How To Install & Use OpenVAS in CentOS 7

Today we will talk about a utility that is going to be fundamental, in the management and control of possible failures in CentOS.

What is OpenVAS?

OpenVAS (Open Vulnerability Assessment System) is a free software that has been developed with various components focused on analyzing vulnerabilities, both active and potential, within CentOS 7.

OpenVAS deletes by GNU GPL and will be a vital tool for this type of analysis.

For this tutorial, we will use CentOS 7.

Step 1: Install OpenVAS repository

First of all, we proceed to install the official repository so that OpenVAS works appropriately in the analysis of vulnerabilities.

For this we execute the following command:

wget -q -O - |sh

The license agreement will be deployed which we must accept:

For the optimal functioning of OpenVAS, it will be necessary to download specific internet packages that require a subscription to RedHat, in case of not having one we will configure the CentOS repository in the following way. Access the next route:

nano /etc/yum.repos.d/centos.repo

There we will enter the following lines:






Save the changes using the key combination Ctrl + O and left the editor using the combination Ctrl + X.

Step 2: Install OpenVAS

Once the repository is configured, we proceed to the installation of OpenVAS by executing the following command:

yum -y install openvas

Step 3: Run OpenVAS

Once OpenVAS is installed, we continue to start it by executing the following command:


There we define, firstly, the method of downloading the latest database available on the internet, in this case, we enter wget, press Enter and automatically start the download process:

Once downloaded it will be necessary to configure the GSAD IP address, Greenbone Security Assistant, which is a web interface to manage system scans.

Now we see step 2 in the OpenVAS configuration process:

Enter Yes in the question: ” Allow connections from Any IP” this with the aim of being able to connect with OpenVAS from different IP addresses.

In step 3 we must configure the administrator credentials, the user admin is the one that is set by default, but we can specify another if we wish. Once the credentials are defined, press Enter.

We  can see that the address to connect to OpenVAS is:


Step 4: Configure OpenVAS Connectivity

We go to our browser and enter the IP address of the CentOS 7 server where we have installed OpenVAS, and we will see that the following message is displayed:

There we click on the option I understand the risks and add the respective certificate. Once we access it, we will see the following window where we proceed to enter the credentials that we have previously configured.

Once we access the platform this will be the environment that we will see:

There we have different tabs like:

  • Dashboard: From this option, we can see all the tasks that have been created and the current status of OpenVAS.
  • Scans: From this tab, we can create new scanning tasks based on different values, additional we can generate reports, see results and enter notes.
  • Assets: In this tab, we find the evaluation objectives of OpenVAS, we can add equipment or operating systems.
  • Secinfo: Through this option, we will have access to all the security values of the OpenVAS such as NVTs, CPEs, CVEs, etc.
  • Configuration: In this tab, we have access to the configuration parameters of OpenVAS as Objectives, list of ports, alerts, scheduled tasks, agents, reports, filters, etc.
  • Extras: Using this option we can establish custom configurations, see the status of qualifications, see the performance of the platform, etc.
  • Administration: Through this option, we manage OpenVAS users, groups, and roles.
  • Help: Display the OpenVAS help.

To create a scanning target, we must first go to Configuration/Targets/New Target.

In the displayed window we will enter values such as:

  • Name to assign
  • IP Address
  • Ports
  • Type of authentication (SMB, ESXi, SNMP, etc.)

Once defined click on Create. Now we go to the Scans/Tasks/New Task tab

There, by default, the name we created earlier in the Scan Targets field will appear. Now we can define values such as:

  • Name of the task.
  • Type of alerts.
  • Set a schedule for the task.
  • Auto delete the task.
  • Scan type (OpenVAS, CVE).
  • Order of the objectives.
  • Maximum number of NVTs per device, etc.

Once the parameters are defined, click on Create. We can see our task created in the lower part:

To start the scan, click on the ► icon and begin the process of scanning the objective.

OpenVAS is a valuable tool to detect multiple operating system vulnerabilities and thus be a step forward in the resolution of future failures.

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