programs
    You don't need an AntiVirus Program when you're using Linux but it doesn't mean there is NOT any AntiVirus Programs, actually there is but usually to fix Windows Machines

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Antivirus

    As for Firewalls, I recall there is one installed by default with Linux Mint but can't remember the name.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Firewall

    A quick and a simple Google Search will show you great things and will answer such Qs

  5. #5
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    Re: Do I need an antivirus?

    Do you need an anti-virus program? The short answer is no. Do you need a firewall? Again the short answer is no. However, many people install an anti-virus system. Here are a couple of sites for information:

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Antivirus
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Linuxvirus

    A firewall is installed by default and you can activate it if you so desire.
    Again, here is a site for information:

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Gufw

  6. #6
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    Re: Do I need an antivirus?

    So the reason why we don't need an antivirus is because the virus would need root access to run itself? And would that mean you could have a virus sitting on your desktop and would be fine just as long as you didn't open it and give it root permissions?
    Last edited by cfree; July 24th, 2011 at 08:41 PM.

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    Re: Do I need an antivirus?

    For anyone to make any changes to your system, that person or program must have root authority to do so. You can get root authority for a short period of time to make changes, but a program cannot unless you (as root) tell it to. I'm not sure if that is clear.

    I was told a long tome ago that a Linux operating system was like a room with locked windows and locked doors. Nothing can get in unless you let it in.
    Last edited by Rex Bouwense; July 24th, 2011 at 08:46 PM. Reason: Additional information

  8. #8
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    Re: Do I need an antivirus?

    Quote Originally Posted by cfree View Post
    So the reason why we don't need an antivirus is because the virus would need root access to run itself? And would that mean you could have a virus sitting on your desktop and would be fine just as long as you didn't open it and give it root permissions?
    The reason you dont need to worry about AV so much is that Linux does not have the market share of other operating systems and so virus developers dont spend as much time creating them for Linux machine as there are more windows users out there to infect.

    on top of which, the security model is different in Linux and it is harder for a virus to infect a Linux machine and would need to do so in a different way to most other platforms due to the lack of .exe files and running with escalated privelege.

    There have been some Viruses for linux as seen in the links already provided but they have been patched long since and though AV software is available viruses are really not an issue in a linux environment at the moment though things change everyday

    for peace of mind feel free to install ClamAV or other Av software if you so desire.

    also look at apparmor for more peace of mind for your machine and app security
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  10. #10
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    Re: Do I need an antivirus?

    I'm not all that Linux savvy, but from my understanding you don't need an anti-virus because a virus is made on Linux for Windows not for Linux.

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