I need to connect to my OpenVAS from the Internet to conduct penetration tests.

I didn't found any way to make it permanently listen on the external interface: openvas-start causes it to listen on

I already tried to modify the configuration files, but it seems either I'm doing it wrong or something is overriding configurations when it starts.

Any help would be appreciated.

P.S: I'm using Kali 2.0.

  • Not funny. Product-specific configuration questions are off-topic because they either belong on the vendors support page or the answers are in the manual. You also do not include any data on what configurations you tried or what errors or effects you were experiencing.
    – schroeder
    Sep 23, 2015 at 22:40

7 Answers 7


Since we're on systemd, you actually need to modify 3 .service files:

cd /lib/systemd/system

Files are: greenbone-security-assistant.service, openvas-manager.service and openvas-scanner.service.

To make it quick you may want to use sed. This line will replace all to which will allow all services be avaliable on all interfaces. You should replace to the address of your choice.

sed -e 's/' greenbone-security-assistant.service openvas-manager.service openvas-scanner.service

Verify, that all will be done as you want. If you're happy with the changes, just add -i to the end of previous command.

sed -e 's/' greenbone-security-assistant.service openvas-manager.service openvas-scanner.service -i

Lastly you need to reload daemons, since you've made changes to files and restart services.

systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl restart greenbone-security-assistant.service openvas-manager.service openvas-scanner.service

Verify, that all services are listening on desired host:

ss -nalt

If restarting sevices didn't work, try to restart server itself.

  • This was the answer for me. New version of Kali Linux since the openvas services have been added to systemd.
    – jmreicha
    Apr 16, 2016 at 22:53
  1. openvas-stop
  2. gsad --listen=
  3. openvas-start
  4. From any client machine try https://kali-ip/
  5. Enjoy accessing openvas web
  • 1
    This is much better than the accepted solution. Works on GVM 20.08
    – HackSlash
    Oct 2, 2020 at 21:14
  • totally agree with you ! Jan 10, 2021 at 14:45

There is much more simple solution. You can redirect external ip port to localhost using firewall. Assuming that Your's server external IP is

sysctl -w net.ipv4.conf.eth0.route_localnet=1

iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -p tcp -d --dport 443 -j DNAT --to-destination

That's all, now connect to

I also tried to edit configuration IPs but there are in many places and seem to break OMP authorization. This solution was tested with latest Kali/OpenVAS (2016.09).


Quoting the openvasd man page:

-a , --listen= Tell the server to only listen to connections on the address which is an IP, not a machine name. For instance, "openvasd -a" will make openvasd only listen to requests going to This option is useful if you are running openvasd on a gateway and if you don't want people on the outside to connect to your openvasd.

You can append this option in the startup script located in /etc/init.d/openvas-scanner in the DAEMONOPTS constant.

  • added DAEMONOPTS="--listen=" but netstat -na still shows Local Address
    – Sam
    Sep 23, 2015 at 12:47
  • Did you restart the daemon?
    – davidb
    Sep 23, 2015 at 12:47
  • I ran openvas-stop then openvas-start respectively.
    – Sam
    Sep 23, 2015 at 12:48
  • Also why didn't you specify the external address explicitly?
    – davidb
    Sep 23, 2015 at 12:48
  • Run /etc/init.d/openvas-scanner restart
    – davidb
    Sep 23, 2015 at 12:48

Edit /etc/default/greenbone-security-assistant:

Change to your IP


Then, restart the services:

root@tiger:/home/fw# ps aux | grep openvassd | grep -v grep
root      8918  2.6  1.2 138644 12212 ?        Ss   17:31   2:25 openvassd: Waiting for incoming connections
root@tiger:/home/fw# killall openvassd
root@tiger:/home/fw# ps aux | grep openvassd | grep -v grep
root@tiger:/home/fw# service openvas-scanner start
root@tiger:/home/fw# service openvas-manager start
root@tiger:/home/fw# service greenbone-security-assistant restart
root@tiger:/home/fw# ps aux | grep openvassd | grep -v grep
root      9681 39.4  1.3 123836 13476 ?        Ds   19:02   0:02 openvassd: Reloaded 7750 of 46062 NVTs (16% / ETA: 00:19)
root      9682  0.0  0.1 114564  1528 ?        S    19:02   0:00 openvassd (Loading Handler)

Try to access it from outside https://ip:9392

  • I just tried this method but it doesn't seem to work. OpenVAS still seems to be binding to instead of the public interface.
    – jmreicha
    Apr 5, 2016 at 2:11

Oddly, I used both Firewallengineer and Tim Rain's answers and that solved my issue. I did notice that for whatever reason in /lib/systemd/system I had to put --allow-header-host myserver.mycompany.com athe the end of the ExactStart line.

In /etc/default/greenbone-security-assistant I had to set the GSA_Address as the server address. This is what worked for me. I also had to access the server as myserver.mycompany.com:9392/omp, as just myserver.mycompany.com would not resolve. I understand my company's DNS needs a cleaning but I don;t have the time to fix that. Thank you both for your information, it saved me a lot of time and taught me quite a bit too.

Hopefully this helps someone.


After updating my Kali and all applications (including GVM) I had a problem with the solution proposed in the first most voted one (which had worked before).

Now I needed to edit the:


On the line:

ExecStart=/usr/sbin/gsad --listen=x.x.x.x --port 9392

And then:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload && sudo gvm-start

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