Running Nmap using WSL1


Nmap (“Network Mapper”) is a free and open source (license) utility for network discovery and security auditing. Many systems and network administrators also find it useful for tasks such as network inventory, managing service upgrade schedules, and monitoring host or service uptime.


In WSL 1, there have been problems with opening sockets which leads to many traditional Linux networking tools like Nmap failing.


The current workaround is to run Nmap.exe for Windows through an alias in WSL.

  1. Download and run the latest stable release self-installer for Windows
  2. Put alias nmap='"/mnt/c/Program Files (x86)/Nmap/nmap.exe"' in your .bashrc or .profile