nmap - Network exploration tool and security scanner
nmap [Scan Type(s)] [Options] <host or net #1 ... [#N]>
Nmap is designed to allow system administrators and curious individuals
to scan large networks to determine which hosts are up and what ser-
vices 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 sec-
tion for more details. nmap also offers a number of advanced features
such as remote OS detection via TCP/IP fingerprinting, stealth scan-
ning, dynamic delay and retransmission calculations, parallel scanning,
detection of down hosts via parallel pings, decoy scanning, port fil-
tering detection, direct (non-portmapper) RPC scanning, fragmentation
scanning, and flexible target and port specification.
Significant effort has been put into decent nmap performance for non-
root users. Unfortunately, many critical kernel interfaces (such as
raw sockets) require root privileges. nmap should be run as root when-
ever possible (not setuid root, of course).
The result of running nmap is usually a list of interesting 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
firewall/filter seems to be interfering with nmap's attempts to deter-
mine 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 following charac-
teristics 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 combined. 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 options.
-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 listen-
ing. A RST is indicative of a non-listener. If a SYN|ACK is
received, a RST is immediately sent to tear down the connection
(actually our OS kernel does this for us). The primary advantage
to this scanning technique is that fewer sites will log it.
Unfortunately you need root privileges to build these custom SYN
packets. This is the default scan type for privileged users.
-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, oth-
erwise the port isn't reachable. One strong advantage to this
technique is that you don't need any special 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 connection just to have it immediately shut-
down. This is the default scan type for unprivileged users.
-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 Synlogger and Courtney are available to detect these scans.
These advanced scans, on the other hand, may be able to pass
The idea is that closed ports are required to reply to your
probe packet with an RST, while open ports must ignore the pack-
ets 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 com-
pletely ignore the standard and do things their own way. Thus
this scan type will not work against systems running Win-
dows95/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
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 tech-
nique 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 open.
Some people think UDP scanning is pointless. I usually remind
them of the recent Solaris rcpbind hole. Rpcbind can be found
hiding on an undocumented 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 Ori-
fice 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 implement a suggestion in RFC 1812 (section 184.108.40.206)
of limiting the ICMP error message rate. For example, the Linux
kernel (in net/ipv4/icmp.h) limits destination unreachable mes-
sage 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 second) and thus takes even longer to scan. nmap
detects this rate limiting and slows down accordingly, 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. Woop!
-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 protocol
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.
-sI <zombie host[:probeport]>
Idlescan: This advanced scan method allows for a truly blind TCP
port scan of the target (meaning no packets are sent to the tar-
get from your real IP address). Instead, a unique side-channel
attack exploits predictable "IP fragmentation ID" sequence gen-
eration on the zombie host to glean information about the open
ports on the target. IDS systems will display the scan as com-
ing from the zombie machine you specify (which must be up and
meet certain criteria). I am planning to put a more detailed
explanation up at http://www.insecure.org/nmap/nmap_documenta-
tion.html in the near future.
Besides being extraordinarily stealthy (due to its blind
nature), this scan type permits mapping out IP-based trust rela-
tionships between machines. The port listing shows open ports
from the perspective of the zombie host. So you can try scan-
ning a target using various zombies that you think might be
trusted (via router/packet filter rules). Obviously this is
crucial information when prioritizing attack targets. Other-
wise, you penetration testers might have to expend considerable
resources "owning" an intermediate system, only to find out that
its IP isn't even trusted by the target host/network you are
You can add a colon followed by a port number if you wish to
probe a particular port on the zombie host for IPID changes.
Otherwise Nmap will use the port it uses by default for "tcp
-sA ACK scan: This advanced method is usually used to map out fire-
wall 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 acknowl-
edgement/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 usually 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"
-sW Window scan: This advanced scan is very similar to the ACK scan,
except that it can sometimes detect open ports as well as fil-
tered/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 UNIX, FreeBSD, HP-UX, OS/2,
IRIX, MacOS, NetBSD, 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.
-sL List scan. This method simply generates and prints a list of
IPs/Names without actually pinging or port scanning them. DNS
name resolution will be performed unless you use -n.
-b <ftp 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 target.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 notation. The format is: user-
name: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 useful.
-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 example 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 send-
ing 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 pre-
serves the efficiency of only scanning hosts that are up while
still allowing you to scan networks/hosts that block ping pack-
ets. For non root users, we use connect(). To set the destina-
tion port of the probe packets use -PT<port 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 SYN|ACK). You can set the destination port
in the same manner as -PT above.
-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 externally 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).
-PP Uses an ICMP timestamp request (code 13) packet to find listen-
-PM Same as -PI and -PP except uses a netmask request (ICMP code
-PB This is the default ping type. It uses both the ACK ( -PT ) and
ICMP echo request ( -PI ) sweeps in parallel. This way you can
get firewalls that filter either one (but not both). The TCP
probe destination port can be set in the same manner as with -PT
-O This option activates remote host identification via TCP/IP fin-
gerprinting. 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 Predictability Clas-
sification. 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 hid-
ing the source of an attack. The actual difficulty number is
based on statistical sampling and may fluctuate. It is gener-
ally better to use the English classification such as "worthy
challenge" 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 sev-
eral advanced information gathering and spoofing attacks.
