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    The Best Antivirus For Linux

    Antivirus For Linux

    Linux is widely considered to provide robust defense in the cybersecurity realm, but still isn’t completely immune from threats crisscrossing the globe. While the operating system is far more secure than competitors like Windows and Mac, it’s still susceptible to malware and other vulnerabilities.

    When it comes to protection though, there are just a limited number of proactive solutions built for Linux’s open-source Ubuntu operating system when compared to platforms that run on Windows. Keep reading to explore the software providers that deliver hardy Linux antivirus packages.

    Can’t Wait To Get Your Linux Antivirus Now? See Our Top 5 Picks

    Here are our picks for the best antiviruses for Linux:

    1. Bitdefender -  As a light-weight program that consumes minimal resources, this offering is an excellent choice for gamers. Besides performance, the solution scans archives, supports desktop integrations, has a supportive command-line interface, and features an intuitive graphical user interface
    2. Avast - Offering real-time security and anti-spyware, Avast provides on-demand scanning and performs planned scanning functions, ensuring core and network security while minimizing resource consumption
    3. Sophos - This free antivirus for Linux delivers real-time threat detection and removal, is user-friendly, supports multiple platforms, and eliminates cross-platform threats as well. Sophos ranks among the best solutions for both home and enterprise users
    4. ESET - With minimal system impact, dedicated gaming mode, and reasonable malware protection, this is another stellar choice if you want to find the right balance between security and performance
    5. ClamAV - Featuring loads of advanced functionality and low resource consumption, this open-source (GPLv2) antivirus tool-kit available at no cost is a suitable option for gamers 

    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.

    What You Should Know When Choosing An Antivirus For Linux?

    Finding a security solution for alternative platforms is difficult, primarily because you have to settle with limited options. However, if you require protection, make sure to evaluate the following before selecting a software option:

    • Check for compatibility and how the features meet your expectations
    • Look out for multiple layers of features. The more features, the better your system runs
    • Be mindful of the information you are working with; check with the networks and the data’s purpose. If you’re a basic user, a few layers of protection should keep you secure against all forms of viruses and malware. On the other hand, if you deal with valuable data, be sure to opt-out for the most secure option
    • Consider if you need an open-source product or a paid solution. Each has its benefits and drawbacks
    • Conduct your independent research to discover what others have to say about the product

    Most importantly, avoid brands that aren’t familiar. Be sure to read through reviews and discussions on forums before committing. 

    Need to streamline the process? Compare the best antivirus solutions.

    Find The Best Antivirus For Linux

    •  Bitdefender

    Bitdefender is widely considered one of the best security solutions for multiple operating systems. It isn’t a free antivirus, but that doesn’t detract from the excellence of this product. Bitdefender for Linux isolates infected files into an allocated protected directory to avoid any form of malware attack. 

    An intuitive graphical user interface and proper command-line interface support both beginners and more advanced users. Thanks to the right balance of modern technology, extensive features, and high-performance, it has been bestowed with the “Product of the Year 2019” award.

    Read the full review of Bitdefender.

    Provider Site
    • Multi-layered malware protection
    $39.99 annually/m
    • Avast

    Generally considered one of the best Linux antivirus software choices, Avast is routinely credited as the premier solution in multiple third-parties tests. It’s known to support and work with 32-bit and 64-bit architecture seamlessly. Besides facilitating core and network security, file server security is a bonus. 

    Avast for Linux offers real-time security to prevent spyware, ransomware, and other malware from infiltrating the system. Additionally, a regularly updated signature database ensures your device and servers are defended protected against zero-day vulnerabilities and newer threats. 

    Check out our complete review of Avast.

    Provider Site
    • Real-time malware protection
    • Sophos

    A free solution for Linux users makes Sophos a standout provider in the open-source protection arena. The package includes real-time scanning features along with on-demand scanning. Cross-platform support adds to its overall versatility and powerful abilities. 

    It also has a built-in terminal coding facility to streamline your work. Overall, Sophos for Linux is lightweight and exceptionally user-friendly, making it one of the best security suites for this open-source operating system.

    Go through our review of Sophos for more insights.

