Last Updated on April 16, 2017 by Dave Farquhar
Clamav is a free (GPL) virus scanner for Linux and other Unix systems. It seems to work well. The price is right.
There are very few viruses for Linux, so few that most people don’t waste their time with virus scanning. But if the machine is acting as a server for clients that are vulnerable to viruses–cough–Windows–cough–it’s a good idea to have antivirus software on your server, just so you know your clients are safe.
Debian packages are in Sarge and Sid. Source can be downloaded and built from the link above. Once it becomes better known, it should appear in RPM distributions such as Red Hat in time.
It’s just a scanner, but if it finds an infected file, you can clean it manually with free tools you download elsewhere. Clamav will take care of alerting you, the price is right, and the platform’s right. It’s always been hard to find antivirus software for Linux of any sort, so Clamav is a welcome addition to the family.
We’ll talk a lot more about servers in the coming days.
2 thoughts on “Finally–GPL antivirus for Linux”
Frisk Software, the F-Prot people, have a version of their scanner which is free for personal use:
However, it doesn’t say that it is for servers, but free for personal workstations. It’s $300 for a server.
I know there are some free-as-in-beer for personal use scanners out there, but having seen a number of those go away over the years on different platforms as times change, I’m much happier to see a GPL one out there. The author can abandon it but if enough people use it, it’ll continue. (GIMP is the best-known example of this; its authors jumped ship about halfway through its initial development.)
I’m not a GPL zealot but I’m definitely a believer.
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