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linux antivirusCombine nine different Linux antivirus programs into a single GUI. Whether you’re a security-conscious Linux user, or just occasionally need to clean up a Windows system from a safe distance, Penguin Pills aspires to combine all the major Linux scanners into one simple GUI. Update definitions and run a scan for all nine programs quickly and easily.

From AVG to Kaspersky, most major antivirus programs on the market offer some sort of Linux version; we highlighted 4 Linux antivirus programs The 4 Best Free Linux Anti-Virus Programs The 4 Best Free Linux Anti-Virus Programs Read More recently. Installing all of these scanners can give you a lot of options, but every interface is very different while some lack a GUI altogether. Penguin Pills is currently offered on SourceForge, but keep reading to find out what this application can do.

One GUI To Bind Them…

Using this program is pretty straightforward. Fire up the program and you’ll see the basic interface:

linux antivirus

You can select which AV program you want to use. When you do, the command line variables will change; you’ll see this on-screen. There are some options you can select, and what these options are depend on the antivirus program you’re running with Penguin Pills. You can click “Test” to ensure a given program is installed and working, and “Update” to keep definitions up to date:

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antivirus for linux

This works the same for every program, which is nice. Want to scan something? Select it with the “Add Folder” button and it will be added to the list:

linux antivirus

Once you’ve got everything set up just the way you like it you’re ready to scan. Click the “start scan” button at the bottom-right of the program window and your scan will begin. You can see how things are going via the console. You may be prompted to make a decision; do so using the command line. Most programs leave your options to deleting or repairing a corrupt file, but be sure to read everything to make an informed decision.

Supported Antivirus Software

There are nine programs supported by Penguin Pills; here are the download links for the Linux version of all of them:

Most of these programs are intended for private use, but offer licenses for commercial usage. Installation varies, but in general the ReadMe files provided with the downloads will fill you in.

Does anyone really need 9 different antivirus programs? Not really. It’s nice to have access to whatever software you want, though, and Penguin Pills gives you access to most of the major players from an easy interface. Whether you install one or all nine of these programs it’s worth having a simple GUI around for updating and running scans.

Conclusion

There are a lot of simple GUIs out there that make command line programs easier to use; few work with as many programs as Penguin Pills. I’m certainly going to keep this on my laptop for scanning external drives and looking at the occasional file.

Can you recommend a better way to scan files on Linux? Let me know in the comments below. Also feel free to let me know how you like Penguin Pills.

  1. Aibek
    March 4, 2011 at 6:16 am

    "then a user could use Remastersys to get his own custom build with all
    engines inside by default"

    Sounds good. This will definitely make an interesting article) Up for it?

  2. Lazza
    March 3, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    I'd love to have my distro for Italian high schools reviewed since it took me one entire year of school to get it done. :P
    Anyway I had a quick look to the engines, the only one that allow redistribution is Avira Antivir. For the others I could create a bash script that downloads and installs them in the live environment and then a user could use Remastersys to get his own custom build with all engines inside by default. I'm wondering if it's worth it. :)

  3. Srinivas G
    March 1, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Very nice article. Though I don't use windows myself, I have a lot of friends who do. I convert most of them to linux as well but there are a few who just can't, because of various issues. So I use the Bitdefender scanner (only) because it has the best GUI. Now, with this gem of a software, I can use a couple more! Thanks. :)

    • jhpot
      March 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      Glad you like it! The installation of most of these programs is a bit annoying, but having more tools around is always a good thing. Let us know how you like PenguinPills.

  4. jhpot
    February 28, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    It's a cool project, and I'd love to have it around, but there's going to be some licensing issues with it. All of these scanners are either for sale or free on a trial basis only.

    Still, I'd really like to see something like this exist...

  5. Aibek
    February 28, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Let us know once the custom Live CD is ready, we'll definitely profile
    it on MUO.

    Aibek

  6. Hi Lldav9
    February 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Do i burn the .tar normally or need a special program?

    • jhpot
      February 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      You don't burn tar files; you extract them. It's going to include the source code which you can compile.

      If you're using Ubuntu I recommend you just grab the .deb file; it can be installed with a double-click.

      • Hi Lldav9
        February 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm

        ohhh so this isn't a livecd? its for use in a linux enviro? dammmn i c.

        • Aibek
          February 28, 2011 at 8:31 am

          It would be pretty cool if someone compiles a live CD with the Penguin Pills in it. I can see myslef usingit for scanning infected Windows systems.

        • Lazza
          February 28, 2011 at 10:37 am

          Maybe if I have time I'll try to do a Lubuntu remaster. Up to now it was sufficient to me to use the Kaspersky live cd the one time I needed it, and after that I could boot up Windows and install a copy of AVG free to finish the work. :P

        • Aibek
          February 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm

          Let us know once the custom Live CD is ready, we'll definitely profile
          it on MUO.

          Aibek

        • jhpot
          February 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm

          It's a cool project, and I'd love to have it around, but there's going to be some licensing issues with it. All of these scanners are either for sale or free on a trial basis only.

          Still, I'd really like to see something like this exist...

        • Lazza
          March 3, 2011 at 8:07 pm

          I'd love to have my distro for Italian high schools reviewed since it took me one entire year of school to get it done. :P
          Anyway I had a quick look to the engines, the only one that allow redistribution is Avira Antivir. For the others I could create a bash script that downloads and installs them in the live environment and then a user could use Remastersys to get his own custom build with all engines inside by default. I'm wondering if it's worth it. :)

        • Aibek
          March 4, 2011 at 5:16 am

          "then a user could use Remastersys to get his own custom build with all
          engines inside by default"

          Sounds good. This will definitely make an interesting article) Up for it?

        • Lazza
          March 4, 2011 at 5:57 pm

          I'll see what I can do. I'm not promising anything. :P

        • Aibek
          March 5, 2011 at 7:00 am

          thanks

        • Lazza
          March 13, 2011 at 9:28 am

          I made a first test build with Reconstructor just to try it. It's not very encouraging, since it takes about 800mb. Maybe I should remove Antivir too and only put a bash script inside...

        • Aibek
          March 14, 2011 at 3:58 am

          Ok cool, keep me updated please

        • Lazza
          March 29, 2011 at 12:47 pm

          Actually I think it's not worth it and I don't have so much time. After all if people use Windows it's their fault. :P

        • Aibek
          March 29, 2011 at 1:13 pm

          :-)

  7. jhpot
    February 25, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    You don't burn tar files; you extract them. It's going to include the source code which you can compile.

    If you're using Ubuntu I recommend you just grab the .deb file; it can be installed with a double-click.

  8. Hi Lldav9
    February 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Do i burn the .tar normally or need a special program?

  9. Lazza
    February 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Why don't they add a preset for ClamAV?

    • jhpot
      February 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      It's a valid question. I've no idea, but I haven noticed that Clam's engine is less than perfect.

      • Lazza
        February 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm

        That's right. No engine is perfect. ;)

  10. SuperBlooper057
    February 24, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    At first I was like, cool. Then I realized that Linux doesn't get virii.

    • jhpot
      February 24, 2011 at 11:04 pm

      Haha, fair enough. There's always dual-booting, and helping scan computers for Windows-bound friends and family.

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