    Provider Site
    • AI technology for scanning and data protection
    $45 Yearly/m
    • ESET

    ESET is consistently ranked as the best antivirus solution for both Linux and Ubuntu platforms in third-party tests. Although ESET for Linux is not a free option, its features make it especially worthwhile. Thanks to many features and add-ons, this is one of the most well-balanced products in today’s market. 

    The anti-malware system offered by the brand is commendable and known to detect even the faintest traces of threat. It also detects any form of spying and continuously seeks out automatic updates to help maintain constant protection.

    Explore our ESET review for more details.

    Provider Site
    • High level of online protection
    • ClamAV

    An acclaimed antivirus platform within the Linux user community, ClamAV is a free, open-source offering. This versatile security solution includes standard mail gateway scanning and an array of commands designed to keep devices and servers protected. 

    In addition to straightforward installation and scan execution, the platform doesn’t have a complex GUI or multiple processing terminals, making it accessible for many users. The inclusion of seamless cross-platform support expands upon its advantageous approach. 

    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







    The Best Free Antivirus For Linux

    Linux is more secure than any other operating system, and yet, you might have to deal with security threats periodically. The market is filled with many incompetent solutions that simply don’t do the job. Options are also minimal when you opt for a free solution. However, just because most paid versions work better, it doesn’t mean that free options aren’t capable of matching their more expensive peers. 

    Here are a few no-cost antivirus solutions that operate remarkably well:

    • ClamAV - Although an open-source product, the threat directory is continuously updated by users worldwide. The platform features a command-line interface, which could be inconvenient for some less experienced users. Still, a GUI-based variant called ClamTK is an excellent alternative for beginners. ClamAV is hosted in most of the significant software repositories like Github, adding to the advantages of this solution
    • Sophos - This is a household name when it comes to standard security solutions. Sophos’ free version represents a worthy option for your machine, given that this Linux malware scanner is one of the fastest and most-efficient offerings out there. Although this solution works fine for individual users, it’s not applicable as a team or enterprise application because it’s only free for a single user. If system speed and performance are the determining factors for your individual use case, Sophos truly delivers

    There are other open-source options that you should consider, including the following:

    • Firetools 

    This extremely user-friendly option is perfect for people seeking a robust multi-featured security solution for a machine running Linux. The Firejail sandboxing tool is a favorite among users thanks to its efforts to keep most malicious web scripts away from your system and works hard to prevent any infiltration. The GUI is straightforward to access and operate, meaning no need for long lines of commands. 

    One of the best attributes of this solution is that it has almost no dependencies and runs smoothly without slowing down computer performance. Despite all the impressive features, Firetools is entirely free and nearly perfect for anyone looking to harden their Linux-operated machine.

    • RootKit Hunter

    Another absolute favorite when it comes to free antivirus for Linux, Rootkit Hunter features a behavior analysis functionality that will hunt down any rootkits posing threats. Despite the tedious setup and configuration, this solution is impressive thanks to its performance and flawless operation. The best part is its applicability for both individual users and businesses.

    Bottom Line

    Viruses are a disturbing reality, and running a Linux operating system doesn’t mean you’re invincible or immune from security threats. Without a solution to monitor and defend against threat vectors, malware can still infiltrate your machine and run rampant. 

    Even though Linux users have an advantage over users with other operating systems, it’s still the best practice to install a security layer on your machine. Fortunately, multiple information security providers offer focused free and paid versions of anti-malware for Linux. With enhanced security for your devices and servers, these preventative defenses can assure better all-around protection while limiting hackers’ angles of attack.


    1.  Is Linux safe from viruses? 

    Although the platform is safer than most other operating systems, it isn’t completely immune to security threats such as viruses and malware.

    2.  Does Linux OS need antivirus? 

    Not necessarily, but installing a security solution will help defend against any threats while giving you the mental satisfaction of added protection.

    3.  Can Ubuntu get viruses? 

    Yes, even though Ubuntu isn’t an easily hackable operating interface, you can’t eliminate potential threats such as viruses and malware.

    4.  Which Antivirus is best for Ubuntu? 

    Some of the best solutions for Ubuntu include Avast, Bitdefender, ESET, ClamAV, and Sophos.

    5.  Is Linux safer than Windows 10?

    Yes, it is more secure than Windows or any other OS.