How To Install Nessus Scanner on Ubuntu 22.04

In this guide, we want to teach you How To Install and Configure Nessus Scanner on Ubuntu 22.04. Also, you will learn to Create the First Scan with Nessus on Ubuntu 22.04.

Nessus is an open-source network vulnerability scanner that uses the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures architecture for easy cross-linking between compliant security tools. It employs the Nessus Attack Scripting Language (NASL), a simple language that describes individual threats and potential attacks.

Nessus has a modular architecture consisting of centralized servers that conduct scanning and remote clients that allow for administrator interaction. Administrators can include NASL descriptions of all suspected vulnerabilities to develop customized scans.

Steps To Install and Configure Nessus Scanner on Ubuntu 22.04

To complete this guide, you must log in to your server as a non-root user with sudo privileges and set up a basic firewall. To do this, you can follow our guide on Initial Server Setup with Ubuntu 22.04.

Install Nessus Security Scanner on Ubuntu 22.04

First, you need to update your local package index with the following command:

sudo apt update

Download Nessus Installer

Then, you need to visit the Nessus Downloads page and download the latest installer with the following command:

curl --request GET \
  --url 'https://www.tenable.com/downloads/api/v2/pages/nessus/files/Nessus-10.4.1-ubuntu1404_amd64.deb' \
  --output 'Nessus-10.4.1-ubuntu1404_amd64.deb'

When your download is completed, run the following command to install the Nessus scanner on your server:

sudo dpkg -i Nessus-10.4.1-ubuntu1404_amd64.deb

You will get the following output:

Output
 - You can start Nessus Scanner by typing /bin/systemctl start nessusd.service
 - Then go to https://hostname:8834/ to configure your scanner

Manage Nessus Scanner Service

At this point, you need to start and enable your Nessus service by using the following commands:

# sudo /bin/systemctl start nessusd.service
# sudo systemctl enable nessusd

Verify your Nessus scanner is active and running on Ubuntu 22.04:

sudo systemctl status nessusd
Output
● nessusd.service - The Nessus Vulnerability Scanner
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/nessusd.service; enabled; vendor prese>
     Active: active (running) since Mon 2022-11-14 09:42:33 UTC; 41s ago
   Main PID: 2693 (nessus-service)
      Tasks: 13 (limit: 4575)
     Memory: 48.5M
        CPU: 48.661s
     CGroup: /system.slice/nessusd.service
             ├─2693 /opt/nessus/sbin/nessus-service -q
             └─2694 nessusd -q
...

Configure Firewall For Nessus

Here we assumed that you have enabled UFW firewall. Now you need to allow Nessus port through the firewall. To do this, run the command below:

sudo ufw allow 8834/tcp

Reload the firewall to apply the new rules:

sudo ufw reload

Access Nessus Scanner Web Interface

At this point, you can access your Nessus web interface by typing your server’s IP address in your web browser followed by 8834:

https://server-ip:8834

You will see the Nessus Scanner welcome page. At this point, you need to choose how you want to deploy Nessus. Select a product to get started.

Here we choose Nessus Essentials – The free version for educators, students, and hobbyists.

Select Nessus Essentials

Then, you need to enter your information to register and get an activation code from Nessus on Ubuntu 22.04.

 register and get an activation code from Nessus

After that, you need to enter the Nessus activation code that you have received and click continue.

Nessus activation code

Next, you need to create a Nessus admin user on Ubuntu 22.04 and click submit.

Create Nessus admin user account on Ubuntu 22.04

At this point, you need to wait while Nessus prepares the files to scan your assets. When it is completed, you will see your Nessus Dashboard.

Nessus scanner dashboard

Now that you have your Nessus scanner, let’s create your first scan.

Create First Scan with Nessus on Ubuntu 22.04

At this point, we want to show you how to scan your Ubuntu system for vulnerabilities via the Nessus web dashboard.

From your Nessus dashboard, click on My Scans and click Create a new scan.

create a new scan with Nessus on Ubuntu 22.04

Next, select the scan templates for your new scan. Here we use the template ‘Basic Network Scan‘.

Basic network scan with Nessus

At this point, you need to enter a name for your scan, the description, the folder for storing the scan, and the target server. Then, click Save to save the new scan.

From your ‘My Scan’ page, you will see the new scan that you just created. Click the start button to start the scan. 

That’s it you are done.

Set up Nessus command line on Ubuntu 22.04

At this point, you can set up the Nessus command line to work with your scanner from the command line.

First, you need to add a new bin PATH to your Ubuntu system:

echo 'export PATH="$PATH:/opt/nessus/bin:/opt/nessus/sbin"' >> ~/.bashrc

Then, reload the ~/.bashrc configuration:

source ~/.bashrc

You can now run the nessuscli command to verify your configuration. You should see the nessuscli binary file is available on the ‘/opt/nessus/sbin‘ directory, and also you will see the detailed help menu for the nessuscli command.

# which nessuscli
# nessuscli help
Output
Usage: nessuscli <command> [<options>]
Usage: nessuscli <command> help

Bug Reporting Commands:
   bug-report-generator
   bug-report-generator --quiet [--full] [--scrub]

User Commands:
   rmuser [username]
   chpasswd [username]
   adduser [username]
   lsuser

Dump Commands:
   dump --plugins

Fetch Commands:
   fetch --register <serial>
   fetch --register-offline <license.file>
   fetch --check
   fetch --code-in-use
   fetch --challenge
   fetch --security-center
   fetch --scanner-health-stats

Node Commands:
   node link --key=<key> --host=<host> --port=<port>
   node unlink
   node status

Fix Commands:
   fix [--secure] --list
   fix [--secure] --set <name=value>
   fix [--secure] --get <name>
   fix [--secure] --delete <name>
   fix --show
   fix --show <name>
   fix --list-interfaces
   fix --reset

Certificate Commands:
   import-certs
   mkcert-client
   mkcert [-q]

Backup Tool:
   backup --create <backup file filename>
   backup --restore <backup file path>

Software Update Commands:
   update
   update --all
   update --plugins-only
   update <plugin archive>

Conclusion

At this point, you have learned to Install and Configure the Nessus scanner on Ubuntu 22.04.

Hope you enjoy it.

You may be like these articles:

How To Set up Nessus Scanner on Debian 11

Install Nessus Scanner on Windows Server 2022

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