The Best Linux Antivirus Software Products Reviewed for 2024

The best Linux antivirus software needs to provide a high standard of malware protection and strong support for the Linux platform while having minimal impact on system performance.

In this guide, we’ve reviewed and compared the top Linux antivirus solutions, looking at their malware detection rates, system performance impact, additional security features, and value for money to help you choose the best Linux antivirus for your needs.

The Best Antiviruses for Linux for 2024 Ranked

Here’s a breakdown of the best antivirus solutions for the Linux operating system:

  1. Trend Micro — Excellent antivirus solution for Linux servers, with an intuitive web console and automated updates.
  2. Nord Threat Protection — The best VPN and antivirus combination for Linux home users, with a built-in VPN and ad blocker.
  3. ESET — Comprehensive business support for Linux, offering complete online protection for small firms up to enterprise businesses.
  4. Avast — Strong solution for small businesses with the proactive File Server Shield feature.
  5. Bitdefender —Scalable Linux business antivirus solutions with tools for ransomware, phishing, and fileless attacks.
  6. Kaspersky Endpoint Security — Complete malware and cyber threat protection for a wide variety of Linux and hybrid environments.

The Best Linux Virus Scanners Compared

Here’s a quick reference table so you can see how the leading Linux antivirus software solutions compare in terms of price, performance, and functionality:

Linux Antivirus Software Starting Price Linux Support Money-Back Guarantees / Trials Best Features
Trend Micro Not disclosed Servers, Enterprise 30-day guarantee, 30-day trial – Intuitive web console
– Automatic updates
– Enhanced spyware removal
Nord Threat Protection $3.99/month (two years) Home 30-day guarantee – Secure, high-speed VPN
– Ad blocker
– Phishing protection
ESET $17.58/month (annual) Business, Enterprise, Servers 30-day guarantee, 30-day trial – Range of business solutions
– Easy to use
– MDR service
Avast $21.66/month (annual) Business, Servers 30-day guarantee (30-day trial for Avast Ultimate Business Security) – Real-time updates
– Malware detection for dual-booted systems
– File Server Shield
Bitdefender $20.99/month (annual) Business, Enterprise, Servers 30-day guarantee, free trial – Ransomware and phishing protection
– Extremely flexible plans
– Protection from fileless attacks
Kaspersky Endpoint Security $37.50/month (annual) Business, Enterprise, Servers 30-day guarantee, 30-day trial – Broad Linux support
– Scanning removable drives
– Network protection

The Best Security Tools for Linux Reviewed

Here are our in-depth reviews of the best Linux antivirus solutions, based on thorough, hands-on testing, so you can see how they compare and choose the best antivirus software solution for you.

1. Trend Micro — Excellent Antivirus Solution for Linux Servers

A logo of Trend Micro

Starting Price Linux Support Money-Back Guarantee Best Features
Not disclosed Servers, Enterprise 30-day guarantee, 30-day trial – Intuitive web console
– Automatic updates
– Enhanced spyware removal

Trend Micro ServerProtect for Linux provides first-class protection for Linux web servers and file servers, protecting them and stopping them from distributing malware to endpoints.

ServerProtect allows for the central management of scanning, threat assessments, and policy deployment. Automatic updates, meanwhile, mean that there are minimal maintenance requirements.

The service is managed via an intuitive web console and can scan, identify, and remove malware, viruses, and spyware with real-time, on-demand, and scheduled scanning options available.

Admins can be kept up-to-date on events by email or SNMP traps, and scans can be configured to minimize system performance impact, with kernel-level scanning limiting performance degradation.

The product is certified by major Linux vendors and has been independently tested – and it’s proven to be stable and reliable.

Separately, the Trend Vision One enterprise security solution can also be deployed to Linux endpoints. However, Trend One doesn’t provide Linux support either for its consumer or small business options, unlike other providers like ESET and Nord.

Pros

  • Enhanced spyware removal capabilities
  • Intuitive web console
  • Multiple scanning options
  • Settings to minimize scanning system impact
  • Automatic updates minimize maintenance overheads

Cons

  • Pricing not disclosed
  • No consumer or small business Linux support

2. Nord Threat Protection — Best VPN and Antivirus Combination for Linux

A logo of NordVPN

Starting Price Linux Support Money-Back Guarantee Best Features
$3.99/month (two years) Home 30-day guarantee – Secure, high-speed VPN
– Ad blocker
– Phishing protection

NordVPN’s Threat Protection Lite feature, bundled with all VPN packages, protects you from malicious sites and can block annoying ads.

Even though Linux is the most secure operating system around, on the whole, you’re still susceptible to phishing attacks and online scams. Nord notifies you if a site has been flagged as malicious so you can avoid it.

The full Threat Protection package, available for Windows and Mac, automatically scans files as you’re downloading them and eliminates threats – but this isn’t available for Linux. Another drawback of the Lite version is that you have to be connected to NordVPN to use it.

Of course, having access to NordVPN’s industry-leading virtual private network (VPN) service is a bonus, allowing you to use the internet securely and anonymously.

