Install Nessus Vulnerability Scanner (v5.2) on Debian

Nessus is a cross-platform, comprehensive systems vulnerability scanner, which provides a wide range of penetration techniques starting with a simple host ping scan and finishing with dangerous Denial of Service attack. 

Register for a Home Licence

Nessus Home registration if free and can be done on this page:

Home licence is available for personal use in a home environment only, that’s all we need.

Make sure that the email provided during the registration is valid as it will be used to send a Tenable Nessus Home Activation Code.

Download the Installation Package

Installation packages are available for download on this page:

We use a 32-bit Debian Wheezy machine, therefore will go for Nessus-5.2.5-debian6_i386.deb (Debian 6.0, 32 bits).


Install Nessus scanner:

# dpkg -i Nessus-5.2.5-debian6_i386.deb

Start the daemon:

# /etc/init.d/nessusd start

Check that Nessus is running:

# netstat -nltp | grep nessus
tcp   0   0*  LISTEN    11614/nessusd
tcp6  0   0 :::8834        :::*       LISTEN    11614/nessusd

Open a web browser and go to:


Make sure the TCP 8834 port is open on a firewall if intended to access form another PC. Follow the on-screen instructions: create a new user account, enter the activation code and download plugins (this is CPU and disk intensive task and takes a lot of time). Once the plugins are downloaded and processed, subsequent startups will be much faster. Happy home systems scanning!

Configure Iptables

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 8834 -j ACCEPT

2 thoughts on “Install Nessus Vulnerability Scanner (v5.2) on Debian

    • No idea to be honest, I never thought about installing Nessus on a Raspberry Pi due to lack of RAM it comes with. You may want to try OpenVAS.

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