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Know The Virus Protection Under Linux

Protection against malware, Trojans and blackmailers is not a bad idea, even under Linux, and is set up permanently – free of charge, too.

One hears again and again that virus protection under Linux is superfluous. If you want to know why this is not entirely true, you have come to the right place. In the following, we explain to you which protective measures you can take for Linux.

Does Linux need anti-malware?

  • Set up Eset NOD32
  • Set up ClamTK
  • Does Linux need anti-malware?

The benefits of anti-malware programs are hotly debated today, and there are calls from some corners of the security world to do without them entirely – even under Windows. Viruses, worms, and Trojans have never been a severe problem on Linux.

On the one hand, Linux has a much better security/rights concept that makes it harder for attackers. On the other hand, it is mainly due to the low market share of Linux on desktop computers – Linux is not a promising target for criminals. And on top of that, you have to assume that the average Linux user has a little more knowledge of IT.

Still, there are at least two good reasons to install an anti-malware solution. On the one hand, it can also be used to check Windows installations and external data carriers running in parallel. On the other hand, it is simply a bit of security for the future.

Who guarantees that the encryption blackmailers won’t attack Linux at some point? At the latest, when Linux does make the breakthrough on the desktop, it will be an exciting goal. Of course, a running virus scanner costs a few resources, but that doesn’t matter on any reasonably powerful computer. And of course, you don’t have to pay a cent for security software under Linux either.

The standard solution under Linux is ClamAV with the graphical user interface ClamTK, both open source and correspondingly free of charge. Sophos and Eset have an excellent reputation among the commercial providers, which cannot really be said about ClamAV. ClamAV has always been unable to keep up with the detection rates of commercial products – but it just keeps getting better.

In addition to the detection rate, the commercial solutions have another advantage: They monitor the system live – with ClamAV, you scan the system, files or folders manually. Below you will find instructions for two variants: ClamTK and the full version of Eset NOD32, which costs around 30 euros per year.

Set up Eset NOD32

NOD32 can be installed quickly, but not simply by double-clicking – it takes three steps:

  1. Download the appropriate 32- or 64-bit version from
  2. Open the file’s properties and under ” Access rights “, check the box for ” Execute file as program “. Now start the file and install the program. Most likely, you get an error message “ESET NOD32 for Linux needs the following packages to install: libc6-386, /lib/”. In this case, proceed as follows:
  3. Open a terminal and enter the following commands one after the other.

This brings your package sources up to date and then sets up the required dependencies. The installation routine is now run through properly, then NOD32 starts, updates itself and immediately protects the system.

Note: After purchasing a license for ESET NOD32, the program requires a user and a password in addition to activation. The reason is that the program is now considered “legacy” at ESET. Please contact ESET again via to receive the data.

Set up ClamTK

At ClamTK, the setup is straightforward – only the (first) update is not a matter of course.

  1. Start Synaptic, the Ubuntu Software Center or another package manager and search for ClamTK. The usual is sufficient in the terminal sudo apt-get install clamtk
  2. If the package manager suggests additional packages for installation, for example, ClamAV itself, accept this and let everything be installed.
  3. After starting ClamAV for the first time, you will be notified of outdated malware signatures – and you will probably miss an “Update” button. ClamTK updates itself automatically. If you want it immediately, quit ClamTK and start the “freshclam” tool in the terminal via sudo freshclam.

Then you can start ClamTK, and the signatures should be up to date. The actual use of ClamTK is simple: use the buttons to select folders or files to scan them manually. In the settings, it may be worthwhile to additional tick boxes, for example, to include subdirectories in scans. Alternatively, you can test individual files and folders with a right-click and the ” Open with ” option.

So you are spoiled for choice: The paid Eset NOD32 offers the best protection with the best user experience – but costs 30 euros per year. For an operating system with practically no virus problems, that is quite a lot for private users. ClamTK cannot keep up with the competition in terms of security, but it is the easiest to set up and offers a very rudimentary but at least simple graphical user interface. Of course, there are other solutions for all three categories; ClamTK and Eset are just the best-known names in the game.

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