I am looking for some free antivirus software for a machine running Linux Mint.

(n.b. I'm still a bit new to Linux, I have read somewhere that Linux usually doesn't need antivirus, but I'd like to have some just in case.)

Preferably something that meets these requirements:

  • Free/No Cost
  • Reliable i.e. from a reputable source
  • Receives regular definition updates
  • Ability to schedule regular scans
  • automatic alerts
  • although it's not a recent article, it is still true and good explained: howtogeek.com/135392/… Jan 3 '17 at 9:59
  • 1
    An "anti-something" is only good if there is a "something" to fight, isn't it? So what do you want to do with an Anti-Virus on Linux – except burning resources? True, there are some Linux-bases AV programs. But they're usually intended to fend-off stuff for Windows users, e.g. on mail servers. ClamAV is such a candidate, which is available from the repositories (apt install clamav).
    – Izzy
    Jan 3 '17 at 11:35
  • @Izzy Thanks, I guess what I was looking for is/was software for preventative maintenance. I'll take a look at clamav.
    – 0-60FPS
    Jan 3 '17 at 18:04
  • 3
    As I wrote, if you're concerned about your Mint machine, there won't be a need. I have ClamAV running on my mail server. It never found anything that would affect a Linux machine (though it found some attachments harmful for Windows machines). The "brain binary" should suffice on Linux :) Using it that way for ~20 years now, never installed any AntiVirus on my Linux workhorses :)
    – Izzy
    Jan 3 '17 at 18:09
  • Izzy, while I agree that virus is not a worry for Linux users, "anti-virus" packages usually offer other services too, such as watching out for Browsr-nasties which might try to steal your data ... Jan 8 '18 at 12:06
  • first: basically...
    running continuously a antivirus software on a usual linux-desktop is more a service to the windows-users you are interacting with, than something else.
    you may have a look at this: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Antivirus

  • second: my personal experience...
    it is nearly 10 years ago, i started using linux... for the first year as dualboot (without any antivirus on linux - i still had all i need on windows) and after a windows-crash i converted completely. since then i never had a problem with any kind of malware, and i'm a very curious person.
    i just reinstall my OS (which is most of the time also Linux Mint MATE ;-) ) only when i want to and not approx every 1-2 years because of malware or any other deficiencies.

  • third: my recommendation...

    1. scan all your personal files on linux and/or windows
      (from the security-point of view a uncompromisable linux live-cd would be the best, but don't overthink the things...)
    2. just install software from trusted sources; keep your software updated and just run commands you know/trust
      --> that's how to be and stay safe and happy with linux ;-)
    3. and if you want to take care of all the poor windows-users you are exchanging files with, scan every now and then your (new) files.
  • fourth: the particular software:
    i use THE open source antivirus clamav with the GUI clamtk.

    • it is free also as in free beer
    • it is reputable because you can read the complete source
    • the ClamAV Virus Database (CVD) is updated at least every four hours and is kept up to date with freshclam
    • you can schedule scans rudimentary with the GUI clamtk, but you have the full power of the command-line with cron and anacron
  • Ah ok. Thanks for the advice.
    – 0-60FPS
    Jan 4 '17 at 4:14
  • Thank you for the advice. About your recommandation: For a file sharing Linux server with Windows client, do you recommend setting an antivirus on the server? Connexions would be made from the office and remotely in SFTP. About 10 users.
    – OuzoPower
    Dec 18 '17 at 11:49
  • @OuzoPower: as Izzy told in his comment... i wouldn't be too much concerned about your linux-server (because of usual malware), but if you have the recourses left and you are willing to provide a kind of a "cleaning-service" for your windows-users/-clients you may give clamav a try. Jan 4 '18 at 17:06

Clamav is about the only free software out there for any linux.

Several vendors have commericial versions.

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