To get ClamXAV or not to get ClamXAV?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by reluttr, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. reluttr macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Is there any downsides to installing ClamXAV "other than it taking up disk space"?

    Also does anyone have any recommended settings to use with ClamXAV to optimize its performance?

    Finally if someone has already installed the application and no longer wanted it. Is there any major side effects or "app residue" left after following clam's uninstall guide on their site? "which includes running the uninstall scrupt in the installer and then deleting"
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Don't get it. Mac's don't get viruses and any trojans they might get the OS will notify you before they get installed. All ClamXAV does is use up system resources.
  3. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    Away from you
    I'm sure it's nominally better now, but when I installed it two years ago, it drove the processor to 99% usage during normal non-scan periods, and after I supposedly uninstalled it, it wrote system logs for months until I tracked the last bits of it down on my hard drive.

    No thanks. It just isn't necessary.
  4. ideal.dreams macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2010
    I wouldn't install it. There's no reason for it. It's just a waste of space and memory. Macs don't get viruses - there are literally none that exist. The handful of trojans can be easily avoided with common sense.

    If you're worried about transferring a virus to a Windows computer then put the antivirus on that computer. There's no need to have protection for something that the Mac already can't get.
  5. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    I would install it. It uses nil system resources as any good av program should. The previous poster who had a pegged cpu obviously had an issue that is not typical. If you have an ancient dual core or better it will run fine then you can set it to monitor users' home folders and their subfolders for viruses and forget about it. Without av you could receive malware in an email and pass it along to anyone and everyone. With ClamXav you can also scan removable media. You should not pass along viruses to anyone else. If doing that were okay then an HIV positive person should be insulated from any legal or civil action if he knowingly infected someone.
  6. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    You do not need an antivirus program for your Mac.

    Check out this Wiki: Mac Virus/Malware FAQ

    I even ran Windows XP for years with no virus protection except for MS security updates/patches. Once I switched to OS X, I put an antivirus on that XP machine before I got rid of it just to see if there was anything on there. There wasn't.

    The moral is to be a wise Internet surfer. Avoid suspicious and questionable sites and don't click on anything unless you're certain you know what it is and feel it's trustworthy. Plus, always keep your machine updated with the latest updates from Apple or Microsoft or whatever OS you are using.
  7. cerote, Jan 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012

    cerote macrumors 6502a


    Mar 2, 2009
    It is not a must but if you feel you must then Clamxav is the most lightweight among all the scanners. It also compared to the others it is also safer unlike some free scanners that use root priviliges to just do the update.

    But really up to you on if you want to install it or not. Not 100% needed.


    As per Sandbox's link.

  8. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    Away from you
    It may not have affected everybody, but it was a widespread issue which is easily found searching around the forums here.

    As I said, that was a few years ago and I'm sure they've fixed the bug by now.
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I believe the issue you're both referring to is the Sentry feature of ClamXav. Read the info on ClamXav in the FAQ that SandboxGeneral posted and cerote quoted.
  10. kpgh554 macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2011
    iver england
    I've had clamxav on my comp for approx. year now caused no probs and glad i had it as found 2 malwares and 1virus. sent to me from bros who said they had a good antivirus on their pcs. only settings i used was to set sentry to scan all download folders.
  11. Schtumple macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2007
    My dad consistently tells me anytime I have ANY problem with my Macs that it must be virus related. He's never once been right.

    As long as you're level headed you don't need malware/virus protection on a Mac, pure and simple.
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That's a common belief among Windows users, because historically, that's been the case far too many times. It takes a while for some users to get used to the fact that the Mac experience is quite different when it comes to malware.
  13. reluttr thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Really that's my issue, this is my first mac and my learned windows habits have me constantly worried that I may get malware through the browser without some form of protection.

    Which after reading about that one social media virus that was being spread through twitter, it got me a little worried, since the article stated it could install itself without consent from the computer operator.

    But looking back at it, it was pre-lion and surely apple has patched the hole up by now.

    I had installed ClamXav but after running a scan and it not finding anything. I uninstalled following the instructions on their FAQ page, and from what I can tell it did not leave any "residue" in the application data folders.

    ------ end of reply -------​

    But yeah I am trying to be extra careful when installing and uninstalling applications. Since the act usually causes most linux installs to completely blow up and usually caused windows to become bogged down with left over pluggins left by the application.

