Nmap network security scanner man page

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Nmap network security scanner man page



nmap - Network exploration tool and security scanner


nmap [Scan Type(s)] [Options]


Nmap is designed to allow system administrators and curi-

ous individuals to scan large networks to determine which

hosts are up and what services they are offering. nmap

supports a large number of scanning techniques such as:

UDP, TCP connect(), TCP SYN (half open), ftp proxy (bounce

attack), Reverse-ident, ICMP (ping sweep), FIN, ACK sweep,

Xmas Tree, SYN sweep, IP Protocol, and Null scan. See the

Scan Types section for more details. nmap also offers a

number of advanced features such as remote OS detection

via TCP/IP fingerprinting, stealth scanning, dynamic delay

and retransmission calculations, parallel scanning, detec-

tion of down hosts via parallel pings, decoy scanning,

port filtering detection, direct (non-portmapper) RPC

scanning, fragmentation scanning, and flexible target and

port specification.

Significant effort has been put into decent nmap perfor-

mance for non-root users. Unfortunately, many critical

kernel interfaces (such as raw sockets) require root priv-

ileges. nmap should be run as root whenever possible (not

setuid root, of course).
The result of running nmap is usually a list of interest-

ing ports on the machine(s) being scanned (if any). Nmap

always gives the port's "well known" service name (if

any), number, state, and protocol. The state is either

'open', 'filtered', or 'unfiltered'. Open means that the

target machine will accept() connections on that port.

Filtered means that a firewall, filter, or other network

obstacle is covering the port and preventing nmap from

determining whether the port is open. Unfiltered means

that the port is known by nmap to be closed and no fire-

wall/filter seems to be interfering with nmap's attempts

to determine this. Unfiltered ports are the common case

and are only shown when most of the scanned ports are in

the filtered state.

Depending on options used, nmap may also report the fol-

lowing characteristics of the remote host: OS in use, TCP

sequencability, usernames running the programs which have

bound to each port, the DNS name, whether the host is a

smurf address, and a few others.


Options that make sense together can generally be com-

bined. Some options are specific to certain scan modes.

nmap tries to catch and warn the user about psychotic or


unsupported option combinations.
If you are impatient, you can skip to the examples section

at the end, which demonstrates common usage. You can also

run nmap -h for a quick reference page listing all the


-sT TCP connect() scan: This is the most basic form of

TCP scanning. The connect() system call provided by

your operating system is used to open a connection

to every interesting port on the machine. If the

port is listening, connect() will succeed, other-

wise the port isn't reachable. One strong advantage

to this technique is that you don't need any spe-

cial privileges. Any user on most UNIX boxes is

free to use this call.
This sort of scan is easily detectable as target

host logs will show a bunch of connection and error

messages for the services which accept() the con-

nection just to have it immediately shutdown.

-sS TCP SYN scan: This technique is often referred to

as "half-open" scanning, because you don't open a

full TCP connection. You send a SYN packet, as if

you are going to open a real connection and you

wait for a response. A SYN|ACK indicates the port

is listening. A RST is indicative of a non-lis-

tener. If a SYN|ACK is received, a RST is immedi-

ately sent to tear down the connection (actually

our OS kernel does this for us). The primary advan-

tage to this scanning technique is that fewer sites

will log it. Unfortunately you need root privi-

leges to build these custom SYN packets.

-sF -sX -sN

Stealth FIN, Xmas Tree, or Null scan modes: There

are times when even SYN scanning isn't clandestine

enough. Some firewalls and packet filters watch for

SYNs to restricted ports, and programs like Synlog-

ger and Courtney are available to detect these

scans. These advanced scans, on the other hand, may

be able to pass through unmolested.

The idea is that closed ports are required to reply

to your probe packet with an RST, while open ports

must ignore the packets in question (see RFC 793 pp

64). The FIN scan uses a bare (surprise) FIN

packet as the probe, while the Xmas tree scan turns

on the FIN, URG, and PUSH flags. The Null scan

turns off all flags. Unfortunately Microsoft (like

usual) decided to completely ignore the standard


and do things their own way. Thus this scan type

will not work against systems running Windows95/NT.

On the positive side, this is a good way to distin-

guish between the two platforms. If the scan finds

open ports, you know the machine is not a Windows

box. If a -sF,-sX,or -sN scan shows all ports

closed, yet a SYN (-sS) scan shows ports being

opened, you are probably looking at a Windows box.

