Best Antivirus for Linux

Best Antivirus for Linux 2021

Most people hear Linux, and they think it is not necessary to install antivirus software. Well, believe it or not, there are viruses out there that can infect your Linux system. Linux has become an increasingly attractive target for malware these days.

Written by Adam Stevenson - Technical Content Editor

 Updated on November 21, 2021

It is a well-known fact that antivirus software these days is nearly as crucial as an operating system. Even if you’re well aware of the threats that might infiltrate your Linux system, it is important to practice extreme caution and remember that there are threats that can't be prevented without the help of antivirus for Linux. If you are using a Linux operating system, you can get infected by files targeted at Windows computers. If a friend emails you from a Windows computer and the file is infected, your Linux system will also get infected. An even bigger problem is that users are being tricked into downloading malware, spyware, and adware. Ransomware is also becoming a problem on some Linux systems. All of these facts should convince you to get antivirus software for your device.

Top 5 Antivirus Software for Linux in 2021

  • Free of charge
  • Schedule scans per your convenience
  • Added protection for multiple documents and zip files
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  • Multi-layered malware protection
  • Fast system scans
  • Secure web browsing
  • Enhanced security suite and advanced features
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  • AI technology for scanning and data protection
  • Remote access to the system
  • 30+ years of experience
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  • High level of online protection
  • Gaming mode
  • Users seeking a single cross-platform antivirus
  • UEFI Firmware protection
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  • Real-time malware protection
  • Advanced security features
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Value for money
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Does Linux Need Antivirus?

While viruses that affected Linux were extremely rare in the past because the platform wasn’t as popular, cybercriminals started building malware targeting Linux as the number of users grew. 

The current probability of infection is still rare, and not many malware codes exist for this open-source platform, yet the threat remains. This minimal likelihood is still significant if you have essential data on your devices and servers. 

So, does Linux need an antivirus? 

Although the platform itself is more secure than Windows and Mac, there is malware and other threats designed to infiltrate the OS. Even if the chances are slim, it’s always a good idea to add an antivirus solution for enhanced security and peace of mind.

How About The Antivirus For Ubuntu? 

When it comes to threats, Ubuntu is probably the last thing on a hacker’s mind, given the more limited demographic that uses this system. That said, it isn’t invulnerable, and you still have a few factors to consider. 

The virus can travel if you were to share data from external devices that are compatible across platforms. To avoid spreading threats unintentionally, implementing an Ubuntu antivirus solution is a sound information security best practice that will also capably safeguard your privacy.

Antivirus for Linux

How To Choose The Best Antivirus For Linux?

To choose the best Linux antivirus, you need to consider several aspects. First, remember that Linux viruses are different from regular Windows viruses; they have very different tasks. Among them are rootkits, which job is to hide in the system and follow the instructions of the host. They infect home computers rarely because of their security, but unprotected routers and poorly configured servers can become their victims.

Here are some steps you need to do to improve the security of your Linux system and to avoid running Linux viruses on your computer:

  • Rootkit check
  • Enciphering of a disk
  • Strong password protection for the root user
  • Correct distribution of privileges among users
  • Correct file rights
  • Use of SELinux
  • Control of a firewall
  • Use of an antivirus
  • Remove unnecessary programs that may have vulnerabilities
  • Install important security updates

Although it is very difficult to infect a Linux machine, you should not be left completely unprotected.

The 5 Best Antivirus Software For Linux In 2021

#1 ClamAV - Best for Free Protection

ClamAV Antivirus for Linux

ClamAV is a good and well-known antivirus program. It is mostly known for being a mid-range, but effective protection solution. This antivirus software is packed with many features and extra add-ons.

Top Features:

  • The scanner of a command line;
  • Graphic interface for Sendmail;
  • Sophisticated database update utility;
  • Built-in support for all mail attachments formats.
  • Update the virus database several times a day
  • Open source code
  • Security features range is not wide
  • Conflicts with other antivirus programs

ClamAV Specifications

Pricing PlanFree
Subscription OptionsNo subscription required

ClamAV allows you to scan individual files, directories and drives. It also offers one of the best malware detection tools to protect your Linux device.

Read our full ClamAV Review and find out more about how this leading software provider could protect your devices.

#2 Bitdefender - Best for Multi-Layered Malware Protection

Bitdefender Antivirus for Linux

Bitdefender has earned its place among the best antivirus providers worldwide. It is an excellent Linux antivirus solution.

Top Features:

  • Scans archives
  • Desktop Integration Support
  • Intuitive GUI and also supports a command-line interface
  • Quarantine infected files into a protected directory
  • Best malware protection
  • Frequent updates
  • If you have an old device, Bitdefender might slow your system down while running in the background

Bitdefender Specifications

Pricing PlanFrom $258,99/year
Subscription Options 1- year, 2-years, 3-years

Bitdefender found the courage to do things differently and packed the most features into its cheapest version, making it a great choice for business users, especially.

Want to know more? Visit out our Bitdefender Review and find out how we reviewed and rated this software provider.


Read our Bitdefender Product Review for Linux

#3 Sophos - Best for Remote Access

Sophos Antivirus for Linux

Sophos Antivirus for Linux offers protection against all types of malware, and it’s free for use on 1 device. You can upgrade for centralized management of multiple workstations and additional support options.

