Installing Nessus on Debian-based OSs like Ubuntu


With this simple tutorial I will explain how to install Nessus client (nessus) and Nessus Daemon (nessusd) and properly register it, so you don’t end up with the limitations of a non-registered version of the vulnerability scanner.

Installing:

I personally use apt-, however, you may choose any other package manager.

apt-get install nessus nessusd -y

This will install the nessus client and server, and the -y is used to answer YES to the confirmation of apt-get.

We have now installed both the client and the server. Let’s proceed to the addition of a user:

nessus-adduser

Display:

gouki@8104:~$ sudo nessus-adduser
Using /var/tmp as a temporary file holder

Add a new nessusd user
----------------------

Login : darknet
Authentication (pass/cert) [pass] :
Login password :
Login password (again) :

User rules
----------
nessusd has a rules system which allows you to restrict the hosts
that darknet has the right to test. For instance, you may want
him to be able to scan his own host only.

Please see the nessus-adduser(8) man page for the rules syntax

Enter the rules for this user, and hit ctrl-D once you are done :
(the user can have an empty rules set)

Login : darknet
Password : ***********
DN :
Rules :

Is that ok ? (y/n) [y] y
user added.

About this display:

When asked about Authentication (pass/cert) [pass] : just press enter, as we will not use any.
When asked about rules for the specific user, press CTRL+D, as we will not enter any rules for the user.

Starting the Daemon:

By default, nessusd has not started. To manully force him to, you will need to do the following:

sudo /etc/init.d/nessusd start

Registering Nessus:

Nessus will work without being registered, however, it will have limitations. Unnecessary limitations, since it is easily registered.

Nessus Registration page - Go here and start the proccess.

After you have entered your e-mail address, the instructions on how to register will not work on Debian-based OSs.

On the eMail from the Nessus team, you will be instructed to this path: /opt/nessus/bin/nessus-fetch, however, the path should be replaced by /usr/bin, making the complete registration command: sudo /usr/bin/nessus-fetch --register XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX

You should now have a complete and working installation of Nessus. Enjoy and remember, automatic scanners are not 1337! =)

TIP: Before starting to use Nessus, update the plugins by doing the following:

sudo nessus-update-plugins

Posted in: Exploits/Vulnerabilities, Hacking Tools

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2 Responses to Installing Nessus on Debian-based OSs like Ubuntu

  1. Neminath July 16, 2008 at 5:51 am #

    sudo nessus-adduser
    sudo: nessus-adduser: command not found

    i get the follwoing error when i try to add a user
    on my machine i have installed Nessus-3.2.1-ubuntu710_i386.deb
    and its running
    as i did the following
    ps -e|grep nessusd
    got
    6841 ? 00:00:00 nessusd
    what might be the problem

  2. Peter Turk December 22, 2008 at 4:38 pm #

    Hey, can you pick a colour scheme that makes it impossilbe to read this? Oh wait – you’ve done that!