This is less useful now that nmap has proper OS

detection built in. There are also a few other

systems that are broken in the same way Windows is.

They include Cisco, BSDI, HP/UX, MVS, and IRIX.

All of the above send resets from the open ports

when they should just drop the packet.

-sP Ping scanning: Sometimes you only want to know

which hosts on a network are up. Nmap can do this

by sending ICMP echo request packets to every IP

address on the networks you specify. Hosts that

respond are up. Unfortunately, some sites such as

microsoft.com block echo request packets. Thus

nmap can also send a TCP ack packet to (by default)

port 80. If we get an RST back, that machine is

up. A third technique involves sending a SYN

packet and waiting for a RST or a SYN/ACK. For

non-root users, a connect() method is used.
By default (for root users), nmap uses both the

ICMP and ACK techniques in parallel. You can

change the -P option described later.
Note that pinging is done by default anyway, and

only hosts that respond are scanned. Only use this

option if you wish to ping sweep without doing any

actual port scans.

-sU UDP scans: This method is used to determine which

UDP (User Datagram Protocol, RFC 768) ports are

open on a host. The technique is to send 0 byte

udp packets to each port on the target machine. If

we receive an ICMP port unreachable message, then

the port is closed. Otherwise we assume it is

Some people think UDP scanning is pointless. I usu-

ally remind them of the recent Solaris rcpbind

hole. Rpcbind can be found hiding on an undocu-

mented UDP port somewhere above 32770. So it

doesn't matter that 111 is blocked by the firewall.

But can you find which of the more than 30,000 high

ports it is listening on? With a UDP scanner you

can! There is also the cDc Back Orifice backdoor

program which hides on a configurable UDP port on

Windows machines. Not to mention the many commonly


vulnerable services that utilize UDP such as snmp,

tftp, NFS, etc.

Unfortunately UDP scanning is sometimes painfully

slow since most hosts impliment a suggestion in RFC

1812 (section of limiting the ICMP error

message rate. For example, the Linux kernel (in

net/ipv4/icmp.h) limits destination unreachable

message generation to 80 per 4 seconds, with a 1/4

second penalty if that is exceeded. Solaris has

much more strict limits (about 2 messages per sec-

ond) and thus takes even longer to scan. nmap

detects this rate limiting and slows down accord-

ingly, rather than flood the network with useless

packets that will be ignored by the target machine.

As is typical, Microsoft ignored the suggestion of

the RFC and does not seem to do any rate limiting

at all on Win95 and NT machines. Thus we can scan

all 65K ports of a Windows machine very quickly.

-sO IP protocol scans: This method is used to determine

which IP protocols are supported on a host. The

technique is to send raw IP packets without any

further protocol header to each specified protocol

on the target machine. If we receive an ICMP pro-

tocol unreachable message, then the protocol is not

in use. Otherwise we assume it is open. Note that

some hosts (AIX, HP-UX, Digital UNIX) and firewalls

may not send protocol unreachable messages. This

causes all of the protocols to appear "open".

Because the implemented technique is very similar

to UDP port scanning, ICMP rate limit might apply

too. But the IP protocol field has only 8 bits, so

at most 256 protocols can be probed which should be

possible in reasonable time anyway.
-sA ACK scan: This advanced method is usually used to

map out firewall rulesets. In particular, it can

help determine whether a firewall is stateful or

just a simple packet filter that blocks incoming

SYN packets.
This scan type sends an ACK packet (with random

looking acknowledgement/sequence numbers) to the

ports specified. If a RST comes back, the ports is

classified as "unfiltered". If nothing comes back

(or if an ICMP unreachable is returned), the port

is classified as "filtered". Note that nmap usu-

ally doesn't print "unfiltered" ports, so getting

no ports shown in the output is usually a sign that

all the probes got through (and returned RSTs).


This scan will obviously never show ports in the

"open" state.

