[kwlug-disc] so ... what's your opinion on linux anti-virus software?

L.D. Paniak ldpaniak at fourpisolutions.com
Thu Feb 5 22:33:11 EST 2009


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unsolicited wrote:

< Insert fantastically cogent uber-rant. >

If I hear you right, the short version goes like this:  I use a computer
to get X done.  It had better work when I need it.  Just like the phone,
photocopier and toaster.  If not, I need to get a new one.

If so, I agree completely.  The computer is just another appliance for
the end-user.  It should just work.

I see virus protection in Windows as the ultimate Achilles' Heel of the
whole MS world:  You buy an OS, then have to pay another company an
annual tithe to keep it safe.  Forget to pay, flush your files bye-bye.
 Oh yeah, the anti-virus/spam/rootkit/trojan/worm/? software will get in
the way of most everything you do, hijack your hard drive for a scan
when you least want it to  and make your modern CPU feel like an AMD K6.

For the end-user, I think we should trumpet the Linux desktop as a virus
- -immune environment:  no extra cost, no performance hits, no worries.
Of course this sales pitch may have a limited lifetime (the Flash applet
ate my hard drive...), but I think we should play it as long as we can.
 Apple users do it - albeit less successfully.

The less the end-user has to worry about, the better.  If someone wants
to fret about viruses in Linux, let 'em read this about last spring's
Windows, Apple, ubuntu hacking contest (from a Mac POV):

http://db.tidbits.com/article/9529

Especially, "By the end of the contest, only the Linux system had not
been compromised."


As mentioned before, there are good reasons to run rkhunter or e-mail
scrubbing for MS clients on a server, but this is as relevant to the
end-user as klogd or the details of modern telephone call routing.
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