OpenVAS Manager  7.0.0
OpenVAS Manager Documentation


About OpenVAS Manager

The OpenVAS Manager is a layer between the OpenVAS Scanner and various
client applications such as the web client GSA (Greenbone Security
Assistant), the command line client omp (of openvas-cli) and the classic
application GSD (Greenbone Security Desktop).  Among other features, it
adds server-side storage of scan results and it removes the need for a scan
client to keep the connection open until the scan finishes.  All
communication between OpenVAS Manager and its clients is done via the
XML-based OpenVAS Management Protocol (OMP).

OpenVAS Manager is licensed under GNU General Public License Version 2 or
any later version.  Please see file COPYING for details.

All parts of OpenVAS Manager are Copyright (C) by Greenbone Networks GmbH

Howto use

The Manager connects to the scanner using certificate based authentication.
The certificate needs to be created for this communication.
Please see the file INSTALL for instructions.

Starting OpenVAS Manager:
For example, if openvassd is running on port 9391, the following command
starts the Manager on port 9390.


A command like

    openvasmd --update


    openvasmd --rebuild

will update the Manager's NVT cache, and then exit.  The cache must be
updated every time the Scanner syncs with the NVT feed.  The --rebuild
option is faster as it locks the database the entire time, whereas --update
allows clients to access the Manager during the update.

A rebuild within a running Manager can also be invoked by sending the main
Manager process the SIGHUP signal (signal number 1).

The program usage message follows.

      openvasmd [OPTION...] - Manager of the Open Vulnerability Assessment System

    Help Options:
      -h, --help                  Show help options

    Application Options:
      --backup                    Backup the database.
      -d, --database=<file>       Use <file> as database.
      --disable-cmds=<commands>   Disable comma-separated <commands>.
                                  Do not encrypt or decrypt credentials.
      --disable-password-policy   Do not restrict passwords to the policy.
      --disable-scheduling        Disable task scheduling.
      --create-user=<username>    Create admin user <username> and exit.
      --delete-user=<username>    Delete user <username> and exit.
      -f, --foreground            Run in foreground.
      --list-users                List users and exit.
      -a, --listen=<address>      Listen on <address>.
      --listen2=<address>         Listen also on <address>.
                                  Maximum number of IPs per target.
      -m, --migrate               Migrate the database and exit.
                                  Create a key to encrypt credentials.
      --encrypt-all-credentials   (Re-)Encrypt all credentials.
      --new-password=<password>   Modify user's password and exit.
      --optimize=<name>           Run an optimization: vacuum, analyze,
                                  or cleanup-port-names.
      -p, --port=<number>         Use port number <number>.
      --port2=<number>            Use port number <number> for address 2.
      --progress                  Display progress during --rebuild and --update.
      --rebuild                   Rebuild the NVT cache and exit.
      --role=<role>               Role for --create-user.
      -l, --slisten=<address>     Scanner (openvassd) address.
      -s, --sport=<number>        Scanner (openvassd) port number.
      -u, --update                Update the NVT cache and exit.
      --user=<username>           User for --new-password.
                                  Sets the GnuTLS priorities for the Manager socket.
      --dh-params=<file>          Diffie-Hellman parameters file
      -v, --verbose               Print tracing messages.
      --version                   Print version and exit.

Manual Pages




Please note: The reference system used by most of the developers is Debian
Debian GNU/Linux 'Jessie' 8. The build might fail on any other systems.
Also it is necessary to install dependent development packages.

Prerequisites for openvas-manager

* cmake >= 2.8
* glib-2.0 >= 2.32
* gnutls >= 3.2.15
* libopenvas_base, libopenvas_omp, libopenvas_misc, libopenvas_osp >= 9.0.0
* sqlite3 library or PostgreSQL database
* pkg-config

Prerequisites for certificate generation:
* GnuTLS certtool

Prerequisites for building documentation:
* Doxygen
* xmltoman (optional, for building man page)
* sqlfairy (optional, for producing database diagram)

Please see the section "Prerequisites for Optional Features" below additional
optional prerequisites.

Install prerequisites on Debian GNU/Linux 'Jessie' 8:
# apt-get install libsqlite3-dev | libpq-dev

Compiling openvas-manager

If you have installed required libraries to a non-standard location, remember to
set the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable to the location of you pkg-config
files before configuring:

    $ export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/your/location/lib/pkgconfig:$PKG_CONFIG_PATH

Create a build directory and change into it with

    $ mkdir build
    $ cd build

Then configure the build with

    $ cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/path/to/your/installation ..

or (if you want to use the default installation path /usr/local)

    $ cmake ..

