12 Best Antiviruses for Linux (October 2023)

Featured photo for article 12 Best Antiviruses for Linux (October 2023)

What is Antivirus for Linux?

Antivirus for Linux is a powerful tool, a virtual guardian, that shields your Linux system from the lurking dangers of the digital world. It's a software that is specifically designed to detect, prevent, and remove malicious software, often referred to as 'malware'.

In the vast universe of the internet, where data flows like a river, there are numerous harmful elements. These elements, often camouflaged, can infiltrate your system and wreak havoc. They can steal sensitive data, corrupt files, and even control your system. This is where the Antivirus for Linux steps in, like a knight in shining armor, to protect your system.

Now, you might be wondering, "Why do I need an antivirus for Linux? Isn't Linux supposed to be secure?" Yes, you're right. Linux is indeed renowned for its robust security. Its architecture is designed in such a way that it's less prone to malware attacks compared to other operating systems. But, let's not forget, "less prone" doesn't mean "invincible".

In the ever-evolving world of technology, cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated. They are constantly finding new ways to bypass system defenses. So, even Linux systems, despite their strong security, can fall prey to these threats. That's why it's crucial to have an Antivirus for Linux.

Think of it this way. You're in a battlefield. You're well-armored and skilled. But wouldn't you feel more secure if you had an extra layer of protection? That's exactly what an antivirus does. It provides an additional layer of security, making your Linux system even more impregnable.

Moreover, Linux systems are not just used by individuals. They're widely used in servers, embedded systems, and supercomputers. Imagine the magnitude of damage if such systems get infected. The consequences can be catastrophic. Hence, having an Antivirus for Linux is not just a luxury, it's a necessity.

To sum it up, an Antivirus for Linux is your system's best friend. It tirelessly works in the background, scanning files, checking for suspicious activities, and ensuring your system's safety. It's like a vigilant watchman, always on the lookout for potential threats.

In the next section, we'll delve into the key features to look for in Linux Antivirus software. Stay tuned to learn more about how you can fortify your Linux system against the nefarious elements of the digital world.

Key Features to Look for in Linux Antivirus Software

Choosing the right Antivirus for Linux is like finding the perfect shield for your system. It's a decision that requires careful consideration. Here are some key features you should look for in Linux Antivirus software.

1. Real-Time Protection

Imagine having a bodyguard who only reacts after you've been attacked. Not very helpful, is it? The same applies to antivirus software. You need an antivirus that offers real-time protection. It should be able to detect and neutralize threats as they occur, not after they've done damage. It's like having a vigilant sentinel, always on guard, ready to thwart any cyber-attack.

2. Comprehensive Scanning

An effective antivirus should be thorough in its job. It should offer comprehensive scanning. This means it should scan every nook and cranny of your system, leaving no stone unturned. It should be able to detect hidden threats, even in the most obscure files. Like a detective, it should leave no clue unnoticed.

3. Regular Updates

In the digital world, new threats emerge every day. To combat these evolving threats, your antivirus needs to stay updated. It should receive regular updates from its developers, equipping it with the latest tools and techniques to fight off new malware. It's like a warrior, constantly honing its skills to stay ahead of its enemies.

4. Low System Impact

While an antivirus is meant to protect your system, it shouldn't slow it down. Look for an antivirus that has a low system impact. It should be lightweight, efficient, and should not consume too much of your system's resources. It's like a ninja, swift and silent, doing its job without causing any disturbance.

5. User-Friendly Interface

Even the most powerful antivirus can be a pain if it's difficult to use. Hence, a user-friendly interface is a must. The software should be easy to install, configure, and navigate. It should provide clear information about its functions and alerts. It's like a well-written book, easy to understand, and engaging.

6. Robust Support

Lastly, look for an antivirus that offers robust support. This includes regular updates, prompt customer service, and helpful resources. It's like having a reliable ally, always ready to assist you in your battles against malware.

Remember, the right Antivirus for Linux can make a world of difference to your system's security. So, choose wisely, and give your Linux system the protection it deserves.

12 Best Antiviruses for Linux

1. Sophos

Best for: families and individuals with multiple devices.

Sophos Screenshot

Claiming the top spot in the ranking, the well-known Sophos antivirus software focuses on providing strong security and privacy for your Windows PC or Mac. It is equipped with a plethora of features aimed at protecting against a wide array of threats including malware, viruses, ransomware, and more.

Sophos Home, a key offering from the company, leverages the same award-winning security features that are trusted by Fortune 500 companies, thereby ensuring top-notch protection for private users. One of the unique aspects of Sophos Home is its ability to enhance the performance of users' computers. It achieves this by scanning and cleaning the computers, thereby removing any malware that could potentially slow down the system.

