How To Check for Viruses on Ubuntu

The operating system Ubuntu was developed with Linux distribution, which makes it less prone to virus attacks from the internet or infected files. Unlike the Windows operating system, Ubuntu hasn’t been known to be infected by any of the viruses that often attack other operating systems.

The only problem you could face with viruses over the Ubuntu operating system is if infected files are transferred to another system like Windows. Infected files that were transferred on Ubuntu will not affect the system and the programs installed on it but will remain there until the infected files are shared with people who do not use Ubuntu. The viruses will become active once they are on another system and could affect the system and programs on that computer. So to make sure you don’t share these viruses with anyone who has a vulnerable computer you must locate and disinfect the files before transferring them.

  1. Download ClamAV. The ClamAV was developed as an open source antivirus software specifically for UNIX and Linux built systems. It can be downloaded to your computer from the official website. When you download the ClamAV antivirus engine on your computer, go to the Applications menu and select the Add/Remove programs. On the list of programs to add, select ClamAV and then select Apply so the software can start the installation process.
  2. Update virus database. When you run the ClamAV program for the first time it will detect that the virus definitions have to be updated. When you are prompted to update the definitions, allow it to search the internet for new virus definitions. Regularly check for updates for the ClamAV antivirus engine and the virus database so it will be effective against newer viruses.
  3. Scan your computer. On the ClamAV antivirus program’s interface, place a checkmark on each of the boxes next to Scan Hidden, Thorough, Ignore size and Save a log so the antivirus can make a complete scan of all the files on your computer. Click on the Home button to initialize a thorough scan. If you want to select a specific file to scan for viruses you can go to the “Scan” menu and select “A file” where you can locate the file on your computer and run a scan. You can do a quick scan of your computer by just selecting which boxes to put a checkmark on and clicking the Home button.

The ClamAV antivirus program installed on an Ubuntu system can detect viruses that could be harmful on other systems like Windows. The program can also be used to scan other computers on a network where Windows systems are also connected. This will insure you that you don’t infect other people’s systems when you share files with them from your Ubuntu system.


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