In Linux, network scanners are tools that are used to scan a network for devices, open ports, services, and vulnerabilities. These tools send packets to specific IP addresses or ranges of addresses and analyze the responses.
Network scanners can be used for various purposes, including security assessment, vulnerability scanning, port scanning, and network mapping.
This post will list and explain the 6 best network scanners for Linux in 2023:
The nmap tool stands for network mapper is used to scan the hosts and services on the network to discover online hosts on the network. The nmap sends the packets over the internet and analyzes the response to discover the active hosts. This tool is very helpful for port scanning, checking the vulnerability of the internet connection, and detecting the machines on a specific network.
Features of Nmap:
The most important features of nmap are as follows:
- Used for discovering online hosts by scanning different transfer protocols.
- Scans the specific ports for a machine.
- It supports IP address scanning for any machine or multiple machines simultaneously.
Install Nmap on Linux:
To Install Nmap in Linux, use the below-mentioned commands:
$ sudo apt install nmap -y #For Debian-based distributions
$ sudo yum install nmap -y #For RHEL-based distributions
2. Angry IP Scanner
Angry IP scanner is an open-source, cross-platform network discovery tool for scanning ports and IP addresses of machines. The Angry IP scanner sends the packets to get information about the network devices and sends different information about the online hosts. It can provide the IP address, hostname, ping speed, port number, and used web servers for a particular IP address.
Features of Angry IP:
The key features of the Angry IP scanner are as follows:
- It scans the online hosts on local networks and the internet very quickly.
- It can search for a range of IP addresses and different ports.
- It supports a multi-threaded scanning approach to fetch network host details.
- We can save the angry IP scanner result to a file, and it supports multiple file formats, including CSV, XML, and TXT.
Install Angry IP on LInux:
To install the IP scanner, download the package file from the official website and use the commands as per Linux distributions:
$ sudo apt install ./<package-name.deb> #For Debian/Ubuntu-based distros
$ sudo yum localinstall <package-name.rpm> #For RHEL-based distros
The Fping (fast ping) was developed to improve the basic ping tool originally used to scan and troubleshoot the networks. The Fping is a command-line tool based on ICMP protocol to send the echo request and fetches the data, including network connectivity issues for the online hosts. The Fping allows scanning multiple IP addresses simultaneously and can scan the subnet of an IP address.
Features of Fping:
The main features of the Fping command are as follows:
- Ping multiple requests for host scanning with a single command.
- It sends the next response immediately rather than waiting for the previous request response.
- The time between different ping requests can be managed, ranging between 1ms to 5s.
Install Fping on Linux:
To install Fping in Linux, execute these commands:
$ sudo apt install fping #For Debian-based distributions
$ sudo yum install fping #For RHEL-based distributions
$ sudo dnf install fping #For Fedora
$ sudo pacman -S fping #For Arch-based distributions
The Nessus is a popular network scanning tool commercially used to administer and troubleshoot network issues. The Nessus tool provides advanced scanning features and diverse systems & protocols, but the free package only provides some basic features. It is a user-friendly tool that makes network discovery easy and has a compact GUI that shows all the details efficiently.
Features of Nessus:
The key features of the Nessus are as follows:
- It supports plugins that can detect any vulnerabilities on the network.
- It supports diverse devices, including Cloud, Operational Technology systems, and many more.
- It has several advanced built-in features, including multiple networks and automated scanning.
Install Nessus on Linux:
First, download the Nessus tool from Official Nessus Downloader and then run the below commands:
$ sudp apt install ./<package-name.deb> #For Debian-based distributions
$ sudo yum localinstall <package-name.rpm> #For RHEL-based distributions
OpenVAS is a free and open-source tool used for assessing network security. It scans connected servers and firewalls to detect any vulnerabilities or configuration errors in the services running on these devices. It is widely regarded as a reliable and effective vulnerability assessment tool.
Features of OpenVAS:
The main features of this tool are given below:
- OpenVAS allows users to schedule scans in advance and run them automatically.
- It can detect any configuration errors in the services running on the devices.
- It provides detailed reports and visualizations of the results of the scan, making it easy to understand and interpret the findings.
Install OpenVAS on Linux:
The OpenVAS tool can be installed in Linux using the below-written commands:
$ sudo apt install openvas #For Debian-based distros
$ sudo yum install openvas #For RHEL-based distros
6. ARP Scan
The arp-scan short for Address Resolution Protocol is a method to discover the IP addresses of devices on a local network by sending ARP requests to every IP address on the network. The ARP protocol maps an IP address to a local network’s physical (MAC) address. It sends an ARP packet to a specific IP address and waits for the response. If the IP address is available on the internet, it displays its IP address.
Features of Arp Scan:
Let’s discuss the main features of the arp-scan tool:
- It can quickly identify and list all connected devices (including hidden devices) to the internet.
- It can find the IP addresses and MAC addresses on the internet, which helps to find malicious devices.
- ARP-Scans provides detailed information about devices based on their network interface controller (NIC).
Install ARP on Linux:
To install ARP scan in Linux, use these commands:
$ sudo apt install arp-scan #Debian-based distributions
$ sudo yum install arp-scan #RHEL-based distributions
$ sudo dnf install arp-scan #Fedora
$ sudo pacman -S arp-scan #Arch Linux
These are the best network scanning tools available in Linux.
The best network scanners in Linux are Nmap, Angry IP Scanner, Fping, Nessus, OpenVAS, and Arp Scan. Among all these, Nmap is the most used and preferred by network administrators. While other tools also provide descriptive information. The notable features and the installation method of each network scanner are discussed in this post.