-sW Window scan: This advanced scan is very similar to

the ACK scan, except that it can sometimes detect

open ports as well as filtered/nonfiltered due to

an anomaly in the TCP window size reporting by some

operating systems. Systems vulnerable to this

include at least some versions of AIX, Amiga, BeOS,

BSDI, Cray, Tru64 UNIX, DG/UX, OpenVMS, Digital


OpenBSD, OpenStep, QNX, Rhapsody, SunOS 4.X,

Ultrix, VAX, and VxWorks. See the nmap-hackers

mailing list archive for a full list.
-sR RPC scan. This method works in combination with

the various port scan methods of Nmap. It takes

all the TCP/UDP ports found open and then floods

them with SunRPC program NULL commands in an

attempt to determine whether they are RPC ports,

and if so, what program and version number they

serve up. Thus you can effectively obtain the same

info as firewall (or protected by TCP wrappers).

Decoys do not currently work with RPC scan, at some

point I may add decoy support for UDP RPC scans.

-b relay host>

FTP bounce attack: An interesting "feature" of the

ftp protocol (RFC 959) is support for "proxy" ftp

connections. In other words, I should be able to

connect from evil.com to the FTP server of tar-

get.com and request that the server send a file

ANYWHERE on the internet! Now this may have worked

well in 1985 when the RFC was written. But in

today's Internet, we can't have people hijacking

ftp servers and requesting that data be spit out to

arbitrary points on the internet. As *Hobbit* wrote

back in 1995, this protocol flaw "can be used to

post virtually untraceable mail and news, hammer on

servers at various sites, fill up disks, try to hop

firewalls, and generally be annoying and hard to

track down at the same time." What we will exploit

this for is to (surprise, surprise) scan TCP ports

from a "proxy" ftp server. Thus you could connect

to an ftp server behind a firewall, and then scan

ports that are more likely to be blocked (139 is a

good one). If the ftp server allows reading from

and writing to some directory (such as /incoming),

you can send arbitrary data to ports that you do

find open (nmap doesn't do this for you though).

The argument passed to the 'b' option is the host

you want to use as a proxy, in standard URL nota-

tion. The format is:


username:password@server:port. Everything but

server is optional. To determine what servers are

vulnerable to this attack, you can see my article

in Phrack 51. And updated version is available at

the nmap URL (http://www.insecure.org/nmap).


None of these are required but some can be quite

-P0 Do not try and ping hosts at all before scanning

them. This allows the scanning of networks that

don't allow ICMP echo requests (or responses)

through their firewall. microsoft.com is an exam-

ple of such a network, and thus you should always

use -P0 or -PT80 when portscanning microsoft.com.

-PT Use TCP "ping" to determine what hosts are up.

Instead of sending ICMP echo request packets and

waiting for a response, we spew out TCP ACK packets

throughout the target network (or to a single

machine) and then wait for responses to trickle

back. Hosts that are up should respond with a RST.

This option preserves the efficiency of only scan-

ning hosts that are up while still allowing you to

scan networks/hosts that block ping packets. For

non root users, we use connect(). To set the des-

tination port of the probe packets use -PT

number>. The default port is 80, since this port

is often not filtered out.
-PS This option uses SYN (connection request) packets

instead of ACK packets for root users. Hosts that

are up should respond with a RST (or, rarely, a


-PI This option uses a true ping (ICMP echo request)

packet. It finds hosts that are up and also looks

for subnet-directed broadcast addresses on your

network. These are IP addresses which are exter-

nally reachable and translate to a broadcast of

incomming IP packets to a subnet of computers.

These should be eliminated if found as they allow

for numerous denial of service attacks (Smurf is

the most common).
-PB This is the default ping type. It uses both the

ACK ( -PT ) and ICMP ( -PI ) sweeps in parallel.

This way you can get firewalls that filter either

one (but not both).

-O This option activates remote host identification

via TCP/IP fingerprinting. In other words, it uses

a bunch of techniques to detect subtleties in the


underlying operating system network stack of the

computers you are scanning. It uses this informa-

tion to create a 'fingerprint' which it compares

with its database of known OS fingerprints (the

nmap-os-fingerprints file) to decide what type of

system you are scanning.

If Nmap is unable to guess the OS of a machine, and

conditions are good (eg at least one open port),

Nmap will provide a URL you can use to submit the

fingerprint if you know (for sure) the OS running

on the machine. By doing this you contribute to

the pool of operating systems known to nmap and

thus it will be more accurate for everyone. Note

that if you leave an IP address on the form, the

machine may be scanned when we add the fingerprint

(to validate that it works).

The -O option also enables several other tests.

