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Malware/antivirus scanners to run from linux maintenance laptop

By sethbest
Jun 29, 2009
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  1. To make some use of this pretty cool, although quite outdated, sony vaio picturebook i have I have gone through disproportionate amount of work to get to the point of installing a new os, which in this case i chose puppy linux for low resource usage.

    I do pc repair and maintenance work for a living, and though i have multiple tools for pc repair, i often find that the quickest solution to a boot drive too bogged down in spyware and viruses to run is to plug it into a working system and scan it from there, this is where the picture book comes in.

    Basically I have found multiple spyware and antivirus progs that have linux versions, but im worried 1 about how effective these will be at scanning nfts drives, and 2 if by using usb to hdd converters and hd enclosures i will be able to quickly install and detect the drives to be scanned (my biggest concern is the drive compatibility and if the peripheral devices i mentioned will be able to be recognized from linux).

    will i need to use a windows emulator to use the system this way? will that use up enough resources to not make it worth it?

    Thanks for the help
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    NTFS-3G works really well.. Maybe even better than Windows, since you can ignore NTFS permissions without having to take ownership of protected user folders. NTFS should have little do with this.

    As far as AV goes, ClamAV is common, free, open source and well supported. Yes - it detects Windows viruses. In fact, that's sort of what it is for: its original intention was to keep email servers clean, which typically include Windows machine clients. Unfortunately, I've been disappointed with clamwin's (Windows version) detection rates. My experiences are anecdotal though. Kaspersky would probably be a good choice if the Linux version is anything like the Windows version, although I've gotten quite a few false positives from it (once again, anecdotal). NOD32 is a personal favorite of mine on Windows, but I'm pretty sure the Linux version is for "servers", which probably means it is insanely expensive.

    I've never used Puppy before, so I'm not sure how it handles this stuff out of the box. However, I'm pretty sure it will all work very well. Linux -- without a doubt -- has better support for devices out of the box than Windows by far. When it comes to USB/Firewire/eSATA mass storage, Linux has been great for me (no surprises, no extra drivers.. just true Plug n Play). Depending on your distro, you may need to do some configuration (/etc/fstab, possibly) to get NTFS volumes to 1.) Automount with ntfs-3g 2.) Automount external ntfs-3g volumes with full read/write permission.. But it should work very well for you once it is setup, perhaps even perfectly out of the box.

    Good luck with your Linux experience. Sometimes it takes some patience and perserverence. :)
  3. sethbest

    sethbest TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 167

    wow, that was perhaps the most helpful and informative response that i've ever gotten on this board, thanks a bunch Rick.

    I hatched this plan like most of my time consuming projects without knowing if it was remotely plausible and after reading your post it sounds like it might have actualy been a good idea.

    I'll be sure to post my experience with it when setup is finished for anyone else who might want to do setup a similar system on one of these old proprietary laptops.
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