From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Original author(s)Michael Boelen
Stable release
3.0.9 / 3 August 2023; 9 months ago (2023-08-03)[1]
Written inShell script
Operating systemFreeBSD, Linux, macOS, OpenBSD, Solaris
TypeSecurity Software, Audit tool
LicenseGNU GPLv3 Edit this on Wikidata

Lynis is an extensible security audit tool for computer systems running Linux, FreeBSD, macOS, OpenBSD, Solaris, and other Unix derivatives. It assists system administrators and security professionals with scanning a system and its security defenses, with the final goal being system hardening.[2]


The tool was created by Michael Boelen, the original author of rkhunter as well as several special contributors and translators.[3] Lynis is available under the GPLv3 license.

The software determines various system information, such as the specific OS type, kernel parameters, authentication and accounting mechanism, installed packages, installed services, network configuration, logging and monitoring (e.g. syslog-ng), cryptography (e.g. SSL/TLS certificates) and installed malware scanners (e.g. ClamAV or rkhunter). Additionally, it will check the system for configuration errors and security issues. By request of the auditor, those checks may conform to international standards such as ISO 27001, PCI-DSS 3.2 and HIPAA.

The software also helps with fully automated or semi-automatic auditing, software patch management, evaluation of server hardening guidelines and vulnerability/malware scanning of Unix-based systems. It can be locally installed from most system repositories, or directly started from disk, including USB stick, CD or DVD.[4]


The intended audience is auditors, security specialists, penetration testers, and sometimes system/network administrators. Usually members of a First Line of Defense within a company or larger organization tend to employ such audit tools. According to the official documentation, there is also a Lynis Enterprise version, available with support for more than 10 computer systems, providing malware scanning, intrusion detection and additional guidance for auditors.[5]


In 2016, Lynis won an InfoWorld Bossie Award.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Releases - CISOfy/lynis". Retrieved 1 January 2023 – via GitHub.
  2. ^ Vigo, Jesus (2 June 2019). "How to harden your macOS systems with Lynis". TechRepublic. Archived from the original (html) on 3 June 2019. Retrieved 15 July 2019. Lynis is different to other, more popular security packages such as Nessus and OpenVAS, in that while the latter both focus on assessing vulnerabilities for the purposes of exploiting the findings; the former analyzes systems and compares the findings to a known set of ever-expanding criteria in an effort to determine an index, or score, that is assigned to systems after a number of checks have been completed and how the device compares to the criteria of known best practices.
  3. ^ "lynis: Lynis - CONTRIBUTORS - doxygen documentation - Fossies Dox". M. Boelen, 15 March 2017. Archived from the original on 20 March 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Lynis 2.2.0 Released – Security Auditing and Scanning Tool for Linux Systems". Ravi Saive, 2016-03-18. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  5. ^ "Lynis/README at master · CISOfy/lynis · GitHub". M. Boelen, GitHub. 2017-03-15. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  6. ^ "Bossie Awards 2016: The best open source networking and security software". 21 September 2016.
  7. ^ Kali tools, Lynis Package Description

External links[edit]