Are you looking for the best Ubuntu antivirus software? If you have stumbled upon the right webpage. In this article, I am going to share a list of the best Ubuntu Antivirus with you.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started –
Do you really need an antivirus for Ubuntu?💁
Throughout my life, I’ve heard that Linux-based operating systems don’t require antivirus software. To be honest, there is some truth in that argument, but that is not because Linux is virus-proof. Instead, it is because, for viruses, gaining root-level access on Linux is quite harder.
In addition, one most popular argument is that Linux is not as popular and widely used as Windows and macOS, and therefore, hackers don’t target Linux and write viruses for it.
Another popular argument is that Linux is intrinsically more secure, and since gaining root-level access on Linux distros for viruses is nearly impossible, why would you even bother to install an antivirus for it.
Let’s keep all arguments aside and face the truth. No matter what OS you use, Windows, macOS, or Linux, you are prone to get infected by viruses if you are not careful enough.
There are various ways you can get infected by these viruses, such as while downloading some files or bringing some files from other computers using a USB drive.
If you can avoid these things, you don’t need an antivirus, even for Windows or macOS. But the sad part is that we cannot do that, so we need antivirus software.
So, now the main question is, what are the best Ubuntu antivirus programs I can use to protect my Ubuntu machine? To help you make the right choice, below, we have covered some of the best antivirus software available for Ubuntu.
But before that, let us share some precautions that you can take to keep you safe in Ubuntu even without installing any Ubuntu antivirus program.
Practices that can keep you safe from viruses and malware in Ubuntu:-
The best thing about Ubuntu and other Linux-based OS is that they are quite safe and secure in nature. This is because the Ubuntu APT library is the main source for you to download software and other utility tools in Ubuntu, and this APT library is quite safe and secure from viruses.
Therefore, if you won’t download files from third-party sources on your Ubuntu machine, you won’t even need a third-party antivirus if you take some safety precautions. These safety precautions include –
1. Disable Scripts
Web scripting viruses are the most common malware that directly injects your browser and compromises its security. These types of viruses generally get into your computer when you click on malicious pop-up ads or infected links. A DDoS attack is one of the most common types of web scripting viruses.
The easiest way to keep yourself protected from these types of scripting viruses is by disabling scripts. Some web browsers like TOR come with the built-in functionality that lets you disable scripts from the settings, but that is not the case with all browsers.
In that situation, you can use third-party script blocking extensions in your browser. For Firefox, one of the best script-blocking extensions that protect you against Flash and Java-based exploits is NoScript.
2. Keep your Ubuntu updated
Keeping your Ubuntu may seem overwhelming since Ubuntu releases new updates every six months. However, keeping Ubuntu updated can help in many ways, especially in the security and features aspect.
For example, if you keep your Ubuntu updated, you will receive security updates for at least the next 18 months. On the other hand, the LTS releases provide regular security updates for the next three years.
If you don’t keep your Ubuntu updated, you will not be receiving these security updates meaning your computer could be vulnerable.
3. Use a firewall
A firewall is a layer of security that regulates all the incoming and outgoing traffic on a network. Windows Defender is one of the most popular firewalls for Windows computers, and it comes pre-installed, but when it comes to Linux-based distros, people tend to overlook the need to have a firewall.
One of the main reasons behind that is that most routers have a built-in firewall system that protects all the traffic and regulates all incoming and outgoing traffic. These hardware-based firewalls are great to protect you from incoming connections but do a poor job when it comes to deciphering outgoing traffic.
The hardware-based firewall allows the outgoing traffic for the apps connected through port 80. This is where you need to install a software-based firewall system that will help decipher programs that should be allowed to send traffic.
This way, you will be protected from various types of viruses such as botnets, trojans, and more as long as your firewall is updated and running.
One of the best firewalls for Ubuntu is Gufw. It is a graphical utility for Linux that allows you to manage an Uncomplicated Firewall (UFW) and is mainly designed to install and configure a firewall on your Linux-based machine. It is an open-source utility that lets you easily add or remove firewall rules.
These are some of the best practices you can follow to protect your Ubuntu from virus attacks. Still, these practices are not enough, especially if you often download files from unverified sources or plug USB drivers to copy files.
In those situations, you can install an antivirus program to add a layer of security. You can follow the list of the best Ubuntu antivirus programs that we have shared below to pick the right Ubuntu antivirus for you.
So, here we go –
Best Ubuntu Antivirus – Our Top Pick👌👌
The very first Ubuntu antivirus on our list is ClamAV, aka Clam AntiVirus. It is a free and open-source antivirus program developed by Cisco Systems.
