January 24, 2009

Antivirus On Linux

Hi all,

I am hereby narrating my experience with antivirus in Linux. I would also like to share with you that antivirus, in the first place, in not required in Linux.

But even then, for the sake of experimentation, if you intend to install an antivirus in Linux, it is of no harm, but only your disk space would be consumed for something that is not required.

There are many antivirus software available for Linux, but I don't know much about all of them. Some give you only a trial period of a few days after the expiry of which, you would have to purchase them. Some of them are free software and you can easily download them from the website.


Installing Avast

You can download Avast antivirus from here.

1. Go to the website and click Download avast! Linux Home edition (DEB package).

2. Click Save File.

3. You also have to fill up a registration form, the link to which is given in the same web-page, in order to get the full version, without which you would be left with a software that would expire in a matter of few days. The registration form requires you to fill up your email address correctly, which is mandatory to download a full and free version of the antivirus software.

4. After you have filled up your form correctly and submitted, the registration key would be sent to your inbox.

5. Double-click the .deb package and when you are asked for the registration key copy-paste the key from your inbox into the space provided. Then click Install Package. The installation process may take some time.

6. If any updates are available for the installed software, it would be indicated in the top-panel of your desktop. Double-click the indicator, and click Install Updates. You would require internet connection for this.

7. Then in order to run your installed Avast antivirus, go to Applications->Accessories->Avast.

8. You are given the option of scanning the home folder, the entire system or any selected folders. Choose any option and start scanning. If you already have Windows installed on your system, the scanning is done for all the files and folders of Windows as well.

9. After scanning is complete, the results are shown.

Removing Avast

But afterall, antivirus is not required for Linux, because Linux is a free and Open Source Operating System, that does not allow the excution of viruses which are generally recognized by the extension .exe. After installation of the antivirus, if you change your mind and decide to uninstall the package, you have two ways of uninstalling it.

1. Go to System->Administration->Synaptic Package Manager. Search for the software avast and if you are given any option of uninstalling it, click Uninstall.

2. But many a time, this method does not work, and you may not even find the option of removing the software.

i) Open the terminal from Applications->Accessories->Terminal. Then you would have to type in the command for uninstallation.

ii) Type this command for finding where your antivirus is installed.

varsha@varsha-laptop:~$ dpkg --get-selections | grep avast

iii) Type this command for uninstalling.

varsha@varsha-laptop:~$ sudo apt-get remove avast4workstation

iii) This may ask for your user password. When you have correctly typed in your password, the process begins, and after sometime, the software will be completely removed from your system.