OK, I do have to admit I am somewhat new to Linux,(I'm used to Windows), and that's why I'm asking all of these questions about Kubuntu.

As of 2015, are there any good, FREE anti-virus programs for Linux, specifically Kubuntu/Ubuntu 15.10? Yes, I have checked for other questions similar to mine, but they are all from a long time ago. And yes, a lot of people say that Linux does not need an anti-virus.

But, I'm really more comfortable to have an anti-virus program, just in case. I will appreciate any suggestions.



None whatsoever. Yes there are virusses but not a single virus has left the laboratory. Let alone that there is one that can copy itself to thousands of other machines like a virus does on Windows.

99% (I'll leave me 1% wiggle room :) ) of their claims of finding virusses in a Linux operating system are false positives. Only virus software sellers will tell you you need one for Linux/Ubuntu. The only reason for a virus scanner on Linux is to protect Windows machines in your network. It is better to scan for Windows virusses from a none-Windows machine than from a Windows machine. Linux virus scanners can scan mails or downloads and prevent them from even reaching a Windows desktop.

There are currently only virusses to target ONE operating system at a time and the person that wants to infect his own system needs to go out of his way to get it installed. Like actually downloading the virus, execute the installer and run the virus.

The main Ubuntu repositories are virus free. The Personal Archives on Launchpad (or PPA's) are virus free. The main other software you could download like apache, mysql are all virus free.

And all other software you can install is your own stupid problem if they have a virus and you did not check the integrity of the download, the person who created it or the website. Besides that: If someone was to create such software it the 1st person infected would post it on-line, twitter would explode on it. Same for all those Linux blogs.

If you stick to the regular repositories, launchpad PPA's and the websites we can trust, if you stick to the official Ubuntu operating system (look at the disaster Mint brought upon us), if you stick to downloading from websites you can trust (apache, mysql etc) you are fine without a virusscanner. By the way: this last bit also applies to other operating systems. It is the randomly downloading software and the opening of mails on a Windows system that get you into trouble. Don't do the 1st, use on-line mail for the 2nd and you don't need a virusscanner ever.

  • But one day Linux will be just as infected with viruses like Windows. Well, I guess I won't go into a wild goose chase for an AV until that day comes. – user517663 Mar 12 '16 at 22:20
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    I doubt it. Think about it: what is the attack vector for a virus on Linux? They need to compromise the place we download software from. Impossible. Or if they do it is a one time incident (yes, that would be a breach of trust on Canonical's part but the hole will be found and plugged). Or through email. And that method is on its way out: online mail is safe for a desktop. We Linux users do not willy-nilly install software. Yes, individual systems might be compromised (due to bad passwords for one) but it will not result in a wide spread problem. Only local. – Rinzwind Mar 12 '16 at 22:23
  • That day may take a decade or so. – user423626 Jun 1 '16 at 17:58
  • @BharadwajRaju well maybe not 0. There is always the "disgruntled former employee that set up an exploit before he left" scenario ;-) – Rinzwind Jun 1 '16 at 18:00

This question is very subjective: even in Windows world there is no consensus right now on which antivirus is the best, and every antivirus is not immune to reporting false positives and missing out on some viruses. Clam AV for Linux is well known for that.

Truth is there is no best antivirus. The best antivirus is your own behavior - avoid visiting fishy websites and don't install non-legitimate software. That's your 80% security, in either world - Windows or Unix.

People don't realize a virus is software - and it doesn't jump onto your computer randomly, you as admin let it in. If you do, then you're screwed.

In the Linux world that seems to be fairly decent - people stick to official repositories more, install less of the external software. The biggest threat in the Linux world , and particularly for servers, are automated attacks by hackers, mostly on cracking passwords. For instance, my server on digital ocean constantly has tons of random IP addresses trying to brute force my root password. In such scenario, antiviruses are as useful as toilet paper.

If you do file sharing between Windows machines or Windows network shares and your system, then you may want to consider running antivirus. There are choices of Avast ,AVG, Kaspersky, Comodo, ClamAV.


I would tend to agree with Rinzwind here. But there is one reason why you might want anti-virus software. If you use your Ubuntu installation as your main "download source" and transfer a lot of files from your Ubuntu installation to USB-Sticks or Samba etc you would have a chance to "Stop the virus before it ever comes in to contact with a windows machine" as Rinzwind said.

For more information please read: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Antivirus