Follow up Question Was: Re: Virtal Machine preferences?

Preston Hagar prestonh at
Wed Sep 16 16:55:59 UTC 2009

On Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 10:55 AM, Patton Echols <p.echols at> wrote:
> Thanks Derek, and everyone else who replied.  The Windows applications I
> will use are not properly "internet" applications, but get grumpy if you
> "unplug the wire."  I guess I'll search around for a lightweight scanner.

I know this might be almost blasphemous to say on a Linux mailing
list, but a properly updated Windows install really isn't as
susceptible to vira (thank Amedee) as a lot of people think.  I run
Ubuntu as my main desktop OS, but have a Windows XP Pro VirtualBox
install to use to compile things in Visual Studio and to check/use
websites in IE.  I don't use it as my primary OS whatsoever, but just
on occasion when those "Windows only" things come up.  For a while, I
ran AVG on the system, but it never really found anything and just
took up system resources.  I uninstalled it and have been running it
with no Anti-virus installed for quite some time.  I keep it up to
date with patches and about once every week or two, run an updated
Spybot and Malwarebytes scan just to make sure.  Those usually, at
most, just catch a few tracking cookies, but since I don't really use
the system for the majority of my web browsing, they usually find very
few of those.

It has really been my experience of late that pretty much all
anti-virus software is more or less worthless.  At best, it will
detect a virus after you are already infected, or give so many false
positives, that you can miss the real virus for all of the non-virus
files.  General good guidelines like "don't use pirated software",
"don't download or install anything you are not sure of", and "don't
visit shady sites, especially in IE" will protect you from the vast
majority of infections.

As one last tip (and to make this response a little more about Linux
and less about Windows), you can take a backup of your VirtualBox
files (assuming they are not too huge) and copy them to another hard
drive or another place on your hard drive each night.  Another option
is to use VirtualBox's built in snapshots.  This will allow you, if
you ever do get infected, to go back to the file or snapstop right
before the infection, then you don't even have to work at removing it.

I am sure some will disagree with me about the no anti-virus in
Windows thing, but I just though I would share my experiences.


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