One is the "Uptime" measurement, which uses the TCP

timestamp option (RFC 1323) to guess when a machine

was last rebooted. This is only reported for

machines which provide this information.
Another test enabled by -O is TCP Sequence Pre-

dictability Classification. This is a measure that

describes approximately how hard it is to establish

a forged TCP connection against the remote host.

This is useful for exploiting source-IP based trust

relationships (rlogin, firewall filters, etc) or

for hiding the source of an attack. The actual

difficulty number is based on statistical sampling

and may fluctuate. It is generally better to use

the English classification such as "worthy chal-

lenge" or "trivial joke". This is only reported in

normal output with -v.

When verbose mode (-v) is on with -O, IPID Sequence

Generation is also reported. Most machines are in

the "incremental" class, which means that they

increment the "ID" field in the IP header for each

packet they send. This makes them vulnerable to

several advanced information gathering and spoofing

-I This turns on TCP reverse ident scanning. As noted

by Dave Goldsmith in a 1996 Bugtraq post, the ident

protocol (rfc 1413) allows for the disclosure of

the username that owns any process connected via

TCP, even if that process didn't initiate the con-

nection. So you can, for example, connect to the

http port and then use identd to find out whether

the server is running as root. This can only be

done with a full TCP connection to the target port


(i.e. the -sT scanning option). When -I is used,

the remote host's identd is queried for each open

port found. Obviously this won't work if the host

is not running identd.

-f This option causes the requested SYN, FIN, XMAS, or

NULL scan to use tiny fragmented IP packets. The

idea is to split up the TCP header over several

packets to make it harder for packet filters,

intrusion detection systems, and other annoyances

to detect what you are doing. Be careful with this!

Some programs have trouble handling these tiny

packets. My favorite sniffer segmentation faulted

immediately upon receiving the first 36-byte frag-

ment. After that comes a 24 byte one! While this

method won't get by packet filters and firewalls

that queue all IP fragments (like the CON-

FIG_IP_ALWAYS_DEFRAG option in the Linux kernel),

some networks can't afford the performance hit this

causes and thus leave it disabled.
Note that I do not yet have this option working on

all systems. It works fine for my Linux, FreeBSD,

and OpenBSD boxes and some people have reported

success with other *NIX variants.

-v Verbose mode. This is a highly recommended option

and it gives out more information about what is

going on. You can use it twice for greater effect.

Use -d a couple of times if you really want to get

crazy with scrolling the screen!
-h This handy option display a quick reference screen

of nmap usage options. As you may have noticed,

this man page is not exactly a 'quick reference' :)

This logs the results of your scans in a normal

human readable form into the file you specify as an



This logs the results of your scans in XML form

into the file you specify as an argument. This

allows programs to easily capture and interpret

Nmap results. You can give the argument '-' (with-

out quotes) to shoot output into stdout (for shell

pipelines, etc). In this case normal output will

be suppressed. Watch out for error messages if you

use this (they will still go to stderr). Also note

that '-v' may cause some extra information to be



This logs the results of your scans in a grepable

form into the file you specify as an argument.

This simple format provides all the information on

one line (so you can easily grep for port or OS

information and see all the IPs. This used to be

the preferred mechanism for programs to interact

with Nmap, but now we recommend XML output (-oX

instead). This simple format may not contain as

much information as the other formats. You can

give the argument '-' (without quotes) to shoot

output into stdout (for shell pipelines, etc). In

this case normal output will be suppressed. Watch

out for error messages if you use this (they will

still go to stderr). Also note that '-v' will

cause some extra information to be printed.


thIs l0gz th3 r3suLtS of YouR ScanZ iN a s|

kiDd|3 f0rM iNto THe fiL3 U sPecfy 4s an arGuMEnT!

U kAn gIv3 the 4rgument '-' (wItHOUt qUOteZ) to

sh00t output iNT0 stDouT!@!!

A network scan that is cancelled due to control-C,

network outage, etc. can be resumed using this

option. The logfilename must be either a normal

(-oN) or machine parsable (-oM) log from the

aborted scan. No other options can be given (they

will be the same as the aborted scan). Nmap will

start on the machine after the last one success-

fully scanned in the log file.

Reads target specifications from the file specified

RATHER than from the command line. The file should

contain a list of host or network expressions

seperated by spaces, tabs, or newlines. Use a

hyphen (-) as inputfilename if you want nmap to

read host expressions from stdin (like at the end

of a pipe). See the section target specification

for more information on the expressions you fill

the file with.

