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Question on protection for linux

It's quite hard to find commercial malware protection options for Linux. So shortlisting the limited options out there, I found "Sophos Protection for Linux" under your Sophos Central offering, which is a replacement for your Sophos Anti-Virus for Linux.

Just trying to understand if this is the solution I'm looking for:

  1. Is this for servers only or can it also be used on desktop/laptop endpoints?
  2. openSUSE has been "transformed" by SUSE into something akin to what CentOS was with RHEL, but it's not listed as a supported distribution. Do you have plans on providing official support for this distro in the future?

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  • Hi hot head,

    Thanks for reaching out to the Sophos Community forum.

    The licenses Linux systems will consume are strictly server licenses. It is not possible to protect a Linux system using endpoint licenses.

    openSUSE is not present as a supported platform currently. I will follow up internally to find out if there are plans for this to be added. 
    Sophos Protection for Linux Release Notes

    The SUSE platforms I see listed currently are:

    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15
    Kushal Lakhan
    Team Lead, Global Community Support
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  • Hi ,

    Greatly appreciate the feedback. I hope there are plans to provide support for this distribution.

    As for my first question, so you mentioned the type of license it needs to activate the product. I suppose I need some more clarity on that.

    I ask such a question because when I was looking at available options out there, some Linux antivirus are being marketed as an antivirus for Linux servers only and no explicit mention if it can be used on end-user desktops (for example, Avast). Then there are those which seem like the Linux antivirus will work on end-user desktops but I need to buy a server license and not an endpoint license to activate it (for example, Bitdefender). The only ones which I have seen to directly say that the product can be (or is meant to be) used on end-user desktops is ESET and Kaspersky.

    So back to what you said: assuming I have a server license available, can I install Sophos Protection for Linux on a Ubuntu desktop or laptop and use that server license to activate it for that installation?

  • Hi  ,

    The required license for Linux is Sophos Intercept X for Server. The license can be used on a Linux desktop. (Sophos Protection for Linux is the name of the component/agent, not the license name.)

    Regarding support of openSUSE, we consider Sophos Protection for Linux to be compatible with any distribution that meets the system requirements listed at Only the listed "supported" distributions have been tested by our engineering team, but we have plenty of customers using other distros. It's unlikely we'd add openSUSE to our testing, as it's not widely adopted in corporate environments.

    Hope this helps with your questions!


  • Thanks   for confirming that the product can be used on a Linux desktop.

    Only the listed "supported" distributions have been tested by our engineering team

    This is exactly the reason why I ask. Generally speaking, even if I become a paying customer, the support I shall get for using a system running an "untested" distro when it breaks down would be a "best effort only" type of support. I've seen that many times before (because I used to work on a tech support role), so even if you have plenty of customers using other unsupported distros is not exactly comforting.

    Although it's understandable that effort to test is based on if the distro is widely used or not (you're a for-profit corporation after all), it's a shame that you don't have plans. Maybe it's worth mentioning in case you haven't heard, openSUSE had some of it's components merge with SUSE Linux Enterprise sources back when Leap 15.3 was released because SUSE LLC was trying to capture a portion of the market which was expected to move away from CentOS when Red Hat turned it into a rolling-release-only distro. Can't remember where I read it but they even have a feature which allows users to easily migrate from openSUSE to SLE if they decide that they need the premium version of the distro instead.

    If that doesn't change your mind about your future plans, I don't know what will. But anyway, thanks for clarifying this for me.

  • Thanks  - I'll pass along your feedback to the product team.