Furthermore, Sophos Home is committed to ensuring the safety of valuable and private information. It does this by blocking viruses and malware that attempt to steal or destroy files, documents, and photos. Sophos Home also prioritizes user privacy by preventing tracking codes from following online browsing activities.

In conclusion, Sophos Home is a comprehensive antivirus solution that not only offers robust protection against a wide array of threats but also enhances the performance of the devices it protects. Its ability to manage multiple devices and its commitment to user privacy make it a preferred choice among private users.


  • Award-winning Security: Sophos Home uses the same security features that are trusted by Fortune 500 companies to protect private users.
  • Performance Enhancement: Sophos Home scans and cleans users' devices, removing malware that could slow down the system, thus improving performance.
  • Threat Protection: Sophos Home blocks viruses, ransomware, and other malware from stealing or destroying files, documents, and photos, ensuring the safety of valuable information.
  • Secure Shopping: Sophos Home protects users' online shopping and banking activities from phishing and hacking attempts.
  • Privacy Protection: Sophos Home prevents tracking codes from following users' online browsing activities, ensuring privacy.
  • Multi-device Management: Sophos Home is designed to manage and protect multiple devices, making it ideal for families and individuals with multiple devices.

2. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

Best for: real-time protection against viruses and ransomware.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus Screenshot

Close on its heels and scoring the second position is Bitdefender Antivirus Plus. Designed specifically for Windows users and packed with strong features, this software aims at protecting your computer against harmful threats. It gives strong protection against many online dangers like viruses, malware, ransomware, and spyware. The software uses many layers of security to make sure user data and privacy are safe from online threats.

One special feature of Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is its real-time protection against all viruses and ransomware. This means the system is always safe from threats, even new ones. The software also has a special defense system that watches active applications closely. If it sees anything strange, it acts quickly to stop infections.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus also has a feature that protects against ransomware in many ways. This includes a layer that keeps important files safe from being locked by ransomware. Also, the software checks the PC for old and unsafe software, missing Windows security patches, and possibly unsafe system settings. It then gives advice on how to fix these problems.


  • Real-Time Protection: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus gives real-time protection against all viruses and ransomware, keeping your system always safe.
  • Advanced Threat Defense: The software watches active apps closely and acts quickly to stop infections if it sees anything strange.
  • Multi-Layer Ransomware Protection: This feature keeps your important files safe from being locked by ransomware.
  • Vulnerability Assessment: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus checks your PC for old and unsafe software, missing Windows security patches, and possibly unsafe system settings. It then gives advice on how to fix these problems.

3. ClamAV

Best for: users who prefer open-source software and need to scan multiple file formats.

ClamAV Screenshot

Coming in third is ClamAV. This free antivirus software diligently works at spotting and eliminating a spectrum of threats like trojans, viruses, and malware from your system. It is good at scanning and is always being updated to protect against new threats.

ClamAV is often used for scanning emails. It can scan many files at the same time, which makes it work faster and better at fighting malware. One special thing about ClamAV is that it is open-source. This means users can see and change the program's code to fit their needs. This makes the program more flexible and able to work with different operating systems.

ClamAV also lets users choose when to scan files. It can find threats using different rules and patterns, which makes it better at finding and blocking harmful content.


  • Open-source: ClamAV is open-source, so users can see and change the program's code. This makes it more flexible and able to work with different operating systems.
  • Multi-threaded scanner daemon: ClamAV can scan many files at the same time. This makes it work faster.
  • Automatic signature updates: ClamAV is always being updated to protect against new threats.
  • Support for multiple file formats: ClamAV can scan many different types of files. This makes sure it can find threats no matter what type of file they are in.
  • File and archive unpacking: ClamAV can open and scan files and archives. This is helpful for finding harmful things that are hidden or compressed within files or archives.
  • Reliable detection of threats: ClamAV is good at finding and removing many harmful things like trojans, viruses, and malware. It is always being updated to protect against new threats.

4. McAfee Endpoint Security

Best for: continuous monitoring and identity protection.

McAfee Endpoint Security Screenshot

McAfee Endpoint Security, a comprehensive antivirus solution, ensures robust protection for your digital devices. It is made to protect your privacy, identity, and personal data from possible threats.

The program has antivirus protection that keeps your devices safe from harmful software. It also has a virtual private network (VPN) that makes sure your browsing is safe, protecting your personal data from possible leaks. The program is special because it always watches your devices for any possible threats and takes steps to stop them.

