How to install Sophos Antivirus for Linux in Ubuntu

Sophos is completely Free Antivirus for Linux command line suite

Sophos for Linux

PC security is becoming the top priority these days due to ever increasing malware threats across all operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Android, and Linux. Windows is highest affected in this list, whilst Linux the least. However, I think every Linux user should also install a Antivirus software because of cross platform data transfer between the listed operating systems. You don’t want your beloved Linux PC to be a medium of transferring infected files, though Windows virus can’t infect Linux systems.

Installing Free Sophos Antivirus for Linux in Ubuntu/Linux Mint/elementary OS

When it comes to security programs market, Sophos is highly respected and immensely popular brand. They have made a free version for Linux available which comes with virus scanner and removal tool. It also scans for virus in real-time. This guide is tested on Ubuntu 17.10, but should also work on older versions too.

Step 1) Go to Sophos website and download the latest copy of the Sophos Antivirus for Windows. You may have to accept their terms and provide a email ID during free registration.

Download Sophos Antivirus for Linux

Step 2) The downloaded package is a compressed archive file. It should looks like sav-linux-free-9.tgz. The version number may be different based on when you download it. I’m assuming that the downloads are going here. In case it’s different in your case, simply navigate to it in the terminal using ‘ls’ and ‘cd’ command.

Launch ‘Terminal’ and propagate to the ‘Downloads’ directory.

Installing Sophos in Ubuntu Terminal
Installing Sophos in Ubuntu Terminal

Use ls command to list all directories to know where to navigate.

ls

Step 3) Use cd command to go inside ‘Downloads’ directory.

cd Downloads

Step 4) Again ls command to see contents of ‘Downloads’ directory.

ls

Step 5) Use tar command to extract the contents of the .tgz file. Replace the file name after -xvzf with your downloaded file name.

tar -xvzf sav-linux-free-9.tgz

Step 6) You should see the list of extracted content in the Terminal. Use ls command to see inside the extracted content.

ls

Step 7) Use cd command to propagate into the sub-directory.

cd sophos-av

Step 8) Use the following command to run the sh installer.

sudo sh ./install.sh

Step 9) Press <enter> and <space> to scroll to the bottom of the super long agreement and enter ‘Y’ to confirm installation.

Step 10) You will see a prompt whether to install Sophos in /opt/sophos-av directory. That is typical to Linux directory structure. Go ahead and press <enter>.

Where do you want to install Sophos Anti-Virus? [/opt/sophos-av]

Step 11) Next it will ask if you want to enable on-acess scanning. This is a great feature which will detect malware on the fly when transferring files. It will consume some RAM in the background, but it’s worth it.

Do you want to enable on-access scanning? Yes(Y)/No(N) [Y]

Enter ‘Y’ and press <enter>

Step 12) Choose what type of updating you want. I chose ‘s’.

Which type of auto-updating do you want? From Sophos(s)/From own server(o)/None(n) [s]

Step 13) Key in ‘f’ to select free Sophos Antivirus which will have no support.

Do you wish to install the Free (f) or Supported (s) version of SAV for Linux? [s]

Step 14) Enter proxy info if needed. I have none, so entered ‘Y’.

Do you need a proxy to access Sophos updates? Yes(Y)/No(N) [N]

Step 15) Installation complete!

Installation Complete
Installation Complete
Fetching free update credentials.
Installing Sophos Anti-Virus....
Selecting appropriate kernel support...
When Sophos Anti-Virus starts, it updates itself to try to find a Sophos kernel interface module update. This might cause a significant delay.
Sophos Anti-Virus starts after installation.
Installation completed.
Your computer is now protected by Sophos Anti-Virus.

Using Sophos Antivirus for Linux

Sophos Antivirus for Linux is a complete command-line tool. There is no GUI for it. Therefore, you need to know the following commands to start using it.

1How to check if on-access scanning is active?

Enter following command in the ‘Terminal’.

/opt/sophos-av/bin/savdstatus

2How to start on-access scanning?

Use the following command to enable and start the on-access scanning, if found that service is inactive.

/opt/sophos-av/bin/savdctl enable
/etc/init.d/sav-protect start

3How to run a on-demand scan?

Simply enter the following command to start scanning your computer.

savscan /

4If it finds a malware, you will see a pop-up similar to this one…

Sophos Antivirus Virus Alert

Hope you find this guide useful in setting up Sophos and using it.

Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover, and enjoys hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more, and spread Linux love!. If you find time, drop me an email or feedback from 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!
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