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Is there a tool that takes an IP address and outputs the operating system of that machine?

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I don't think any such tool to determine OS type solely from IP address exists. nmap could give you its best guess. – jw013 Jul 23 '12 at 12:33
I'm sorry. should have searched better. superuser.com/questions/164193/… – minerals Jul 23 '12 at 12:39

Yes, it's called nmap. Keep in mind that you should have permission from the owner of the remote system before running tools like this against it.

nmap -O
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Kind of. nmap will take its best guess. It's usually fairly accurate but it can be wrong. It's impossible to tell with 100% accuracy. – bahamat Jul 23 '12 at 15:25

You can use tools like nmap to do this. However, make sure you know the local laws before running a tool like nmap. It is prohibited to use such tools without the explicit permission of the network administrator even on your office network.

nmap -O

The -O option does operating system “fingerprinting”. Nmap version 5.50 has 2,982 OS fingerprints and 7,319 version-detection signatures.

For more information on using nmap, refer to: http://www.linuxforu.com/tag/advanced-nmap-series/

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The nmap is the way of recognizing the system remotely when you dont want to establish connection with it. It is an active/agressive fingerprinting.

There is also a great tool for passive fingerprinting called p0f. It has been developed by lcamtuf and it anylyze the trafic between you and the server based on regular connection stream.

If you are able to connect to the server on some port like http i would suggest p0f. It's not invasive and will not triger snort or any IDP/IPS/Firewall on the way.

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