There are many great open-source security tools available for vulnerability testing (Nessus), host scanning and fingerprinting (nmap), or general host info (dns or nmb lookup), etc.  However, there are not many open-source applications leveraging existing open-source security tools to enable a security analyst to scan large networks and store the results in a manner where host vulnerability trending, host vulnerability tracking, host risk rating, and scan scheduling can easily be achieved.   That is why we wrote Gherkin.

Gherkin is a free web-enabled, multi-threaded, centralized security scan manager incorporating Nessus vulnerability scanning, dns and nmb lookup host resolving, and nmap fingerprinting and scanning with all output stored in a normalized Postgres database.

Scans can be as granular as a single host or as broad as entire network segments. Addresses are grouped with 'netgroups' to allow the flexibility to quickly administer, scan, and report on any set of addresses you define. All the results are in a Postgres database for trending, reporting, general host vulnerability tracking and management.  Gherkin is manageable via a web interface for on-demand scanning and viewing data and command-line options are available for scheduling or scripting scans, database manipulation, and customizing reports.

Features: The Gherkin process is controlled via three command-line tools: gherkin, gherkin_data, and gherkin_report.  A sample cgi interface is provided that makes use of these command-line tools to give a handy web interface.

Status:  currently at v0.2.3 

If you improve Gherkin please send your modifications so we can incorporate them. Send questions or comments to: or

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Installation Info and Requirements

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Contributors: Michael Schmuhl, Preston Wood, Bryan Strong