This only needs to be done once.  Note: It is assumed that the other
OpenVAS components are installed to the same path.  If not, you need to set
some paths separately, see below for details.

Thereafter, the following commands are useful.

    $ make                # build the manager
    $ make doc            # build the documentation
    $ make doc-full       # build more developer-oriented documentation
    $ make install        # install the build
    $ make rebuild_cache  # rebuild the cmake cache

Choosing the Connection Type

OpenVAS Manager can serve client connections on either a TCP socket or a UNIX
domain socket.

The default is a UNIX domain socket, at


This location can be overridden with the --unix-socket option, and the
permissions of the socket can be specified with the --list-owner,
--listen-group and --listen-mode options.

To use a TCP socket, call openvasmd with the --listen option, for example

    openvasmd --listen=

Certificate Generation

All TCP-based communication with OpenVAS Manager uses the TLS protocol to
establish secure connections and for authentication and authorization.
This requires the presence of a certificate infrastructure consisting of a
certificate authority (CA) and a server and client certificate signed by the

OpenVAS Manager uses a client certificate when connecting to a scanner via the
OSP protocol.

The easiest way to generate this certificate is to use the
"openvas-manage-certs" script. A quick way to set up required certificates
on the local system is to execute the command "openvas-manage-certs -a".

If you intend to use OSP scanners and Manager on separate systems you need to make
sure that the mutual trust is properly configured via the TLS certificates.
The "openvas-manage-certs" script can assist you in setting up your infrastructure.
Please refer to the documentation provided with the script for usage details.

If certificates expired or in other ways there is need to update certificates
for scanners, please see also section "Updating Scanner Certificates".

Choosing the Database Backend

OpenVAS Manager can use either SQLite or PostgreSQL as the database

SQLite is the default and as a prerequisite you need to have
the sqlite3 library installed. No further configuration
is required, the database is created automatically.

In order to use PostgreSQL as database backend, follow the
instructions given in file doc/postgres-HOWTO.

Initializing the Database

Now you can initialize the OpenVAS Manager database.
You need a running OpenVAS Scanner (openvassd) for this
as the Manager will retrieve all NVT details from the Scanner.
Run this command if you are using the default ports:

    $ openvasmd --rebuild

This command can be repeated anytime to update the database
with updated NVT data, regardless of whether openvasmd already
runs as a service in the background or not.

Migrating the Database

If you have used Manager before, you might need to migrate
the database to the current data model. Use this command
to run the migration:

    $ openvasmd --migrate

Creating an administrator user for OpenVAS

You can create an administrator user with the --create-user option of

    $ openvasmd --create-user=myuser

The new user's password is printed on success.

An administrator user can later create further users or
administrators via clients like the Greenbone Security Assistant (GSA).

Also, the new user can change their password via GSA.

Logging Configuration

By default Manager writes logs to the file


Logging is configured entirely by the file


The configuration is divided into domains like this one

    [md   main]
    prepend=%t %p
    prepend_time_format=%Y-%m-%d %Hh%M.%S %Z

The "level" field controls the amount of logging that is written.
The value of "level" can be

      4  Errors.
      8  Critical situation.
     16  Warnings.
     32  Messages.
     64  Information.
    128  Debug.  (Lots of output.)

Enabling any level includes all the levels above it.  So enabling Information
will include Warnings, Critical situations and Errors.

To get absolutely all logging, set the level to 128 for all domains in the
configuration file.

Optimizing the database

OpenVAS Manager offers the command line option --optimize=<name> to run various
optimization of the database. The currently supported values for <name> are:

  This option can reduce the file size by freeing some unused storage
  space in the database.
  For more information see the documentation for the VACUUM command of the
  database back-end you are using.

  This option updates various internal statistics of the database used to
  optimize queries.
  For more information see the documentation for the ANALYZE command of the
  database back-end you are using.

  This option removes duplicate preferences from Scan Configs and corrects
  some broken preference values.  For the latter, make sure the NVT preferences
  in the database are up to date, e.g. by running openvasmd --rebuild.

  This option removes results which were used in older versions of OpenVAS to
  indicate an open port. Since open ports are now part of the host details
  these results are now obsolete in most cases.

  This cleans up the ports of results as stored in the database by removing
  parts that do not conform to the format <port>/<protocol>.
  For example the application name will be removed from a port using the old
  format "telnet (23/tcp)", reducing it to the new format "23/tcp".
  This makes filtering results and delta reports more consistent.

  This cleans up results with no severity by assigning the default
  severity set by the user owning the result.
  All new results should have a severity assigned but this was not ensured in
  older versions, so this function can be used to correct missing severity
  scores in older reports.

  This clears the cache containing the unfiltered result counts of all reports
  and fully rebuilds it.

  This creates the cache containing the unfiltered result counts of all reports
  that are not cached yet.

Import/Update IANA Services Names

If you want the Manager to resolve port names when outputing reports for
instance, you need to import the information from a Services Names list.

In order to update the database, download the port names list:

    $ wget

Then provide it as an argument to openvas-portnames-update script:

    $ openvas-portnames-update service-names-port-numbers.xml

You can safely delete the list after that as it is not needed and all relevant
information has been imported into the database.

    $ rm service-names-port-numbers.xml

Note that IANA updates this list frequently. The same steps could be followed to
update the information in the database from a newer list.

Currently, the helper tool supports only the official IANA Services Names list.

Encrypted Credentials

By default the Manager stores private key and password parts of target
credentials encrypted in the database.  This voids leaking such keys
via backups.  To be able to do a proper restore of the data, it is
important to also backup the encryption key.  The easiest way to do
this is to create backup of the entire directory tree


and store it at a safe place independent from the database backups.
This needs to be done only once after the key has been created or
changed.  The Manager creates the key at startup if it does not

To check whether the key has been generated you may use the command

$ gpg --homedir <install-prefix>/var/lib/openvas/openvasmd/gnupg --list-secret-keys

An example output would be

  sec   2048R/1B55390F 2013-01-18
  uid                  OpenVAS Credential Encryption

Your key will have the same user ID ("OpenVAS Credential Encryption")
but another keyid (1B55390F) and another creation date (2013-01-18).

Older versions of the Manager didn't used encrypted credentials.  Thus
for old installations the database may hold a mix of cleartext and
encrypted credentials.  Note, that after changing a cleartext
credential it will be saved encrypted.

To encrypt all existing credentials you may use

    $ openvasmd --encrypt-all-credentials

Key change: If you disable the current key (see also the gpg manual) and
create a new key, this command will decrypt using the old but disabled key
and then re-encrypt using the new key.  The command --decrypt-all-credentials
may be used to revert to plaintext credentials:

    $ gpg --homedir /var/lib/openvas/openvasmd/gnupg -K

Look for the current key and remember its keyid. Then:

    $ gpg --homedir /var/lib/openvas/openvasmd/gnupg --edit-key KEYID

At the prompt enter "disable" followed by "save" and "quit".
Then create a new key and re-encrypt all passwords:

    $ openvasmd --create-credentials-encryption-key
    $ openvasmd --encrypt-all-credentials

No encryption: If for backward compatibility reasons encrypted credentials
are not desired, the manager must _always_ be started with the option

Resetting Credentials Encryption Key

If you lost some part of the encryption key, neither a regular migration nor
a simple creation might work.

In this case you need to reset the encryption key with the following
procedure. There is no way to get the encrypted credentials back. You
will need to enter all of them anew afterwards.

Get the key fingerprint:

    $ gpg --homedir <install-prefix>/var/lib/openvas/openvasmd/gnupg --list-secret-keys

Remove the secret key:

    $ gpg --homedir=<prefix>/etc/openvas/gnupg --delete-secret-keys KEYID

Remove the key:

    $ gpg --homedir=<prefix>/etc/openvas/gnupg --delete-keys KEYID

Create a new key:

    $ openvasmd --create-credentials-encryption-key

Finally, reset all credentials, by hand.

Migrating Encrypted Credentials from OpenVAS Manager 5.0 to 6.0

While OpenVAS Manager 5.0 initially placed the credential encryption key in
<install-prefix>/var/lib/openvas/gnupg, OpenVAS Manager 6.0 switched to using
<install-prefix>/var/lib/openvas/openvasmd/gnupg to make it easier to back up all
Manager data.

In order to continue using your encrypted credentials, please move the contents
of <install-prefix>/var/lib/openvas/gnupg to

Make sure the permissions on <install-prefix>/var/lib/openvas/openvasmd/gnupg are
suitable for the user OpenVAS Manager is running as.

Migrating Encrypted Credentials from OpenVAS Manager 4.0 to 5.0

While OpenVAS Manager 4.0 initially place the credential encryption key in
<install-prefix>/etc/openvas/gnupg, OpenVAS Manager 5.0 switched to using
<install-prefix>/var/lib/openvas/gnupg for better FHS compliance and to set the
key apart from the one used for signature verification.

In order to continue using your encrypted credentials, please copy the contents
of <install-prefix>/etc/openvas/gnupg to

Make sure the permissions on <install-prefix>/var/lib/openvas/gnupg are
suitable for the user OpenVAS Manager is running as.

