Linux has become one of the most popular operating systems for personal use in recent years. Although in the past it has been primarily used by companies as an alternative option to Windows and macOS, it is now becoming commonly operated by many people due to its open-source code.
Linux has often been hailed as the safest software, in part due to being open-source, which makes it easier for users to find and resolve Linux vulnerabilities, as well as make software contributions. However, with the increased popularity of Linux, it has become more of a target for malware and viruses. This has led to more Linux users searching for effective anti-malware solutions.
If you’re looking for a reliable antivirus solution that is affordable and easy to use, you’re in luck; we’ve tried and tested different Linux antivirus software to create this list of the best antivirus for Linux in 2023.
Keep reading to learn more about arming your Linux machine with antivirus protection. Show more
We’ve compiled a list of the best antivirus for Linux systems below. All of the antivirus for Linux listed below meets our assessment criteria, including user-friendly clients, excellent malware detection and protection tools, and other vital features to keep your Linux system safe.
Sophos tops our list thanks to the excellent features it offers to Linux users. Depending on the operating system you run on, the version of Sophos antivirus for Linux that you can install will differ. Fortunately, all versions come with excellent security tools to protect against online threats.
Sophos tops our list for the multi-platform protection that it offers. If you run file servers over Linux on another operating system, then you can rest assured that Sophos will detect malware across all systems, namely Windows, Mac, and Android.
There is real-time protection with Sophos antivirus for Linux via SophosLabs. You can leave the Linux antivirus software running quietly in the background, thwarting any attempts by viruses or malware trying to get into your systems. As well as this, Sophos is lightweight antivirus software, ensuring it doesn’t slow down your system.
Although Sophos antivirus is consistently running in the background, there is also the option to run an on-demand antivirus scanner using advanced heuristics so that you can search for malware on your system at any point. If you’ve downloaded a suspicious-looking file, then you can check it isn’t harmful immediately.
Not only the above but there are advanced features such as parental controls and ransomware protection. With the parental controls, you can better protect minors when they use an electronic device with the Sophos antivirus for Linux installed. As well as this, you can ensure all of your files are protected from ransomware which is becoming an increasingly prominent threat.
There is a free version of Sophos antivirus, but this does come with limits, such as lack of ransomware protection and reduced device protection coverage. However, if you’re strapped for cash or want to try out free versions of antivirus software on Linux-based operating systems, then this is a good option.
Comodo antivirus is one of the best Linux antiviruses, especially since it is compatible with an extensive range of systems, including Ubuntu.
Comodo antivirus is an excellent option for Linux users, especially given that it can be deployed for free. It works on various systems, including Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Fedora, and CentOS. This is excellent and makes it a great asset in protecting your Linux machine against Linux-specific malware.
With Comodo cybersecurity software, you can schedule regular scans, choosing between full or custom scans. This flexibility is great and allows Linux users to customize the antivirus software’s scanning schedules.
Comodo calls its software ‘proactive’ in the sense that it doesn’t just block malware threats but takes the time to analyze suspicious files and provide users with detailed reports about all malware and virus risks on Linux systems. On top of this, virus and malware definitions are updated routinely so that Comodo can always offer the most advanced antivirus protection.
As well as the above, Comodo uses sandboxing methods to quarantine suspicious files or anything else that could potentially infect your system with malware. This ensures that your Linux system is constantly protected.
Comodo is one of the best Linux antivirus product options if you’re looking for effective email filtering software. With Comodo, you can set up the antivirus and sit back, safe in the knowledge that its email gateway is effectively blocking malicious emails from being sent to your mail server.
The effective mail filter is compatible with various open-source mail transfer agents, which is great news for users that run third-party email software on their Linux OS.
Best of all, you can enjoy Comodo’s antivirus solution for free. A free antivirus solution that also offers high-quality protection is hard to come by; fortunately, Comodo provides both, which is why it makes our best antivirus for Linux list.
Bitdefender is another one of the best antivirus solutions for Linux. There are plenty of options for Linux users, including Bitdefender antivirus scanner for Unices as well as antivirus solutions that also work on other operating systems like Windows.
Bitdefender offers sophisticated antivirus protection for Linux machines and provides exceptional web security on this operating system and others. For example, Windows users can also enjoy real-time protection with Bitdefender; this is great news if you deploy Linux software on a Windows computer.
While Bitdefender offers a user-friendly graphical user interface, there is also a command-line interface for advanced users. From both of these interfaces, you can manage the antivirus and its functions in one place.
New Linux users may find the command line aspect slightly tricky to navigate. Still, if you prefer this style of deployment, then you can easily configure the software onto your Linux system.
For constant network security, there is a robust and two-way firewall in place with Bitdefender. This ensures that any malicious attacks or infected files don’t make their way through to your network.
As well as the above, there are plenty of other benefits to Bitdefender’s antivirus for Linux. It offers constant malware detection, meaning it can accurately detect malware-based software in malicious files or on websites and prevent these from infecting your computer. Bitdefender scans and quarantines these files to prevent any malware from spreading to other parts of the system.
