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Install and use Greenbone Vulnerability Manager with the Kali Linux distribution

Kali Linux logo greenbone openvas logo

Greenbone Vulnerability Manager is a software framework that includes several tools (OpenVas, WebUI, …) to perform vulnerability scans.

Indeed, with this software framework we will be able to scan a complete network or a single host to see if it is prone to known vulnerabilities.

Historically Greenbone Vulnerability Manager is a fork of the Nessus scanning tool which is now a proprietary software.

Install GVM


  • Install necesserary paquages :
kali@kali:~$ sudo apt install gvm postgresql nsis
  • Run setup script :
    • Which will :
      • Start services and create PostgreSQL database
      • Create GVM certificate files
      • Apply needed permissions
      • Update vulnerabilities databases
      • Create and set admin account
kali@kali:~$ sudo gvm-setup
[*] Please note the password for the admin user
[*] User created with password 'xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxx'.

[>] You can now run gvm-check-setup to make sure everything is correctly configured
Please note the password of the user admin.
  • Start gvmd and gsad services :
kali@kali:~$ sudo systemctl start gvmd.service && sudo systemctl start gsad.service
  • Run check script :
kali@kali:~$ sudo gvm-check-setup
  • Check gvmd service is running :
kali@kali:~$ sudo systemctl status gvmd.service
  • Check WebUI is waiting for a connection :
kali@kali:~$ sudo ss -ltn4p
State         Recv-Q        Send-Q                Local Address:Port                 Peer Address:Port        Process                                                          
LISTEN        0             4096                            *            users:(("gsad",pid=2243,fd=10))
  • Add default admin user the right to create tasks :
kali@kali:~$ sudo gvmd --modify-setting 78eceaec-3385-11ea-b237-28d24461215b --value admin
  • Now you should be able to connect to the address with admin login :
Kali Linux | Greenbone Vulnerability Manager > Sign in to you account Web Page

Change listening interface (Optional)

In its default configuration Greenbone Security Assistant (GSA) (WebUI) is only reachable through local address ( To be able to connect to the WebUI interface from others hosts we need to modify systemctl configuration.

  • Edit /usr/lib/systemd/system/gvmd.service
Description=Greenbone Vulnerability Manager daemon (gvmd) networking.service postgresql.service ospd-openvas.service
Wants=postgresql.service ospd-openvas.service

#ExecStart=/usr/sbin/gvmd --osp-vt-update=/run/ospd/ospd.sock --listen-group=_gvm
ExecStart=/usr/sbin/gvmd --osp-vt-update=/run/ospd/ospd.sock -a

  • Edit /usr/lib/systemd/system/gsad.service
Description=Greenbone Security Assistant daemon (gsad)
Documentation=man:gsad(8) gvmd.service

#ExecStart=/usr/sbin/gsad --listen --port 9392
ExecStart=/usr/sbin/gsad --mlisten=KALI_IP_ADDRESS --listen --port 9392

kali@kali:~$ sudo systemctl daemon-reload
kali@kali:~$ sudo systemctl restart gvmd.service
kali@kali:~$ sudo systemctl restart gsad.service

Useful commands

  • Update Network Vulnerability Tests :
kali@kali:~$ sudo -u _gvm greenbone-nvt-sync
  • Keeping the feeds up-to-date :
kali@kali:~$ sudo greenbone-feed-sync --type CERT
kali@kali:~$ sudo greenbone-feed-sync --type SCAP
kali@kali:~$ sudo greenbone-feed-sync --type GVMD_DATA
  • Create an gvadmin user :
kali@kali:~$ sudo runuser -u _gvm -- gvmd --create-user=gvadmin --password=stPassw0rd --disable-password-policy
  • Get UUIDs of all created users :
kali@kali:~$ sudo runuser -u _gvm -- gvmd --get-users
  • Change user password :
kali@kali:~$ sudo runuser -u _gvm -- gvmd --user=gvadmin --new-password=gvadmin

Using GVM

We will see here how to perform our first vulnerability scan of a predetermined host.

Create target

  • Go to Targets :
Kali Linux | Greenbone Vulnerability Manager > Configuration > Targets
  • Click New Target link :
Kali Linux | New Target link
  • Define the Target to scan by setting the ip address and giving it a Name :
Kali Linux | New Target window

Create task

  • Open Tasks :
Kali Linux | Greenbone Vulnerability Manager > Scans > Tasks
  • Click New Task icon :
Kali Linux | Greenbone Vulnerability Manager > Scans > Tasks
  • Define the New Task by setting the Name, associate the Target and by checking Schedule Once :
Kali Linux | Greenbone Vulnerability Manager > Scans > Tasks
  • Click Play button to Start the task :
Kali Linux | Greenbone Vulnerability Manager Start Task
  • After some minutes the task end, click to the Last Report link to access scan vulnerabilities report :
Kali Linux | Greenbone Vulnerability Manager, task end
  • You will have a complete report :
Kali Linux | Greenbone Vulnerability Manager, vulnerabilities report
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