Greenbone is stepping up its commitment to open source and the community edition of its vulnerability management software. In addition to the open source code on Github, Greenbone now also provides pre-configured and tested Docker containers.
Official containers from the manufacturer itself
The Greenbone Community Containers are regularly built automatically and are also available for ARM and Raspberry Pi.
Björn Ricks, Senior Software Developer at Greenbone, sees this as a “big improvement for admins who just want to give Greenbone a try. Our official containers replace the many different Docker images that exist on the web with an official, always up-to-date, always-maintained version of Greenbone.”
Hi Björn, what is your role at Greenbone?
Björn Ricks: One of my current tasks is to provide community container builds at Greenbone. Taking care of the community has always been a big concern of mine and for a long time I wanted to make sure that we also provide “official” Docker images of Greenbone. I’m very pleased that this has now worked out.
What is the benefit of the images for the community?
Björn Ricks: We make it much easier for administrators and users who want to test Greenbone. The installation now works completely independent of the operating system used: just download and run the Docker compose file that describes the services, open the browser and scan the local network. I think that’s a much lower barrier to entry, ideal even for anyone who doesn’t yet know the details and capabilities of our products.
Why does Greenbone now provide containers itself? There were already some on the net, weren’t there?
Björn Ricks: Yes, that’s right, but we found out that some people were unsure about the content, legitimacy and maintenance of these images. That’s why we decided to offer Docker images signed by us with verified and secured content.
All the container images existing on the network have different version status and even more so different quality grade. It is often impossible to tell from the outside whether an image is “any good” or not. Of course, you also have to trust the external authors and maintainers that they know what they are doing and that their images do not contain any additional security vulnerabilities. Only we, as producers of our own software, can guarantee that the published container images have the current version status and the desired quality grade.
Does Greenbone also plan to provide Docker images for its commercial product line, Greenbone Enterprise Appliances?
Björn Ricks: That depends on requests from our commercial customers. The Greenbone Community Edition includes access to the community feed with around 100,000 vulnerability tests. Our commercial feed contains even more tests, including those for many proprietary products that our customers use.
We have found that our customers are happy with our appliances, our virtual appliances, and our cloud solution – all of which qualify for use of the commercial feed subscription. However, this could change, and if it does, we will consider offering Docker containers to commercial customers.
How often are the images updated and what feed is included?
Björn Ricks: The images are built and published directly from the source code repositories. So they are always up to date and contain all patches. At the moment only the community feed is available for the images, but this might change in the future.
Where can I get the images and the documentation?
Björn Ricks: The Docker compose file for orchestrating the services is linked in the documentation, The Dockerfiles for building the Docker images can also be found on Github in the corresponding repositories, and are quite easy to download, for example: here.