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Nmap Network Scanning

Chapter 12. Zenmap GUI Users' Guide

Introduction

Zenmap is the official graphical user interface (GUI) for the Nmap Security Scanner. It is a multi-platform, free and open-source application designed to make Nmap easy for beginners to use while providing advanced features for experienced Nmap users. Frequently used scans can be saved as profiles to make them easy to run repeatedly. A command creator allows interactive creation of Nmap command lines. Scan results can be saved and viewed later. Saved scans can be compared with one another to see how they differ. The results of recent scans are stored in a searchable database. A typical Zenmap screen shot is shown in Figure 12.1. See the official Zenmap web page for more screen shots.

Figure 12.1. Typical Zenmap screen shot

Typical Zenmap screen shot

This guide is meant to make Nmap and Zenmap easy to use together, even if you haven't used either before. For the parts of this guide that deal specifically with Nmap (command-line options and such), refer to Chapter 15, Nmap Reference Guide.

The Purpose of a Graphical Frontend for Nmap

No frontend can replace good old command-line Nmap. The nature of a frontend is that it depends on another tool to do its job. Therefore the purpose of Zenmap is not to replace Nmap, but to make Nmap more useful. Here are some of the advantages Zenmap offers over plain Nmap.

Interactive and graphical results viewing

In addition to showing Nmap's normal output, Zenmap can arrange its display to show all ports on a host or all hosts running a particular service. It summarizes details about a single host or a complete scan in a convenient display. Zenmap can even draw a topology map of discovered networks. The results of several scans may be combined together and viewed at once.

Comparison

Zenmap has the ability to show the differences between two scans. You can see what changed between the same scan run on different days, between scans of two different hosts, between scans of the same hosts with different options, or any other combination. This allows administrators to easily track new hosts or services appearing on their networks, or existing ones going down.

Convenience

Zenmap keeps track of your scan results until you choose to throw them away. That means you can run a scan, see the results, and then decide whether to save them to a file. There is no need to think of a file name in advance.

Repeatability

Zenmap's command profiles make it easy to run the exact same scan more than once. There's no need to set up a shell script to do a common scan.

Discoverability

Nmap has literally hundreds of options, which can be daunting for beginners. Zenmap's interface is designed to always show the command that will be run, whether it comes from a profile or was built up by choosing options from a menu. This helps beginners learn and understand what they are doing. It also helps experts double-check exactly what will be run before they press Scan.

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