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The 4 Best Free Linux Anti-Virus Programs

November 4, 2010

Does a Linux user need antivirus software? Not really: infecting a Linux machine is pretty hard to do. That doesn’t mean there aren’t good reasons to have scanning software around, though.

If you insert your thumb drive regularly into Windows computers, for example, it might be infected, meaning you’re spreading malware with it and not even knowing it (see: Stuxnet). Antivirus software for Linux gives you a quick way to check your drives without any risk of infecting yet another Windows machine.

It’s also a great tool to have around if you regularly help your Windows-bound friends and family recover from viruses. Remove their hard drive and plug it into your computer, or just use your Linux machine to clean their external drives.

Most Linux antivirus software focuses on removing Windows viruses, and function as one-time-scan tools rather than the Windows-style, sit-in-your-tray-and-protect-you products that’s common in Windowsland. Such software is not essential for Linux users, but is pretty handy.

Oh, by the way: if you’re looking for Windows anti-virus software, you will want to read the ten best free antivirus programs that we previously published.

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