It was initially designed for Unix machines, but later, it introduced its support for a wide range of platforms, including Linux, macOS, and Windows. However, it didn’t manage to gain such popularity amongst Windows and Mac users.
It is a command line scanner and is mainly designed to be used by system administrations and security professionals. The best thing about ClamAV is that its database updates every four hours, making it a highly efficient and powerful antivirus program.
So far, it has tested over 80 million virus signatures, and almost 25,000 new viruses are added to its database daily. It also supports real-time virus protection, making it an excellent choice to keep your Ubuntu safe from antivirus.
Besides that, ClamAV is quite popular for scanning websites and emails for various potential attacks such as phishing, malware, and more. It also lets you update its virus database from some unofficial database sources such as Sanesecurity and Securiteinfo to make it more efficient for various types of threats.
I would say ClamAV is an amazing antivirus program for Ubuntu computers. It can protect you from internet threats, and its thorough scan functionalities keep your files and database secured. On top of that, it is completely free and open-source, so you have no reason not to try it.
- Cross-platform works in Linux, Windows, and Mac OS
- Works from the terminal
- Support on-access scanning for mailing service
ClamAV installation on Ubuntu
You can scan your whole ubuntu system by running the following command in the terminal window
Next, we have ClamTK (Download Here) on our list. ClamTK is not a virus scanner on its own. Instead, it provides a graphical user interface to the ClamAV that makes it easy to configure and use, especially for people who don’t want to get into technical and confusing CLI.
ClamTK is capable of doing almost all of the things that you can do with ClamAV, but the GUI makes it easy to perform them. For example, you can easily configure ClamTK for both on-demand as well as scheduled scanning.
However, there is one difference between ClamTK and ClamAV. ClamAV is available for a wide range of devices, including macOS and even Windows, while ClamTK is only available for Linux. Similarly, ClamTK is written in the Perl language, not C and C++.
The user interface of ClamTK has improved significantly in the recent few years. The latest versions are intuitive and feature-rich compared to the initially released versions of ClamTK.
To be frank, whether you use ClamTK or ClamAV is entirely up to you. If you are okay with CLI, go with ClamAV; otherwise, ClamTK isn’t a bad choice.
- Easy to pick up
- Highly efficient
- Works from GUI
- Support quick scanning
3. ESET NOD32 Antivirus
Unlike the other two Ubuntu antiviruses that we have discussed so far, ESET NOD32 (Download Here) is not a free antivirus program. It is an amazing antivirus program for Linux machines, but sadly, ESET has decided to terminate this product by the end of Q3 2022.
To replace it, ESET has introduced two new antivirus programs – ESET PROTECT Entry and ESET Endpoint Antivirus. Both of these antivirus programs are designed for companies and businesses but can be used by individuals too.
ESET PROTECT Entry is a modern multi-layered endpoint protection system that uses strong machine learning algorithms to protect your devices and virtual machines from viruses and malware. It protects your company’s data while passing through general servers.
Other benefits of ESET Linux antivirus include an intuitive management dashboard, a single-click management function, easy installation, advanced reports, and custom notifications.
Besides that, if you want all-around performance, you can opt for the ESET Protect Advanced, which gives you access to additional features such as full disk encryption, advanced threat defense, cloud app protection, mail security, and more. ESET Protect Advanced is mainly designed for businesses.
4. Sophos Antivirus
Sophos (Download Here) is one of the least known names in the antivirus industry, but its competitive features make it an excellent choice. The best thing about Sophos is that here you can find products for almost anything, both free and paid ones.
Even though end-users might haven’t heard about Sophos that much, it is the industry leader when it comes to malware databases and advanced methods to fix malware-related issues. It can detect the different types of viruses designed for various platforms, such as Linux, Windows, and macOS.
Sophos supports 14 popular Linux distros, including Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, SUSE, and CentOS. It offers two different versions on Linux machines – Sophos Antivirus for Linux X and Sophos Antivirus for Linux 9. Sophos Antivirus for Linux X is primarily designed to manage and control various 64-bit Linux systems.
On the other hand, Sophos Antivirus for Linux 9 is well suited for personal individuals. The sad part is that Sophos has officially announced that they are discontinuing Antivirus for Linux 9, and their support for it will end by July 2023.
Some of the best features of Sophos Linux Antivirus include an on-demand malware scanner, firewall management via Sophos Central, real-time malware protection, scheduled scans, and more. It is quite easy to use and supports both GUI as well as CLI.
