(Last Updated On: January 26, 2019)

How to Install Nessus on Ubuntu 18.04?, How to Install Nessus on Debian 9?. In today’s guide, we’ll discuss the process of Installing Nessus on Ubuntu 18.04 / Ubuntu 16.04 / Debian 9. Nessus is a proprietary vulnerability assessment tool that works for Mobile and Web applications deployed on Premise or in a cloud environment.

Nessus gives you malware detection, scanning of embedded devices, configurations auditing, control systems auditing and compliance checks among other features. Installing  Nessus Scanner on Ubuntu 18.04 /Debian 9 is the first step to securing and hardening your Infrastructure and Applications from the “bad guys”.

How to Install Nessus Scanner on Ubuntu 18.04 / Debian 9

Nessus Scanner packages are available on Nessus Downloads page. Confirm the latest Nessus Debian package release before downloading it.

As of this article writing, the available release is Nessus - 8.2.0 . This is what we’ll download and install.

Install Nessus Scanner on Ubuntu 18.04

For Ubuntu 18.04, the package name I’m using is:

Nessus-8.2.0-ubuntu1110_amd64.deb

Downloaded from:

Install it by running:

$ sudo dpkg -i Nessus-8.1.0-ubuntu1110_amd64.deb

Selecting previously unselected package nessus.
(Reading database ... 105206 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack Nessus-8.1.0-ubuntu1110_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking nessus (8.1.0) ...
Setting up nessus (8.1.0) ...
Unpacking Nessus Scanner Core Components...

 - You can start Nessus Scanner by typing /etc/init.d/nessusd start
 - Then go to https://ubuntu-01:8834/ to configure your scanner

Processing triggers for ureadahead (0.100.0-20) ...
Processing triggers for systemd (237-3ubuntu10.3) ...

Install Nessus Scanner on Debian 9

For Debian 9. downloaded package is named:

Nessus-8.2.0-debian6_amd64.deb

Downloaded from:

Install it with dep package manager like below:

$ sudo dpkg -i Nessus-8.1.0-debian6_amd64.deb 
Selecting previously unselected package nessus.
(Reading database ... 26870 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack Nessus-8.1.0-debian6_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking nessus (8.1.0) ...
Setting up nessus (8.1.0) ...
Unpacking Nessus Scanner Core Components...

 - You can start Nessus Scanner by typing /etc/init.d/nessusd start
 - Then go to https://deb9:8834/ to configure your scanner

Processing triggers for systemd (232-25+deb9u6) ...

Start and enable nessusd service

Start nessusd service:

sudo systemctl start nessusd

Then enable the service to start on boot:

$ sudo systemctl enable nessusd.service 
nessusd.service is not a native service, redirecting to systemd-sysv-install.
Executing: /lib/systemd/systemd-sysv-install enable nessusd

Confirm service status using:

$ sudo systemctl status  nessusd.service 
nessusd.service - LSB: Starts and stops the Nessus
Loaded: loaded (/etc/init.d/nessusd; generated)
Active: active (running) since Wed 2018-12-12 07:44:59 PST; 1s ago
Docs: man:systemd-sysv-generator(8)
Process: 2865 ExecStart=/etc/init.d/nessusd start (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
Tasks: 10 (limit: 2319)
CGroup: /system.slice/nessusd.service
|-2867 /opt/nessus/sbin/nessus-service -D -q
`-2868 nessusd -q
Dec 12 07:44:59 ubuntu-01 systemd[1]: Starting LSB: Starts and stops the Nessus…
Dec 12 07:44:59 ubuntu-01 nessusd[2865]: Starting Nessus : .
Dec 12 07:44:59 ubuntu-01 systemd[1]: Started LSB: Starts and stops the Nessus.

Nessus daemon binds to TCP port 8834.

Make sure this port is allowed on firewall if UFW is running:

sudo ufw allow 8834/tcp

Configuring Nessus

Visit your Nessus web interface on https://[IP Address|Hostname]:8834 to finish Nessus installation and activation. Create Nessus Administrator Account on the first page.

Before you can use Nessus, you’ll have to obtain an activation code on https://www.tenable.com/products/nessus/activation-code.

For testing purposes, you can go with the “Nessus Home” license.

The License key will be sent to you on email used for signup. Register your Nessus Scanner with emailed activation code.

The Initializing process should start.

Be informed that this could take some time as Nessus download Plugins and prepare the files needed to scan your assets. When done, login with created admin account.

Nessus default page on login should look similar to below.

You should now have Nessus Scanner installed and configured on Ubuntu 18.04 / Debian 9. Our next articles will cover usage of Nessus for scanning different assets in your Infrastructure.