-iR This option tells Nmap to generate its own hosts to

scan by simply picking random numbers :). It will

never end. This can be useful for statistical sam-

pling of the Internet to estimate various things.

If you are ever really bored, try nmap -sS -iR -p

80 to find some web servers to look at.

This option specifies what ports you want to spec-

ify. For example '-p 23' will only try port 23 of


the target host(s). '-p 20-30,139,60000-' scans

ports between 20 and 30, port 139, and all ports

greater than 60000. The default is to scan all

ports between 1 and 1024 as well as any ports

listed in the services file which comes with nmap.

For IP protocol scanning (-sO), this specifies the

protocol number you wish to scan for (0-255).
-F Fast scan mode.

Specifies that you only wish to scan for ports

listed in the services file which comes with nmap

(or the protocols file for -sO). This is obviously

much faster than scanning all 65535 ports on a

-D [,decoy2][,ME],...>

Causes a decoy scan to be performed which makes it

appear to the remote host that the host(s) you

specify as decoys are scanning the target network

too. Thus their IDS might report 5-10 port scans

from unique IP addresses, but they won't know which

IP was scanning them and which were innocent

decoys. While this can be defeated through router

path tracing, response-dropping, and other "active"

mechanisms, it is generally an extremely effective

technique for hiding your IP address.

Separate each decoy host with commas, and you can

optionally use 'ME' as one of the decoys to repre-

sent the position you want your IP address to be

used. If your put 'ME' in the 6th position or

later, some common port scan detectors (such as

Solar Designer's excellent scanlogd) are unlikeley

to show your IP address at all. If you don't use

'ME', nmap will put you in a random position.

Note that the hosts you use as decoys should be up

or you might accidently SYN flood your targets.

Also it will be pretty easy to determine which host

is scanning if only one is actually up on the net-

work. You might want to use IP addresses instead

of names (so the decoy networks don't see you in

their nameserver logs).
Also note that some (stupid) "port scan detectors"

will firewall/deny routing to hosts that attempt

port scans. Thus you might inadvertantly cause the

machine you scan to lose connectivity with the

decoy machines you are using. This could cause the

target machines major problems if the decoy is,

say, its internet gateway or even "localhost".

Thus you might want to be careful of this option.

The real moral of the story is that detectors of

spoofable port scans should not take action against


the machine that seems like it is port scanning

them. It could just be a decoy!

Decoys are used both in the initial ping scan

(using ICMP, SYN, ACK, or whatever) and during the

actual port scanning phase. Decoys are also used

during remote OS detection ( -O ).

It is worth noting that using too many decoys may

slow your scan and potentially even make it less

accurate. Also, some ISPs will filter out your

spoofed packets, although many (currently most) do

not restrict spoofed IP packets at all.

In some circumstances, nmap may not be able to

determine your source address ( nmap will tell you

if this is the case). In this situation, use -S

with your IP address (of the interface you wish to

send packets through).

Another possible use of this flag is to spoof the

scan to make the targets think that someone else is

scanning them. Imagine a company being repeatedly

port scanned by a competitor! This is not a sup-

ported usage (or the main purpose) of this flag. I

just think it raises an interesting possibility

that people should be aware of before they go

accusing others of port scanning them. -e would

generally be required for this sort of usage.

Tells nmap what interface to send and receive pack-

ets on. Nmap should be able to detect this but it

will tell you if it cannot.


Sets the source port number used in scans. Many

naive firewall and packet filter installations make

an exception in their ruleset to allow DNS (53) or

FTP-DATA (20) packets to come through and establish

a connection. Obviously this completely subverts

the security advantages of the firewall since

intruders can just masquerade as FTP or DNS by mod-

ifying their source port. Obviously for a UDP scan

you should try 53 first and TCP scans should try 20

before 53. Note that this is only a request --

nmap will honor it only if and when it is able to.

For example, you can't do TCP ISN sampling all from

one host:port to one host:port, so nmap changes the

source port even if you used -g.
Be aware that there is a small performance penalty

on some scans for using this option, because I


sometimes store useful information in the source

port number.

