How to Install ClamAV Linux Antivirus on Ubuntu Linux

ClamAV, an open-source antivirus engine for detecting and removing trojans, viruses, malware, and other threats, can easily be installed on Ubuntu to help protect your systems. You don’t usually hear antivirus and Linux in the same sentence; however, viruses and malicious threats can live anywhere in today’s environments.

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install ClamAV on Ubuntu 16.04 / 17.10 and 18.04 systems.

ClamAV is, by design, versatile. It supports multiple file formats and signature languages that most viruses use to exploit systems.

It performs multi-threaded scans and includes a command-line utility for on-demand file scanning and signature updates.

When you’re ready to install ClamAV, continue with the steps below

On the Ubuntu desktop, open your terminal by pressing your keyboard’s Ctrl — Alt — T keys. this should open the terminal.

When the terminal opens, type the commands below to install ClamAV

sudo apt install clamav clamav-daemon

Now that ClamAV is installed, you can use the command line terminal to scan for viruses and malware. To test it out, run the commands below to scan your home folder.

clamscan --infected --remove --recursive /home

You should get a summary after a successful scan.

----------- SCAN SUMMARY -----------
Known viruses: 6541075
Engine version: 0.99.4
Scanned directories: 136
Scanned files: 401
Infected files: 0
Data scanned: 63.20 MB
Data read: 43.88 MB (ratio 1.44:1)
Time: 23.938 sec (0 m 23 s)

You can run the commands below to scan for infected files and folders on the entire system.

sudo clamscan --infected --remove --recursive /

For simplicity, you can install the front-end (GUI) client on Ubuntu by running the commands below.

sudo apt install clamtk

After installing the GUI client, you can go to the Dash / Activities Overviews and search for ClamTk. Next, open the client and begin setting up ClamAV for your desktop.

ClamAV Ubuntu install

That’s it!

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