Do i need antivirus for windows apps?

If i want to run some exe windows applications do i need an antivirus for the zorin os,just in case i will not get some crypto virus?


It really depends. For the most part, malware is designed to work on specific environments so while it's possible that you get something running under wine it's unlikely to affect the underlying Linux system. Although, there's never a 100% safe system so even this could be possible.

Because of that I would encourage to take some steps before downloading, installing or running anything, regardless of the operating system:

  1. Don't download random stuff from the internet. Clicking on buttons from websites you've never seen or heard of before is a great way of undermining your security. Try to download from official sources and read any installation instructions provided.

  2. Once you've downloaded something, the first thing to do is to verify the integrity of the data. Most products these days will (or should) publish a list of checksums; you can think of this as unique fingerprints. Here, you can see an example for ZorinOS. If the checksum that you download does not match the one published online, do not use it. Even if it's off by a single character.

  3. Another thing to do before installing or running anything is to scan for known malware signatures. For Linux, I recommend something called ClamTK, which I personally like to run manually on every file I download but you can also leave it running in the background. You may also upload that file to Virus Total for additional examination. Take a look at this, too:

    Antivirus software - #2 by AZorin

In summary, it's not worth running an anti-virus for something that already runs in isolation, like Wine, and you have already examined thoroughly. But if you want, you can.

My personal preference is, when I suspect something is fishy, run it within a virtual machine. That way I can destroy it in two clicks if something goes wrong, as if nothing ever happened. On the Software Store you can install Virtual Box to start working with virtual machines.


Wine is executed on a linux system, sandboxed (runs isolated from other processes) and without root access.

The applications that are executed within wine cannot access the ext4 File System as Windows nor WINE's environment for Windows applications, recognize the ext4 FS.

While it may be possible for a programmer with bad intentions to attempt to infiltrate the underlying OS of Wine, these are not the targeted environments such applications are written. The malware or Virus would be programmed to interact with a windows environment. Since there is no desktop, per se, the bad faith application would have to target the application you are running or one that is installed. While it may infect the limited registry required to run applications, again, it will have no where to go or do except in the directory you assigned as the hard drive.

So while you may want to, it is actually a waste of resources, except as ZenZen has described, since there is no possibility, even of randsom-ware to have any effect on Zorin. It is one of the safest ways to run windows applications.

Should you be infested in wine, you can either remove the directory that is your C: drive or ignore it and create a new one, reinstalling the application if you so choose. Another method is to purge wine from your system, which would accomplish the first option.

There are very few Linux focused viruses or malware. This will remain the case until Linux has a larger user and professional market share. This could be within the next year (2025) or may never happen. Until then, Linux (in all its variations) remains mostly untargeted at the personal level.


I use ClamTK myself :grin:

(Also - never run Wine as sudo / root!!)


The main area that should be seen as a potential source is Mail. You wouldn't want to unknowingly forward an infected file attached to an enail to a Windows user:

”SecurityFocus's Scott Granneman stated:

...some Linux machines definitely need anti-virus software. Samba or NFS servers, for instance, may store documents in undocumented, vulnerable Microsoft formats, such as Word and Excel, that contain and propagate viruses. Linux mail servers should run AV software in order to neutralize viruses before they show up in the mailboxes of Outlook and Outlook Express users.[1]".


Thank you everybody for very detailed answers. I have proxmox mail server that is checking for viruses and spam. I would love to move our company PCs away from Windows.


You can also employ Rkhunter and Chkrootkit as additional malware scanners on linux desktop.

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As long as your company isn't running the latest hardware, you should have no issue as Zorin is developed to be reliable and stable in all of its offerings.

The desktops are even designed to promote familiarity and reduce the learning curve, increasing productivity and efficiency.

You may also want to explore Zorin Grid to help maintain and administer your computers with a scalable administration software. This will reduce the need for customized scripts, making your job easier.

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