RNA interference (RNAi) may be harnessed to inhibit viral gene expression and this approach is being developed to counter chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV). Compared to synthetic RNAi activators, DNA expression cassettes that generate silencing sequences have advantages of sustained efficacy and ease of propagation in plasmid DNA (pDNA). However, the large size of pDNAs and inclusion of sequences conferring antibiotic resistance and immunostimulation limit delivery efficiency and safety. To develop use of alternative DNA templates that may be applied for therapeutic gene silencing, we assessed the usefulness of PCR-generated linear expression cassettes that produce anti-HBV micro-RNA (miR) shuttles. We found that silencing of HBV markers of replication was efficient (>75%) in cell culture and in vivo. miR shuttles were processed to form anti-HBV guide strands and there was no evidence of induction of the interferon response. Modification of terminal sequences to include flanking human adenoviral type-5 inverted terminal repeats was easily achieved and did not compromise silencing efficacy. These linear DNA sequences should have utility in the development of gene silencing applications where modifications of terminal elements with elimination of potentially harmful and non-essential sequences are required.