Install OpenVAS on Debian based Linux


In this small post, I will explain how to install and setup OpenVAS on a Kali Linux.

First, be sure to have your system up to date.

# sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade --yes

After that, you can install openVAS.

# sudo apt-get install openvas

If you run Debian 10 Buster, please also install the following packages:

# sudo apt install rsync sqlite3 xsltproc

Once done, just run the setup to perform an initial configuration

# openvas-setup

This step takes a lot of time because the setup will download all the latest threat definition, configure the certificate and so on. Once done, I suggest you to create a new custom user using the following command:

# openvasmd --create-user=superman --new-password=mysecret1234$

By default, OpenVAS only listen on the loopback interface. If you want to be able to remotely access to the OpenVAS’ web interface, you must perform some changes. If you  want to allow openVAs to listen on all interface, you must use instead of

Since we are on systemd, you actually need to modify 3 .service files. To make it quicky, you can use sed command to remplace by

# cd /lib/systemd/system
# sed -e 's/' greenbone-security-assistant.service openvas-manager.service openvas-scanner.service

This command only display the futur changes. If you are ok with this, simply add the option -i at the end of the previous command:

# sed -e 's/' greenbone-security-assistant.service openvas-manager.service openvas-scanner.service -i

After that, you need to reload systemd deamons and restart the OpenVAS services.

# systemcl daemon-reload
# openvas-stop && openvas-start

If you want to hosting this service on a VPS system, you should add the following in the service file

# sudo ExecStart=/usr/sbin/gsad --foreground --listen= --port=9392 --mlisten= --mport=9390 --allow-header-host=HOST OR IP --timeout=1440

That it. Now you should be able to access to the web interface of your server using https://<ip-address>:9392

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  1. Should you add this info on artivle if hosting in a vps try add this parameters like:

    ExecStart=/usr/sbin/gsad –foreground –listen= –port=9392 –mlisten= –mport=9390 –allow-header-host=HOST OR IP –timeout=1440


  2. For Debian 10 Buster you also need

    apt install rsync sqlite3 xsltproc

    before starting openvas-setup

  3. Typos in:
    # systemcl deamon-reload

    should be

    # systemctl daemon-reload

    and the VPS options should be prefixed with ‘–‘ and not ‘-‘

  4. This is the first good manual I have found, but it seems that is offline :/
    So nothing will be downloaded.

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