Data Centers

Perform graphical Nmap scans with Zenmap 5.1

Across all operating systems, Nmap remains one of the top port scanning tools. IT pro Rick Vanover outlines usage of the Zenmap graphical user interface for Nmap.

Even if you are not a Linux user, Nmap is one of the best tools to check a host's port status remotely. Nmap has been ported to most operating systems, and is rather simple to use. I find myself now using the Zenmap interface for most of my scans. This is primarily due to the ability to save scans, quickly create specific scan criteria, and compare scans across different scan iterations. When it comes to using Zenmap, it is the same process as using Nmap from the command line except you can construct your scan easily with the interface.

The Zenmap interface is straight forward to use after a free download from the Nmap Web site. Figure A shows the Zenmap main screen running an intense scan:

Figure A

Figure A

Click image to enlarge
There are a number of options for performing scans. This includes the intense scan (shown), quick scan options, and others. Of course if you have experience using Nmap, you can enter the command parameters directly for a scan. Additional features of Zenmap allow you to enter profiles for repetitive scans. I mentioned earlier the scan comparison feature, this is a good way to find differences or ensure similarities across like systems. Figure B shows a scan comparison:

Figure B

Figure A

Click image to enlarge

Zenmap is straightforward to use and is my tool of choice to check port status on remote hosts. Share your Zenmap comments below.


Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox