The 6 Best Network Scanners for Linux

Wondering which Network Scanner should you use on your Linux? In this article, we have hand-picked six of the best Linux Network Scanners for your system.

Computer Networks facilitate the sharing of information and resources between multiple nodes linked together. It is regarded as the backbone of telecommunication in the field of technology.

The other crucial term under networks is Computer Network security. It refers to the set of rules and configurations adopted to prevent and monitor network misuse, data modification (integrity), and denial of network access and resources.

Having understood these two terms, now we can look at Network Scanning. Network scanning mainly deals with security in computer networks. It is a procedure used to identify nodes on a network, services offered by different devices, identify network security systems in place, the operating systems, protect networks from attacks, and check the overall network health.

Best Network Scanners for Linux

In this post, we have handpicked the six best Network Scanners for Linux systems. When choosing a network scanning tool, a network administrator must understand the scanning capabilities of a particular utility and the functional areas it covers.

1. Nessus

Nessus Dashboard
Nessus Dashboard

At the top of our list is Nessus. It is a popular tool used by network administrators to scan for issues in a network. Initially, Nessus was distributed as a freeware utility. That quickly changed with time; currently, it’s available as a commercial utility. However, there is still a free package of Nessus that only comes with limited features and capabilities.

Nessus comes in 3 packages, each having different capabilities. They include Nessus Home, Nessus Professional, and Nessus Manager or Nessus Cloud. Nessus has been designed to make the whole process of networking, scanning simple and straightforward.

Key Features

  • Support for a wide range of systems, including cloud, OT (Operational Technology) devices, and traditional IT assets
  • It is available with 70,000 plugins offering various vulnerability scanning services on a network.
  • It offers support for network inventory with the available advanced features, e.g., automated scans, multiple network scans, and asset discovery.
  • Offers accurate visibility into a network
  • Support for both IPv4 and Ipv6 network scans.
  • It offers support for automated scheduling of scans and analysis.
  • Generate customized reports and notifications

Download Nessus

2. Nikto


Nikto is an open-source web server scanner distributed under the General Public Licence (GPL). Nikto analyses and performs rapid tests on web servers for up to 7000, potentially malicious applications and files. It also checks for outdated server versions and checks for server configurations objects like HTTP options, index files, etc.

Key Features

  • It provides HTTP proxy support.
  • Nikto supports report generation in several file formats, including XML, HTML, NBE, or CSV.
  • Offers support scanning for multiple servers and ports via input file, which can include Nmap output.
  • Enhances security by authenticating hosts with Basic and NTLM.
  • Enables users to tune scans and include/exclude various vulnerability checks.
  • Nikto provides a platform for report customization.

Download Nikto

3. OpenVAS


OpenVAS is a free and open-source network security scanning utility distributed under the General Public Licence (GPL). Regarded as a vulnerability assessment tool, OpenVAS scans a network for connected servers, firewalls while listening for any configuration errors in the services running on these devices.

It comes with a unique feature that enables the assessment of solutions and reveals the false negatives and false positives. For any false positive, OpenVAS provides a report of why a particular vulnerability was flagged.

The tool supports three types of scans. They include a Full Scan, Web Server Scan, and WordPress Scan.

A full scan tests the network and all connected devices like servers and web applications for any vulnerabilities. A web server scan is used to test networks for any web servers and web application vulnerabilities. The WordPress scan, like the name suggests, examines a system for WordPress and web server vulnerabilities.

Key Features

  • OpenVAS is an excellent vulnerability scanning utility with solution management.
  • Provision of reports for risk assessments and mitigation.
  • Support for intelligent custom scans.

Download OpenVAS

4. Angry IP scanner

Angry IP Scanner
Angry IP Scanner

Angry IP scanner is a free and open-source network scanning tool used to perform IP addresses and Port scans. Every single scan provides information about nodes on the network like hostnames, MAC addresses, NetBIOS information, frequently used IP ranges, web servers presence, etc.

To speed up the network scanning process, Angry IP Scanner implements a multi-threaded approach with each thread scanning a different range of IP addresses. You can save the results in various file formats like CSV, TXT, and XML.

Key Features

  • It supports the scanning of rapid IP addresses and ports.
  • Implements multi-threaded scanning.
  • Support for several file formats – CSV, TXT and XML.

Download Angry IP Scanner

5. Nmap


Nmap is another popular tool available for both Network administrators and penetration testers. As the name suggests, Network Mapper (NMAP) maps a network and checks for vulnerabilities. It identifies nodes on a network, available hosts and services offered, discover open and closed ports, etc. The Nmap Scripting Engine helps in detecting network security issues and configuration errors.

Nmap is available as a Command-line (CLI) utility but has a GUI client known as Zenmap. Nmap can be used on small networks, scanning a single host and vast networks with thousands of nodes and subnets.

Key Features

  • Ease of use
  • Nmap Serves as a network inventory and mapping utility.
  • Support for port scanning and auditing.

Download Nmap

6. Qualys FreeScan

Qualys Freescan
Qualys Freescan

Qualys Freescan is a free and open-source network scanning utility that helps businesses streamline their security and compliance solutions. It scans the network for URLs, IP addresses, and local servers for vulnerabilities.

It performs three primary checks on a network;

  • Vulnerability checks: Tests a network for malware attacks and SSL issues.
  • OWASP: Checks for security issues in web applications.
  • SCAP checks: (Security Content Automation Protocol) checks computer configurations against security contents, i.e., SCAP.

Key Features

  • Qualys performs detailed network vulnerability checks.
  • Support for web application auditing.
  • Qualys responds to threats in realtime.
  • It supports only up to 10 free scans.

Download Qualys Freescan


Every network has its weakness in terms of bugs, loopholes, and even misconfigurations. All these can lure an attacker into exploiting the vulnerabilities. Network monitoring is, therefore, a critical activity that every network administrator should carry out from time to time to prevent intrusions. Network scanning tools make such a task much more comfortable and straightforward.

As an administrator, you will need to make a tough decision on which tool is best for your network. I would suggest you go for a utility that provides advanced exploit detections, comprehensive port scanning, and web vulnerability assessments.

In this article, we have looked at some of the best Linux network scanning tools, and luckily, most of them are freeware. Go through each of them and pick one which is best suited for your network.

Arun Kumar
Arun did his bachelor in computer engineering and loves enjoying his spare time writing for FOSS Linux. He uses Fedora as the daily driver and loves tinkering with interesting distros on VirtualBox. He works during the day and reads anything tech at night. Apart from blogging, he loves swimming and playing tennis.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here




Mastering the SQLite Database in Python

SQLite is a relational database management system based on the SQL language; it is a serverless, Zero-configuration database engine. It is one of the...

Basics of Working with the SQLite Database in Python

A database is one of the most useful and popular files for storing data; they can be used to store any kind of data, including text, numbers, images, binary data, files, etc. SQLite is a relational database management system based on the SQL language. It is a C library, and it provides an API to work with other programming languages, including Python. It does not require a separate server process to be run as needed in large database engines like MySQL and Postgresql.

5 Ways to Check the Linux Version

When most people talk of Linux, they are always referring to a Linux distribution. However, this is not the case. Linux itself is a kernel which acts as a bridge between user applications and the hardware. When we talk of a Linux distribution, we refer to an operating system developed from the Linux kernel. A distribution comes with a package manager, pre-installed applications, a Desktop Environment, and several more features.

Getting Started with Linux Operating System

The Linux operating system brings forth a vibrant mix of features and security, making it the best alternative to macOS or Windows operating systems. In this post, we will give you a master guide on Getting started with Linux systems - taking you from a complete beginner to a level where you can begin testing the various Linux distributions available with much ease.

How to Create a Comprehensive Mail Server on Ubuntu

Postal is a free and open-source mail server used to send and receive emails. It comes loaded with tons of excellent features and functionalities, making it extremely popular among large organizations as well as in enterprise settings.

The 10 Best Linux Performance Monitoring Tools

Do you want to monitor the performance of your Linux system? Are you looking for some powerful performance monitoring tools to help you out? If you agree, it's your day as we have put together a detailed list of the ten best Linux performance monitoring tools.


Buyers who wish to go for a machine that is based on Linux often show interest in Chromebooks due to the form factor and extended battery life capabilities. Although ChromeOS power these machines, users can still miss out on a more genuine Linux experience. For those who happen to agree, the new Lemur Pro by System76 might get some heads turning.
Linux is growing faster than ever. As per the latest report, there is a drop in the Windows 10 market share for the first time, and Linux's market share has improved to 2.87% this month. Most of the features in the list were rolled out in the Pop OS 20.04. Let's a detailed look into the new features, how to upgrade, and a ride through video.

Top 10 Reasons to use Xfce as your Desktop Environment

There are many choices for desktop environments for Linux based operating systems. Mainly, you can install any DE of your choice on most of the Linux based distributions, even if they are not offered as a package officially. In our recent articles, we discussed the best of KDE and Cinnamon. In this article, we wish to present to you the top reasons why you should consider Xfce as your desktop environment.

15 Tar command in Linux uses with examples

Tar is a famous utility that is basically used for collecting multiple files in a single archive. This file is often called a 'tarball'. Today, we are going to tell you about the different things you can do with tarballs using the tar command, with practical examples.

Pop!_OS 20.04 Review: Professional Linux Distribution Ever Made

Linux is growing faster than ever. As per the latest report, there is a drop in the Windows 10 market share for the first time, and Linux's market share has improved to 2.87% this month. Most of the features in the list were rolled out in the Pop OS 20.04. Let's a detailed look into the new features, how to upgrade, and a ride through video.

6 Essential Command-Line Utilities Every Linux User Should Know

Last week, we shared with you several "cool and fun" commands to get comfortable and confident with the Linux command-line. In our quest to further aid Linux users with mastery of the command line, or CLI, we present you with a variety of command-line utilities essential for all Linux users, regardless of proficiency level.