How to Install Nmap on Debian 12, 11 or 10

Nmap is a powerful and versatile network scanner that security professionals widely use, including system administrators and network engineers, to explore and audit networks, detect vulnerabilities, and map the network topology. It is a free and open-source tool that can be installed on various operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and macOS. Nmap uses various techniques to scan and probe network hosts and services, including TCP/IP and UDP packets, ICMP messages, SYN, and ACK probes. It can also perform advanced functions such as OS detection, service version detection, and scriptable interactions with scanned systems.

Key features of Nmap:

  • Nmap can scan IPv4 and IPv6 networks and supports various scanning techniques, including ping scans, port scans, version detection, and OS detection.
  • Nmap can be used for various purposes, such as network exploration, security auditing, vulnerability detection, and penetration testing.
  • Nmap has a scripting engine that allows users to write and run custom scripts to automate complex scanning tasks and interact with the scanned systems.
  • Nmap can generate various reports, such as XML, HTML, and grepable formats, which can be used for further analysis or processing.
  • Nmap’s command-line interface provides a flexible and powerful way to use the tool and customize the scanning parameters and options.

The guide will demonstrate how to install Nmap on Debian 12 Bookworm, Debian 11 Bullseye, or Debian 10 Buster using the command-line terminal, along with some basic commands to get you started and familiar with Nmap.

Step 1: Install Nmap

Before proceeding with the installation process, ensuring that your system packages are up-to-date is important. This can be achieved by executing the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

By doing so, you can avoid any conflicts during the installation or operation of Nmap.

Once you have ensured that your system packages are up-to-date, you can proceed with the installation process of Nmap. Fortunately, Nmap is available in Debian’s default repository, making the installation process straightforward. You can install Nmap by executing the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt install nmap

This will install Nmap on your Debian system.

After the installation, it is important to verify that Nmap is installed correctly. To do so, execute the following command in the terminal:

nmap --version

This command will display the version number and additional information about the installed version of Nmap. If Nmap is installed correctly, you will see the version number and details about the installation.

Step 2: Basics of Nmap Commands

To become familiar with Nmap, it is important to have a basic understanding of its commands. These commands are essential to utilize the full functionality of Nmap.

Nmap Port States Definitions

When scanning for open ports on a target system, Nmap reports the state of each port it probes. The following table outlines the different port states that Nmap may report:

Port StateDescription
OpenThe target port is accepting connections and actively responding to probes. This state indicates that a service or application listens on the port and is ready to accept incoming connections.
ClosedThe target port is closed, which is reachable but not accepting connections. This state suggests that a firewall or other security mechanism blocks incoming traffic to the port.
FilteredThe target port is filtered, meaning that Nmap could not determine the state of the port due to firewall rules or other security mechanisms that prevented the probes from reaching the target.
UnfilteredThe target port is unfiltered, meaning that Nmap was able to determine whether the port is open or closed. This state is often reported when the target system is behind a load balancer or a packet filtering device.

Nmap Basic Commands

While the following sections provide an overview of some basic Nmap commands, it is recommended to refer to a comprehensive guide, such as “Nmap Commands for Beginners: Simple Scanning Tips,” for a more detailed list of commands and tips.

Scan Host:

To scan a host, whether internal or external, you can use the following command:

nmap [IP address] or [website address]

Alternatively, you can scan internally using the following command:

nmap localhost

To perform a scan quickly, you can use the -F flag:

nmap -F [IP address] or [website address]

When scanning, if you want to scan specific hosts, you can specify.

nmap [IP address],[IP address],[IP address]

If you want to scan specific hosts, you can specify them using the following command:

nmap [IP address],[IP address],[IP address]

Operating System Scan:

To initiate an operating system scan, you can use the following command:

nmap -O --osscan-guess [IP address] or [website address]

Port Specification and Scan Order:

To initiate a custom port scan, you can use the -p flag followed by the ports you wish to scan:

nmap –p 80,443,8080,9090 [IP address] or [website address]

Services Scan:

To initiate a services scan, you can use the following command:

nmap -sV [IP address] or [website address]


To initiate a TCP SYN scan, you can use the following command:

nmap -sS [IP address] or [website address]

Nmap Help:

Overall, Nmap has many features and combinations. To learn more about these, you can use the following command to bring up the list of commands and optional flags that can be used with your scans:

nmap --help

By utilizing these basic Nmap commands, you can perform effective network scans, identify vulnerabilities, and enhance the security of your system.

Additional Tips

How to Remove (Uninstall) Nmap

If you want to remove Nmap from your Debian system, you can use the following command to uninstall the application:

sudo apt remove nmap

This command will remove Nmap from your system, along with any dependencies that were installed with it.


In conclusion, installing Nmap on a Debian system is a straightforward process that can benefit security professionals, system administrators, and network engineers significantly. Following the basic steps outlined in this guide, users can quickly and easily install Nmap on their Debian system, update system packages, and verify the installation. With Nmap, users can explore and audit networks, detect vulnerabilities, and map the network topology to enhance their system security.

Further Learning

Certainly, here are some links related to Nmap on Debian-based systems:

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