    Luckily from what I can tell, this is not the case on Lion since it appears to keep all the application data separate from the system installation. If a application does leave anything behind like specific pluggins or processes used by the application, the operating system knows to ignore it. So other than just taking up hard drive space, the "residue" does not effect the performance of the operating system itself much.

    This is something microsoft should take note of and implement into windows 8. It just seems like a more intelligent way to handle applications overall, and would make the "windows experiance" just as good in the long run as it is out of the box.

    But its like I said, I have only had my mac for a few months and have not installed many applications other than a few games "skylanders, gmod, left4dead", some utility like Burn, and some app store apps "the stock ones you get with lion, and pixelmator". I have also uninstalled far less, including skylanders "for reinstall", ClamXAV, and steam "again for reinstall".

    So if anyone that has had more experience with Macs could correct me, it would be great and help me with feeling more at home on my new machine.

    Anyways, overall I must say I am very happy with my choice to get a mac. :D
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Be sure to read the FAQ that SandboxGeneral posted in post #6. You don't need any 3rd party antivirus app to keep your Mac malware-free. Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released 10 years ago. You cannot infect your Mac simply by visiting a website, unzipping a file, opening an email attachment or joining a network. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which cannot infect your Mac unless you actively install them, and they can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install. Also, Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion have anti-malware protection built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.

    As far as uninstalling apps, if you just want to delete the app, drag the .app file to the trash. No other software needed. If you want to completely remove all associated files/folders, no removal apps will do the job.

    The most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:
  15. mickeydavis macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2012


    I absolutely agree with you, but have no idea what I'm talking about:) I'm somewhat technically challenged. I've had ClamXav on my Macs for at least 7 or 8 years, going back to when it was lines of code in the Console. I just let it do its thing and feel good about it.

    My question is, do I need to do anything to get it to scan outgoing mail and their attachments so I can insure my Windows friends that anything I'm sending out is clean? Also, is it automatically scanning what comes in, or do I have to go into preferences and set certain folders to be scanned when anything comes in?

  16. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I encourage you to read: What about sending files to Windows users? from the: Mac Virus/Malware FAQ
  17. doktordoris macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2009
    macs don't get viruses. none. nil. nada.
    any AV software is an utter waste of money, cpu time, memory, and effort.

    Before becoming a mac convert a couple of years ago I built and owned windows PCs for years. I even used to enjoy viruses on my amiga in 1989, so I too had to make a mental adjustment to a virus free environment. I too made posts saying are you really sure macs don't get viruses? They don't.
  18. reluttr, Jan 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012

    reluttr thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2010
    While we are on the topic of malware...

    Is there a way a developer could put malicious code into a applescript or applescript wrapped up as a applet inside a dmg?

    Because I recently downloaded a tweak to enable airprint. However it requires me to input my administrator password to obviously make the required changes to the system to enable airprint.

    My problem is, what stops the developer from slipping malicious coding into the script that would modify my system to be less "secure". Or even go as far as making my system a drone for a botnet.

    Ive noticed with some applications like this you can actually take a peek into the applet and even look at the applescripts contents itself. But what should I look for in the script to make sure its not malicious? Like is there any commands it can run that can disable some of the security features in OSX?

    Like the script has been ran by several people without any complaints, but thats the whole point to botnet trojans. So is there a way to know for 100% that its clean?
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    First, anything is possible. As I've said, Macs are not immune to malware, including viruses. The fact is, there simply have been no viruses released in the wild in the past 10+ years that can affect Mac OS X. As for the other forms of malware, the good news is that they're currently very limited. There are perhaps 5-10 trojans in the wild, and they have all been identified. These are all easily avoided by simply not installing software from unknown or untrusted sources. If you're running Snow Leopard or Lion, they have built-in protection against known malware, so they would catch it if you tried to install malware. Of course, all of this could change in the future, but for now, you don't have anything to worry about, unless you're pirating software or installing things from untrusted sources.
  20. reluttr thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2010
    I see... Well ill try to be less of a worrywort then. XD

    Because I am sure if a application is contaminated in some fashion someone would mention it. Especially if there is quite a bit of feedback for the app. Surely at least one of them know what to look for to make sure its not malicious in some way.
  21. cocky jeremy macrumors 68040

    cocky jeremy

    Jul 12, 2008
    Columbus, OH

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