However, one major drawback of Sophos antivirus for Linux is that it is not a free tool. You can opt for the free 30-day trial, but once the trial duration ends, you have to pay its cost.
The sad part is that they don’t have any official pricing list, and you will be quoted the price based on the devices you may use.
5. Comodo Antivirus for Linux
Next, we have Comodo Antivirus for Linux (Download Here) on our list. Comodo Antivirus has been around for over a decade now, and in the meantime, it has received huge popularity. One of the main reasons behind its popularity is that it offers a free version with limited access to features.
Comodo boasts a default deny protection functionality that automatically blocks all of the apps that are not in the whitelist. This is a bit different than other antivirus programs, as most other antivirus programs rely on allowing all files except the ones that contain potential malware and viruses.
For this, Comodo argues that they have the biggest database of legitimate programs, and therefore, this functionality provides security benefits without any drawbacks. Whenever Comodo scans a file that is executable but not in the list of whitelists, it runs the file in the quarantined environment.
They call this auto-sandbox technology, allowing you to run files that may have potential viruses without worrying about data leaks or other issues. Besides that, Comodo boasts an email security function that automatically scans all your email inbox attachments for viruses, malware, and other threats.
Another amazing feature of Comodo is its Game Mode. This mode disables annoying alerts and most other things during your gaming session, allowing you to focus on your games only. On top of that, it also prevents Comodo from running in the background, offering you optimal and stable performance for gaming.
One of the best things about Comodo is that it offers a free tier. The free tier is good enough and offers plenty of features. However, if you want access to additional features such as secure shopping, web filtering, or more, you have to opt for the paid version.
6. Bitdefender GravityZone Endpoint Security Tools
Bitdefender GravityZone Endpoint Security (Download Here) is one of the best Ubuntu antiviruses out there. The best thing about this Ubuntu antivirus is that it is available for a wide range of Linux machines, including Debian, CentOS, Ubuntu, and Red Hat distributions.
This antivirus is mainly designed to provide state-of-the-art endpoint scanning for servers and networks but can also be used on personal computers. It boasts a machine learning-based antivirus scanner, which allows it to deliver powerful and efficient performance for testing malware and viruses.
It gives you access to Control Center, a cloud-based management tool that allows you to keep an eye on all of your machines, set security rules, manage firewalls, app sandboxing, website filter, and other things. The dashboard of this Control Center is quite intuitive and easy to use.
The firewall of this antivirus takes the security and performance of Ubuntu’s Uncomplicated Firewall to the next level. Besides that, it enables you to detect outgoing scripts, port knocking, MITM attacks, and more.
Hardcore Linux users may enjoy its CLI user interface that lets you run quick and deep scans, see past security events and quarantined files, the status of your system, and more. If you don’t like CLI, you can install it with GUI.
Bitdefender GravityZone Endpoint Security is a premium tool, but it offers a 30-days free trial that you opt to test its services. On top of that, the pricing of this Ubuntu antivirus is quite flexible. Overall, if you are interested in spending some bucks on your Ubuntu machine’s security, I highly recommend this antivirus program.
7. Kaspersky Antivirus
Lastly, we have Kaspersky Antivirus (Download Here) on our list. Like other Ubuntu antivirus programs, Kaspersky Antivirus is mainly designed for IT administrators and not end users.
But if you want, you can get it for your personal Ubuntu computer too. However, you have to opt for a 10-device license, meaning you have to convince your friends and family to use it.
If that is not a concern for you, Kaspersky is hands down one of the best security programs out there. It supports a wide range of Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Linux Mint, CentOS, Debian, and more.
It also supports Windows and macOS, allowing you to set up this antivirus in a hybrid environment very easily. On top of that, its multi-layered protection protects your computers and the entire network from a wide range of cyber threats.
One great feature of Kaspersky Antivirus is Anti-Cryptor. This is an amazing feature that protects your computer against ransomware threats. For this, Kaspersky runs thorough scans on a regular basis to see if any sort of encryption is initiated and if it notices something abnormal, it starts fixing it.
Besides that, it provides you with real-time protection from zero-day attacks and offers features like behavior detection for proactive defenses and network threat protection. It also automatically scans the removable drives to ensure that your operating system won’t get infected.
Since this antivirus is primarily designed for organizations and companies, it doesn’t offer any free tier. It offers a subscription service that starts at $404 for 10 computers. Again, I won’t recommend this antivirus if you are an individual, but if you want it for a group of people, it can be a great choice.