The Plus and Ultimate plans also include a password manager and data breach monitoring, allowing you to store strong, unique passwords and respond quickly if your details appear online.

Upgrading to the top-tier Ultimate plan gets you 1TB of encrypted cloud storage, $1m identity theft cover, and $100,000 cyber extortion protection. These features more than make up for the limitations of Threat Protection Lite’s core antivirus features.

Pros

  • Real-time protection from malicious sites
  • Lightweight ad blocker
  • Excellent VPN
  • Extra security features available

Cons

  • Lacks file scanning and blocking for trackers

3. ESET — Comprehensive Business Support for Linux

ESET Antivirus Logo

Starting Price Linux Support Money-Back Guarantee Best Features
$17.58/month (annual) Business, Enterprise, Servers 30-day guarantee, 30-day trial – Range of business solutions
– Easy to use
– MDR service

ESET provides a comprehensive range of Linux antivirus solutions for business users, ranging from small businesses to enterprise-level firms, and it offers both endpoint and server protection to combat malware, ransomware, and other threats.

The first business plan, ESET Protect Entry, offers multilayered, machine learning-powered protection from the ESET LiveSense technology.

It supports desktops, mobile devices, and file servers, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, plus Ubuntu Desktop and RedHat Enterprise Linux. You can protect five devices at the lowest price band, going up to 100 with the Entry package.

The platform is also easy to use, with a unified console available via cloud or on-premises deployment, giving you complete visibility and control for your network. You can get started quickly, and there are minimal maintenance requirements.

Upgrading to ESET Protect Elite gets you full disk encryption, cloud app protection, mail security, vulnerability and patch management, and advanced threat defense powered by machine learning and sandbox analysis.

There’s also proactive threat detection from ESET Inspect, a cloud-based tool that enables rapid incident response. Beyond this, there are the ESET Protect Enterprise and ESET Protect MDR packages, with the latter offering a Managed Detection and Response service, premium support, and deployment assistance.

In comparison, it provides far more security features than Nord Threat Protection Lite while being a better fit for smaller firms than Trend Micro’s packages, which are geared toward enterprise firms. Its biggest shortcoming is that it no longer supports home users.

Pros

  • Range of business Linux security solutions
  • Easy-to-use console
  • Great MDR service
  • Smart incident response tools

Cons

  • Home Linux support discontinued

4. Avast — Smart Small Business Linux Antivirus Support

A logo of Avast Antivirus

Starting Price Linux Support Money-Back Guarantee Best Features
$21.66/month (annual) Business, Servers 30-day guarantee (30-day trial for Avast Ultimate Business Security) – Real-time updates
– Malware detection for dual-booted systems
– File Server Shield

Avast offers a secure, reliable antivirus solution for smaller businesses using Linux. The security suite supports several Linux distros, including Ubuntu, Red Hat, and Debian, and both 32- and 64-bit systems, and it can provide endpoint and server protection.

The Avast Business Antivirus for Linux product is updated continuously and in real time, ensuring you’re protected against novel cyber threats. It can also identify and remove malware on dual-booted systems that use other operating systems.

You also get comprehensive scan results with Avast, and you’ll be able to review the results of each scan, line by line, so you can see exclusions and scan failures.

Another reason to opt for Avast if you’re running a Linux-based system is the Fire Server Shield. This security feature enables you to scan files written on any of your mount points so you can keep your network secure.

Notably, you can get significant discounts if you commit to a two- or three-year subscription, with the latter saving you up to $100 per device per year. You can add up to 999 devices on the Business Antivirus for Linux plan, but it’s geared toward smaller businesses and doesn’t have ESET’s scalability.

Pros

  • Compatible with a variety of Linux distros
  • Provides comprehensive scan result outputs
  • Can detect and remove malware on dual-booted systems
  • Continuously updated

Cons

  • Features don’t scale for larger firms

5. Bitdefender — Advanced Linux Antivirus Compatible with Most Linux Distros

Bitdefender Logo

Starting Price Linux Support Money-Back Guarantee Best Features
$20.99/month (annual) Business, Enterprise, Servers 30-day guarantee, free trial – Ransomware and phishing protection
– Extremely flexible plans
– Protection from fileless attacks

Bitdefender is an award-winning antivirus that offers business solutions that support a wide range of Linux distros, including Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, Oracle Linux, and Amazon Linux.

GravityZone Small Business Security starts at $20.99 for a single device and scales to 100 devices. It offers complete protection against malware, adware, ransomware, and other web attacks. There’s a single console for ease of use, and add-ons can be acquired as needed.

The software works to stop exploits in real time and mitigate against fileless attacks attempting to write directly to memory. To assist this, Bitdefender blocks malicious traffic and analyzes the memory buffer prior to code injection, stopping the process if threats are detected.

There are also anti-ransomware features included to create backups of files in real time to prevent hackers from encrypting and destroying them. The product automatically blocks known phishing web pages, meanwhile, to keep users safe from fraud attempts and hacking exploits.

Bitdefender’s plans scale up to GravityZone Business Security Enterprise. There are also Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and Security for Containers products – all of which support Linux.

This makes it a supremely flexible business antivirus for Linux, and even more than ESET, though it is a little more expensive.