This constant watching makes sure that your devices stay safe from fake attacks and harmful websites. McAfee Endpoint Security also has a special mix of identity watching and credit watching features. These services watch for any leaks and give early warnings, protecting your credit information from being used without permission.

McAfee Endpoint Security is easy for users because of its simple interface. The program is easy to set up and has regular system checks and updates to make sure it has the newest protection against threats. It has received good reviews and ratings from customers for its dependable and trusted antivirus protection.

McAfee Endpoint Security can be bought in single and family plans, giving flexible choices to meet different user needs.


  • Antivirus Protection: McAfee Endpoint Security keeps your devices safe from harmful software, giving complete protection for your privacy, identity, and personal data.
  • Continuous Monitoring: The program always watches your devices for possible threats, taking steps to stop them.
  • Identity and Credit Monitoring: McAfee Endpoint Security has identity watching and credit watching services, protecting your personal and credit information from being used without permission and giving early warnings if there are any leaks.
  • User-Friendly Interface: The program is easy to set up and use, with a simple interface that has regular system checks and updates for the newest protection against threats.

5. Comodo

Best for: online banking and shopping safety.

Comodo Screenshot

Comodo, a leading antivirus software, has a reputation for its effective defense against harmful online threats. It has many features to keep your devices and data safe.

Comodo works by checking files and apps for harmful software using different methods. One method is specific detection, which compares files to a list of known harmful software traits. Comodo also uses heuristic detection to look at a file's code and see if it has code often found in harmful software. If it finds suspicious code, the antivirus either removes the file or suggests it be contained.

A special feature of Comodo is its sandbox environment. This lets unknown files run separately from the computer's system. This means that even unknown harmful software can't harm your computer.

Comodo Antivirus protects all devices for a cost of $29.99 per device per year. It has a top-rated firewall to stop unauthorized access and complex attacks. It also has a host intrusion prevention system (HIPS) to protect important system files and stop harmful software.

Comodo Antivirus has many features. It uses Defense+ Technology to protect important system files and stop harmful software. It also has Auto Sandbox Technology™ to run unknown files in a separate environment. Comodo works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, and Mac systems. It also has a game mode to stop alerts and interruptions during game play.


  • Cloud-based Antivirus: Gives full PC protection with cloud-based updates. It safely runs files in Comodo Containment before running them on your PC.
  • Secure Shopping Feature: Makes online banking and shopping safe by opening websites in a secure container. This protects personal files and photos from being stolen by hackers.
  • Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS): Watches your PC and stops harmful attacks from getting in. It uses behavior analyzers to do the search.
  • VirusScope: Has a technology that allows for local PC analysis. It helps users undo any harmful-looking changes that may have been made by their PC because of harmful actors.

6. Avast Ultimate Business Security

Best for: businesses needing centralized IT security management.

Avast Ultimate Business Security Screenshot

Avast Ultimate Business Security serves as a comprehensive cybersecurity tool for your business needs. It gives strong protection against many cyber threats like malware, phishing, ransomware, and other advanced cyberattacks.

It focuses on antivirus use, offering features and tools to keep business data, devices, and applications safe.


  • Automated Patch Management: This feature automatically fixes software weaknesses, stopping them from being used by cybercriminals. It supports patching for third-party applications, including popular software like Zoom, Google Chrome, Adobe, and Java.
  • VPN and USB Protection: These features improve online security and privacy by protecting online activities and stopping unauthorized removable storage devices to prevent malware infections or data theft.
  • Centralized Online Management Platform: This platform lets businesses manage their IT security from one place, providing device protection, data protection, password protection, IT support, and unlimited VPN access.
  • Device Protection: This feature protects many devices, including Windows PCs, Mac computers, and Windows servers, from viruses and other cyber threats. It also offers protection against infected files, emails, and websites to prevent malware infection and phishing attacks.

7. Kaspersky Antivirus

Best for: real-time protection and system performance optimization.

Kaspersky Antivirus Screenshot

Kaspersky Antivirus, a uniquely designed software, safeguards computers and devices from a variety of harmful software, including viruses, ransomware, and spyware. It is known for its advanced technology that can find and stop threats in real-time, keeping the system safe.

It also has a feature that constantly checks files, websites, and apps for harmful content. One thing that makes Kaspersky Antivirus special is its easy-to-use design. It also has features like automatic updates and vulnerability scanning, making it a good and easy-to-use antivirus solution.

The automatic updates make sure the virus database and software parts are always updated, giving the latest protection against new threats. The vulnerability scanning checks the system for any weak spots that could be used by cybercriminals and gives advice on how to fix them.

Also, Kaspersky Antivirus can be used with different operating systems, like Windows, macOS, and Android, protecting many devices.


