Lynis – Security auditing tool for Unix/Linux systems


Auditing your system is one of the most common tasks that security professional will be asked to do. This is very important to find system misconfiguration or vulnerabilities that needs to be addressed from the system admin. One of the open source tools that can be considered Lynis.

Lynis is an open source security auditing tool. Used by system administrators, security professionals, and auditors, to evaluate the security defenses of their Linux and Unix-based systems. It runs on the host itself, so it performs more extensive security scans than vulnerability scanners.

Lynis include several mixed benchmark that used for compliance verification including CIS, NIST, NSA, OpenSCAP and more. If you need to make a compliance check for UNIX based systems you can consider this tool.

The tool works as follows:

  1. Determine operating system
  2. Search for available tools and utilities
  3. Check for Lynis update
  4. Run tests from enabled plugins
  5. Run security tests per category
  6. Report status of security scan
Lynis - Security auditing tool for Unix/Linux systems

Lynis – Security auditing tool for Unix/Linux systems

The vulnerability assessment is made locally on the host without running a remote scan. This can be an advantage but for some cases this mean an additional process and application on the host which may consume local resources.

Generally if you plan to make compliance check with specific standard you can check this tool as there is constant update to add more features that are required to pass the security requirement.

Current version is Lynis 2.5.8 and you can download it from here: