Installing ClamAV antivirus software on Ubuntu 8.10

January 23, 2009

You may have heard or read from many sources that there is no need for any antivirus software on Ubuntu/Linux. This is not completely true. Yes, if you’re using Linux you are not facing the same threat level as a Windows user as there are only very few viruses/trojans/worms aimed at Linux users compared to those aimed Windows users. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safe or you should be careless.

As we all know, the number of Linux users is increasing rapidly and this means these will be an increase in the number of threats towards Linux systems. So it is wise to have an antivirus software installed on your computer. This post talks about how to install ClamAV on Ubuntu.  However if you don’t like ClamAV, you can check out some other alternatives, like the Linux editions of Kaspersky, AVG and Avast.

Installing ClamAV is quite easy. First open a new Terminal window (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal) and execute the following command.

sudo apt-get install clamav-daemon

(Note: clamav-daemon will gets virus defintitions automatically for you. If you want to do that manually replace clamav-daemon in the above command with just clamav.)

As ClamAV does not come with a GUI you have to interact with it using Terminal and this may not be convenient for new users. Therefore the next step is to install ClamTK which is a GUI front-end for ClamAM. ClamTK will already be available in your Add/Remove programs, but I don’t recomment you use that as it is an older version.

The next step is to get the ClamTK .deb package. After you download it, double-click on it to start the installation. Once the installation is complete you can open it by going to Applications -> System Tools -> Virus Scanner.

Important note for Ubuntu 8.10 users: the first time you run ClamTK, you will be asked how you want to update your signatures – select “System Wide”, not “Single User”. Then save your settings.


That’s all! The installation is now complete.



Installing Firestarter on Ubuntu 8.10

November 16, 2008

In my last post I talked about how to install GUFW to configure your Ubuntu firewall. Even though UFW is the default firewall configuration tool for Ubuntu, Firestarter has been a popular alternative for it.

Installing Firestarter is very easy. Just go to the Applications menu and click on Add/Remove. Then search for “firestarter”. Once you find it, select it and click on Apply Changes.

installing firestarter

After the installation completes, you can open Firestarter by going to Applications -> Internet -> Firestarter OR System -> Administration -> Firestarter.


Note: Don’t install BOTH Firestarter and GUFW as it may prevent each other from functioning properly. You can try both and stick to the one you like most.

Using the Uncomplicated Firewall (UFW) on Ubuntu 8.10

November 15, 2008

Ubuntu comes with a default firewall configuration tool called Uncomplicated Firewall (UFW). When you install Ubuntu, UFW is disabled by default. You can check this by opening a new Terminal window (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal) and executing the following command.

sudo ufw status


UFW allows you to easily configure your firewall using Terminal commands. Here are two (one & two) great tutorials which contain information on the basic commands you can use.

If you are new to Ubuntu or Linux you may find it difficult to use Terminal commands all the time. There is answer: GUFW. This is UFW + a GUI (graphical user interface); which means you no longer need to use Terminal and instead to can use the GUI to configure your firewall.

There is a .deb package available for GUFW which makes installation very easy. Just download the latest version from here and double-click on it to start installation. Once the installation is complete, you can open GUFW by going to System -> Administration -> Firewall Configuration.


Note: After you enable the firewall (and configured it the way you like) you can close GUFW. You don’t need to keep GUFW open all the time or add it to the list of startup programs.

A popular alternative to UFW is Firestarter. I’ll be posting about it soon.