Use ClamAV to Scan For Viruses in KDE (without an extra GUI)

It’s generally considered to be a given for Linux users that anti-virus software – a staple for Windows users – is not necessary in the Linux world. While it is certainly true that there aren’t exactly the same number of viruses for Linux applications as there are for Windows programs, some users still find the need. For instance, if a user receives and downloads an infected email attachment from a Windows user, then passes that attachment on to another Windows user, the fact that the Linux user wasn’t affected doesn’t offer much comfort to the second Windows user.

So, programs such as ClamAV exist. ClamAV is a Terminal-based virus scanning program and more for Linux users. There is a GTK-based graphical user interface (GUI) that works great for many users called ClamTk, and KlamAV (which saw its last update in 2009), for KDE users. For KDE users who simply want access to ClamAV’s basic scanning features, however, the combination of the ClamAV software and a simple script called “Scan with ClamAV (Extended)” will do the trick quite nicely. Here’s how to go about installing and using them.

First, open up the Terminal.

Open Terminal

Next, type sudo apt-get install clamav to install the ClamAV software, along with a few other required libraries.

Install ClamAV

Now start Dolphin, the KDE file browser. We’re loading it via the Kickoff Start Menu.

Start Dolphin

If you have Dolphin set up in the standard fashion, there will be no toolbar, so click the gear (in the upper right corner of the window), and choose the Configure Dolphin option.

Configure Dolphin

Now choose the Services tab. You should see a list of all the possible service menus Dolphin can show, depending on what item or items you click on.

Dolphin Services Tab

To install the Scan with ClamAV (Extended) script, we’ll use the “Hot New Stuff” framework, so click the Download New Services button.

Click Download New Services Button

You should now see a “Hot New Stuff” window similar to the one shown below.

Get Hot New Stuff Window

To find the correct script, perform a simple search for “ClamAV” in the search box.

Search for ClamAV

You should see the following result, which you can now install by clicking the Install button.

Click to Install

From now on, to scan a file or directory, simply right-click it, then choose the Scan with ClamAV option from the contextual menu, as shown below.

Initiate Scan

You will now see a small window appear, showing ClamAV’s progress as it scans the file or the full contents of the folder.

Scan in Progress

When the scan is complete, you will see the results. Happily, we had no detected viruses!

Scan Results

As briefly mentioned, ClamAV has a ton of features, almost all of which can’t be accessed via the simple service menu script detailed above. This is too bad (as it requires the user to go to the Terminal to access the full power of ClamAV), but for those of us who just want to run a quick scan, this is a very nice option.

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