-n Tells Nmap to NEVER do reverse DNS resolution on

the active IP addresses it finds. Since DNS is

often slow, this can help speed things up.
-R Tells Nmap to ALWAYS do reverse DNS resolution on

the target IP addresses. Normally this is only

done when a machine is found to be alive.
-r Tells Nmap NOT to randomize the order in which

ports are scanned.


Tells Nmap to shuffle each group of up to 2048

hosts before it scans them. This can make the

scans less obvious to various network monitoring

systems, especially when you combine it with slow

timing options (see below).

-M sockets>

Sets the maximum number of sockets that will be

used in parallel for a TCP connect() scan (the

default). This is useful to slow down the scan a

little bit and avoid crashing remote machines.

Another approach is to use -sS, which is generally

easier for machines to handle.

Generally Nmap does a good job at adjusting for

Network characteristics at runtime and scanning as

fast as possible while minimizing that chances of

hosts/ports going undetected. However, there are

same cases where Nmap's default timing policy may

not meet your objectives. The following options

provide a fine level of control over the scan tim-


These are canned timing policies for conveniently

expressing your priorities to Nmap. Paranoid mode

scans very slowly in the hopes of avoiding detec-

tion by IDS systems. It serializes all scans (no

parallel scanning) and generally waits at least 5

minutes between sending packets. Sneaky is simi-

lar, except it only waits 15 seconds between send-

ing packets. Polite is meant to ease load on the

network and reduce the chances of crashing

machines. It serializes the probes and waits at

least 0.4 seconds between them. Normal is the

default Nmap behaviour, which tries to run as

quickly as possible without overloading the network

or missing hosts/ports. Aggressive mode adds a 5


minute timeout per host and it never waits more

than 1.25 seconds for probe responses. Insane is

only suitable for very fast networks or where you

don't mind losing some information. It times out

hosts in 75 seconds and only waits 0.3 seconds for

individual probes. It does allow for very quick

network sweeps though :). You can also reference

these by number (0-5). For example, '-T 0' gives

you Paranoid mode and '-T 5' is Insane mode.
These canned timing modes should NOT be used in

combination with the lower level controls given


Specifies the amount of time Nmap is allowed to

spend scanning a single host before giving up on

that IP. The default timing mode has no host time-


Specifies the maximum amount of time Nmap is

allowed to wait for a probe response before

retransmitting or timing out that particular probe.

The default mode sets this to about 9000.

When the target hosts start to establish a pattern

of responding very quickly, Nmap will shrink the

amount of time given per probe. This speeds up the

scan, but can lead to missed packets when a

response takes longer than usual. With this param-

eter you can guarantee that Nmap will wait at least

the given amount of time before giving up on a


Specifies the initial probe timeout. This is gen-

erally only useful when scanning firwalled hosts

with -P0. Normally Nmap can obtain good RTT esti-

mates from the ping and the first few probes. The

default mode uses 6000.


Specifies the maximum number of scans Nmap is

allowed to perform in parallel. Setting this to

one means Nmap will never try to scan more than 1

port at a time. It also effects other parallel

scans such as ping sweep, RPC scan, etc.


Specifies the minimum amount of time Nmap must wait

between probes. This is mostly useful to reduce

network load or to slow the scan way down to sneak


under IDS thresholds.


Everything that isn't an option (or option argument) in

nmap is treated as a target host specification. The sim-

plest case is listing single hostnames or IP addresses on

the command line. If you want to scan a subnet of IP

addresses, you can append '/mask' to the hostname or IP

address. mask must be between 0 (scan the whole internet)

and 32 (scan the single host specified). Use /24 to scan

a class 'C' address and /16 for a class 'B'.

Nmap also has a more powerful notation which lets you

specify an IP address using lists/ranges for each element.

Thus you can scan the whole class 'B' network 192.168.*.*

by specifying '192.168.*.*' or '192.168.0-255.0-255' or

even '192.168.1-50,51-255.1,2,3,4,5-255'. And of course

you can use the mask notation: ''. These

are all equivalent. If you use asterisks ('*'), remember

that most shells require you to escape them with back

slashes or protect them with quotes.
Another interesting thing to do is slice the Internet the

other way. Instead of scanning all the hosts in a class

specifying hosts to scan, see the examples section.


Here are some examples of using nmap, from simple and nor-

mal to a little more complex/esoteric. Note that actual

numbers and some actual domain names are used to make

things more concrete. In their place you should substi-

tute addresses/names from your own network. I do not

think portscanning other networks is illegal; nor should

portscans be construed by others as an attack. I have

scanned hundreds of thousands of machines and have

received only one complaint. But I am not a lawyer and

some (anal) people may be annoyed by nmap probes. Get

permission first or use at your own risk.
nmap -v target.example.com
This option scans all reserved TCP ports on the machine

target.example.com . The -v means turn on verbose mode.

nmap -sS -O target.example.com/24
Launches a stealth SYN scan against each machine that is

up out of the 255 machines on class 'C' where target.exam-

ple.com resides. It also tries to determine what operat-

ing system is running on each host that is up and running.

This requires root privileges because of the SYN scan and

the OS detection.


nmap -sX -p 22,53,110,143,4564 198.116.*.1-127
Sends an Xmas tree scan to the first half of each of the

255 possible 8 bit subnets in the 198.116 class 'B'

address space. We are testing whether the systems run

sshd, DNS, pop3d, imapd, or port 4564. Note that Xmas

scan doesn't work on Microsoft boxes due to their defi-

cient TCP stack. Same goes with CISCO, IRIX, HP/UX, and

BSDI boxes.
nmap -v --randomize_hosts -p 80 '*.*.2.3-5'
Rather than focus on a specific IP range, it is sometimes

interesting to slice up the entire Internet and scan a

small sample from each slice. This command finds all web

servers on machines with IP addresses ending in .2.3,

.2.4, or .2.5 find more interesting machines starting at

127. so you might want to use '127-222' instead of the

first asterisks because that section has a greater density

of interesting machines (IMHO).

host -l company.com | cut '-d ' -f 4 | ./nmap -v -iL -
Do a DNS zone transfer to find the hosts in company.com

and then feed the IP addresses to nmap. The above com-

mands are for my GNU/Linux box. You may need different

commands/options on other operating systems.


Bugs? What bugs? Send me any that you find. Patches are

nice too :) Remember to also send in new OS fingerprints

so we can grow the database. Nmap will give you a submis-

sion URL when an appropriate fingerprint is found.




The newest version of nmap can be obtained from

nmap is (C) 1995-2001 by Insecure.Com LLC
libpcap is also distributed along with nmap. It is copy-

righted by Van Jacobson, Craig Leres and Steven McCanne,

all of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Univer-

sity of California, Berkeley, CA. The version distributed

with nmap may be modified, pristine sources are available

from ftp://ftp.ee.lbl.gov/libpcap.tar.Z .

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; Ver-

sion 2. This guarantees your right to use, modify, and


redistribute Nmap under certain conditions. If this

license is unacceptable to you, Insecure.Org may be will-

ing to sell alternative licenses (contact fyodor@inse-


Source is provided to this software because we believe

users have a right to know exactly what a program is going

to do before they run it. This also allows you to audit

the software for security holes (none have been found so

Source code also allows you to port Nmap to new platforms,

fix bugs, and add new features. You are highly encouraged

to send your changes to fyodor@insecure.org for possible

incorporation into the main distribution. By sending

these changes to Fyodor or one the insecure.org develop-

ment mailing lists, it is assumed that you are offering

Fyodor the unlimited, non-exclusive right to reuse, mod-

ify, and relicense the code. This is important because

the inability to relicense code has caused devastating

problems for other Free Software projects (such as KDE and

NASM). Nmap will always be available Open Source. If you

wish to specify special license conditions of your contri-

butions, just say so when you send them.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be

useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied


PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more

details (it is in the COPYING file of the nmap distribu-

It should also be noted that Nmap has been known to crash

certain poorly written applications, TCP/IP stacks, and

even operating systems. Nmap should never be run against

mission critical systems unless you are prepared to suffer

downtime. We acknowledge here that Nmap may crash your

systems or networks and we disclaim all liability for any

damage or problems Nmap could cause.

Because of the slight risk of crashes and because a few

black hats like to use Nmap for reconnaissance prior to

attacking systems, there are administrators who become

upset and may complain when their system is scanned.

Thus, it is often advisable to request permission before

doing even a light scan of a network.

Nmap should never be run with privileges (eg suid root)

for security reasons.

All versions of Nmap equal to or greater than 2.0 are

believed to be Year 2000 (Y2K) compliant in all respects.

There is no reason to believe versions earlier than 2.0

are susceptible to problems, but we have not tested them.


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