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How to Install OpenVAS Vulnerability Scanner on Ubuntu 16.04

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 20, 2016
Linux Guides Security Server Apps Ubuntu
Archived content

This article is outdated and may not work correctly for current operating systems or software.


OpenVAS is an open source suite that can be used for vulnerability scanning and vulnerability management. It stands for Open Vulnerability Assessment System. OpenVAS is an excellent alternative to commercial security scanners such as Nessus, QualysGuard, etc. OpenVAS is divided into three parts: OpenVAS Scanner, OpenVAS Manager, and OpenVAS CLI.

In this tutorial, I will explain how to install OpenVAS Vulnerability Scanner on Ubuntu 16.04.


  • A newly deployed Vultr Ubuntu 16.04 server instance.

  • A non-root user with sudo privileges setup on your server.

  • A static IP address of configured on your system.

  • The rsync package must be installed

Step 1: Update the system

First, update your system to the latest stable version by running the following commands:

sudo apt-get update -y

sudo apt-get upgrade -y

sudo reboot

Step 2: Install required dependencies

Before installing OpenVAS, you will need to install its required dependencies. To install them, run the following command:

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties

Next, you will also need to install SQLite for OpenVAS manager:

sudo apt-get install sqlite3

Step 3: Install OpenVAS

By default, the OpenVAS package is not available in the Ubuntu 16.04 repository, so you will need to add OpenVAS PPA to your system's repository list.

Add the OpenVAS PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mrazavi/openvas

Update the repository.

sudo apt-get update

Finally, install OpenVAS.

sudo apt-get install openvas

Once OpenVAS has finished installing, start the OpenVAS service with the following commands:

sudo systemctl start openvas-scanner

sudo systemctl start openvas-manager

sudo systemctl start openvas-gsa

Step 4: Allow OpenVAS through the system firewall

By default, OpenVAS runs on port 443, so you will need to allow this port through the UFW firewall.

sudo ufw allow https

Step 5: Access OpenVAS web interface

Before accessing OpenVAS, you will need to update its vulnerability database.

sudo openvas-nvt-sync

Once the database is up-to-date, open your web browser and type the URL On the login page, provide the default username (admin) and password (admin). After logging in, you will be presented with the OpenVAS dashboard.

If you want to change the admin user's password from command line, run the following command:

sudo openvasmd --user=admin --new-password=<new-password>

Congratulations! You have successfully installed OpenVAS on your Ubuntu 16.04 server.

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