-I This turns on TCP reverse ident scanning. As noted by Dave Gold-
smith 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 fil-
ters, 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 fragment. 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 CONFIG_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. You can also use -d a few 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 argument.
This logs the results of your scans in XML form into the file
you specify as an argument. This allows programs to easily cap-
ture and interpret Nmap results. 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' may cause some extra informa-
tion to be printed. The Document Type Definition (DTD) defining
the XML output structure is available at http://www.inse-
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 pre-
ferred 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 tells Nmap to log in ALL the majore formats (normal,
grepable, and XML). You give a base for the filename, and the
output files will be base.nmap, base.gnmap, and base.xml.
thIs l0gz th3 r3suLtS of YouR ScanZ iN a s|<ipT 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 out-
age, 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 successfully scanned in the log file.
Tells Nmap to append scan results to any output files you have
specified rather than overwriting those files.
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 expres-
sions you fill the file with.
-iR This option tells Nmap to generate its own hosts to scan by sim-
ply picking random numbers :). It will never end. This can be
useful for statistical sampling of the Internet to estimate var-
ious things. If you are ever really bored, try nmap -sS -iR -p
80 to find some web servers to look at.
-p <port ranges>
This option specifies what ports you want to specify. For exam-
ple '-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).
When scanning both TCP and UDP ports, you can specify a particu-
lar protocol by preceding the port numbers by "T:" or "U:". The
qualifier lasts until you specify another qualifier. For exam-
ple, the argument "-p U:53,111,137,T:21-25,80,139,8080" would
scan UDP ports 53,111,and 137, as well as the listed TCP ports.
Note that to scan both UDP & TCP, you have to specify -sU and at
least one TCP scan type (such as -sS, -sF, or -sT). If no pro-
tocol qualifier is given, the port numbers are added to all pro-
-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 host.
-D <decoy1 [,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 effec-
tive technique for hiding your IP address.
Separate each decoy host with commas, and you can optionally use
'ME' as one of the decoys to represent the position you want
your IP address to be used. If your put 'ME' in the 6th posi-
tion 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
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 network. You might want to use IP addresses instead of
names (so the decoy networks don't see you in their nameserver
Also note that some (stupid) "port scan detectors" will fire-
wall/deny routing to hosts that attempt port scans. Thus you
might inadvertantly cause the machine you scan to lose connec-
tivity 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 supported 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 scan-
ning them. -e would generally be required for this sort of
Tells nmap what interface to send and receive packets 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 rule-
set 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 modifying their source port. Obvi-
ously 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 informa-
tion in the source port number.
Normally Nmap sends minimalistic packets that only contain a
header. So its TCP packets are generally 40 bytes and ICMP echo
requests are just 28. This option tells Nmap to append the
given number of zero-filled bytes to most of the packets it
sends. OS detection (-O) packets are not affected, but most
pinging and portscan packets are. This slows things down, but
can be slightly less conspicuous.
-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
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 <max 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 charac-
teristics at runtime and scanning as fast as possible while min-
imizing 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 timing:
These are canned timing policies for conveniently expressing
your priorities to Nmap. Paranoid mode scans very slowly in the
hopes of avoiding detection by IDS systems. It serializes all
scans (no parallel scanning) and generally waits at least 5 min-
utes between sending packets. Sneaky is similar, except it only
waits 15 seconds between sending 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 sec-
onds between them. Normal is the default Nmap behaviour, which
tries to run as quickly as possible without overloading the net-
work 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 below.
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 timeout.
Specifies the maximum amount of time Nmap is allowed to wait for
a probe response before retransmitting or timing out that par-
ticular 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 parameter
you can guarantee that Nmap will wait at least the given amount
of time before giving up on a probe.
Specifies the initial probe timeout. This is generally only
useful when scanning firwalled hosts with -P0. Normally Nmap
can obtain good RTT estimates 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 simplest 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: '192.168.0.0/16'. These are
all equivalent. If you use asterisks ('*'), remember that most shells
require you to escape them with back slashes or protect them with
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 normal to a lit-
tle more complex/esoteric. Note that actual numbers and some actual
domain names are used to make things more concrete. In their place you
should substitute 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 per-
mission first or use at your own risk.
nmap -v target.example.com
This option scans all reserved TCP ports on the machine target.exam-
ple.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.example.com resides. It also
tries to determine what operating 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 deficient
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 interest-
ing 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 commands 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 submission URL when an appropriate fin-
gerprint is found.
The newest version of nmap can be obtained from http://www.inse-
nmap is (C) 1995-2001 by Insecure.Com LLC
libpcap is also distributed along with nmap. It is copyrighted by Van
Jacobson, Craig Leres and Steven McCanne, all of the Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA. The ver-
sion distributed with nmap may be modified, pristine sources are avail-
able 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; Version 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 willing to sell
alternative licenses (contact firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 far).
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 email@example.com for possible incorporation into the main distri-
bution. By sending these changes to Fyodor or one the insecure.org
development mailing lists, it is assumed that you are offering Fyodor
the unlimited, non-exclusive right to reuse, modify, 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 contributions, 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 warranty of MER-
CHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General
Public License for more details (it is in the COPYING file of the nmap
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
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.