About OpenVAS

OpenVAS is a framework of several services and tools offering a comprehensive and powerful vulnerability scanning and vulnerability management solution.


The OpenVAS user

OpenVAS is run under a dedicated user, so as user root:

passwd openvas

The following commands should be run as user openvas.

Generate OpenVAS keys certificates

A gnupg key is used to verify the integrety of downloaded data. So, create our own gnupg key, and sign the OpenVASgnupg key with it:

gpg --homedir=/var/lib/openvas/gnupg --gen-key --batch < /var/lib/openvas/gnupg/gnupg_genkey_batch.txt
gpg --homedir=/var/lib/openvas/gnupg --import /var/lib/openvas/gnupg/OpenVAS_TI.asc
gpg --homedir=/var/lib/openvas/gnupg --yes --lsign-key 48DB4530

Create the certificates needed for communication:

openvas-mkcert -q
openvas-mkcert-client -n -i

Download OpenVAS data

Download OpenVAS data (may take half an hour or more):


Rebuild OpenVAS databases

The first time openvassd is started, it will rebuild its cache:


This may take 10 minutes or more. You can watch the progress with:

ps u -C openvassd

When cache rebuilding is complete, you should see:

openvassd: Waiting for incoming connections

Then rebuild the openvasmd database:

openvasmd --rebuild

OpenVAS admin user

Add an administrative user:

openvasmd --create-user admin

Remember the password ...

Start OpenVAS

openvassd should already have been started above.

Start manager and greenbone-security-assistant:

gsad --port=9392

You should now have an OpenVAS interface on localhost:9392

Check that everything is OK

As openvas:

wget --no-check-certificate
chmod +x openvas-check-setup

Pretending to be another Linux distribution

Many OpenVAS checks are distribution specific, and KaarPux is not recognized by OpenVAS. Hence you may want to set up KaarPux to pretend to be another Linux distribution.

Then, if you run an OpenVAS scan, more vulnerabilities may be picked up.

Note however, that some package names differ between KaarPux and other Linux distributions, so some vulnerabilities may be missed.

As root, create the file /bin/rpm containing:

/home/kaarpux/kaarpux/master/tools/ --rpm --threads=10 2>/dev/null

and the file /bin/dpkg containing:

/home/kaarpux/kaarpux/master/tools/ --dpkg --threads=10 2>/dev/null | \\

and make them executable:

chmod +x /bin/rpm /bin/dpkg

Pretending to be Fedora

As root, create the file /etc/redhat-release containing:

KaarPux pretending to be Fedora release 20 (Heisenbug)

You may want to try other Fedora versions: grep Fedora /var/lib/openvas/plugins/gather-package-list.nasl

Pretending to be Debian

As root, create the file /etc/debian_version containing:

KaarPux pretending to be Debian 7.0

You may want to try other Debian versions:

grep \\"Debian /var/lib/openvas/plugins/gather-package-list.nasl

OpenVAS network scanning

A part of OpenVAS is scanning hosts for network vulnerabilities. If you want to run those scans, you need to start:program:OpenVAS as root:

sudo openvassd


If you do not run OpenVAS as root, you need to set Alive Test to Consider Alive when creating a New Target One indicator of the above problem is a log item stating: Remote host is dead.