Installing ClamAV on CentOS 7

Referenced from Linux-Audit:

To get ClamAV on CentOS installed, we have to use the EPEL repository (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux). Fortunately, the Fedora project provides this with an easy installation. Unfortunately the default configuration is not properly working. In this post we collect some of the issues and required changes.

Let’s start with installing the EPEL support.

  • yum install epel-release

Next step is installing all ClamAV components.

  • yum install clamav-server clamav-data clamav-update clamav-filesystem clamav clamav-scanner-systemd clamav-devel clamav-lib clamav-server-systemd


Installing ClamAV with help of EPEL repository

Configure SELinux for ClamAV

If you are using ClamAV on CentOS, together with SELinux, we should configure it a little bit. This way ClamAV can access all files on disk, and update its data definition files.

Enable antivirus_can_scan_system:

  • setsebool -P antivirus_can_scan_system 1


Configuration of Clam daemon

Copy a the clamd.conf template, in case you don’t have a configuration file yet.

  • cp /usr/share/clamav/template/clamd.conf /etc/clamd.d/clamd.conf
    sed -i ‘/^Example/d’ /etc/clamd.d/clamd.conf

Change /etc/clamd.d/clamd.conf file and define if you want to run the scanner as root, or a specific user. Check your /etc/passwd file for the related Clam user.

Change the following two options:

  • User clamscan
    LocalSocket /var/run/clamd.<SERVICE>/clamd.sock

Enable Freshclam

Freshclam helps with keeping the database of ClamAV up-to-date. First delete the related “Example” line from /etc/freshclam.conf.

  • cp /etc/freshclam.conf /etc/freshclam.conf.bak
    sed -i ‘/^Example/d’ /etc/freshclam.conf

Check the other options in the file, and change it to your preferred settings.

Missing systemd service file

We didn’t get a systemd service file, so creating a quick file here. The process should be forking itself and start freshclam in daemon mode. In this case we configure it to check 4 times a day for new files.

Create a new file /usr/lib/systemd/system/clam-freshclam.service

# Run the freshclam as daemon


Description = freshclam scanner

After =



Type = forking

ExecStart = /usr/bin/freshclam -d -c 4

Restart = on-failure

PrivateTmp = true



Now enable and start the service.

  • systemctl enable clam-freshclam.service


  • systemctl start clam-freshclam.service

Check the status.

[root@centos7 system]# systemctl status clam-freshclam.service

clam-freshclam.service – freshclam scanner

Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/clam-freshclam.service; enabled)

Active: active (running) since Thu 2015-06-11 11:09:24 CEST; 1s ago

Process: 3158 ExecStart=/usr/bin/freshclam -d -c 4 (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)

Main PID: 3159 (freshclam)

CGroup: /system.slice/clam-freshclam.service

└─3159 /usr/bin/freshclam -d -c 4

Change service files

By default, the service files seem to be messy and not working.

These are the files bundled:

[root@centos7 system]# ls -l /usr/lib/systemd/system/clam*

-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 136 Apr 29 20:38 /usr/lib/systemd/system/clamd@scan.service

-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 231 Apr 29 20:38 /usr/lib/systemd/system/clamd@.service

When enabling the clamd service, we would see something like this:

[root@centos7 system]# systemctl enable /usr/lib/systemd/system/clamd@.service

Failed to issue method call: Unit /usr/lib/systemd/system/clamd@.service does not exist.

So let’s fix it. First rename the /usr/lib/systemd/system/clamd@.service file.

Rename the clamd@ file.

mv /usr/lib/systemd/system/clamd@.service /usr/lib/systemd/system/clamd.service

Now we have to change the clamd@scan service as well, as it refers to a non-existing file now. Change this line in /usr/lib/systemd/system/clamd@scan.service and remove the @ sign.

.include /lib/systemd/system/clamd@.service

Next step is changing the clamd service file /usr/lib/systemd/system/clamd.service


Description = clamd scanner daemon

After =



Type = simple

ExecStart = /usr/sbin/clamd -c /etc/clamd.d/clamd.conf –foreground=yes

Restart = on-failure

PrivateTmp = true



Move into the directory.

cd /usr/lib/systemd/system

Start all services.

[root@centos7 system]# systemctl enable clamd.service
[root@centos7 system]# systemctl enable clamd@scan.service
[root@centos7 system]# systemctl start clamd.service
[root@centos7 system]# systemctl start clamd@scan.service

Checking the status

With all these changes, ClamAV on CentOS 7 should be running now. The easiest way to check, is using the ps command and see if freshclam and clamd are running.

Useful resources for debugging are the systemctl status command, followed by the service. Then there is logging in /var/log/messages, which usually will reveal when and why something is (not) running.


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