Once your encrypted credentials are working again, feel free to remove the
credential encryptions key from the keyring in
<install-prefix>/etc/openvas/gnupg and the signature verification key from the
one in <install-prefix>/var/lib/openvas/gnupg.

Updating Scanner Certificates

If you have changed the CA certificate used to sign the server and client
certificates or the client certificate itself you will need to update the
certificates in Manager database as well.

The database can be updated using the following command:

    $ openvasmd --modify-scanner <uuid> \
                --scanner-ca-pub <cacert> \
                --scanner-key-pub <clientcert> \
                --scanner-key-priv <clientkey>

<uuid>       refers to the UUID used by OpenVAS Manager to identify the scanner;
             the UUID can be retrieved with "openvasmd --get-scanners"
<cacert>     refers to the certificate of the CA used to sign the scanner
             certificate. Leaving this empty will delete the CA certificate of
             the scanner. This option can be dropped if the scanner uses
             a certificate that corresponds with the default CA certficate of Manager
<clientcert> refers to the certificate Manager uses to authenticate when
             connecting to the scanner. For a default OSP scanner setup
             with self-signed certificates this would be
<clientkey>  refers to the private key Manager uses to authenticate when
             connecting to the scanner. For a default OSP scanner setup
             with self-signed certificates this would be

To set just a new default CA certificate:

    $ openvasmd --modify-setting 9ac801ea-39f8-11e6-bbaa-28d24461215b \
                --value "`cat /var/lib/openvas/CA/cacert.pem`"

Replace the path to the pem-file with the one of your setup. The
UUID is the fixed one of the immutable global setting for the default
CA certificate and thus does not need to be changed.

Changing the Maximum Number of Rows per Page

The maximum number of rows returned by the OMP "GET" commands, like GET_TARGETS,
is controlled by the OMP setting "Max Rows Per Page".  This setting is an upper
limit on the number of resources returned by any GET command, regardless of the
value given for "rows" in the command's filter.

The default value for "Max Rows Per Page" is 1000.  0 indicates no limit.

This setting can not be changed via OMP.  However, the openvasmd option
--modify-setting can be used to change it.

    $ openvasmd --modify-setting 76374a7a-0569-11e6-b6da-28d24461215b \
                --value 100

This changes the global value of the setting, and so applies to all users.
Adding --user to the command will set a value for maximum rows only for that user.

Prerequisites for Optional Features

Certain features of the Manager also require some programs at run time:

Prerequisites for generating PDF reports:
* pdflatex

Prerequisites for generating HTML reports:
* xsltproc

Prerequisites for generating verinice reports:
* xsltproc, xmlstarlet, zip

Prerequisites for generating credentials RPM / DEB packages:
* rpm
* fakeroot
* alien

Prerequisites for generating credentials .exe packages:
* makensis (usually distributed as part of nsis)

Prerequisites for generating system reports:
* A program in the PATH, with usage "openvasmr seconds type", where
  seconds is the number of seconds before now that the report covers,
  and type is the type of report.  When called with type "titles" the
  script must print a list of possible types, where the name of the
  type is everything up to the first space and everything else is a
  title for the report.  When called with one of these types openvasmr
  must print a PNG in base64 encoding.  When called with the special
  type "blank", openvasmr must print a PNG in base64 for the Manager to
  use when a request for one of the titled types fails.  openvasmr may
  indicate failure by simply refraining from printing.

Prerequisites for signature verification:
* gnupg

Prerequisites for HTTP alerts:
* wget

Prerequisites for Sourcefire Connector alert:
* A program in the PATH called greenbone_sourcefire_connector that takes args
  IP, port, PKCS12 file and report file in Sourcefire format.

Prerequisites for verinice .PRO Connector alert:
* A program in the PATH called greenbone_verinice_connector that takes args
  IP, port, username, password and report file in verinice .PRO format.

Prerequisites for SCP alert:
* sshpass
* scp

Prerequisites for Send alert:
* socat

Prerequisites for splitting large XML files (see tools/extra/README):
* python

Static code analysis with the Clang Static Analyzer

If you want to use the Clang Static Analyzer (
to do a static code analysis, you can do so by adding the following parameter
when configuring the build:


Note that the example above uses the default location of ccc-analyzer in Debian
GNU/Linux and may be different in other environments.

To have the analysis results aggregated into a set of HTML files, use the
following command:

    $ scan-build make

The tool will provide a hint on how to launch a web browser with the results.

It is recommended to do this analysis in a separate, empty build directory and
to empty the build directory before "scan-build" call.


