Antivirus programs are not popular with Linux-based OS. So, does it mean there is no virus problem with Linux or something else?

Why Antivirus in Linux Are Not Popular?

It is a common belief among most people that Linux operating systems do not require Antivirus because they do not have virus or malware problem. It is further confirmed for such people due to the fact that most popular antivirus programs are not having a version for Linux-based operating systems. So, is it really true that Linux-based OS do not have any kind of viruses and do not require antivirus program?

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Are There Virus and Malware on Linux-based OS?

There are viruses and malwares which can impact Linux-based operating systems. However, the number of such viruses is far less when we compare it to the Windows operating system. So, now since there are viruses for Linux based operating systems, why the number of antivirus programs are too low and why we don’t see people recommending them to use Antivirus?

Why Antivirus in Linux Are Not Popular?

It is rare to find anyone recommending Linux user to install Antivirus. Personally, I have never seen anyone doing that. It is due to multiple reasons which makes it not-so-useful to install antivirus on a Linux-powered machine.

#1 Lack of Viruses and Malwares in Linux:

Linux is not targeted by malwares as much as Windows.

Linux users are rarely targeted by viruses and malwares. If we compare on the numbers of malwares which are targeted towards Windows and Linux, there will be a massive difference. The reason being that it’s less targeted when compared to Windows for obvious reasons. The number of users with Windows is much larger when compared to other operating systems, let alone Linux based operating systems.

So, there will be extremely less chance for you to encounter any malicious program. And you won’t if you’re careful.

#2 Careful Users:

Linux users are usually more careful when compared to Windows OS users.

On average, if you compare Windows and Linux-based OS users then you will obviously find that Linux OS users are better with computers. So, they are usually more careful when compared to the likes of Windows OS or Mac OS users. Linux-based operating systems are not as easy to use as Windows or Macintosh, so not everyone prefers to use them.

Since the users are more aware of what they are doing in their computer, they are less likely to install malicious program.

By the way, it doesn’t mean that every other OS user is dumb. It is just that Linux-based operating systems are rarely used by people who don’t have general knowledge of computers. Meanwhile, Windows OS is used by most people regardless of whether they have basic knowledge of computer or not.

#3 Software Installation Sources:

Trusted App Markets in Linux

Linux-based OS users mainly use the software package manager pre-installed by their Linux distribution or popular ones. Also, as mentioned before, they are usually careful while installing software packages from different repositories.

#4 Lack of Permissions:

Permissions available on Linux programs

Unlike Windows OS, even if your Linux-powered computer is infected, the virus or malware will not be able to make much damage to your computer. It is due to the fact that Linux doesn’t provide administrator (or root level) permission to software by default. So, by default, your dear virus will be having local user permission, hence the damage can’t be severe.

However, if the user is dumb enough to give root permission, then let’s just say that the person themselves destroyed their computer and it was not exactly done by the poor malware/virus.

#5 Open Source:

Open Source

This is yet another benefit of Linux based operating systems. Since they are open source, if there is any vulnerability, it will be soon fixed by the community or lead developers. Some people might consider it as a disadvantage. They might be thinking that hackers will have deeper understanding of the OS which will help them exploit it more. However, since there is a huge number of developers contributing to the Linux OS, any identified vulnerability is fixed quickly.


So, this article explains the question whether Linux OS have virus and malware problems and whether you need it to or not. Usually, it is not required for Linux users. However, if you are letting your computer to be used by people who are not trustworthy enough, then you should use any trustworthy antivirus. Still, it is quite rare to come across those in Linux.

Akash Deep Satpathi

I am the creator of this blog who mainly like to write articles about topics related to computers and smartphones. Besides those, my interest includes the telecommunication field and cats.

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