Do you really need antivirus software for Linux desktops?

Abarbarian

Acruncher
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Messages
11,002
Reaction score
1,216
A most excellent and balanced article on the subject.

It started, innocently enough, as a question asked in the ESET Security Forum titled “Eset – Do I Really Need Antivirus On My Linux Distros?” However, the answer to that seemingly simple question on Linux antivirus is more complex than a simple yes-or-no response.

Mr Goretsky is a GNU/Linux fan and user but he is no die in the wool fanboi,

Closing Thoughts
While Linux desktop systems are not magically immune to malware, they are not saturated with it either, especially in comparison to their Windows brethren. But, as both Operation Windigo and the escalating increase in Android malware have shown us, wherever a particular platform finds success, criminal elements are not far behind. While Linux on the desktop remains comparatively malware free today, that may not be the case in the future. Whether it’s a requirement for compliance reasons, or simply a desire to have an ounce of prevention, anti-malware on the Linux desktop can act as a form of insurance against future attacks

As I said a most excellent and informative article. :thumb:
 
Joined
May 3, 2017
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
One thing I always heard about is that linux environment is not immune to any virus threats and attacks than Windows environment. So I think you don't have to install anti virus if you're running any distro for linux.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
14
Reaction score
6
I use virtual machines instead of using anti-virus software either on my Windows computers or Linux computers.
I often use a virtual machine to search web-site, writing notes or something daily another virtual machine to test software.
If I fell one of a VM has been infected. I will revert that VM to a current snapshot. That's simple and easy.
As for games, No changes to run huge games on a VM. Because games need more computer resources. So I run them on host machine. I play games which download from official site or Steam. There's less change to infect virus.
Use Windows Firewall, get Windows updates in time. Although, I don't use antivirus software. No virus infection.
Virtual Box is a VM which can be run under Linux distributions. And It's published with GPL licence. Which means free.
There's a book named The Shell Coders' Handbook. talked about how to exploit or hack your system. After you read that book you can fell No operating system is totally free from infecting virus. Unless you isolate your computer.
 

floppybootstomp

sugar 'n spikes
Moderator
Joined
Mar 5, 2002
Messages
20,281
Reaction score
1,794
I'm not really sure you need anti virus software for any OS tbh, including Windows.

A little experience, knowledge and lack of stupidity will combat at least 95% of nasties.

I've never bothered with AV software for Linux, I just regularly backup important stuff and if some nasty git nobbles me system I'll just install it again, no probs.
 

Abarbarian

Acruncher
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Messages
11,002
Reaction score
1,216
I'm not really sure you need anti virus software for any OS tbh, including Windows.

A little experience, knowledge and lack of stupidity will combat at least 95% of nasties.

I've never bothered with AV software for Linux, I just regularly backup important stuff and if some nasty git nobbles me system I'll just install it again, no probs.

Here are a few thoughts from Goretsky in the comments section of the article.

The concept here is analogous to that of the asymptomatic carrier in a biological population. You don’t want to have your computer being the one from which malware is being reintroduced into the environment.

To give yet another vehicular analogy, running security software is a bit like purchasing automotive insurance. You don’t necessarily purchase that because you are a bad driver and are planning on getting into an accident, but as a mechanism to help defend you against bad drivers and other unforeseen happenstances on the road.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

In the past ten years, I have had no accidental virus infections on any of my Windows-based systems. Obviously, working with malware on systems dedicated for that purpose is different; but there’s been no cross-contamination to clean systems. On the other hand, my main desktop and laptop were attacked for months by the Linux web server that I mentioned in the article. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of Linux systems out there which are not properly maintained or secured, and that makes them springboards for attacks against other systems, regardless of whatever operating system they run.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

:cool:
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2010
Messages
5,758
Reaction score
552
I used a lot of different anti spyware and anti virus when I was running Microsoft Operating Systems up to my conversion to Linux Mint Cinnamon now haven't needed one nor have I had any viruses on the PC.:thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb:
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top