Skip to main content

Installing and Configuring OpenVAS

Hands-On Lab


Photo of

Training Architect





In this lab, we'll be installing OpenVAS, an open source vulnerability scanner. Then we'll configure it to scan localhost and export the scan task to our Downloads directory.

What are Hands-On Labs?

Hands-On Labs are scenario-based learning environments where learners can practice without consequences. Don't compromise a system or waste money on expensive downloads. Practice real-world skills without the real-world risk, no assembly required.

Installing and Configuring OpenVAS


In this lab, we'll be installing OpenVAS, an open-source vulnerability scanner. Then we'll configure it to scan localhost and export the scan task to our Downloads directory.

Setting Up the Environment

We will connect to our lab server using VNC. The IP address and login credentials are provided on the lab instructions page.

VNC connections will be different for each operating system.

For Mac users:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Press Command+K on your keyboard to bring up the Connect to server window.
    • Alternatively, expand Go in the menu at the top of the screen and click Connect to Server.
  3. In the Connect to Server window, connect to vnc://<IP_ADDRESS>:5901, making sure to replace <IP_ADDRESS> with the IP address you were provided in the hands-on lab instructions.

Install OpenVAS

  1. Add the repository to apt.
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mrazavi/openvas
  2. Enter your password at the prompt.
  3. Run an update.
    sudo apt-get update
  4. Install SQLite 3.
    sudo apt-get install -y sqlite3
  5. Install OpenVAS 9.
    sudo apt-get install -y openvas9
  6. Restart the OpenVAS manager service.
    sudo service openvas-manager restart
  7. Check the services to verify that OpenVAS is running.
    ps -ef | grep openvas

Create an OpenVAS Scan of localhost and Export the Task to Your Downloads Directory

  1. Open your web browser, and navigate to
  2. You will receive a warning message that the connection is unsecure. Click Advanced > Add Exception > Confirm Security Exception.
  3. Log in to Greenbone with the username admin and the password admin.
  4. Click Scans > Tasks.
  5. Click the *`` icon, then New Task**.
  6. In the New Task menu, fill out the following information:
    • Name: LabScan
    • Scan Targets:
      • Click the *``** icon next to Scan Targets and configure the following settings:
      • Name: localhost
      • Manual: localhost
      • Click Create.
    • Schedule: Once
    • Alterable Task: Yes
  7. Leave the rest of the options as their defaults, and click Create.
  8. Under Actions, click the green arrow icon on the right to export the task.
  9. In the dialog box that opens, choose Save File, then click OK.
  10. Open your Downloads folder and verify that the exported file is there.


Congratulations, you've successfully completed this hands-on lab!