Avast Security for Linux - FAQs

What is the Avast Security for Linux?

The Avast Security for Linux products are a set of the components distributed in the form of standard software packages - DEB for Debian / Ubuntu systems and RPM for RedHat / SUSE systems. Software repositories are also provided, so all the standard system management tools can be used to keep the Avast programs up to date.


The Avast Linux components are distributed in the form of the following software packages:

  • avast
    The avast package provides the core scanner service (avast) and a command line scan utility (scan). It can be used for on demand scanning or mail server integration using AMaViS.

    The avast package is required by the avast-proxy and avast-fss packages.
  • avast-proxy
    The avast-proxy package provides a transparent network traffic filtering proxy designed for gateway/router usage. Using avast-proxy, you can scan all computer network traffic from a single machine. avast-proxy supports the HTTP, IMAP and POP3 protocols as well as their secured variants (HTTPS, IMAPS, POP3S) using certificate resigning.

    Network traffic redirection is required for the proxy to work. This is done using iptables, the standard linux firewall (netfilter) interface. See the avast-proxy manual page in technical documentation (appendix D) for example iptables rules.
  • avast-fss
    The avast-fss package provides a fanotify based ”on write” filesystem shield designed for fileserver usage. The typical target field for avast-fss are SMB/NFS file servers.

Business products

The Avast Linux components are available as the following business products:

  • Avast Core Security
    Is a license for the bare avast package.
  • Avast File Server Security
    Is a license for the avast and the avast-fss packages.
  • Avast Network Security
    Is a license for the avast and the avast-proxy packages.
  • Avast Security Suite
    Is a license for all three packages (avast, avast-fss, avast-proxy).

How to install Avast Security for Linux?

The Avast Linux server products installation consist of two steps:

  1. Add the Avast repository to the system repositories.
  2. Get the desired packages from the repository.

Debian / Ubuntu

  1. Add the avast repository to the system repositories:
    # echo "deb http://deb.avast.com/lin/repo debian release" \
    >> /etc/apt/sources.list
    # apt-key add /path/to/avast.gpg
    # apt-get update
  2. Install the avast package and optionally the avast-fss (officially supported only on RHEL / CentOS) and avast-proxy packages:
    # apt-get install avast
    # apt-get install avast-fss
    # apt-get install avast-proxy


  1. Add the Avast repository to the system repositories:
    # echo '[avast]
    gpgcheck=1' > /etc/yum.repos.d/avast.repo
    # rpm --import /path/to/avast.gpg
  2. Install the avast package and optionally the avast-fss and avast-proxy packages:
    # yum install avast
    # yum install avast-fss
    # yum install avast-proxy


  1. Add the Avast repository to the system repositories:
    # zypper addrepo \
    http://rpm.avast.com/lin/repo/dists/suse/release Avast
    # rpm --import /path/to/avast.gpg
  2. Install the avast package and optionally the avast-fss (officially supported only on RHEL / CentOS) and avast-proxy packages:
    # zypper install avast
    # zypper install avast-fss
    # zypper install avast-proxy
  • The current virus definitions database (VPS) is downloaded during the installation of the avast package, so the installation may take some time.
  • The avast GPG public key referenced as ”avast.gpg” can be found in technical documentation (appendix E).

How to start or stop the Avast Linux services?

All avast packages provide conventional init scripts for starting/stopping the services. For example starting the core Avast service is done by running:

# /etc/init.d/avast start

...and stopping the core avast service is done by running:

# /etc/init.d/avast stop

All Avast services use the system logger (syslog) for logging, so the log file location is dependent on the host system. The most common log file paths are /var/log/messages and /var/log/syslog

How to insert a license file to Avast Security for Linux?

The access to the program repositories is not restricted in any way, you can always obtain all the latest packages, but for running the components, a license file is required. The license for the products comes in the form of a file named ”license.avastlic”. After obtaining the license file, copy it into the /etc/avast directory:

# cp /path/to/license.avastlic /etc/avast

How to keep Avast Security for Linux up to date?

Regularly updating the virus definitions database (VPS) is necessary to keep your antivirus protection up to date. Avast antivirus provides a shell script, which checks for the latest VPS over the Internet and takes care of its downloading and installing. The update script is automatically installed and periodically executed every hour as a cronjob.

The default Avast crontab entry is:

0 * * * * /var/lib/avast/Setup/avast.vpsupdate

Avast antivirus uses incremental updates, so the average update data size is less than 0.5 MB.

Local virus definitions mirrors

It is possible to use a local, mirrored, VPS repository. This is useful, if you are runing several Avast instalations in your local network.

To set up a local VPS mirror, all you need is a local HTTP server that can serve a copy of the official public repository. To get your local repository copy, use the following command:

$ wget -r -N -e robots=off -nH --cut-dirs=2 \

To change the VPS repository URL, that Avast uses for getting the VPS updates edit the  /etc/avast/vps.conf  configuration file.

How to integrate Avast Security for Linux into AMaViS?

AMaViS is an interface between mailer (MTA) and content checkers, which is already prepared for integration with mail scanners. Integration of Avast into AMaViS covers updating AMaViS configuration and enabling access to emails going through AMaViS to be scanned by Avast antivirus. This can be divided into these three steps:

  1. Integrating Avast antivirus
    Open the AMaViS configuration file (e.g.  /etc/amavis/conf.d/50-user ) and insert the following lines into the file:
    @av_scanners = (
    ### http://www.avast.com
    ['Avast', '/bin/scan', '{}', [0], [1], qr/\t(.+)/m]
  2. Enabling virus scanning
    Then open the AMaViS content filter configuration file (e.g. /etc/amavis/conf.d/15-content_filter_mode) and enable antivirus checking mode by uncommenting the "bypass_virus_checks" lines.
  3. Update of access permissions
    Finally enable the Avast scan service to scan emails going through AMaViS:
    # usermod -G amavis -a avast
  • Avast Core Security for Linux
  • Avast File Server Security for Linux
  • Avast Network Security for Linux
  • Avast Security Suite for Linux
  • Debian
  • Ubuntu
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • CentOS
  • SUSE

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