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 net-
works 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 finger-
printing, stealth scanning, dynamic delay and retransmission calculations, parallel scan-
ning, detection of down hosts via parallel pings, decoy scanning, port filtering detec-
tion, 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. Unfortu-
nately, many critical kernel interfaces (such as raw sockets) require root privileges.
nmap should be run as root whenever 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), num-
ber, 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
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 following 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 combined. Some options are specific to
certain scan modes. nmap tries to catch and warn the user about psychotic or unsupported
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
-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-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() sys-
tem 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,
otherwise 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 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 shutdown. This is the default scan type for unprivileged
-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 through
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. Unfor-
tunately 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 distinguish 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 paral-
lel. 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
-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 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 some-
where 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 com-
monly 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 220.127.116.11) 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 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 sup-
ported on a host. The technique is to send raw IP packets without any further pro-
tocol 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
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 target from your real IP address).
Instead, a unique side-channel attack exploits predictable "IP fragmentation ID"
sequence generation on the zombie host to glean information about the open ports on
the target. IDS systems will display the scan as coming 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 relationships between machines. The port list-
ing 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 prioritiz-
ing attack targets. Otherwise, you penetration testers might have to expend con-
siderable resources "owning" an intermediate system, only to find out that its IP
isn't even trusted by the target host/network you are ultimately after.
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 pings".
-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 usually doesn't print "unfil-
tered" 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 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 sup-
port 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 fire-
walls, 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
The argument passed to the 'b' option is the host you want to use as a proxy, in
standard URL notation. 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
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 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 scanning hosts that are up while still allowing you to scan net-
works/hosts that block ping packets. For non root users, we use connect(). To set
the destination 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 listening hosts.
-PM Same as -PI and -PP except uses a netmask request (ICMP code 17).
-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 above.
-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
information 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
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 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 "wor-
thy 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 several advanced information gathering and spoofing attacks.
-I This turns on TCP reverse ident scanning. As noted by Dave Goldsmith in a 1996 Bug-
traq 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
connection. 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 frag-
mented 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 annoy-
ances to detect what you are doing. Be careful with this! Some programs have trou-
ble handling these tiny packets. My favorite sniffer segmentation faulted immedi-
ately 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 frag-
ments (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 informa-
tion 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
-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 capture 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 information 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 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 out-
put 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,
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
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 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 tar-
get 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 sampling 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.
-p <port ranges>
This option specifies what ports you want to specify. 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 num-
ber you wish to scan for (0-255).
When scanning both TCP and UDP ports, you can specify a particular protocol by pre-
ceding the port numbers by "T:" or "U:". The qualifier lasts until you specify
another qualifier. For example, 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 protocol qualifier is given, the port numbers are
added to all protocol lists.
-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" mecha-
nisms, 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 represent 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 scan-
ning 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 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
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 scanning them. -e would generally
be required for this sort of usage.
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 ruleset to allow DNS (53) or FTP-DATA (20)
packets to come through and establish a connection. Obviously this completely sub-
verts the security advantages of the firewall since intruders can just masquerade
as FTP or DNS by modifying 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.
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 conspicu-
-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. Nor-
mally 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 <max sockets>
Sets the maximum number of sockets that will be used in parallel for a TCP con-
nect() 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 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 minutes 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 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 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 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 parame-
ter 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. Set-
ting 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
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 com-
mand 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 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 normal to a little more complex/eso-
teric. 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 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.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 aster-
isks 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 commands are for my GNU/Linux box. You may need different com-
mands/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 fingerprint is found.
The newest version of nmap can be obtained from http://www.insecure.org/nmap/
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 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; 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 email@example.com).
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 soft-
ware 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for possible incor-
poration into the main distribution. By sending these changes to Fyodor or one the inse-
cure.org development mailing lists, it is assumed that you are offering Fyodor the unlim-
ited, 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
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY;
without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY 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 applica-
tions, TCP/IP stacks, and even operating systems. Nmap should never be run against mis-
sion 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 permis-
sion 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) com-
pliant in all respects. There is no reason to believe versions earlier than 2.0 are sus-
ceptible to problems, but we have not tested them.