Installing OpenVAS on Ubuntu 18.04 Server

OpenVAS, also known as Greenbone, is a security vulnerability scanner. In this post, I’ll show you a step-by-step method to get OpenVAS up and running on an Ubuntu 18.04 Server so you can automate security scanning of your systems.

The first thing we’ll do, of course, is to make sure that our Ubuntu 18.04 server is all up-to-date:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Next, we’ll add the repository for OpenVAS and update apt again:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mrazavi/openvas
sudo apt update

Our next step is to install some dependencies, OpenVAS itself, and some supporting packages that will allow us to generate nicely formatted reports automatically:

sudo apt install sqlite3
sudo apt install openvas9
sudo apt install texlive-latex-extra --no-install-recommends
sudo apt install texlive-fonts-recommended
sudo apt install libopenvas9-dev

Once all of that is installed we’ll update the security feeds that OpenVAS uses to keep up-to-date on threat profiles. This process can take a while, so be prepared to wait around for a while as you execute these commands:

sudo greenbone-nvt-sync
sudo greenbone-scapdata-sync
sudo greenbone-certdata-sync

Now that all of that is done, we’ll go ahead and restart all the openvas services to make sure everything is working the way it should:

sudo systemctl restart openvas-scanner
sudo systemctl restart openvas-manager
sudo systemctl restart openvas-gsa

If anything fails to start we’ll need to do some troubleshooting, but it should go fine. If everything starts ok, we’ll enable all of the services so they start up on boot:

sudo systemctl enable openvas-scanner
sudo systemctl enable openvas-manager
sudo systemctl enable openvas-gsa

Once you get everything installed and running you can navigate to OpenVAS in your browser, at:

https://[Your Server IP]:4000

Greenbone Login Screen

The default administrative account will be called “admin” and have “admin” as the password.

You can find extensive documentation on how to use OpenVAS at the Greenbone User Documentation page.

Greenbone Dashboard
Installing OpenVAS on Ubuntu 18.04 Server

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