BitDefender Antivirus for Unices


Reviewed: Just because you use Linux, it doesn't mean your computer doesn't have viruses or worms. They are just lying dormant, embedded in the EXE files on the NTFS partitions, or hiding beside those DLLs on the dual-boot computers, waiting for you to send them to your Windows-using friends.

Unless you sadistically enjoy seeing your non-Linux peers suffer, you should act responsibly and get yourself an anti-virus scanner that runs on Linux. One such is the latest BitDefender Antivirus Scanner For Unices. If you agree to use it on your home computers only, you can have it for free - that's free as in freeware, not Richard Stallman free.

Virus is a catch-all phrase, and BitDefender's designed to catch them all - from executable viruses, script viruses, macro viruses, to backdoors, trojans, spyware, adware, diallers, and more. BitDefender looks inside files created by over 70 packers, compressors, and installers, from the most common ones such as Zip, 7-Zip, and .tar.gz to more exotic ones such as UPX, ASPack, PECrypt, etc. We found that it even picked up an infected file inside an archive split into multiple volumes. To avoid being caught out by Zip bombs, BitDefender has an adjustable compression depth.

BitDefender has a native Linux graphical user interface, making it very easy to get started with.

BitDefender has a native Linux graphical user interface, making it very easy to get started with.

You can also let BitDefender loose on archived emails as long as they are in the Mbox format. The scanner will read messages, scan all attachments including archives, and list the infected emails by their subject. To scan files in remote partitions or in removable devices, just make sure they are mounted on your local filesystem.

If you've got files you don't want scanned every time, like huge distro ISOs, you can exclude them from the scans by their extensions or file size. You can also drag and drop files to scan them immediately or add them to a scanning queue.

Post apocalypse

When BitDefender comes across an infected file, it first tries to cleanse it. This isn't guaranteed to work with all viruses, and it didn't work for any of the infected files on our computer. So the only options now are to either quarantine the file, which moves it to a pre-marked folder, or press the trigger and zap it into oblivion. For the truly malevolent, there's also an ignore option, which leaves the infected file where it is.

Integration with your desktop means that virus scanning a file is just a couple of clicks away.

Integration with your desktop means that virus scanning a file is just a couple of clicks away.

Linux Format Top Stuff

BitDefender also packs in a heuristic analysis algorithm that can find suspect files that don't match any of the known virus signatures. These can then be submitted to the BitDefender Antivirus Lab for further interrogation.

BitDefender has an excellent GUI, the flexibility of the command line, and you benefit from the constant stream of definition updates available to paying customers, without disturbing the moths in your wallet.

Verdict: Powerful, feature-packed scanner designed for new and experienced Linux users. 10/10

BitDefender is available for free for home users or for a fee for companies.

First published in Linux Format

First published in Linux Format magazine

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Your comments


I'll be staying off that sort of stuff... for 2 reasons:

1. It's not "free" free... I can't trust it.
2. I'm too evil to let the "others" go unpunished... mwuhahahahaaaa!!!!

what the TUZ?

Every article on this site has been great! then all of a sudden.
1. linux antivirus
1a. actually RECOMMENDING IT.
3. that adds another item to the right click menu.
4. for the benefit of windows.
please don't make this a habit, I don't want to remove this site from my feed, seriously.

It's OK by me

I share files over samba to window boxes so the article is helpful to someone like me.
I think that Linux should come as free (as in speech) but if someone decides to install a free (as in beer) application than that's OK too.

BitDefender versus ClamAV/ClamTk

Is BitDefender better than ClamAV/ClamTk in your opinion? What are the differences? A clamAV/clamTk guide would be nice.

Thanks for a great site/magazine.

I like it - except giving my name and email in exchange

Thanks for the article. As long as it shows better scan results than ClamAV and it is free like free beer that's fine with me and an article worth publishing.

What I didn't like is that you cannot download it without giving your name and email address. That's what cracks me up about the product.

Nautilus Integration

Was that integration with Nautilus automatically installed with the deb/rpm or did you have to extract the Gnome integration archive and install manually?



I don't care if it's "free" free as long as it works/easy to install/use etc. You don't make clear how good it scores in detecting all this crap out there.
As I'm dual booting @ home and xp only @work (lucky are the few who don't need/have to use windows) it is a thing most certainly needed.
But does it score better than clamav(a free option)?

Re: Nautilus Integration

You need to extract the GNOME plugin integration tarball.

Re: free?

In one of my boxes it picks up more infected files than clamav. But with an army of paid virus hunters, and the constant stream of definition updates, I think BT will be able to detect newer viruses earlier than clamav.


Great article, especially for those like me that have my linux box in coordination with all my families computers via various fileshare services (smb, dropbox etc.)

The issue of free/non-free sometimes have to be a little slacked since the whole world isnt totally open yet ;)

non free

is ok as long as it does the trick.
certeinly i would pay for it. fundamentalism hurts linux, more than it is supposed to help.

Defending BitDefender

To quote the famous writer who was flamed to death: I am the author of this review.

Many of you wonder how BitDefender compares with ClamAV. ClamAV by their own admission is designed for keeping an eye of email traffic. But it does have an offline command-line scanner, and a plugin for GNOME that I'm aware of. The BitDefender for Unices I review is designed for standalone use, but is also fully controllable from the CLI and can scan gateways and hook up with email clients.

That aside, it's actually rather difficult to compare the two in terms of effectiveness. You can compare the number of signatures, and ClamAV has a database of 538,400, whereas BitDefender can identify 2,816,067.

It's difficult to argue for proprietary software on Linux, especially when able open source alternatives exist. But as far as security is concerned, I'm willing to lean towards the freeware from a reputed, much bigger company.

Mayank Sharma

happy user

I have been using BitDefender for a while now. It's great.I have a dual boot system and my WindowsXp crashed because of a virus. BitDefender scanner disinfected my Windows partition like a charm:)

About the integration with Gnome/Nautilus, it was very easy to compile the gnome.tar.gz file, even though I'm a beginner in linux.

By default, BitDefender scanner is working for 30 days, and if you supply a "real" e-mail address, you can have a license for free. I realy don't care if this product is close source, as long as it's working well and I can get it for free.

In other words, for a desktop user, it's very easy to install and use. Good work!

does the job

I use bitdefender's free toy to scan this samba share that I have (via a cron job). It's all I really need (or care).

BD Reseller

BitDefender is developing a special version of protection for Linux home users, until then this BitDefender for Unices is free to download for home user, but not free for companies.

So, for home protection, go ahead and download it and use for as much as you want!



First i realize that "Free" in this context means "The right to alter and otherwise improve the software."
Second the actual cost of this was a free download.
Third when i got my copy it detected a virus inside an .asf that had a .wmv video that i download about a month ago. My friend wanted a copy so i used the file drop to put it on his device. The file drop actually scanned the file and notified us that it was infected with a windows virus (some trojan) but because my friend saw that i had the virus on my computer (Kubuntu 10.04) and was not effected. He asked to try my disc. He says that he will probably install.
Fourth with things like this are we infact not bringing down the "Gate" and smashing the "Windows".
or as i have heard it called many times "Winblows"


Do I need any clam.exe programs if I have Windows?

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