  • Real-time Protection: Kaspersky Antivirus always watches the system for any possible threats and stops them before they can do damage.
  • Malware Detection and Removal: The software uses advanced methods to find and get rid of many types of harmful software, like viruses, worms, Trojans, and more.
  • Web Protection: Kaspersky Antivirus checks websites for harmful content and stops access to possibly harmful sites.
  • Email Protection: The software checks emails coming in and going out for any harmful attachments or links, stopping the spread of harmful software through email.
  • System Performance Optimization: Kaspersky Antivirus has tools to make system performance better, like disk cleanup, software updater, and privacy cleaner.

8. ESET Advanced Protection

Best for: organizations needing advanced threat defense and multi-factor authentication.

ESET Advanced Protection Screenshot

ESET Advanced Protection, a security program, is designed to provide businesses with a shield against diverse threats such as ransomware, zero-day threats, and data breaches. This software is made to protect modern computers and smartphones. It uses a special technology called ESET LiveSense.

It also uses full disk encryption to protect system disks, partitions, or whole devices. This helps businesses follow the law.


  • Advanced Threat Defense: ESET Advanced Protection uses machine learning and cloud sandbox analysis to protect against new and unknown threats.
  • Mail Security: The software stops all malware, spam, or phishing attacks at the server level. This stops them from getting to users' mailboxes.
  • Vulnerability & Patch Management: ESET Advanced Protection finds and fixes weaknesses in operating systems and applications on all endpoints.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication: The software uses single-tap, mobile-based multi-factor authentication. This protects organizations from weak passwords and unauthorized access.
  • Modern Endpoint Protection: ESET Advanced Protection gives advanced protection for computers and smartphones. It uses special ESET LiveSense technology.

9. Malwarebytes

Best for: protection against modern threats like ransomware and phishing attacks.

Malwarebytes Screenshot

Malwarebytes, a globally recognized antivirus software, is trusted by users worldwide. It protects against many threats like hackers, malware, spyware, and ransomware. It uses advanced technology to find and remove threats that other antivirus software might miss.

The software protects in real-time without using too much of the computer's resources or sending too many notifications to the user. One special feature of Malwarebytes is its Security Advisor. This is a dashboard that shows the user's security status in real-time, helping them to take action if needed.

The software is light and does not slow down the device, which is why many users like it. Malwarebytes works on different platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Chromebook. It protects across multiple devices.

Besides its main antivirus features, Malwarebytes also offers premium services. These include a VPN for better online privacy and a browser extension called Browser Guard for safer and cleaner browsing.


  • Halt Hackers: Malwarebytes protects against hackers, harmful sites, infected ads, credit card skimmers, and credential stealers with its web and malware protection feature.
  • Stops Modern Threats: The software protects devices against ransomware, phishing attacks, harmful websites, credit card skimmers, scammers, zero-day exploits, brute force attacks, and uninstall attempts.
  • Ultimate Control: Malwarebytes has a user-friendly interface that lets users customize their protection to fit their needs without needing advanced technical knowledge.
  • Light and Lean: The software scans using fewer system resources, making sure the device performs well.

10. F-PROT

Best for: users needing customizable scanning options and low system resource usage.

F-PROT Screenshot

F-PROT, an antivirus software, is proficient in safeguarding computers from threats like viruses, worms, and Trojans. It works with many operating systems like Windows, Linux, and BSD. The software uses special scanning technology to find and remove harmful things from different parts of the system, like files and emails.

One of the best things about F-PROT is that it can scan the system all the time to find any suspicious activity or files. This helps to quickly find and stop harmful things. It also uses special techniques to study the behavior of files to find harmful things, even if they are not known yet. F-PROT also updates itself regularly to stay up-to-date with the latest threats. This happens in the background, so the user doesn't have to do anything.

The software also works with popular email programs like Microsoft Outlook to check emails for harmful attachments or links. If the software finds harmful things, it gives the option to separate these files from the rest of the system to stop them from causing more harm. It also tries to clean and fix infected files if possible.


  • Customizable Scanning Options: Users can choose how they want the software to scan their system. They can do a full system scan, scan specific files or folders, or schedule scans at certain times.
  • Low System Resource Usage: F-PROT is designed to work efficiently and not slow down the computer.
  • Command-line Interface: For advanced users, F-PROT has a command-line interface for more control and automation of scanning tasks.
  • Technical Support: F-PROT offers help and support, including online guides, FAQs, and direct contact options for personalized help.

11. Dr.Web Security Space

Best for: comprehensive protection against money theft, scammers, and device hijacking.

