Can I just use apt-get, or should I use some Mac tool?

  • 1
    By default there is no apt-get on OS X. So the question is, do you already have apt-get installed (probably by installing FINK) and now you are unsure if you can install nmap with it? Or are you completely unsure about how to install nmap or other such packages and just chose apt-get as an example? – Adaephon Jan 13 '15 at 7:29

First Option

Nmap's Official Website

Second Option

Homebrew Package Manager

  • Install Homebrew

    $ ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
  • Install Nmap

    $ brew install nmap
  • Optional

    $ brew search nmap
    $ brew info nmap

Third Option

MacPorts Package Manager

  • Install MacPorts

    $ bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/tjt263/macports-installer/master/macports-installer.sh)"
  • Install Nmap

    $ sudo port install nmap
  • Optional

    $ sudo port search nmap
    $ sudo port info nmap
| improve this answer | |
  • 4
    WARNING: this post gives commands to execute remote code on your machine! Do Not run anything from "raw.githubusercontent.com" as it can change and is not the official method. – Michael Ozeryansky Sep 2 '16 at 6:58
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    @MichaelOzeryansky True for MacPorts, but for Homebrew that is the official way. – Franklin Yu Feb 25 '17 at 14:37
  • 1
    Third option is my favourite. – Yevgeniy Afanasyev Feb 1 '18 at 1:48
  • anyone concerned about executing code is expected to vet it first. – voices Aug 16 at 5:03

The package manager for MacOS

A package manager that people often use with MacOS, is Homebrew,

To install nmap, using Homebrew-


brew install nmap

Additional notes
Your question is largely answered at this unix.stackexchange link. https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/80711/how-to-install-apt-get-or-yum-on-mac-os-x So, apt-get is not really recommended as a package manager for MacOS. Homebrew is one.. and another one called macports. ..Apparently you can get apt-get on macOS but getting it to work is, they say here, a bit advanced.

I suggest you learn your package manager, in the case of MacOS, macports or homebrew, learn how to get a list of packages, or search for a package e.g. search for nmap, see the command to search or list packages and to install a package. that's if google fails to bring up the homebrew command to install nmap. Though google threw up for me http://brewformulas.org/Nmap brew install nmap

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  • 1
    It's a little bold to say "The package manager for MacOS is homebrew", it's just as official as Mac Ports. – Michael Ozeryansky Sep 2 '16 at 6:56
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    @MichaelOzeryansky thanks, i've corrected my statement – barlop Sep 2 '16 at 11:42
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    Apple Inc. officially recognize and acknowledge MacPorts but not Homebrew: developer.apple.com/opensource – voices Oct 4 '16 at 14:55

As of May 20, 2020, the homebrew installer fails to install something called nmap-scripts. This means nmap will work for some scans, but as you start to go deeper, you may see error messages like this:

nmap -p 1-65535 -T4 -A -v example.com
Starting Nmap 7.70 ( https://nmap.org ) at 2020-05-20 13:25 JST
Unable to find nmap-services!  Resorting to /etc/services
NSE: failed to initialize the script engine:
could not locate nse_main.lua
stack traceback:
    [C]: in ?


This Link explains what is missing. Unfortunately that package is not available through homebrew at the moment.

The most foolproof way at the moment is to either use a different package manager (both fink and macports are endorsed by nmap.org), build it from source, or download the installer from nmap.org. All methods are explained here.

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