8. Avast Core Security – Next-gen Linux server antivirus
Avast (Download Here) also stands among the best Linux antivirus. This antivirus also made it among the best in the AV Test. It works with Ubuntu and other Linux distro’s 32-bit and 64-bit software architecture just like others.
This Linux antivirus supports core security, and network security and also provides file server security. Users gearing up Avast with a system highly prefer servers. Although it performs equally well with home users.
It is one of the most certified performers when it comes to server security. Also performing cross-platform, it maintains its versatility.
- Real-Time Protection and anti-spyware
- Planned scanning
- Server security
- Core security, network security
- Home and industrial safety
- The regular update for assured defusing of a new threat
Our selection process to pick Ubuntu antivirus for this list
Creating a list of the best tools is never easy. You have to consider a lot of things before coming to a conclusive decision. However, we kept a few things into account while selecting antivirus programs for this list which include –
Ease of use:-
The first thing we kept in mind is how easy it is to use that antivirus program. It was not a big deal for us since the majority of Ubuntu users are comfortable using CLI, and therefore, they are a bit techy. Yet, we tried to pick antivirus programs that can be used by anyone.
Another important thing that we looked for is anti-malware capabilities. It is essential to consider since antiviruses have only one task to complete, which is to protect you from viruses and malware, and if it isn’t capable enough of doing that, what’s the point of using it?
Pricing is the aspect we were least concerned about since free Ubuntu antivirus programs such as ClamAV and ClamTK are capable enough to protect you from most cyber threats. Therefore, if someone cannot afford to pay for premium Ubuntu antivirus programs, they can opt for these free tools to protect their device.
Does Ubuntu needs Antivirus?
Ubuntu may not be that prone to virus attacks. However, you can never be too sure if or if not your system might pose a threat to viruses. Hence, it is necessary that for backup, you should have an antivirus installed in your system to keep all your confidential files safe. Furthermore, make sure you have a decent one so that it can protect you from Crypto based hacks too.
How do I check for viruses on Ubuntu?
To check if your Ubuntu system has viruses, you can use a popular software called ClamAV. It is an open-source program that allows users to check the current viruses on your operating system. After this, you can then use another antivirus software to remove the malware and virus completely.
How do I protect my Ubuntu from malware?
Most of the time, your system might get infected with the virus due to corrupted browsers or toher external devices. Hence, it is important to use a script blocker for Flash and Java-based exploits on the browsers. Similarly, you can download virus detectors that will help scan the devices and other downloads from the web and keep the malware away.
Why does Linux generally not Require An Antivirus?
Most people agree that Linux OS does not require any antivirus. The reason this is true in multiple ways is that users around the world do not often prefer this operating system. Hence, not many programs are created to infect the system. Also, even if your system encounters any bug in the system or even any app installed, the community is quick to fix those errors.
Is Ubuntu more secure than Windows?
Yes, there is no doubt that Ubuntu is in fact more secure than Windows. Just as Windows is more prone to virus and malware attacks, you will not find the regularity on Ubuntu systems. Furthermore, there are millions of Windows users around the world for all purposes, while for that Ubuntu is far fewer.
There you have it – a detailed guide on Ubuntu Antivirus.
I fully agree when people say that the chances of your Linux-based machine getting infected by viruses are quite low, but that doesn’t mean Linux machines are completely virus-free or you don’t have to worry about Linux viruses at all. Therefore, you have to be a bit cautious.
However, if you are using Ubuntu, I can assume that you are a bit of a techy guy, and therefore, I won’t recommend you opt for the premium Ubuntu antivirus programs.
Instead, I will suggest you follow the tips I shared at the beginning of this article and install a free scanner – either ClamAV or ClamTK. This combination will be more than sufficient to keep you protected from viruses.
But if you don’t want to put yourself into all this stuff, you can opt for any premium Ubuntu antivirus. All of these antivirus programs are good enough to keep your device safe from all sorts of malware, ransomware, and other cyber threats.
When it comes to viruses, even the “Security by Obscurity” fails sometimes. You may have the intuition that Ubuntu won’t face a serious threat due to viruses but you get totally wrong here. Using an Anti-virus helps you in any way and assures you of your security.
A simple “No threats found” is a relief for so many who fear getting hacked. One should choose an apt Ubuntu Antivirus according to their need. Industrial or home, terminal or non-terminal, we have mentioned it all above.
Using an Ubuntu Antivirus will do you no harm and you will the upper hand, as “Prevention is better than cure”.