I have the latest version of freshclam and clamav installed, and in the past (when I had Ubuntu 14.10) it has only run freshclam automatically a few times a day, but has not been running all the time. Now what I am finding though that if I go to Terminal and execute:

sudo freshclam

That I get:

ERROR: /var/log/clamav/freshclam.log is locked by another process
ERROR: Problem with internal logger (UpdateLogFile = /var/log/clamav/freshclam.log).

And then the only way to be able to manually run that command is to kill the freshclam process, but this is time wasting, and annoying, so I would like to fully stop freshclam from auto updating, so that I can do manual updates.

So what I tried was to install clamtk, and in the Update Assistant settings I tried to set it so that I would manually install updates, and then I clicked Apply, but this seemed, even after a restart, to have no impact on how freshclam behaved.

So really my question is, how can I get it so that freshclam does not automatically check for updates, or at least for it to do it a few times a day, but not always be there so that I have to kill it to run it? Or is there a way to fix clamtk so that it does it properly (I have got in touch with the developer of clamtk and he is looking into it, but does not know what the issue is)?

OS Information:

Description:    Ubuntu 15.04
Release:    15.04

Package Information:


  Installed: 5.18-1
  Candidate: 5.18-1
  Version table:
 *** 5.18-1 0
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     5.15-1 0
        500 http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ vivid/universe amd64 Packages


  Installed: 0.98.7+dfsg-0ubuntu0.15.04.1
  Candidate: 0.98.7+dfsg-0ubuntu0.15.04.1
  Version table:
 *** 0.98.7+dfsg-0ubuntu0.15.04.1 0
        500 http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ vivid-updates/main amd64 Packages
        500 http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ vivid-security/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     0.98.6+dfsg-1ubuntu2 0
        500 http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ vivid/main amd64 Packages

2 Answers 2


Related to https://askubuntu.com/a/1204422/231142

That is the freshclam daemon running that is causing that error message. If you check the log, tail -10 /var/log/clamav/freshclam.log you will probably see updates for the freshclam as early as today. As long as you're seeing updates, everything is working fine. I actually don't recommend disabling it as you might forget to update later on.

If you want to change the intervals to the freshclam daemon, type in the following from a terminal window:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure clamav-freshclam

then step through the setup. In the setup, it asks how many times a day for it to update. It defaults to 24 (once per hour). If you want it to update more, set it for 48 (twice per hour). 12 for once every 2 hours.


I know this already has an accepted answer, but in my case it didn't help:
any dpkg-reconfigure setting freshclam to manual updates would result in a running daemon after rebooting, no matter what.

what did the trick for me was disabling it from init.d completely, with this line:

 sudo update-rc.d clamav-freshclam disable

hope this will be of help to anyone running in my same issues

  • The daemon will run automatically at boot, so you can append that line to the end of your .bashrc file. Every time you log in, the shell will execute it for you. Although, I highly suggest allowing the program to auto-update it self and instead append a line that creates a copy of the original log to let you know that it has indeed updated.
    – user383919
    Sep 11, 2016 at 21:50

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