How to setup Nessus in a Docker container

What is Docker?

Docker is a set of platform as a service products that use OS-level virtualization to deliver software in packages called containers. Containers are isolated from one another and bundle their own software, libraries and configuration files; they can communicate with each other through well-defined channels

To install a docker container of the latest version of Nessus, run the command:

sudo docker pull tenableofficial/nessus

This will connect to the official Docker container registry and download Docker image provided by Tenable. The download should take about 10 minutes depending on your internet connection speed.

Now run the following command to setup the Nessus install:

sudo docker run --name "nessus" -d -p 8834:8834 tenableofficial/nessus 
  • docker run tells your system to run the docker install
  • –name "nessus" tells the system to name the installation nessus
  • -d -p tells the system to detach and data should be sent through Port 8834

Now open your favorite web browser and go to https://IP.IP.IP.IP:8834 which will then open the Nessus Frontend. The first thing Nessus will do is ask for an activation code.

You can get a Nessus activation code at:

After that, Nessus will prompt you to create a login and password.

Finally, Nessus will start compiling the list of available plugins, then download the newest plugins and then compile the newest plugins for use. Depending on how powerful the machine is that is running the container, this can take a looooong time.