Top Features:

  • Ransomware protection
  • Anti-phishing capabilities
  • Banking protection
  • Privacy tools (including webcam protection)
  • Advanced malware scan and clean
  • Convenient new mobile management app
  • Protects against ransomware, keyloggers, exploits
  • Advanced features require uncommon tech expertise
  • Parental control and webcam protection limited

Sophos Specifications

Pricing PlanFrom $ 49, Free version available
Subscription Options1- year, 2-years, 3-years

If you use Linux to run a file server, it’s crucial to protect client workstations against infections. By detecting all types of malware passing through your server, Sophos protects every device on your network, regardless of its operating system.

Want to learn more? Visit our Sophos Review for a detailed overview and an extensive research on this software provider.

Sophos Antivirus

Read our Sophos Product Review for Linux

#4 ESET - Best for Online Protection

ESET Antivirus for Linux

ESET is an award-winning antivirus solution for Linux. Not only does it include robust anti-malware protection, but it’s also supported on a wide array of devices. It’s also not a memory hog and will run smoothly on weaker machines.

Top Features:

  • Anti-malware protection
  • Cloud-based
  • Gaming mode, which suspends all scans and notifications
  • Webcam protection
  • Network monitoring
  • Ransomware protection
  • Password manager
  • Cloud-based
  • Remote device control option
  • Only manual updates
  • Some settings might be too confusing for common users

ESET Specifications

Pricing PlanFrom $39.99/yr
Subscription Options1, 2, 3 Years

ESET aims to be a lightweight solution for your Linux devices. You can enjoy the full power of your computer. Play, work and browse the internet without any of your devices slowing down.

Still not sure if to choose ESET? Take a look at our ESET Review and make a decision based on our extensive research, testing and rating. 


Read our Eset Product Review for Linux

#5 Avast - Best for Traffic Monitoring

Avast Antivirus

Avast is a popular virus protection software for Windows solutions. But the good news is, you can get Avast for your Linux system as well!

Top Features:

  • Core Scanner
  • File Server Shield
  • Monitors traffic going to your server
  • Can be expensive for some people

Avast Specifications

Pricing PlanFrom $259.99/ year
Subscription Options1-month, 1-year, 2-years, 3-years

What Avast has for Linux and Ubuntu are security services that go beyond virus scanning. You can use the Avast for Linux software as a security suite to monitor traffic going to your Linux server.

Read our full Avast Review for more info about features, lab test results and products of this antivirus provider.


Read our Avast Product Review for Linux

The Best Antivirus For Ubuntu

Even though Ubuntu doesn’t present an easily hackable operating interface, you can’t eliminate all threats. When comparing apples to apples, paid protection is more likely to display better performance than free threat prevention.

Some brands provide free trials, whereas others offer free versions of the software with more limited functionality. Despite your Ubuntu interface being inherently safer than Windows, a reliable security system can add extra assurances. 

To pick the most suitable option amongst the best Ubuntu antivirus software offerings, compare the features provided against your information security needs to determine the best fit:



Does it have a GUI or command line?

Compatible with Ubuntu

Malware Scanning options

Price estimation

Is a free version available?





Starts from $19/year

30-day free trial





Starts from $26/year

30-day free trial











Starts from $39.99/year

30-day free trial







Do You Need Additional Anti-Malware Software For Linux

Remember that we said Linux is rather safe? Well, as Linux is a rather safe operating system, it is not necessary to install an extra anti-malware protector. If you choose the right antivirus solution, a good anti-malware protector will be included.

This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. If you are still not certain about this, you can check your current antivirus features and install an anti-malware protector as an add-on if you feel it is necessary. Although this will only be for your peace of mind.

Linux Security

Which Software Has The Best Malware Scanner For Linux?

Malware is still an issue worldwide. Linux users don’t face the same risks as other PC and Mac users, so it is important that Linux users utilize other cybersecurity tools to improve their device security measures.

Why would we recommend ClamAV for your Linux system? Well, just like Linux, ClamAV is open source. This means its virus directory is continuously being updated by users around the world. ClamAV is a powerful command-line antivirus scanner.

This is the reason why ClamAV is the go-to free antivirus scanner for Linux. It’s hosted in almost every software repository and will protect your Linux system the best.

The Bottom Line

Linux systems are more secure than most operating systems, but it's important to keep in mind that no operating system is 100% secure. This is why you should always have antivirus software installed on any device. We hope that these recommendations will help you in choosing the best solution for your device.


1. Is antivirus necessary on Linux?

Yes, antivirus for Linux is necessary, Any device connected to the internet needs protection against cyber threats.

2. Is Linux more secure than Mac and Windows?

Linux is known to be more secure than other Windows devices, but not necessarily Macs.

3. How do I check for viruses on Linux?

Your antivirus solution will include a scanner that will help you check for viruses.

4. How do I check for viruses on Ubuntu?

The same as with Linux, you will need an antivirus solution to check for viruses on your device.

5. Does ClamAV scan for Linux viruses?

Yes, ClamAV will scan your device for viruses.