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Install a Nessus Agent on Mac OS X

Caution: If you install a Nessus Agent, Manager, or Scanner on a system with an existing Nessus Agent, Manager, or Scanner running nessusd, the installation process will kill all other nessusd processes. You may lose scan data as a result.

Retrieve Agent Linking Key

  1. Log in to Nessus.
  2. Select the button.
  3. On the Scanners / Agents / Linked page, select Agent > Linked and read the on-screen message.
    Agents can be linked to this manager using the provided key with the following setup instructions. Once linked, they must be added to a group for use when configuring scans.

    Also, linked agents will automatically download plugins from the manager upon connection. Please note, this process can take several minutes and is required before an agent will return scan results.

  4. In the first sentence of the Scanners / Agents / Linked window, select the setup instructions link.

  5. Record the host, port, and key values. These values will be used during the installation of the Nessus Agent.
  6. Select the Close button.

Download Nessus Agent

From the Nessus Download Page, download the Nessus Agent specific to your operating system.

Note: The following steps require root privileges.

Install Nessus Agent

The Nessus Agent can be installed by using the GUI installation wizard or via command line.

GUI Installation:

  1. Double-click the Nessus agent .dmg (Mac OS X Disk Image) file.
  2. Double-click Install Nessus Agent.pkg.
  3. Complete the Nessus Agent Install Wizard.

Command Line Installation:

  1. Extract Install Nessus Agent.pkg and .NessusAgent.pkg from NessusAgent-<version number>.dmg.
  2. Open Terminal.
  3. At the command prompt, enter the following command:
  4. # installer -pkg /<path-to>/Install Nessus Agent.pkg -target /

Link Agent Using Command Line Interface

You will need the Agent Key values obtained from the Nessus UI (Step 1): host, port, and key.

Agent Key Values

Required Values

  • Key
  • Host
  • Port

Optional Values

  • Name (A name for your agent.)
  • Groups (Existing agent group(s) that you want your agent to be a member of.)

    If you do not specify an Agent Group during the install process, you can later add your linked Agent to an Agent Group within the Nessus UI.

    Cloud (Specify the --cloud argument to link to The --cloud argument is a shortcut to specifying --port=443.

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. At the command prompt, use the following command as an example to construct your link-specific string.

    Example Mac Agent Link Command:

    # /Library/NessusAgent/run/sbin/nessuscli managed link
    --name=MyOSXAgent --groups=All --port=8834

Verify Linked Agent

  1. In Nessus, select the button.
  2. View linked Agents on the Scanners / Agents / Linked page.

    This completes the process of installing a Nessus Agent on Mac OS X.

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