Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection for Linux

Microsoft Defender Advanced  (MD ATP) support for with kernel version 3.10.0-327 or later, including the following Linux flavours : 

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 or higher 
  • CentOS 7.2 or higher 
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS or higher LTS 
  • Debian 9 or higher
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 or higher
  • Oracle Linux 7.2 or higher 

MD ATP provide real-time protection for the following file system types: 

btrfs ecryptfs ext2
ext3 ext4 fuse
fuseblk jfs nfs
overlay ramfs reiserfs
tmpfs udf vfat

Deployment MD ATP prerequisite: 

  • Administrative privileges on the device (in case of manual deployment) 
  • The fanotify kernel option must be enabled,
    • For RedHat Enterprise Linux 7.x and CentOS 7.x systems, the kernel module is enabled by default.
    • For Ubuntu, SUSE, and Oracle Enterprise Limited, Fanotify is enabled by default.
  • Disk space: 650 MB 
  • No other fanotify-based security solutions running on same Linux Computer. 
  • connections
    • Set firewall outbound connection rules to allow these URLs.
Service location DNS record
Common URLs for all locations
European Union
United Kingdom
United States
  • If a proxy or firewall is blocking anonymous traffic, make sure that anonymous traffic is permitted in the previously listed URLs.
  • For transparent proxies, no additional configuration is needed
  • For static proxy, follow the steps in Manual Static Proxy Configuration.


MD ATP deployment by 4 steps:


  1. Install Yum Utility for package installing and uninstalling
  2. If the Server is RHEL and newly build, you have to register it with Redhat first.
  3. It may take more than 30 minutes for all the RHEL download and Linux update packages.
  • Yum update && yum install yum-utils


  • Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux can be deployed from one of the following channels (denoted below as [channel]🙁 insiders-fastinsiders-slow, or prod. Each of these channels corresponds to a Linux software repository
  • RHEL and variants (CentOS and Oracle Linux)
sudo yum-config-manager –add-repo=[distro]/[version]/[channel].repo


If you want to check current Linux distro and version, run the command: 



  • Install the Microsoft GPG public key:
sudo rpm –import
  • Download and make usable all the metadata for the currently enabled yum repositories:
yum makecache
  • RHEL and variants (CentOS and Oracle Linux):
sudo yum install mdatp


Downloading the ATP Onboarding package from ATP Portal

Download the onboarding package from Microsoft Defender Security Center:

  1. In Microsoft Defender Security Center, go to Settings > Device Management > Onboarding.
  2. In the first drop-down menu, select Linux Server as the operating system. In the second drop-down menu, select Local Script (for up to 10 devices) as the deployment method.
  3. Select Download onboarding package. Save the file as


Client Configuration (Onboarding Linux Client)

  • Make sure Python3 is in system ‘s path 
sudo alternatives –set python /usr/bin/python
  • Copy to the target device
    • On the target device


  • Verify that the device is now associated with your organization 
mdatp health –field org_id


  • Verify that the device is properly onboarded and reporting to the service


Monitoring new Linux Client on ATP Portal

  • Check if Linux Machine is display in ATP Portal Dashboard


How to configure Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux

Location of mdatp configuration file: /etc/opt/microsoft/mdatp/managed/mdatp_managed.json

  • In enterprise environments, Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux can be managed through a configuration profile
  • The configuration profile is a .json file that consists of entries identified by a key (which denotes the name of the preference), followed by a value.Values can be simple, such as a numerical value, or complex, such as a nested list of preferences.
  • Typically, you would use a tool to push a file with the name mdatp_managed.json at the location /etc/opt/microsoft/mdatp/managed/.

mdatp_managed.json preference key and value

Enable / disable real-time protection enableRealTimeProtection true (default)/false
Enable / disable passive mode

(In passive mode:

• Real-time protection is turned off.

• On-demand scanning is turned on.

• Automatic threat remediation is turned off.

• Security intelligence updates are turned on.

• Status menu icon is hidden.

passiveMode true/false (default)
Scan exclusions exclusions $type


Path to excluded content


path valid paths (string)
Enable/Disable Delivered Cloud Protection


enabled true (default)/false

Recommended configuration profile

To get started, we recommend the following configuration profile for your enterprise to take advantage of all protection features that Microsoft Defender ATP provides.

The following configuration profile will:

  • Enable real-time protection (RTP)
  • Specify how the following threat types are handled:
    • Potentially unwanted applications (PUA) are blocked
    • Archive bombs (file with a high compression rate) are audited to the product logs
  • Enable automatic security intelligence updates
  • Enable cloud-delivered protection
  • Enable automatic sample submission at safe level


More ATP Preference Configuration 

Configuration profile deployment by Linux Management:

Once you've built the configuration profile for your enterprise, you can deploy it through the management tool that your enterprise is using. Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux reads the managed configuration from the /etc/opt/microsoft/mdatp/managed/mdatp_managed.json file.


Update Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux 

Each version of Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux has an expiration date, after which it will no longer continue to protect your device.

To check the MD ATP expiration date, run the following bash command: 

mdatp health –field product_expiration

To update Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux manually, execute one of the following commands: 

RHEL and variants (CentOS and Oracle Linux) 

sudo yum update mdatp

SLES and variants 

sudo zypper update mdatp

Ubuntu and Debian systems 

sudo apt-get install –only-upgrade mdatp


installation issues:

To verify if the installation succeeded, one can obtain installation.log and search the installation logs for “postinstall end” phrase,  using these commands:

sudo journalctl | grep ‘microsoft-mdatp'  > installation.log grep ‘postinstall end' installation.log


Troubleshooting Connectivity: 

Run the connectivity test

mdatp connectivity test


Troubleshooting Performance:

To find the applications that are triggering the most scans, you can use real-time statistics gathered by Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux.

mdatp diagnostic real_time_protection_statistics > stat.log

This feature is enabled by default on the Dogfood and InsisderFast channels. If you're using a different update channel, this feature can be enabled from the command line:

mdatp config real-time-protection-statistics –value enabled

More Troubleshooting:




I hope the information is useful to you. Please provide feedback.

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This article was originally published by Microsoft's Azure SQL Database Blog. You can find the original article here.