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Both application source and binary installation packages are available, so you should be able to get the application up and running via standard methods, including RPM installation for Linux, or by simply unzipping the Windows binaries if you don't want to compile them yourself.
The Linux versions provide a GUI front end that will help users familiarize themselves with the various choices available for starting and running Nmap. The GUI is quite nice, but, quite frankly, it's not much more than a thin wrapper covering the rich command-line flags that Nmap supports, and will only be of value to the greenest of newbies. If you're not familiar with it already, do yourself and your organization a favor and learn the command-line interface as soon as possible so that you can get the most value out of this highly versatile tool.
Nmap is an indispensable component of any system administrator's toolbox, and is one of the best examples of what can be accomplished with well-managed and useful open-source projects. It's freely available, and if you haven't used
it yet, download it now and start exploring its deep capabilities.
This was first published in May 2006