Do you need a virus scanner on your Ubuntu system if you run Wine?

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Diego Donati (diegodonati) said :

I use Wine and the commercial Crossover and I don't use virus scanners.
Wine creates a fake Windows C partition and all the Windows software that is installed is stored in this fake partition.
Windows viruses cannot damage Linux because they are built to attack Windows registry and do not understand Kernel.
So even if a virus does get installed the maximum it can do is damage the fake Wine C partition but not your computer (and it is practically very very difficult!!!)
So the answer is...a virus could enter your pc and could infect your C Wine partition but it has to first find your C fake partition.... ....A Windows virus finds its way around by using the registry construction in Windows. When a virus gets into Linux and tries to execute itself it will not find a Windows registry (obviously) and cannot know that you have Linux with Wine installed so it would be practically impossible to even have your Wine partition destroyed.

Should you need extra protection install AVG antivirus for Linux follow my post instructions to install and update the software:



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Steve Dodier-Lazaro (sidi) said :


Let's be more accurate : by installing Wine and leaving it "as it is", you create a few security breaches. A virus that modifies windows system files or adds himself to the autostart programs under windows will have absolutely no impact over Linux. At worse, you'll have to manually repair damaged dlls (same as under windows).

What can be more bothering is the following : if you execute a virus that deletes/creates files everywhere via wine, it will more than likely delete/create files in your home, because Wine has a link to your home folder.

If you want to be totally safe about this particular issue, just run winecfg, and remove your "/" and "/home/<user>" from the available drives (you won't be able to acceed your home through wine softwares if you do that, though, so if you wanna use a document with a windows app, you'll first have to move it somewhere in your ".wine/drive_c/" folder.)

Now, about the risk of being infected : usually you get viruses through web browsing / emails / bad apps. You can already ignore the first two cases since you'll read your mails and browse the web with Linux programs. Now, exactly as under Windows, just don't manually run risky applications with Wine. In fact, antiviruses are most of the time completely unable to prevent you from this, and i anyways don't think a windows antivirus would run (and even install) under wine.

Just be careful, and if you fear for your data, remove the drives pointing to your home, and you should be ok.

P.S. : i ONCE heard of someone harmed by a windows virus via wine, and he DID execute the virus himself, resulting in some files created in his home, and that's all.

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Tom (tom6) said :

It's a good idea to have an antivirus. I prefer ClamAv to Avg but there are others too. Another major reason why linux is safer is because programs tend not to be run and used as Root. I think this is true of Wine too but i would still use an antivirus in addition to the standard issue firewall that you already have installed (unless you uninstalled it). There are front-ends to the firewal but they are not really needed often except for helping setting up networking sometimes

Good luck and regards from

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Tom (tom6) said :

Ahh - just to clarify that i didn't think we were talking about installing antivirus in Wine, which would seem pretty dumb to me anyway. What i thought we were talking about was using the normal native Linux antivirus' installed in Ubuntu and using them to scan Wine directories and perhaps Windows partitions too.

Both ClamAv and Avg (linux) can scan Window partitions and Wine folders - they'd be a bit like scattering anti-elephant powder down in Peckham otherwise. Yes i know there's never been an elephant wandering around in Peckham but that doesn't mean the anti-elephant powder works. ClamAv and Avg(linux) do spot and can remove Windows viruses tho.

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Steve Dodier-Lazaro (sidi) said :

Oh, I see what you mean now.

Well, anyways, i don't think it's that useful, provided you're careful. All the same as under windows, i've been running windows PCs without antivirus for a lot of time, without any problem.

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Guillermo Belli (glock24) said :

Hello Tom,

You can use ClamAV to scan the wine folders, as they are just "normal" folders in your home. You can also scan Windows partitions, but it will not be as effective a an antivirus software running under Windows because it cannot fix modifications made to the Windows registry. ClamAV will detect and repair/remove the infected files it finds though.

You can also scan external external drives if you want.

If you need a front-end to clamAV, you can use klamav or clamtk.

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Tom (tom6) said :

If you are still having trouble with this then please post it as a new question. Only the most recent questions tend to get looked at so posting/re-posting a question just before america arrives online after work/school gives the best chance of getting a good few answers - such is the nature of the internet.

If the problem has been resolved then please follow the link to the forum thread and mark it as Solved but please give us a clue how you did manage to solve it and also use the button under where you type stuff in rather than giving me karma credit points for just sending this note to you.

Apologies, good luck and many regards from
Tom :)

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ronald atkinson (jandora) said :

Need more help please
Do you need a virus scanner on your Ubuntu system if you run Wine? Yes!!!!
 oss_test_launchpad for more information
<email address hidden>
Thank you
Have a good day

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