Nmap Tutorial for Beginners

How to Install Nmap on Ubuntu? (Step by Step Process)


Before diving into the installation of Nmap, it is essential to have an understanding of what is Nmap and its capabilities.

Nmap stands for Network Mapper. It is a robust open-source tool for inspecting, scanning, and managing networks. It is used by network administrators for network discovery and security scanning

They use Nmap to identify hosts, Operating Systems, services, and vulnerabilities on your network. In simple words, it is used to scan hosts and services on a computer network, thus creating a “map” of the network. 

Nmap is available for various operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS. In this article, we will focus on how to install Nmap on Ubuntu. 

Let’s examine the different scenarios where in which Nmap can be utilized:

Prerequisites for Nmap Installation on Ubuntu

Before getting into the tutorial on how to install Nmap in Ubuntu, let’s see the prerequisites.

1. Ubuntu Operating System

Nmap is compatible with Ubuntu and can be installed on any version of the operating system. For this tutorial, you should have a running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Server.

2. Administrative privileges

Nmap requires administrative privileges to run any command, so you need to be logged in as a root user or use the “sudo” command.

3. Understanding of Command Line

The installation process of Nmap on Ubuntu happens on the command line. So it is important to have a basic understanding of how to run the commands and navigate through the command line.

4. Updated Package List

Before you proceed with the installation of Nmap on Ubuntu, It is important to have updated packages in your system. You need to have apt available in your system. 

5. Internet Connection 

In order to download the necessary packages, a strong internet connection is a must.

How to Install Nmap on Ubuntu?

Let’s walk you through the tutorial for installing Nmap for Ubuntu:

Step-1: Updating the system package list

Before installing Nmap in Ubuntu, make sure to update and upgrade your system packages with the latest available versions from Ubuntu

To upgrade all the packages, open the terminal and run the following command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Step-2: Installing Nmap

In the next step, you can download and install Nmap and the respective dependencies from the Ubuntu repo. This can be performed by running the below command:

sudo apt install nmap

The installation process may take a few minutes to complete, so make sure to have a stable internet connection.

Step-3: Verifying the Installation

After the successful installation of Nmap, you can verify the installed files by writing the below command:

dpkg -L nmap

It will list down all the installed files and if something is missing you can check here.

Step-4: Check Version 

To check the currently installed version of Nmap on your system, you can write:

nmap –-version

Step-5: Scan using Nmap

After the successful installation of Nmap on your system, you can use it to scan for hosts and services on your network. Below is the syntax for the command:

nmap <options><target_ip>

The command with an example:


This command is going to scan all the current online hosts with IP range to The resulting list will show the number of IP addresses and their corresponding hostnames, with the status of each host (up or down). 

If you want to scan a specific host or IP address, then you can write this command (for example):


This will specifically show the host of this IP address and will also show an open SSH port 22.

Step-6: Scanning for open ports

Another important task that you can perform is to scan open ports on a host. The syntax of the command is:

sudo nmap -p <port-number><host-ip-address>

To scan for open ports on a specific host, write the below command:

sudo nmap -p 1-65535

The above command will scan all ports ranging from 1 to 65535 on host, and output a list of open ports and all services that are running on them.

Step-7: Check all available options

If you want to see all the tools available on Nmap, use the nmap -h command.

Wrapping Up:

These were the easy steps involved in installing Nmap on Ubuntu 20, a popular Linux distribution. By following the steps mentioned in the article, you can easily install Nmap on Ubuntu and start exploring and auditing your network. If you want to have a better understanding of your network infrastructure and want to improve network security then explore Nmap. Nmap can be used for both legitimate network administration and ethical hacking.

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