I am running Nessus on a closed network. My OS is Redhat 7.4. I have Bare Metal machines in my data center and Virtual Machines on AWS.

When Nessus scans my Bare Metal machines, it correctly identifies my servers as headless and does not check for GUI banners, screen locks, etc.

On my VMs, it determines, somehow, that it is a Headed server and reports findings for GUI banners, screen locks, etc.

Any ideas what Nessus is looking at to determine if the server is headless?

  • I do not know about Nessus specifically, but a program could judge if a machine is headless from a number of factors (such as the presence of a running X server).
    – Torin
    Jan 28, 2019 at 15:51
  • Check if there is a keyboard attached. Jan 28, 2019 at 15:52
  • 2
    There is no single configuration file that says a system is headless. Nessus is doing something to make that determination, and you have to look at what the Nessus results say.
    – jsbillings
    Jan 28, 2019 at 16:38
  • 2
    We had a team of three looking for two weeks regarding Nessus ID 12085 on vCenter. Even using their own forums, we never got our answer, and they never told us what they were actually checking. That's Nessus. Total PITA. Jan 28, 2019 at 16:57
  • 1
    Partial answer: (from the nessus .audit file I was running) systemctl get-default | grep graphical.target shows that the GUI can start on bootup.
    – Scottie H
    Jan 28, 2019 at 21:43


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