As you know the Windows operating system allows application programs to access to system files. This makes viruses spread over the whole system easily to do damage on your system. Linux is strict with its permissions. A virus cannot gain the necessary privileges to destroy your system unless you want to do as a super user. In order words, your system files are protected at the high level. That is the reason why most of Linux users don't need a virus protection. So, I wonder that do we need an anti-virus for our Ubuntu box?

In my opinion, the most valuable resource is your data. Hence, it need to be protected as well. Indeed, I always lock the door before I leave my house. Do you think that Linux viruses are coming? So, this tutorial will guide you how to install a Virus Scanner to protect your data. This installation can be applied for both Ubuntu and Kubuntu Gutsy.

Step 1: Install a Virus Scanner

sudo apt-get install clamtk
Sep 2: Start up the tool (read more details about this tool here)
Step 3: Open a file or a folder to scan


  1. Peterix // 2/13/08, 3:43 AM  

    While Linux viruses are quite rare (maybe you could say 'practically nonexistent'), Windows viruses are much more common. It's a good idea to put a virus scanner on mail servers (and similar) to help protect the Windows users :)

  2. // 2/23/08, 3:29 PM  

    i agree with you... any system also have people create virus and sabotage us... even if we could create our own windows, it also have posibility people create virus sabotage us

  3. Anonymous // 3/7/08, 3:38 PM  

    Very nice post. You may like to post it at diggsamachar for greater coverage.

  4. Anonymous // 5/18/08, 11:21 PM  

    Great post. I have been using AVAST for a while now. Its have a great update facility and on access protection. Antivirus Freeware

  5. Anonymous // 6/6/08, 10:15 AM  

    It's not so much that I wouldn't care if my /home directory got wiped; it's just that the very few Linux viruses that have been developed have never been practical on a fully-patched system. When a vuln's found, it gets fixed.

  6. Anonymous // 7/15/08, 5:23 PM  

    Don't write this kind of posts man, since virus were the main reason to me to leave Windows for Ubuntu.

  7. FreeFiz // 8/6/08, 5:20 PM  

    that is a very interesting idea put forward by anonymous on 7/15. bragging about a secure system is just tempting fate. People created Linux, therefore, people can destroy it. There is nothing called 100% protection, ubuntu is nice, and safe. But having an antivirus to protect ur data, which is not system data is a smart move.

  8. Anonymous // 9/10/08, 2:50 AM  

    Okay, so maybe YOU are safe from the known Windows viruses. But why would you risk the security of your friends' amd your family's computer by possibly passing them a virus via a forwarded Email, attachment or photo? Is it that damn dificult to use a bit of precaution? I think not.

  9. DeOiD // 9/16/08, 6:27 PM  

    I read somewhere that because linux users think that they are 100% protect from viruses and stuff, some started to create malware and spyware especific for linux. Result, hundreds of thousands machines, many of those servers, infected and running a huge malware network for the past 2 or 3 years. So my point is, always protect yourself, linux is not that perfect.

  10. Anonymous // 10/9/08, 7:57 AM  

    @DeOiD: That's only Microsoft's FUD.


    lightweight linux

  11. mtinman // 11/27/08, 11:25 PM  

    As more and more users switch to Linux, the likelihood of a seeing Linux viruses, malware, and spyware will also increase. Case in point: Recently, Fedora's software repository key server was broken into. Red Hat had to generate new keys, and a whole other software repository in order to correct the problem. I have also personally had hackers try to access my own Linux servers: see for info.

    As Linux users, it is critically important that we keep developers aware of security issues by filing bug reports, making requests for implementation of security features, etc. We also need to make sure that we don't open ourselves to attack by doing foolish things with our own stuff.

    Remember: Your hardware, software, and network(s) are only as secure as you allow them to be.

  12. marcrosoft // 1/5/09, 1:04 AM  

    Do we need anti-virus for Ubuntu?

    I would say it depends on the user. I personally don't use it on Linux or Windows.

    My point about anti-virus is that it only detects KNOWN viruses. Today there are many tools to "randomize" the code so the viruses go undetected.

    You could easily make a rm -rf /* virus in about 2mins that masquerades as a program that asks for root. People that get spyware/viruses in Windows are often the types of people that would allow this to run as well.

    User training is the only REAL anti-virus.

  13. Tony // 3/16/09, 1:43 AM  

    i am curious about ClamTK, if there are no known viruses for ubuntu, just what is it searching my user data for? The FAQ doesnt answer this (rather important) question.

  14. RichyRich // 4/25/09, 5:13 PM  

    marcrosoft; that's ridiculous. Yes, user training is one of the most effective ways of preventing a virus but it is not safe by itself at all.

  15. vistaiscrap // 6/2/09, 8:22 PM  

    Very interesting post... I will still use ClamTK to feel secure.

  16. Anonymous // 6/25/09, 3:36 AM  

    @Tony - ClamTk scans whatever files you feed it.

    That looks like an old version of ClamTk, though - I'd update it... version 4.15 is out now.

  17. Anonymous // 7/5/09, 7:07 AM  

    I compared a number of anti-virus solutions under Windows and Linux and the two anti-virus software programs with the best detection ran under Linux: avast and ClamTk. Norton Enterprise for Windows (I did the test at work) came a close third missing 1 virus. PC Tools detected 5/10 viruses. AVG found only 1 virus out of 10. Kaspersky anti-virus kept crashing and was so unstable on the test machine that I couldn't get a good set of results for it.

    ClamTk and Avast are pretty good bets as far as anti-virus solutions go.

  18. Adam // 7/8/09, 2:18 AM  

    @Anonymous on 6/25: Tony was asking what codes are being searched for by clamtk, due to the lack of known Ubuntu viruses, not what files are being searched.

    I'm afraid I can't answer the question, but maybe now someone can.

  19. Anonymous // 2/21/10, 7:02 PM  

    I cant use the GUI in clamtk, how should i???