OpenVAS, short for Open Vulnerability Assessment System, is a powerful open-source tool that allows you to scan your network for security vulnerabilities. It’s a must-have for system administrators and anyone concerned about the security of their Ubuntu system. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of installing OpenVAS on Ubuntu, ensuring your system is protected against potential threats.


Before you begin the installation process, make sure you have the following prerequisites in place:

  • An Ubuntu system (this guide is based on Ubuntu 20.04, but it should work on other versions as well).
  • Administrative privileges (you’ll need to use sudo for several commands).

Step 1: Update Your System

To ensure your system is up-to-date, open a terminal and run the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

This will update the package list and upgrade your existing packages to the latest versions.

Step 2: Install Required Dependencies

OpenVAS has some dependencies that need to be installed before we proceed. Use the following command to install them:

sudo apt install software-properties-common
sudo apt install gnutls-bin

Step 3: Add OpenVAS Repository

To get the latest OpenVAS packages, you need to add the OpenVAS repository. You can do this by running:

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

Step 4: Install OpenVAS

Now that the repository is added, you can install OpenVAS by running the following command:

sudo apt install openvas

During the installation process, you will be prompted to configure the Redis database. Select ‘Yes’ to proceed.

Step 5: Set Up the Initial OpenVAS Environment

After the installation is complete, you need to set up the OpenVAS environment by running the following command:

sudo openvas-setup

This process may take some time, as it downloads and updates vulnerability data. You will be prompted to create a password for the OpenVAS Administrator. Make sure to choose a strong password.

Step 6: Start OpenVAS

Once the setup is complete, start OpenVAS by running:

sudo systemctl start openvas-scanner
sudo systemctl start openvas-manager
sudo systemctl start openvas-gsa

To ensure OpenVAS starts automatically when your system reboots, run:

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

Accessing the OpenVAS Web Interface

You can access the OpenVAS web interface by opening a web browser and navigating to https://localhost:9392 or https://your_server_ip:9392. Log in with the username “admin” and the password you set during the setup.


What is OpenVAS used for?

OpenVAS is a security tool used for scanning and identifying vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks. It helps system administrators and security professionals identify and address potential security threats.

Can I install OpenVAS on other Linux distributions?

Yes, OpenVAS can be installed on various Linux distributions, but the installation steps may vary slightly. You can refer to the official documentation for distribution-specific instructions.

Q: How often should I run OpenVAS scans?

It’s a good practice to run regular scans with OpenVAS, especially after significant system changes or updates. Many organizations perform weekly or monthly scans, but the frequency can vary depending on your specific security requirements.

Can I automate OpenVAS scans?

Yes, OpenVAS supports scheduling scans and can be integrated with other security tools and scripts for automation.

Now you’ve successfully installed OpenVAS on your Ubuntu system. Regularly using OpenVAS to scan your network will help you stay on top of potential vulnerabilities and ensure the security of your systems.


I am a Full-Stack Web Developer & Security Analyst from Bangladesh. I have built web/online applications on various Open Source Stacks and love information security testing.

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