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  What Is ClamXav (and do Mac users really need antivirus)
Subject:   No, they don't
Date:   2005-08-21 12:24:10
From:   michael98
What Is ClamXav and do Mac users really need antivirus?

Short answer: No.

Longer answer: As the number of viruses for OS X is none, no, they don't. What part of "none" don't these people understand?

There are some 55 viruses for the Mac OS (now called "Classic" by Apple "Dark Age" would be more appropriate) if that worries you and you haven't removed it yet, follow the directions in the NSA's guide:


Oh, and turn off macros in MS Office, if you're running that.

Now, you have NO malware to guard against. So why run a, hence useless, AV program? In order to slow the system down, possibly screw it up (yes, it's happened) and line the pockets of the likes of Symantec. Give me a break.

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  • FJ de Kermadec photo No, they don't
    2005-08-21 12:31:38  FJ de Kermadec | O'Reilly Blogger [View]


    First of all, thank you for sharing your feelings with us! :^)

    As you can see, this article discusses ClamXav, an open-source-based anti-virus application. While its author encourages donations, the application can be used free of charge. Also, it does not install kernel extensions and has optional background scanning capabilities.

    Any application can, of course, under some circumstances, encounter (or cause) issues. Nevertheless, I feel Clamav and ClamXav address both negative points you mention above.

    • No, they don't
      2005-08-21 20:08:35  pmccann [View]

      And more to the point, ruling that "there are no mac viruses, so no one needs AV software" is all well and good if you work in an all Mac environment. But for lots of people there's a little thing called "Windows" that lives on the same networks, and while we can work to lower the number of such beasts it's going to take a while to reduce it to zero. When sending files to Windows users it's certainly polite to not be pushing viruses, so many Mac users would like a way to ensure that that doesn't happen (**). ClamXAV is great for that: run it on-demand if you like, or just check Mail. It's low key, doesn't force itself on the user, and allows you to play nicely with others.

      What more could you ask?

      (**) Yes, the Windows machines should all have up to date AV software and definitions, but I'd still rather not be one of the users in the network who's passing on infected files. Management double-speak can easily turn that on its head in order to blame the Mac users for spreading the thing.

      • No, they don't
        2005-08-21 20:09:59  pmccann [View]

        Gack, I see the lower case paragraph tags now...