The command line entry to the manager is defined in src/openvasmd.c. The manager is an OMP server.

The OMP server is defined in src/ompd.c. It uses the OTP library to handle the OTP server and the OMP library to handle the OMP client. The OTP library is defined in src/otp.c. The OMP library is defined in src/omp.c. Both the OMP and OTP libraries use the Manage library to manage credentials and tasks. The manage library is defined in src/manage.c and src/manage_sql.c .

The OTP and Manage libraries both use the Comm library to communication with the OTP server (src/ovas-mngr-comm.c).


The main daemon manager process will fork for every incoming connection and for every scheduled task.

License Information

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modifying or distributing the Program (or any work based on the
Program), you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so, and
all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying
the Program or works based on it.

  6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the
Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the
original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to
these terms and conditions.  You may not impose any further
restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein.
You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to
this License.

  7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent
infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues),
conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or
otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not
excuse you from the conditions of this License.  If you cannot
distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this
License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you
may not distribute the Program at all.  For example, if a patent
license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by
all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then
the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to
refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

If any portion of this section is held invalid or unenforceable under
any particular circumstance, the balance of the section is intended to
apply and the section as a whole is intended to apply in other

It is not the purpose of this section to induce you to infringe any
patents or other property right claims or to contest validity of any
such claims; this section has the sole purpose of protecting the
integrity of the free software distribution system, which is
implemented by public license practices.  Many people have made
generous contributions to the wide range of software distributed
through that system in reliance on consistent application of that
system; it is up to the author/donor to decide if he or she is willing
to distribute software through any other system and a licensee cannot
impose that choice.

This section is intended to make thoroughly clear what is believed to
be a consequence of the rest of this License.
  8. If the distribution and/or use of the Program is restricted in
certain countries either by patents or by copyrighted interfaces, the
original copyright holder who places the Program under this License
may add an explicit geographical distribution limitation excluding
those countries, so that distribution is permitted only in or among
countries not thus excluded.  In such case, this License incorporates
the limitation as if written in the body of this License.

  9. The Free Software Foundation may publish revised and/or new versions
of the General Public License from time to time.  Such new versions will
be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to
address new problems or concerns.

Each version is given a distinguishing version number.  If the Program
specifies a version number of this License which applies to it and "any
later version", you have the option of following the terms and conditions
either of that version or of any later version published by the Free
Software Foundation.  If the Program does not specify a version number of
this License, you may choose any version ever published by the Free Software

  10. If you wish to incorporate parts of the Program into other free
programs whose distribution conditions are different, write to the author
to ask for permission.  For software which is copyrighted by the Free
Software Foundation, write to the Free Software Foundation; we sometimes
make exceptions for this.  Our decision will be guided by the two goals
of preserving the free status of all derivatives of our free software and
of promoting the sharing and reuse of software generally.




	    How to Apply These Terms to Your New Programs

  If you develop a new program, and you want it to be of the greatest
possible use to the public, the best way to achieve this is to make it
free software which everyone can redistribute and change under these terms.

  To do so, attach the following notices to the program.  It is safest
to attach them to the start of each source file to most effectively
convey the exclusion of warranty; and each file should have at least
the "copyright" line and a pointer to where the full notice is found.

    <one line to give the program's name and a brief idea of what it does.>
    Copyright (C) <year>  <name of author>

    This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
    (at your option) any later version.

    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    GNU General Public License for more details.

    You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
    Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA  02110-1301  USA

Also add information on how to contact you by electronic and paper mail.

If the program is interactive, make it output a short notice like this
when it starts in an interactive mode:

    Gnomovision version 69, Copyright (C) year  name of author
    Gnomovision comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details type `show w'.
    This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
    under certain conditions; type `show c' for details.

The hypothetical commands `show w' and `show c' should show the appropriate
parts of the General Public License.  Of course, the commands you use may
be called something other than `show w' and `show c'; they could even be
mouse-clicks or menu items--whatever suits your program.

You should also get your employer (if you work as a programmer) or your
school, if any, to sign a "copyright disclaimer" for the program, if
necessary.  Here is a sample; alter the names:

  Yoyodyne, Inc., hereby disclaims all copyright interest in the program
  `Gnomovision' (which makes passes at compilers) written by James Hacker.

  <signature of Ty Coon>, 1 April 1989
  Ty Coon, President of Vice

This General Public License does not permit incorporating your program into
proprietary programs.  If your program is a subroutine library, you may
consider it more useful to permit linking proprietary applications with the
library.  If this is what you want to do, use the GNU Library General
Public License instead of this License.