Dr.Web Security Space Screenshot

Dr.Web Security Space offers comprehensive antivirus protection for multiple platforms including Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android devices. It uses advanced technologies and features to protect against many threats, making your online experience safe.

Dr.Web Security Space is unique in its ability to fight malware, stop data theft, and protect against program weaknesses.

It also defends against device takeover and spying, and includes features to keep children safe from harm.


  • Protection against money theft: Dr.Web Security Space has a Firewall feature that stops hackers from getting into your device when you're doing online banking. It stops banking Trojans and ransomware, and keeps keyloggers from stealing your login details.
  • Protection against scammers: It uses anti-virus technologies to protect users from scammers. The Anti-spam feature filters out phishing emails, and the HTTP monitor SpIDer Gate stops access to phishing sites and fake online banking or store pages.
  • Protection against the exploitation of program vulnerabilities: Dr.Web's Process Heuristic technology looks at the behavior of running programs in real-time, and the ShellGuard technology finds and stops harmful code trying to exploit weaknesses.
  • Protection for data and information: The Data Loss Prevention feature keeps your important information safe, and the Ransomware Protection module stops encryption ransomware from starting.
  • Protection against device hijacking and spying: Dr.Web protects against takeover and spying. It stops crypto mining activities that use your system resources without asking, and blocks hacker attempts to use your microphone or camera.

12. Rootkit Hunter

Best for: detecting rootkits and analyzing system binaries.

Rootkit Hunter Screenshot

Rootkit Hunter, also known as rkhunter, is a proficient tool utilized on Unix systems. It looks for rootkits, backdoors, and possible local exploits. It is mainly used as an antivirus tool.

Rootkit Hunter helps find hidden threats and keeps the system safe. Unlike many antivirus tools, Rootkit Hunter uses a command-line interface. This gives users a clear view of the scanning process and results.

One special feature of Rootkit Hunter is that it can check the network and local host settings. This makes it better at finding threats. It also looks closely at the system binaries. This makes sure the scan is thorough.

Rootkit Hunter is known for its careful scanning process and special features. This makes it a trusted tool in the antivirus market.


  • Rootkit Detection: Rootkit Hunter is good at finding rootkits. These are harmful software that can get unauthorized access to a computer system.
  • Local Exploit Checks: The tool checks for local exploits. This makes sure the system is safe from any possible threats.
  • Network and Local Host Settings Checks: Rootkit Hunter checks network and local host settings. This makes it better at finding threats.
  • System Binaries Analysis: The tool looks closely at the system binaries. This makes sure the scan is thorough.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does Linux need antivirus protection?
While Linux is known for its solid security, it isn't invincible. There are fewer threats for Linux systems, but they do exist. Antivirus software can help monitor your system and ward off any potential malware or attacks.
Can free antivirus software for Linux provide enough protection?
Some free antivirus software can provide decent protection for Linux users. However, paid versions usually offer more comprehensive features including regular updates, better customer support and advanced threat detection capabilities.
What's the difference between antivirus software for Linux vs. other operating systems?
The primary difference lies in the threats each system faces. Linux, Windows, and macOS all have different vulnerabilities and attract different types of malware, so the defense strategies vary.
Can a Windows antivirus product be used on Linux?
No, a Windows-based antivirus cannot be used directly on Linux. Each operating system requires a different version of antivirus software designed specifically to deal with its unique vulnerabilities.
How often should I update my Linux antivirus software?
For optimal protection, it's best to keep your antivirus software up to date at all times. Most modern antivirus programs automatically update themselves, but it's good to check periodically to ensure that you have the latest version installed.
Photo of Liam Thompson
Written by

Liam Thompson

Liam Thompson is a cybersecurity expert at BrightSystems who loves solving tech mysteries and enjoys escape rooms and detective fiction.

Related posts

Featured photo for article 12 Best Antiviruses for Linux (September 2023)
Photo of Liam Thompson
Liam Thompson
·September 17, 2023

12 Best Antiviruses for Linux (September 2023)

Featured photo for article 12 Best antivirus with VPN included (September 2023)
Photo of Liam Thompson
Liam Thompson
·September 17, 2023

12 Best antivirus with VPN included (September 2023)

Featured photo for article 12 Best PC Cleaner Tools For Windows (September 2023)
Photo of Liam Thompson
Liam Thompson
·September 17, 2023

12 Best PC Cleaner Tools For Windows (September 2023)

Featured photo for article 12 Best iPhone antivirus apps (September 2023)
Photo of Marcus Garcia
Marcus Garcia
·September 17, 2023

12 Best iPhone antivirus apps (September 2023)