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9.8 DJGPP and Anti-Virus Software

Q: I upgraded my anti-virus software, and now it finds a virus in all DJGPP programs!!

A: Relax, this is most probably a false alarm. The DJGPP stub loader, a short 2KB DOS program prepended to each DJGPP program, is optimized for size, and employs some clever tricks to make its code smaller. A few over-zealous virus scanners take some of these tricks as tell-tale signs of a virus, and report that all DJGPP programs are infected.

The truth is that DJGPP is distributed via SimTel.NET mirrors, which are known to scan all binaries for viruses before the zip files are cleared for general use. In addition, many DJGPP packages are built on Unix systems, where a DOS/Windows virus cannot survive. So it is very unlikely that a real virus would get through, and infect all of the programs on top of that. A couple of such false alarms were seen in recent years, but all of them proved to be bugs in anti-virus programs.

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