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Linux is a popular operating system that is often touted as being more secure than other popular OSes like Windows or Mac OS. But does it need antivirus?

You need an antivirus program if you want to protect yourself from viruses and malware. People often think that Linux is completely safe, but it can be threatened by different viruses, DDoS attacks, and worms.


Is Linux Safe From Viruses?

Linux is an open-source operating system. The best way to explain Linux is that it’s software that sits underneath all the other original software of your computer and receives instructions and requests from programs. It then proceeds to give the instructions to the hardware.

Linux is very similar to all the other famous operating systems such as Windows or iOS . Every program has its graphic interface, so does Linux. It also uses familiar software such as video and photo editors, word processors, etc.

Linux is different from other operating systems in multiple ways. The most important difference is that Linux is an open-source operating system which means that Linux’s code is free and available for anyone to use. It can be edited, too.

Core pieces of Linux are usually common, but there are also many distributions of it. That means there are different software options which makes it greatly editable and customizable.

Two-thirds of all the sites on the Internet are generated by servers that run Linux.

Companies usually choose Linex because they find it more secure. It is more flexible, too, and it provides more support than other open-source programs.

Android phones use Linux as well as Chromebooks, cameras, and video recorders.

Even though we live in the most advanced technology era and have a lot of information publicly available, there are still a lot of people who think Linux doesn’t need antivirus programs and that it’s completely secure.

This didn’t come out of the blue. Vendors have been telling customers that Linux is completely safe since it came out.

The important thing to know is; there is no operating system that is 100% safe and can’t be attacked with malware. It still has a lot fewer virus attacks than Windows.

In this day and age, nothing can be completely safe. Linux cannot protect you if you get your data stolen by clicking on a phishing email or opening phishing websites. That’s completely on you.

There is a misconception that Windows malware can’t attack Linux. This is not entirely true. Yes, there are far more threats to Windows, but there is a small number of cross-platform programs which can harm your computer.

Those are based on cross-platform frameworks such as JavaScript, Python, Adobe Flash, etc.

Even though most Linux distributors already have high-security systems, they are very hard to configure and can easily be misconfigured.

It would help if you remembered that every computer connected to a network is not safe from malware. It is less vulnerable than Windows, and that’s why people think it’s completely immune to attacks.

Viruses are programs that can copy themselves and make computers malfunction. Most people use the term “virus” to name all types of malware, spyware, and adware which don’t have the coping ability.

Viruses can be spread in different ways, such as email attachments, malicious URLs, and more.

Rootkits are systems of infected software designed so that computer users don’t even know that it’s installed and running. There are many people whose computers were attacked by rootkits, so it would be best if you installed rkhunter. It’s a tool that fights rootkits.

Once they’re installed, they are very hard to remove, sometimes impossible. They can affect your computer in a way that makes it unusable. Maybe you are a victim of rootkits right now, and you don’t even know it.

They don’t just go for servers; they also attack the desktop machines. The chances of this happening are bigger if your Linux lives on the static IP without the protection of Firewall.

Email attachments don’t sound as dangerous, but they sure can be. They are usually used to target Windows computers. These attachments are usually in .zip or .exe formats. If the Linux user opens a .exe file, the computer won’t know what to do unless Wine is installed.

If the file is in .deb format, and you have the RPM-based system, nothing will happen. If the email attachment has .rpm format, the computer will ask you for a new password. This would be tragic on Windows.

A malicious URL is a spoofed address. It presents itself as a safe address like a bank account form or Paypal login window. You must never login through an email that isn’t official.


Do You Need Antivirus for Linux?

Linux isn’t typically a target for cybercrimes. Cybercriminals usually target Windows or iOS users because they are more likely to spread damage through their software. That’s the reason why most Linux users think nothing can attack their computers.

If you wish to protect your data and files fully, antivirus programs are a must. If a company has multiple Linux servers in use, it should invest in a good antivirus program to keep the business secure.

If you own a business, can you imagine what would happen if your ERP or CRM systems weren’t available for an hour? That’s because most business servers are mission-critical sources.

Think about that the next you decline an offer for a good antivirus.

If there would be a DDoS attack on the server, the company will be forced to go offline. That would block users from looking for information about the company on their website, and potential clients would be lost.

This would be especially terrifying if you own an e-commerce business because that’s the only place your clients can see your products and buy them.

If there were a problem with email servers, the hackers attacking you could steal all your email contents, including the attachments.

This would be a very big problem with further development of your business because you would lose the clients’ trust and customers.

Which Antivirus Is Best For Linux?

There are a lot of antivirus programs that you can download to protect your computer. Which one is the best? Let’s find out!

Proven in AV-Test, Sophos is the best free antivirus program for Linux. It provides a real-time scanning option but also an on-demand one. This program prevents Linux base malware but also works on other big platforms such as Windows or Android.

It is amazing in detecting trojans and worms and the software removes them from your computer. It also provides a terminal coding facility to make everything more simple.

Comodo is another great antivirus program for Linux. It has great architectural support and cross-platform features you might enjoy. It can also scan emails with a special feature that isn’t available on different applications.

It is free and very easy to install. It gives you the option of on-demand scanning and gives no false alarms. 

ClamAV is also an amazing program which is the most famous one in the Linux community. It can detect trojans, malware, and viruses. It’s free, and it supports mail getaway scanning. It doesn’t have a native GUI, so it’s fast and easy to use. F-Prot is another amazing program. It is used at home or for industrial purposes. It can scan 2119958 known viruses, but it can also detect their variations.


Linux is not immune to viruses. It is far less vulnerable than Windows or iOS, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an antivirus program to help you protect yourself. There are a lot of them, like Sophos or Comodo, which are free.