Suppose you’re looking for effective antivirus software for Linux on business networks. In that case, you can take advantage of Bitdefender’s Process Inspector, which is a tool within its GravityZone Endpoint Security platform.
The Process Inspector is an impressive feature, given that it can detect never-before-seen threats on your system by looking for abnormal behavior in systems and on the web. Given the advancement of malware and how it infects Linux systems, this is an important feature.
While there is a free trial, you won’t be able to use Bitdefender for free on Linux. Fortunately, a variety of subscription plan lengths are available, meaning that users can protect up to 10 operating systems at one time; this makes it perfect for multi-platform use.
Another excellent antivirus for Linux is Avast Core. This solution runs on the command line, enabling on-demand scanning for Linux users.
Avast is a top-rated antivirus solution provider, having provided anti-malware software to users for many years. It offers a great Linux antivirus solution for both corporate and personal use that can be deployed on your email server to protect business email servers.
As well as the above, there is Avast File Server security, which allows the software to solely protect files on these servers and not gain access to entire networks.
One of the major selling points of Avast’s Linux antivirus is that it is highly versatile. It can be deployed on a 32-bit or 64-bit Linux server and various Linux-compatible systems, including Ubuntu.
Linux OS is well-known for being a lightweight machine, which is why many users like it. Due to this, Avast ensures that its Linux antivirus product is also lightweight so that it doesn’t slow down any commands on your Linux operating system.
In terms of protection from malicious software, Avast offers plenty of excellent features. There is real-time and on-demand scanning as well as spyware detection and protection for all HTTPS traffic. Given the fact that spyware is becoming a real problem on many users’ electronic devices, this is an essential aspect of all antivirus products.
There is the option to separately purchase Avast’s antivirus products for Linux separately. However, you can get all of these in the Avast Security Suite for Linux. Unfortunately, there is not a free version of the company’s antivirus for Linux, but you can download free antivirus software for other systems, including Windows and Android.
F-Secure doesn’t disappoint when it comes to its antivirus for Linux. If you have installed Linux OS on a Windows host machine, then F-Secure can ensure that in the event malware is download onto Linux, it won’t spread to your Windows device.
F-Secure Linux Security offers a unique and advanced antivirus for Linux users. The option is to either deploy the antivirus software with the graphical user interface (GUI) or a command-line tool. The features you get change depending on which option you choose. We recommend the GUI for less experienced users and the command-line for Linux experts.
You can enjoy real-time malware protection on the GUI version of F-Secure’s antivirus for Linux, but only scheduled and on-demand virus scanning is available with the command-line tool. Regardless, both versions provide exceptional malware detection on your Linux system and stop it from spreading to other connected or host systems.
One of the best features of this antivirus for Linux solution is that it provides a strong network firewall. This ensures that hackers or other third parties wanting to attack your network cannot do so with worms or through backdoor attacks. None of your files will be changed or infected by anonymous bad actors.
F-Secure offers excellent security solutions for corporate networks. If you use its centralized management system, the antivirus solution will connect to this and automatically alert network administrators of any changes or attacks.
One of the best things about F-Secure antivirus for Linux is how fast and easy it is to install. Furthermore, it is lightweight and supports the latest Linux updates to work seamlessly with your operating system.
Kaspersky is the last antivirus product on our list of the best antivirus for Linux; however, this doesn’t mean that its product is not worth using. If anything, Kaspersky Endpoint Security offers some of the most advanced security protection for Linux OS and is constantly being updated.
Kaspersky’s Linux antivirus solution is aimed at file servers and corporations with Linux operating systems, making this a great option for enterprises. It has recently updated its software, providing users with a host of outstanding features.
If you run a network using many other Kaspersky software products, you can integrate it with these to fully protect your network from all malicious attacks.
Firstly, there is constant file server protection to ensure that file access requests are intercepted and analyzed; this makes it less likely that infected files will affect your network security. As well as this, you can carry out on-demand file scanning and remove malicious files that pose a threat.
One of the best aspects of Kaspersky’s antivirus software is that it doesn’t outright delete files forever; instead, it stores these deleted files in a safe place. Any essential data can be restored should the malware have affected the file.
There is also ransomware protection in place to ensure files are not encrypted without your authorization. As mentioned countless times during this article, ransomware is a severe threat nowadays, especially for large companies, making Kaspersky a practical and necessary purchase for businesses.
Network activity tracking ensures that malicious traffic behavior that often leads to network attacks is thwarted. If you have a network that operates solely on Linux OS, then this is an essential feature.
As well as detecting malicious HTTPS web traffic, there is the option to find malicious website links to ensure your access to these is blocked. This reduces the risk that your Linux system will become infected via a phishing scam.
Kaspersky allows users to update the priority of on-demand and scheduled scans to ensure that these are carried out when necessary. Best of all, Kaspersky supports 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems that use both RPM and dpkg. However, Kaspersky also runs on other popular computer system options; if you have a hybrid network made up of various systems, this is a great solution.
