Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Installing OpenVAS 2.0.x on Ubuntu Linux...

This is a follow-up to my earlier article on Installing OpenVAS 1.0.x

OpenVAS has started releasing betas of v3.0.x, so I thought I'd write a tutorial on how to install the latest stable version of OpenVAS (v2.0.x).

Before we begin, it is best that we update our Ubuntu libraries and applications to the latest versions by typing the following in a terminal:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Once you have updated your machine, we will need to install the following libraries and applications to compile and install OpenVAS. Again, in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install build-essential libgnutls-dev libpcap0.8-dev bison
sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0-dev libglib2.0-dev libgpgme11-dev libssl-dev htmldoc

Now that the machine is ready to work with the OpenVAS sources, you then need to download the following source codes from the OpenVAS website. You can find the sources at URL

Download the latest version of the following:

openvas-libraries (latest v2.0.x)
openvas-libnasl (latest v2.0.x)
openvas-server (latest v2.0.x)
openvas-plugins (latest v1.0.x)
openvas-client (latest v2.0.x)

You will need to install OpenVAS in the above listed order. To install each component, you will need to do the following:

tar zxvf [filename of .tar.gz file]
cd [sub-folder of same name as .tar.gz file]
sudo make install
cd ..

Once all five components are compiled and installed, you will then need to let Ubuntu know about the new libraries you have just compiled before the can be used by typing in:

sudo ldconfig -v

For the first time use of OpenVAS, you will need to create a new cert and add in the first user that can login into the OpenVAS server by running both:

sudo openvas-mkcert
sudo openvas-adduser

Periodically (I usually run it once every day, or just before I am about to use OpenVAS), you will need to update the plugins that OpenVAS uses to detect newer vulnerabilities which are found everyday. You can do that by typing:

sudo openvas-nvt-sync

To start the OpenVAS server, activate the server by typing in:

sudo openvasd -D

And running the OpenVAS client by typing:

sudo OpenVAS-Client

If you want to learn or know more about OpenVAS, visit them at

Note: Tested on Ubuntu 9.10, and I assume you are doing all this with user access (that is why, some root only commands have the "sudo" command in front of them) and am running the kernel in i386 (32-bit) mode.

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