Deploy Nessus Agent Using JSON

When you first launch the agent after installation, the agent first checks for the presence of environment variables, then checks for the config.json file. When the agent launches for the first time, the agent uses that information to link to a manager and set preferences.

Location of config.json file

Place the config.json file in the following location:

  • Linux: /opt/nessus_agent/var/nessus/config.json
  • Windows: C:\ProgramData\Tenable\Nessus Agent\nessus\config.json
  • Mac OS X: /Library/NessusAgent/run/var/nessus/config.json

Example Agentconfig.json file format:

{ "link": { "name": "sensor name", "host": "hostname or IP address", "port": 443, "key": "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz", "ms_cert": "CA certificate for linking", "retry": 1, "groups": ["group 1", "group 2"], "proxy": { "proxy": "proxyhostname", "proxy_port": 443, "proxy_username": "proxyusername", "proxy_password": "proxypassword", "user_agent": "proxyagent", "proxy_auth": "NONE" } }, "preferences": { "global.max_hosts": "500" }

config.json Details

The following describes the format of the different settings in each section of config.json.

Note: All sections are optional; if you do not include a section, it is not configured when you first launch the agent. You can manually configure the settings later.


  • The link section sets preferences to link the agent to a manager.
  • Only name, host, port, and key are required. All other settings are optional.


  • The preferences section configures any advanced settings. For more information, see Advanced Settings.