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I got affected by a nasty fake antivirus tool yesterday. I was using Windows Vista and I had Microsoft Security Essentials installed, but they were no use.

My question is: if I run Ubuntu Linux inside Windows as a Virtual PC, and if I use this Linux machine to connect to the Internet, will I be able to prevent virus attacks?

I think Windows will be sandboxed by the virtual PC software, so I will be able to enjoy the protection of Linux and the use of Windows at the same time.

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@akira ....Huh? –  Aeo Feb 18 '11 at 17:50

3 Answers 3

Yes, you could do this. All internet accesses, browser and mails and others start from the Linux virtual machine, yes, this will work.

I had a similar configuration at least for browsing on a company I worked some years ago: all users would surf the internet with a browser started remotely on a Linux server. They sat on their Windows PC's but ran the browser remotely. It works very well.

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Citrix XenApp ? –  John T Feb 18 '11 at 16:56
    
No, just starting firefox through rsh using Exceed as X-Server on Windows. Today I would probably use X-ming. –  rems Feb 18 '11 at 17:33

You probably want to ask yourself though, CAN you keep all of your internet use sandboxed into that VM? Not just web-browsing, but e-mail, file-downloads, and potentially media-downloads?

I would think it more systemically robust to invert the situation - use Linux as the host OS with Windows inside a VM under that. This can be a more difficult transition though, depends upon who you are.

FWIW, I personally use Linux as the host OS for most things, a few Windows-only apps setup with WINE (so they run pretty much full-speed and without a VM), and a VM with Windows for a couple other things (e.g. iTunes for music-management on my iPod & iPhone).

BUT

I also have a discrete installation of Windows 7 to support those apps/hardware devices that MUST use a native Windows installation (e.g. iTunes for software upgrades of my iPhone).

{grumble}

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I think I can sandbox all my internet usage into the vm box. what if I use windows for the services that I trust like Gmail,Yahoo,Youtube and linux to browse the untrustworthy contents and the forums. will this prevent the virus from entering the machine. Will there be any performance loss of internet speed while I access the web from the VM –  Ananth Feb 18 '11 at 16:09
    
@Ananth: No website that accepts paid advertising from third parties is trustworthy. The New York Times infected a bunch of computers a while back. –  David Thornley Feb 18 '11 at 20:17

Yes you can do this but it will not protect windows for when you download or install; remember your HDD is all formatted in windows NTFS (presumably) therefore anything you put on it can infect any other system; linux will just help protect against live threats as it will not recognize your format as windows it will "see" linux

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This is not correct. A virus downloaded to the virtual Ubuntu machine could not execute under Linux, so it can't do anything, and Windows won't see it unless the OP stores it on a shared folder, so it can't infect the Windows partition. The solution is clunky, but it could work. –  CarlF Feb 18 '11 at 18:49
    
alright I sit corrected. Sorry! –  Iceking007 Feb 18 '11 at 18:52

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