Mandriva security

I’ve finally got around to installing Mandriva 2008 next to my Windows XP Home and I’m really made up to have done this. As I’m a total novice to Linux, I’m still having a lot of questions. Here we go:
How do I install software? I tried to install AVG (dld it and tried to install - didn’t work!) Can anyone provide me with a foolproof step-by-step “manual” on how to install AVG for Mandriva???
Is there a good firewall (if I need one) and how do I install it?
Same goes for Opera. Tried to install but couldn’t do it.
Thanks in advance (sorry I wasn’t more precise on how I tried but I’m even too daft to do this :wink:

Hi, glad to hear we got a new Linux user here! (:WAV)

OK first for AVG:

hope you downloaded the rpm version. All you have to do is to install Kpackage, that you will find in your repositories. Although my distro (PCLinuxOS) is very close to Mandriva, it uses “Synaptic” to download programs from repositories and install them. You will have to use the equivalent in Mandriva (can’t remember the name of the program; if you want I can launch the LiveCD I got to check this).

Once you got Kpackage installed, launch it and open the AVG rpm with it (you will be prompted for your root password). Then click install and the result in the log file for the installation should end with number “0”, if it’s another number it will mean that the install failed (usually for dependencies issues), but it should work. Now let 's suppose you got that far, you won’t be able to launch AVG with your user’s privileges. The only way is to launch a terminal: hit alt-F2, type SU and give your root password again. Then type avggui and you’ll get the AVG interface open.

This method only produces an on demand scanner of AVG, no resident shield. That’s not an exception as other anti-virus you could install in Linux won’t provide a shield either (like Avast or Clam). AVG claims that by installing another package called Dazuko (found on the Web), on access scanner becomes available. But there it’s getting a bit more complicated as Dazuko doesn’t provide any rpm but only source files that must be compiled. If you’re new to Linux you’d better forget that.

Now for the firewall: there are no “good” firewall for Linux, see this thread that I started a few days ago:

the best way in Mandriva is to launch its control center (not the KDE CC, the mandriva one), go to security and activate Smummy [!]wall (not Invictus ok).

To your question: you cannot install software in Linux like you do in Windows, as there’s no standard installer in Linux. You will have to use one interface that will download the software from your distro servers and install them automatically on your computer.

adding: again, the forum software here has replaced the firewall name with something else :SMLR

Hey Leopard,
thanks for those really detailed explanations. I’ll try it at once and let you know how it went (might take some time).

BTW, is AVG for Linux any good or are there better ones?

And… how do I get my desktop to look like that cool cube that is shown in the other thread you link to?

oh I forgot: Opera is available in my distro’s repositories, it should be there for Mandriva as well. Just check your repos, and then the install should go with just one click.

OK about AVG in Linux: there is not a better AV for Linux. They’re all as good in this OS environment: which means basically useless, as Linux doesn’t need anything like an anti-virus or an anti-spyware program. I know, I should have told you before :SMLR To that there are a few reasons:

The first one is that less than 1% of computer users are on Linux, so malware developers do not target Linux in a general way. Not worth it :SMLR

Second reason: Linux is not vulnerable to virii and worms etc… like Windows is. It is very difficult for a virus to access Linux system: modifying an executable in Linux requires root access, so a password. And you usually never run (and never should) Linux from an administrator account.

Third reason: can’t go into details that’s just something I read, that Linux system files are managed in such an obscure way that the best hackers just cannot access them with malware.
For example I noticed, If you have a look at your root partition, you’ll see that, unlike Windows, programs are not all located in the same location. And there’s no rule really: every distro makes it a bit differently. Linux, the system itself, is developed by other people than the ones who provide the distro. The distro providers are not developers, they’re packagers who compile Linux + a graphical interface + programs (Firefox, whatever). Some obviously make it better than others, but in all cases, Linux by nature remains extremely secure (without the need of extra AV software etc…).

adding: I installed AVG in Linux a few days ago (already uninstalled it). It looks like the virus database is the same as the one for Windows, which also makes no bloody sens imo, as most of those virii are harmless in Linux.

Thanks for your superfast reply. It’s much appreciated and very enlightening. (:CLP)
I think I won’t install an AV then (for the moment). But I have another (dumb) question:
How do I know whether I run Mandriva from an admin account? Where can I see it? (EDIT: Errm, embarrassed, just realised that I’m always asked for my password when I want to change anything - so I’m certainly no admin… stupid me)
BTW. I found out how to get that cool cube 8)

P.S.: Unfortunately I cannot find Opera in my repos :frowning:

yeah, Mandriva has disabled the admin account by default, for security concerns. Kubuntu did the same. You do not need to access this account directly: you’ll be prompted for a password every time an operation will require root access. Now if I was you, I would start running Mandriva “as is” for a while, and then if you really find that you need to access the root account then ask me again and I’ll tell you how. Again, it is not advised to run Linux with the root account, as it will obviously make the OS much more vulnerable to online attacks.

adding: for Opera, there could be some repos that you need to activate in Mandriva, where opera is available.
(you should check that link too, about “cooker”, where much additional software for mandriva is available: “cooker” can be activated directly from your desktop )

I finally got Opera running…

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cool! :Beer you’ll find anything you need in Linux I’m sure.