Virtual Appliance Guide


The Virtual Appliance has limited disk space and is only intended for product evaluation purposes.

It is NOT intended for enterprise and production deployments.

Deploying the Virtual Appliance

Read this section to learn how to deploy the Virtual Appliance.

Supported environments

The current version of the Virtual Appliance is tested and supported in the following environment:

  • Virtualbox 6+
  • VMware Fusion 11+
  • VMware Workstation 16
  • VMware vSphere (ESXI 5.1+)

Downloading the Virtual Appliance

Rapid7 provides the Virtual Appliance as an Open Virtualization Archive (OVA) file. You can download either a Virtual Appliance Security Console (VA) or the Virtual Appliance Scan Engine (VASE). Download links for both are as follows:

Deploying in Virtualbox

  1. In Virtualbox, click Import.
  2. Next to the file bar, click the folder icon to open the default File Explorer.
  3. Navigate to and select the Virtual Appliance file, and click Open.

Select the Virtual Appliance file

If the file selected is valid, the Import Virtual Machine confirmation window pane will appear.

Confirm import

  1. After clicking Continue, the VM settings page will appear. Feel free to leave the default values selected.

OVA Settings

  1. Click Import.

The import process converts the Virtual Appliance file to a Virtual Machine Disk Format (VMDK) file. When the import process is complete, the Virtual Appliance appears on the list of available virtual machines in Virtualbox.

  1. Select the Rapid7 Virtual Appliance, and click Play or Power On this Virtual Machine.

Powering on the Virtual Appliance

  1. When the import process is complete, select the Virtual Appliance from the list of available virtual machines.
  2. Click Power on.
  3. Click the Console tab to view a terminal window for the Virtual Appliance.

Administering the Virtual Appliance

Log in to the Virtual Appliance after it starts to perform any necessary administrative functions. The operating system for the Virtual Appliance is a minimal install of Ubuntu Server 20.04 LTS.

When startup is complete, the Virtual Appliance window displays a login prompt. If you are logging in for the first time, you will be asked to change the current UNIX password:

Set your new password

  1. Enter the default username: nexpose
  2. Enter the default password: nexpose


Your password keystrokes will not appear in the terminal as you type them. Take care that you input the password accurately.

  1. When prompted, enter the default password again.
  2. Enter your new password.
  3. Enter your new password again to confirm the change.

You need the IP address of the Virtual Appliance in order to login to to the Web interface. Run ip a to view the IP address.

Updating the host's operating system

As a security best practice, make sure to keep your operating system current with the latest updates. To apply an update, take the following steps:

  1. Access the operating system of your Virtual Appliance using SSH or by opening a virtual console.
  2. Run the following command to update all operating system packages to the latest versions:
sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade


The unattended-updates package is installed and configured to automatically apply security updates when available. The virtual appliance requires access to and to retrieve updated packages. Unattended update logs can be reviewed in /var/log/unattended-upgrades/unattended-upgrades.log

Logging onto the Security Console

You perform all Security Console operations through a Web-based interface, which supports the browsers listed at

To log onto the Security Console take the following steps:

  1. Open a web browser.
  2. Enter the URL for the Virtual Appliance: https://<Virtual_Appliance_IP>:3780
  3. Enter the default username (nxadmin) and password (nxpassword).
  4. Click the Logon button.

Change Password

Upon first login the Security Console will prompt you to change your password. Enter the default username and password: nxadmin and nxpassword. Enter a new password, and confirm the new password.

If you are a first-time user and have not activated your license, the Security Console displays an activation dialog box. Enter your license key. If you do not have a license key, visit to start your 30-day free trial.

After you receive a license key, login and enter it into the activation window.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I set up a dynamic IP?

The virtual machine comes without any networking preconfigured. To have a dynamic IP assigned by the hypervisor, run sudo dhclient.

How do I set up a static IP?

The recommended method of setting a static IP is to use netplan.

Before you begin setting the network configuration, you need to know which interface to set as each hypervisor will label them differently. To find the name of the networking interface, use the command ip a. The first device is the loopback, device 2 is the interface you need to set.

Note the label of the interface for example, ens32 or enp0s17.

Once you have the name of the interface you need to set, open the /etc/netplan/00-installer-config.yaml file in a text editor with the following command:

sudo nano /etc/netplan/00-installer-config.yaml

As there are a multitude of possible network configurations, see the following sample configuration below as an example:

Sample Static Network Configuration

How do I specify DNS servers?

DNS should be set in the netplan configuration (nameservers array).

How do I restart networking?

To restart the networking service, use the following command:

sudo netplan apply

This command will apply the configuration specified in the netplan configuration file in addition to completely restarting the networking service.

How do I set the system time?

System date and time are controlled using the timedatectl utility.

To set the time, use the following command, where $TIME is the desired time:

sudo timedatectl set-time $TIME

To set the timezone, use the following command, where $TZ is the desired timezone:

sudo timedatectl set-timezone $TZ

How do I start, stop, and check the status of the console and engine services?


sudo systemctl status nexposeconsole.service
sudo systemctl start nexposeconsole.service
sudo systemctl stop nexposeconsole.service


sudo systemctl status nexposeengine.service
sudo systemctl start nexposeengine.service
sudo systemctl stop nexposeengine.service