Ubuntu installed inside Windows 7 ... antivirus needed or not?

  cowgirl66 21:19 02 Sep 2012

Hi everyone, I am having a great time exploring Ubuntu, having installed it as a download to Windows7 with Wubi. The concern I am having now is, is it ok to run the 'gufw' firewall for Ubuntu because I still have Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 in Windows. And I would also feel safer with an antivirus for Ubuntu too for online banking etc. Apparently, I have read that Windows recognises Ubuntu as a different OS whereas in fact it is only a download and that is what I can't relate to this issue.

Read more: http://www.techadvisor.co.uk/forums/28/windows-7-help/4169329/windows-7-os-with-ubuntu-virtual-drive-installed/#ixzz25LTFPauV

  LastChip 23:58 02 Sep 2012

wubi is simply an installer for Windows. Once the installation has completed and you select Ubuntu, you are actually using Ubuntu (as opposed to Windows). Therefore, I see no reason why you should not use the gufw firewall. However, if you're using a router for your Internet connection, it should have a built in firewall, so a further firewall shouldn't be necessary.

As regards anti-virus software, it's not necessary at this present time. Whether that will alter in the future, who knows, but Linux is simply not at risk in the same way and you don't have to nursemaid it like Windows.

If you're really unhappy about that, then clamav is a powerful Linux anti-virus application, but be aware, you won't have fancy a GUI, as it's written primarily for Linux email servers.

I've been using Linux for about 5 years now (for all intents and purposes as an exclusive system) and have never needed to use anti-virus software on my desktop production machine. But I do have it on my email servers, as Windows infested emails are still very much the norm. This is purely to protect my Windows users connecting to the servers.

Use Ubuntu, relax and enjoy :-)

  cowgirl66 09:07 03 Sep 2012

Lastchip: thank you for your reply. I think you have told me what I wanted to know in a nutshell. I will use Clamav purely for the fact that I run my finances from the websites. Maybe even password encryption too will help. I know a lot of people switching over to Ubuntu from Windows are paranoid, but is it any wonder? It's hardly Ubuntu's fault that Windows has so many dangers lurking. I do use a router but it is connected via ethernet.

I don't mind that Clamav isn't as fancy looking. Just so long as it is there until I get used to using Ubuntu full-on. I have read that typing 'sudo apt' into the terminal too can be a risk unless you know what you are doing. Is that true?

And which Clamav do I need for my email servers? All my contacts are Windows users at present.

  LastChip 11:36 03 Sep 2012

Sorry, I may have mislead you.

My email servers are professional servers providing an email service. I think you may be talking about an email client, which is the application you would use to access email (unless you too, run email servers).

It seems you may be a little unclear about your router too. It doesn't matter how you connect to your router, though arguably, an Ethernet connection is more secure than a wireless connection.

Almost all modern consumer routers have firewalls built in. They are usually Linux based and you can normally access them via your router pages. If you have one up and running on the router, you're simply doubling the firewalls packets have to go through. If that makes you feel more secure - fine, but it's probably an overkill.

Now a small lesson on Linux (Ubuntu).

Ubuntu is set up a little differently from many other Linux distributions (known as distros). It uses sudo to change your level of authority.

Why is that different? Most other distros require a "root" user and a normal user - "you", as a minimum. Ubuntu only requires "you". I'm personally not keen on sudo, but accept it does the job. I far prefer the old way, because you then have two completely independent users with their own passwords. However, Ubuntu in its native form does not do that. To avoid any misunderstanding, you can still have multiple users on a Ubuntu machine, but here, we're talking about the upper layer of authority.

So whether the system uses "root" or "sudo", either will make you a "superuser", or what may be referred to as an administrator in Windows.

But there are major differences. Linux does not insult your intelligence. It assumes if you are logged in as a superuser, you know what you're doing. If you tell it to delete a crucial system file, it will do it without any further warning. You don't get - "are you sure"! So you can now see where the danger lays. You can wreak a system at the touch of a button.

When you log-in as "you", generally speaking, the system will not allow you to modify any system files. It won't allow you to install additional applications and so on. This is part of what makes a Linux distro so secure. It now becomes clear why it's so hard for anyone to run unauthorised scripts on a Linux machine and this is only the first layer of security.

So if you want to make system changes (or install applications), Ubuntu will ask for your password before it will oblige. It also logs any changes you make. So if you were on a business machine for example and thought you were being clever having discovered the password for your system admin, everything you do would be logged and he/she can go back into the logs and have factual evidence of what you did - not so clever after all!

By now, you will have discovered the importance of a really strong password on Ubuntu. It's the keys of the kingdom and weak passwords are still the number one reason why peoples computers get compromised - whether it be Linux or Windows. If your password is weak, do something about it - now!

  cowgirl66 08:59 06 Sep 2012

Hello LastChip, so sorry for the delay getting back to you. But so pleased you have taken the time to explain this in such detail. Yes I do have an email client, the default 'Thunderbird' which Ubuntu provides me on installation. I'm happy with that as I've used it before on Windows. I am the only user on my computer so I am the upper layer of authority; however I will change my password (thanks for that tip - you never know) Whereas before in Windows I had many long, complicated firewalls to login to applications, now it's just the one Ubuntu password isn't it so yes I can see what you mean there.

Thank you once again, Best regards, cowgirl66

  LastChip 12:17 06 Sep 2012

My pleasure, but I want to make sure you're clear on one point.

You said, "I am the only user on my computer so I am the upper layer of authority". Well, actually, No!

When normally logged in, you only have the same level of authority as anyone else authorised to use that computer. I could go into significant depth explaining how you can actually vary that authority level for each individual, but it wouldn't add to this particular post.

The point is, it's only when you use sudo, you are granted the top level of authority. In normal use, that is not the case. You have to specifically invoke that authority level, either by typing your password when requested by the installation application, or using sudo as a command prefix when using the command line.

I hope that's clearer and enjoy using a system that is light years ahead of Windows!

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