Can Linux get Viruses? If yes how to prevent it?

You might have heard that Linux doesn’t get Viruses. While this is not entirely true but yes security-wise Linux is better than Windows. Still, certain types of files can harm Linux systems also, to understand it better let’s start with viruses first.

In general, when anyone talks about viruses they assume every type of malicious file or code that can harm computers. It can be a virus, worm, ransomware, spyware, or trojan. All these types of files come under the name of malicious software in short known as malware. The virus is just one type of malware.

Linux is indeed attacked by some malware but chances of getting attacked are less. Let’s see why Linux is safer from malware and then we will see how can we reduce the chances of possible attacks.

If you want security you can also buy Linux phones.

Why Linux is safer from malware?

1 Creating malware for Linux is difficult compared to creating it for Windows. Because Linux is created architecturally strong which makes Linux somewhat less prone to Viruses and malware.

2 Distribution of software’s on Linux is generally done through secure repositories. And software present on these are repositories are generally secure (not always) and from official sources. Much like apps from Apple app store or Google Play store.

While in case of Windows, a lot of software’s are downloaded and distributed as stand alone installers. That’s where the maximum number of viruses and malwares come from.

3 Because Linux is open-source its code is available for everyone to see. So if there is a bug or flaw in code that can be exploited, it can be seen by everybody. This gives an advantage to Linux as there are a very high number of people out there who find bugs and report it for the community.

While in the case of Windows, code is only accessible by them. So if a hacker finds a bug they can exploit it until Windows discovers it and issues a patch for it. Even then updating a Windows system is not as smooth as updating a Linux system, that’s why updates are done slow and people even avoid them.

4 Linux is present on a small number of systems when compared to Windows. This makes creating a malware specifically for Linux not even worth it. As even after some hard work virus or malware was created, the benefit that hackers will get is very less when in comparison to Windows.

So considering efforts to return ratio hackers just prefer to create malware for Windows instead of Linux.

So Linux is just better in terms of Security and not immune to virus or malware

These reasons above show that chances of getting malware or virus on Linux are less compared to Windows. And in general, Linux is safer than Windows, this is why there is also a myth that the Linux system doesn’t get a virus.

Although Linux is just more secure and not completely safe as it can still get a virus or malware. So if you are worried about the security of your Linux system, you can follow the steps below to make it more secure.

How to make Linux even more secure?

Update as soon as possible.

Every package that you have installed might contain a software bug. That’s why keep them up to date and also do it automatically when possible. Updating packages patches known bugs and vulnerabilities.

Uninstall any unnecessary packages and apps.

This is the thing which we all must agree, we keep packages and apps installed even if we don’t need them. But if you are serious about your system’ s security then you should get rid of every not needed package.

For Linux servers, disable the root user.

The root user is by default created as the first user on every Linux system. This user can give unauthorized access, as its existence is already known. The hacker just needs to try a brute force attack until the password hash breaks.

That’s why it’s better to disable the root user via Secure Shell(SSH). And create another user for any administrative tasks.

Encrypt Harddrive

If you want to make your system more secure you can make the hard drive encrypted.


Can Linux get a virus? Yes, surely Linux can get a virus. It is more secure than Windows but not immune or virus-proof. To prevent it from happening install software and packages from official repositories only and always keep them updated.

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