ESET Endpoint Antivirus for Linux is a powerful antivirus suite that is a migration from the previous ESET NOD32. It is a particularly great solution for businesses as it offers multi-platform support.
With ESET Endpoint Antivirus, you can rest assured that Linux systems will be fully protected from malware at all points in time. As well as this, you can use ESET Endpoint on hybrid corporate networks since the software is compatible with Windows and Mac systems too. You can also install the software onto your Android or iOS device.
One of the great things about ESET’s advanced software is its high level of malware detection. Not only does the antivirus solution detect malware during execution, but it can do so before execution and after removal, to ensure that it gathers as much data and offers protection during the entire malware cycle.
With this antivirus software, you can expect the best protection from threats like ransomware and phishing attacks that can put your organization’s security at risk. As well as this, advanced malware detection enables protection from fileless malware, which is becoming more of a danger to online networks.
There is network attack protection, to ensure that bots and other threats don’t compromise the security of your network. Moreover, ESET can detect vulnerabilities on your network so that these can be sufficiently solved to prevent any damage to your network.
If you want easy management of the antivirus for Linux, especially if it is being deployed across a network of systems, then you can do so thanks to ESET’s unified console. This allows for easier control of the software, especially if the antivirus is being used on a corporate network.
We’ve explored the best antivirus for Linux, and all of the solutions in the above list offer paid-for plans. This is a reflection of the excellent services on offer.
However, we also took a look at the best free antivirus options for Linux users. After a lot of research, one solution stood out in particular, taking the crown as the best antivirus for Linux, at no cost.
Rootkit Hunter, also known as rkhunter, is a free, open-source antivirus solution for Linux. The Unix-based tool predominantly scans for rootkits and backdoor viruses that could pose a severe security threat to your system’s security.
Rootkit Hunter lacks a lot of the extra tools that the paid security solutions for Linux offer; however, it is a tremendous additional add-on for Linux users that want software that explicitly detects and protects from rootkits and backdoor viruses.
So, how does Rootkit Hunter adequately find rootkits and backdoor viruses? It compares SHA-1 hashes of important files known to be ‘safe’ in online databases with permissions for hidden files, wrong permissions, and suspicious-looking strings in kernel modules. It works well with Linux, enabling uses to run scans of their system files within a matter of minutes.
Since Rootkit Hunter is open-source, it is easy for internet users everywhere to check the code and ensure that there are no issues with it.
Unfortunately, while we don’t recommend using Rootkit Hunter as a standalone antivirus solution, it still adds a significant additional layer of security protection for your Linux system. When combined with one of the premium options from the list above, you can enjoy great security on your machine.
Many internet users who employ Linux as their central operating system mistakenly believe it is less likely to be targeted by hackers or affected by malware and viruses. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Despite Linux operating on open-source software, which arguably makes it safer than Windows and even Mac computer systems, malicious software has developed rapidly. There is now Linux-specific malware and viruses, meaning that no Linux user is safe from these internet threats.
Here are the main reasons why you need to install an antivirus solution on Linux:
Most of the antivirus software solutions on our list of the best antivirus for Linux works well on Ubuntu as well. In our opinion, Comodo is the best Linux antivirus software for Ubuntu; not only does it offer real-time protection and on-demand scanning, but it also works on many other systems.
However, other antivirus suites that function on Ubuntu include Avast, which is an excellent option given its long-running reputation in the antivirus industry as a superb and safe choice. You can also rely on ESET NOD32 antivirus since this supports Ubuntu and is known as one of the most impressive players in the antivirus industry.
Linux is an operating system based on open-source software that operates under all other software on electronic devices. Linux can be deployed on various types of electronic systems, even on cars. Most Android devices are based on Linux.
Linux is highly reliable, rarely suffering from bugs that cause it to crash. This is because it is open-source and allows developers and users to inspect and modify the software to ensure it runs well.
Yes! One of Linux’s main appeals is the fact that it is free, meaning all internet users can enjoy this incredible open-source software for free.
Ubuntu is a type of operating system based on open-source Linux software. For this reason, it shares many of the same characteristics as Linux. Many antivirus solutions for Linux make it explicitly clear whether they work on Ubuntu or not due to this software’s popular with internet users.
Many Linux users install this software on their devices because of the fact it is free. Due to this fact, users may want to find an affordable antivirus program that complements Linux.
Fortunately, the above companies on our list often have sales on their antivirus products. There are certain times of the year that you can get the best antivirus software for Linux at severely reduced rates.
Either check back on this page during well-known sale periods, such as Black Friday or visit the companies’ websites to find out how much you can save on these excellent antivirus suites for Linux.
I’m Madeleine, and I'm a writer that specializes in cybersecurity, tech products, and all things related to the internet.
I have a keen interest in VPNs and believe that everyone deserves internet freedom and security. I wr...
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