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I just payed a butt-ton for a firewall (bitdefender total security) i'm worried that it won't be compatible or i'll have to to re-install it on Ubuntu?

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2 Answers 2

There's bad news and good news.

Bad News: You Almost Certainly Can't

BitDefender Total Security appears to be for Windows only. Assuming that is the case, it will not run when you are running Ubuntu, and there is little to nothing you can do about that.

That page doesn't explicitly say the software is Windows-only. But I downloaded the free trial, which is Windows only. Nowhere (that I can see) does it say it supports any other operating system than Windows. And I've never heard of a program like BitDefender Total Security supporting Ubuntu.

Some Windows programs can be run on Ubuntu with Wine. Firewalls cannot. The active monitoring antivirus part of the software will also not work. Manual virus scanning will probably not work either, but you could try.

A good general rule for what you can and cannot do with Wine, which is usually correct, is that anything that changes the way your Ubuntu system works for anything besides Windows programs, will not work on Wine. Generally speaking it is not possible for any program running with Wine to restrict or extend the functioning of programs and services that are running on Ubuntu but not through Wine. Wine cannot (ever) be used to install and run Windows device drivers. It cannot be used to modify the operation of Ubuntu's network stack for Ubuntu programs. All these things are things that BitDefender Total Security must do, for even its most basic operation.

(These "rules" about what can and cannot be done with Wine are not actually security restrictions. Programs running in Wine can open files outside your Wine folder, for example. You should certainly not install untrusted Windows programs on Ubuntu with Wine anymore than it would be a good idea to do so on a real Windows system. It's just that, running a program on Wine doesn't make the rest of Ubuntu act like Windows.)

Good News: You Don't Need It

The good news is, you probably do not need this software in Ubuntu.

  • Firewalls to block incoming connections are often completely unnecessary when your operating system doesn't run unnecessary servers and make them unnecessarily open to access from the outside. Firewalls to prevent programs from "calling out" are rarely more than an inconvenience to you, when your operating system gives you effective means of installing and using only software you trust (and when there's far less malware for your OS, see below).
  • If you want to use a firewall in Ubuntu, there's one built in which you can configure.
  • Currently there is little to no malware in the wild that exploits Ubuntu. You should not install or run software you don't trust, but that's true on any OS and regardless of what security software is installed. Note that I am not saying that there are no significant security risks to Ubuntu users. For example, you are still about equally at risk of browser XSS exploits as users of Windows or OS X (or other GNU/Linux systems). But security software rarely protects effectively against that, anyway.

BitDefender Total Security is a firewall and also antivirus software, so both types of additional resources listed are relevant:

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You won't be able to install a Windows firewall product such as Bitdefender on Ubuntu. Ubuntu 12.04 includes security features such as AppArmor as well as a firewall called ufw.

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