Pros

  • Top marks on independent test results
  • Real-time protection against malware, viruses, and ransomware
  • Script and extension-based integration with applications and services
  • Open-source plugins for three popular file managers
  • GUI that makes it super-easy to use in desktop environments

Cons

  • VPN is an expensive paid add-on

6. Kaspersky Endpoint Security — Complete Linux Malware and Cyber Threat Protection

NOTE: In April of 2024, Joe Biden and Donald Trump signed an order to prohibit Kaspersky Lab from providing certain products to U.S. companies and citizens. While nothing has been fully confirmed yet, the change might result in Kaspersky Lab products being banned in the U.S.

Starting Price Linux Support Money-Back Guarantee Best Features
$37.50/month (annual) Business, Enterprise, Servers 30-day guarantee, 30-day trial – Broad Linux support
– Scanning removable drives
– Network protection

Kaspersky’s Endpoint Security for Linux offers comprehensive, multi-layer protection against malware and other cyber threats and is compatible with an extremely wide variety of Linux platforms, including Amazon Linux, CentOS, Debian, GosLinux, Linux Mint, Oracle Linux, Red Hat Enterprise, and Ubuntu.

The antivirus has excellent malware detection rates and consistently excels in independent tests while having a minimal system performance impact. The Kaspersky Security Network delivers near-real-time threat intelligence, while the software also scans continuously for suspicious behavior patterns.

Kaspersky for Linux can also help secure your network against threats, including port scanning, buffer overruns, and denial-of-service attacks. In addition, there are features to automatically scan removable drives, address phishing and ransomware, and even assist you with meeting regulatory requirements.

It’s a strong option for Linux endpoints, Linux servers, and hybrid environments alike, with excellent Linux support and coverage on a range of plans.

Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Linux is available as part of Kaspersky’s Hybrid Cloud Security, Hybrid Cloud Security Enterprise, and Total Security for Business packages and the Advanced and Select Endpoint Security for Business products.

Pros

  • Compatible with a variety of Linux and hybrid environments
  • Excellent malware and real-time cyber threat protection
  • Superb network security to eliminate vulnerabilities
  • Robust application control

Cons

  • Complex pricing structure

How We Tested the Best Antivirus Software for Linux

There are a number of factors to consider before purchasing an antivirus for Linux. Not every antivirus is compatible with Linux, for starters, and those that are may not work with your distro.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the key factors that we considered when testing and ranking the best anti-malware for Linux:

  • Malware detection rates — The key factor when it comes to choosing an antivirus is how effective it is in detecting and eliminating malware and viruses. All the solutions on our list have high malware detection rates and offer protection against a range of cyber threats.
  • Real-time threat protection — In addition to effective virus and malware scans, it’s important for antiviruses to include network security, firewalls, and behavioral scanning to catch emerging threats and prevent malicious actors from gaining access to your systems.
  • Compatibility — You should carefully read through the official documentation on the vendor’s website before making a purchase to ensure that the antivirus solution will run smoothly on your system and that it will support the devices you need to protect on your network.
  • Ease of use — You shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to deploy and enable an antivirus on your Linux system. That’s why we’ve given points to software packages that make it easy to run regular scans and that require minimal maintenance.
  • Price — It’s important to understand the price-to-value ratio. Pay attention to the features and functionality you’re getting for your money with different subscription tiers and different antivirus apps and how they apply to different use cases, whether you want to protect servers, a small business, or an enterprise firm.

Can You Get a Good Free Linux Antivirus?

Linux is an unusual operating system. There’s a tight-knit community of Linux users developing all kinds of free-to-use open-source applications, including antivirus solutions like ClamAV. While you can get a free antivirus product for Linux to help you protect your system, there are additional factors to consider.

Open-source antivirus solutions like ClamAV require a decent level of technical knowledge of the Linux operating system to install and run. They also often lack a GUI, so you’d have to rely on command line access, and you’ll have to manually update the antivirus at regular intervals.

These antivirus solutions also lack the advanced security features that you get with premium antivirus apps and that are particularly important for commercial use cases.

A free Linux virus scanner is just a virus scanner and won’t include a firewall or protection from phishing attacks and online scams. That’s why we recommend opting for a premium antivirus solution to secure your system.

Our Other Antivirus Guides

If you want to learn more about antivirus solutions, here’s a list of some of our other antivirus guides you might be interested in:

Linux Antivirus FAQs

Does Linux need antivirus?

What’s the best antivirus for Linux?

What’s the best free Linux antivirus?

What’s a good Ubuntu antivirus?

Do all antiviruses work for Linux?

Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert

Aleksandar Stevanovic spent 10 years honing his craft as a freelance content writer. He has a degree in Economics, and extensive experience in software, crypto, and cybersecurity industries. He covers a multitude of topics, writing factual and informative articles, helping individuals better understand the intricacies of the online world. Over the last two years, his research focus shifted more towards tech and software content, as evidenced by his publications on CEX.IO, Business2Community, and Techopedia. He believes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them closer to like-minded individuals. His work is as detail-oriented as it is creative, and is designed to…