Back when I was a windows user it was a constant struggle to keep ahead of the horde of viruses and malware dead-set on exterminating my computing existence. I tried many programs, from McAfee to Symantec, from FreeAVG to Avast! There are dozens of options available for the windows crowd. Luckily, as Linux users it isn’t something that we need to worry about very much.
Despite the very low number of viruses existing for Linux there are still antivirus solutions for Linux. One of them (which just happened to be my favorite Windows client) is Avast! Now, why would I bother installing antivirus on my Linux machine if viruses are a non-threat? Well, do you ever communicate with Windows based machines? I’d be surprised if none of us ever come into contact (via email, IM, file-sharing, etc) with a Windows machine. Having said that how many of these machines would you say are infected? My guess is more often than not is a Windows machine infected with some sort of malware.
So, in an attempt to keep the network clean and make sure we’re not passing on infection it wouldn’t hurt to occasionally scan our machines. This would go double for any Linux machine that acts as a server (email or IM especially!)
To install Avast! for Linux simply visit the Avast for Linux download page and download the Avast debian file. After downloading this file you can double-click to install or use the following command within the terminal:
sudo dpkg -i avast4workstation*.deb
Once this is installed you can run the program by doing:
ALT-F2 : avastgui
Avast! is free for home use but you do need a registration key that is valid for one year. It only takes a few minutes to generate a home license registration and you will be prompted to do so when you first start the program.
At this point you now have (optional) antivirus on your Ubuntu machine to scan for all that nasty malware out in the wild. Do your part here and there to protect your neighbors. If they aren’t quite ready for Linux yet the least we can do is fight-crime (so to speak) in our virus-proof vests.