freshclam error, "clamd.conf" file not found

When I run the following command:

sudo freshclam

If there are found to be updates to the virus definitions etc then at the end of the output comes this error message

ERROR: NotifyClamd: Can't find or parse configuration file /etc/clamav/clamd.conf

But if I run the command when there are no new updates available, then I don’t receive this error message. Why am I getting this error message (as I have not got it before when running the same operations)? And can I fix the problem (if it needs fixing)?

I am running Ubuntu 14.10 and ClamAV (the latest version).

Information update:

This command:

ls -al /var/log/clamav/


total 124
drwxr-xr-x  2 clamav clamav  4096 Feb 22 11:14 .
drwxrwxr-x 15 root   syslog  4096 Feb 24 18:26 ..
-rw-r-----  1 clamav adm    46790 Feb 24 18:31 freshclam.log
-rw-r-----  1 clamav adm    59109 Feb 22 11:14 freshclam.log.1

And this command:

more /etc/clamav/clamd.conf


/etc/clamav/clamd.conf: No such file or directory

I have also tried reinstalling clamav, but I still get the same error when running sudo freshclam.

Asked By: user364819


It seems that installing clamav via apt-get install clamav doesn’t actually install the clamav daemon; it only installs the freshclam daemon. You’ll probably want to install clamav-daemon as well. The first time clamd runs, it’ll create /etc/clamav/clamd.conf.

Note that the clamav package does install clamscan, which you can invoke manually to scan specific files/directories. However, by default, nothing will be scanned automatically. clamav-daemon allows scans to be triggered remotely, but even that doesn’t schedule scans or provide realtime protection.

This is a good reminder that you should never just install security software and forget about it. You need to make sure it’s working properly. I’m sure plenty of people run sudo apt-get install clamav, then just assume it’s working in the background–when, in reality, all that’s running is freshclam.

If you’re actually looking for realtime protection, instead of just trying to run a scan, user61995 mentioned a potential solution. I haven’t tested it.

tl;dr: sudo apt install clamav-daemon to fix the error, but you still have to run scans manually to be protected; these packages don’t provide realtime protection.

Answered By: Zenexer

On-access scanning exists if you are looking for that. Take a look at the docs: On Access Scanning.

Answered By: user61995
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