Easy Steps for Installing Nessus Vulnerability Scanner on Linux

Installing Nessus is a simple process and can be done quickly. This blog post will provide you with step-by-step instructions for installing Nessus Vulnerability Scanner on Linux. With these easy steps, you can have your Linux system up and running with Nessus in no time!

Nessus Vulnerability Scanner is a security software used to identify potential security threats or vulnerabilities in computers and networks. It uses proprietary and third-party plugins to assess the target systems for known security issues, such as missing patches, application and operating system misconfigurations, protocol errors, and malicious code. This allows it to determine what action must be taken to secure the systems against any detected vulnerabilities. Nessus can be used on a wide variety of computer platforms, including Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD and Solaris.

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Nessus helps to identify security vulnerabilities across an organization’s IT environment. It is also helps to identify potential exposures and detect intrusions, policy violations, malware, misconfigurations, weak passwords, backdoors and much more. The tool scans networks for any weaknesses and assesses the level of risk posed by those vulnerabilities to the organization’s information security posture. It also provides detailed recommendations on how to fix them so organizations can improve their overall security posture. Additionally, Nessus offers compliance-related checks as well as on-demand or scheduled network scans to identify exploitable systems, verify user access controls and generate reports.

More information about Nessus, visit on their official website.


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How to install Nessus on Ubuntu Linux

Below is how to installing Nessus Vulnerability Scanner on Linux:

Step1 : Download and install the Nessus DEB package

We have many ways to install the Nessus security scanners on Ubuntu Linux. But the most Easy way is to download its official DEB package in your system and then install it.

The parent company ‘Tenable’ which provides its packages for different kind of Linux distributions, including Ubuntu. At the time of writing this article, 10.4.1 is the latest version of Nessus.

To download official DEB package, run the commands below:

sudo apt install curl
curl --request GET --url 'https://www.tenable.com/downloads/api/v2/pages/nessus/files/Nessus-10.4.1-ubuntu1404_amd64.deb' --output 'Nessus-10.4.1-ubuntu1404_amd64.deb'

After downloading, simply run the commands below to install Nessus in your system:

sudo dpkg -i Nessus-10.4.1-ubuntu1404_amd64.deb

After finish the installing, use below commands to start and enable Nessue’s services to automatically start up when the system boots.

sudo systemctl start nessusd
sudo systemctl is-enabled nessusd

To check the Nessus’ service status, run the command below:

sudo systemctl status nessusd

This will show a output similar like below:

● nessusd.service - The Nessus Vulnerability Scanner

     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/nessusd.service; enabled; preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Thur 2022-12-29 05:23:01 CST; 15s ago
   Main PID: 2906 (nessus-service)
      Tasks: 14 (limit: 2282)
     Memory: 50.6M
        CPU: 15.495s
     CGroup: /system.slice/nessusd.service
             ├─2906 /opt/nessus/sbin/nessus-service -q
             └─2908 nessusd -q
Dec 29 05:23:01 Ubuntu2210 systemd[1]: Started The Nessus Vulnerability Scanner.
Dec 29 05:23:03 Ubuntu2210 nessus-service[2908]: Cached 0 plugin libs in 0msec

Step2: Setup Ubuntu Firewall

By default in the Ubuntu Linux, the Ubuntu firewall isn’t enabled. But if it is enabled or if you are running a firewall on your system, you must allow the following ports and services.

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Run the commands below to allow OpenSSH:

sudo ufw allow "OpenSSH"

Next allow Nessus default port by running below command:

sudo ufw allow 8834/tcp

Step3: Access the Nessus web portal

You can access the Nessus on port 8834. So open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address followed by port number 8834 as show below:

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https://localhost:8834

When you browse the above link, you will get the setup screen. On that screen, choose how you want to deploy Nessus. In this article, we are going to choose the Nessus Essentials option as show below:

Ubuntu-linux-install-nessus-deploy-set-up-for-essentials

On next screen, fill the details to set up account to get your activation code:

Nessus-setup-get-activation-code-screen-jpg
Easy steps for installing nessus vulnerability scanner on linux 4

After get activation code, enter it and continue.

On next screen, create a username and password for your account and submit it:

Nessus-create-account-screen
Easy steps for installing nessus vulnerability scanner on linux 5

When you are done to create account, Nessus start downloading some additional plugins and begin initializing. After a few seconds, you can sign into your Nessus portal.


Step4: Configure Nessus Nessuscli

You can easily manage Nessus via the command line, you need to set up the bashrc settings below.

Add both Nessus bin directories to the system PATH via the ~/.bashrc config file in your home directory.

echo 'export PATH="$PATH:/opt/nessus/bin:/opt/nessus/sbin"' >> ~/.bashrc

Apply and reload your changes:

source ~/.bashrc

Now you can use the nessuscli command utility.

For more help about running scans, read the Get Started with Nessus.


Thank you so much for reading this article! I hope this article will help you to Installing Nessus Vulnerability Scanner on your Linux system. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

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