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During this year NOD 32 ends its solution for residential segment, also Sophos has decided to end its free antivirus. I am looking for solution able to protect mainly my computer (Linux Ubuntu) and possibly also prevent spreading Windows malware to my partners and friends. What are the current options for a Linux users?

My findings:

  • ESET has some business variant of NOD 32 hidden in their "ESET PROTECT Entry" product, unfortunately its license is at least for 5 computers in my country (and I assume worldwide). (https://www.eset.com/int/business/entry-protection-bundle/)
  • Dr. Web has AV for Linux, however reviews question its efficiency.
  • There are some products from vendors like Micro Focus, Microsoft or Kaspersky, but only for enterprise use.
  • ClamAV. I love FOSS, but specificaly in this case I am not sure if it's competitive with products like ESET's NOD and so on. Reviews usually question its efficiency.

There is also an option not to use any AV solution and hope that with Ubuntu I am protected enough by its nature. But I personaly think that despite the fact that ordinary Linux home user like me isn't a common target, Linux malware exists + it's quite nice to prevent possible spreading of Windows malware. But maybe it is not worthy, I am open to any ideas :)

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  • I would go with ESET if I were you. I've used ESET on Linux desktop before, as long as you're using a supported OS/Desktop environment it works fine. Even if your desktop environment isn't supported, the backend which does all the work still works fine, you just wont get notified if something gets deleted. Jan 28, 2022 at 17:31
  • Are anti virus needed on Linux desktops in 2022. Mine is powered-on at home 24h/24 (behind a "Freebox" in France, fiber optics) and I never noticed any virus on it.... Working on RefPerSys BTW Jan 28, 2022 at 18:34
  • Noticing malware and actually having malware on a system are 2 entirely different things. If someone isn't an expert and are using Linux as their daily driver, it definitely doesnt hurt to have it installed, theres just 1/10th of the features as Windows AV products. Jan 28, 2022 at 19:16

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You should try Clam AntiVirus, which is is an open source (GPL) anti-virus toolkit for UNIX. ClamAV is a good start, as it is completely free and open - also it has a quantifiably high effectiveness. There are front-end options such as ClamTk, which work nicely should you want to use a GUI.

Also quite basic and should be your baseline for Rootkits: RootKit Hunter rkhunter. Sadly it has already been 3 years since the last release, so i guess there might be better rootkit scanners around already, such as ChkRootkit for example.

Sophos Antivirus for Linux is free for one person, and there are some others to benchmark - but personally I have been running ClamAV, ChkRootkit and Sophos in combination with a tight filter list on a local firewall without any incidents since over 5 years now.

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  • Are you using a software or hardware firewall? If software, anything beyond what is included in your Linux distro? If so, I'll post a question on this topic. Jun 28, 2022 at 14:08
  • You should look at PiHole and Adguard. Both are interesting for this topic
    – OpenGears
    Jan 13, 2023 at 13:22

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