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Developer(s)Greenbone Networks GmbH
Stable release
21.4.4[1]Edit this on Wikidata / 22 February 2022; 2 months ago (22 February 2022)
Written inC
Operating systemCross-platform
TypeVulnerability scanner
LicenseGPL Edit this at Wikidata

OpenVAS (Open Vulnerability Assessment System, originally known as GNessUs) is the scanner component of Greenbone Vulnerability Manager (GVM), a software framework of several services and tools offering vulnerability scanning and vulnerability management.[2]

All Greenbone Vulnerability Manager products are free software, and most components are licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Plugins for Greenbone Vulnerability Manager are written in the Nessus Attack Scripting Language, NASL.


Greenbone Vulnerability Manager began under the name of OpenVAS, and before that the name GNessUs, as a fork of the previously open source Nessus scanning tool, after its developers Tenable Network Security changed it to a proprietary (closed source) license in October 2005.[3] OpenVAS was originally proposed by pentesters at SecuritySpace,[4] discussed with pentesters at Portcullis Computer Security[5] and then announced[6] by Tim Brown on Slashdot.

Greenbone Vulnerability Manager is a member project of Software in the Public Interest.[7]


The OpenVAS 8 Structure

There is a daily updated feed of Network Vulnerability Tests (NVTs) - over 50,000 in total (as of July 2020).[8]


The OpenVAS protocol structure aims to be well-documented to assist developers. The OpenVAS Compendium is a publication of the OpenVAS Project that delivers documentation on OpenVAS.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tags". Archived from the original on 22 February 2022.
  2. ^ "GMV tools - Glossary". Greenbone Networks GmbH.
  3. ^ LeMay, Renai (2005-10-06). "Nessus security tool closes its source". CNet.
  4. ^ SecuritySpace
  5. ^ Portcullis Computer Security
  6. ^ Slashdot
  7. ^ Log from SPI board meeting
  8. ^ "About Greenbone Community Feed (GCF)". 10 January 2019.

External links[edit]