How to install Sophos Antivirus for Linux in Ubuntu

PC security is a top-notch priority these days due to ever-increasing malware threats across all operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Android, and Linux.

Windows is the highest affected in this list, while Linux the least. However, every Linux user should also install Antivirus software because of cross-platform data transfer between the operating systems. Though viruses made for Windows can’t infect a Linux PC, you don’t want your beloved PC to be a medium for transferring infected files.

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

When it comes to PC security, Sophos is a highly respected and famous brand. They have made a free version for Linux that comes with a virus scanner and a removal tool. What more, it also includes a real-time scanner that can detect threats on the fly. Let’s check out how to install it on your P. This guide is tested on Ubuntu 17.10 but should also work on older versions.

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

Download Sophos Antivirus for Linux

Step 2) The downloaded package is a compressed archive file. It should look 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. If it’s different in your case, navigate to it in the terminal using the ‘ls’ and ‘cd’ command.

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

Installing Sophos in Ubuntu Terminal
Installing Sophos in Ubuntu Terminal

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

ls

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

cd Downloads

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

ls

Step 5) Use the tar command to extract the contents of the .tgz file. Replace the filename 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 the ls command to see inside the extracted content.

ls

Step 7) Use the 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 the installation.

Step 10) You will see a prompt whether to install Sophos in /opt/sophos-av directory. That is typical of the 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-access scanning. It is a great feature that 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 I 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.

How to check if on-access scanning is active?

Enter the following command in the ‘Terminal.’

/opt/sophos-av/bin/savdstatus

How to start on-access scanning?

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

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

How to run an on-demand scan?

Just enter the following command to start scanning your computer.

savscan /

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

Sophos Antivirus Virus Alert
Sophos Antivirus Virus Alert

Conclusion

That concludes the guide to the installation of the Sophos Antivirus on the Linux system. With a built-in real-time scanner and daily updates to the virus database, Sophos is one of the best antivirus software not only for Linux but across other cross platforms too.

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

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *