Windows is a popular and a bigger target for malware. Meanwhile, the Linux operating system remains practically virus free. So, why am I installing an anti-virus software on a Linux system? Is it necessary? Most likely, you will not find a virus on a Linux system. But, you may have downloaded an infected document specifically written for Windows that you can pass along to a Windows user. At the very least, you will earn extra points for being a good samaritan.
There are a number of factors involved as to why Linux is practically virus free. Linux is less popular and a harder target for malware, the Linux privilege system makes it more difficult to write, install or attached to files, certain Linux distributions like Ubuntu have no open ports except for services specified by the user.
Avast is software designed to remove and protect computers from viruses, spyware and rootkits. It’s free for non-commercial use with automatic updates. Avast boasts 50 million users worldwide. Why Avast? I’ve had good success with Avast in the PC front. I thought I would give it a try in Ubuntu Linux.
1. Download: Avast Linux Home Edition – Free
2. Double click on the deb file you’ve just downloaded. Ubuntu’s Package Installer will start. Click `Install Package` to begin installation. Please note: it says, `Reinstall` since it’s already loaded on my system. If a new install, it will say `Install Package.`
3. Once installed, press Alt-F2 and type `avastgui` to run the Avast.
4. This is the main Avast screen. Before you scan for the first time, I recommend you update the database first. It will take several minutes to download the latest Avast database, but it’s a minimal wait for those with broadband connections. Once finished, you have several options which directories to scan, either your home directory, selected folders or the entire file system. There are also 3 ways of scanning: quick, standard and thorough. Select one and click `Start Scan` to begin.
5. Avast ran into permissions problems with directory owned by root in my home directory. Since that directory owned by root was not important, I went ahead and deleted it. Avast ran fine after that. I had the same issues with when I ran Avast on the entire system. There were issues with certain files and directories owned by `root.` Instead I run Avast from root.
6. You can run Avast from root via the terminal by typing the following:
# sudo avastgui &
7. Like most results, 99% of the time, you will not find a virus unless you’ve downloaded one of those Word document files!