If you’re a Linux aficionado, bravo.
You’re obviously more knowledgeable about computers than the average user.
Linux – Risks Lurk
The good thing about Linux systems is that they’re less vulnerable compared to, say, Windows or any other operating system.
But don’t be fooled by all those fanboys who claim Linux is like Fort Knox, virtually impenetrable to the hackers.
Linux, like every other operating system, is prone to malware, viruses and all the other bad stuff.
Further, even if malware does not attack a Linux system directly they can still cause widespread harm if you run a Linux web server to which Windows, Mac, Android and other systems connect to.
So Linux server and desktop users would be well advised to be on the alert for malware.
Although Linux still has a small installed base at the consumer level, its growing usage is also prompting hackers to target this operating system.
Thankfully, for all ye scrooges there are a few free anti-virus Linux software.
Here are a couple of them.
1. Sophos offers anti-virus protection for Linux providing on-access and on-demand scanning.
Sophos supports popular Linux distributions including Red Hat Enterprise Linux (versions 4, 5, 6 and 7), CentOS (5.8+, 6.2+ and 7) and Ubuntu LTS Server Edition 12.04 / 14.04 (version 9.6.1+).
You can download the free Sophos anti-virus software for Linux from the company’s web site.
2. Clamav is another free anti-virus software for popular Linux distros like Red Hat, CentOS and Ubuntu.
Red Hat & CentOS
For Red Hat and CentOS distributions, make sure you have the EPEL repository enabled before trying to install Clamav.
$ sudo yum install clamav clamd
Then, ensure that clamd starts on system boot.
$ chkconfig clamd on
$ service clamd start
Now it’s time to update ClamAV’s signatures.
$ sudo freshclam
Finally, it’s time to get the Clamscan going.
You can also use the Clamtk GUI to manage updates.
Ubuntu & Linux Mint
With the growing popularity of Linux Mint on the desktop, it’s heartening to note that Clamav runs well on this distro.
Let’s get started with installing Clamav on Linux Mint or Ubuntu systems.
$ sudo apt-get install clamav clamtk
After Clamav has been installed, it’s time to update the definitions so that you’re protected against the latest malware.
$ sudo freshclam
Let’s get Clamscan going now.
Other security software vendors like Avast and Kaspersky continue to offer anti-virus products for Linux systems but they’re not free.
Avira for Linux Ending
Those using Avira anti-virus software should be aware that the company is discontinuing its Linux product line by June 30, 2016.
Avira AntiVir Professional Linux, Avira Server Security Linux and Avira Free Antivirus Linux will be discontinued while Avira Endpoint Security and Avira Business Security Suite will be offered without Linux support.
Avira plans to focus its resources on developing anti-virus software for Windows and Mac OS systems.