PKGS-7398 - Package audit tool

This information is provided as part of the Lynis community project. It is related to Lynis control PKGS-7398 and should be considered as-is and without guarantees. Any advice and commands should be tested before implementing them in production environments.

Control details


Most operating systems provide a tool to check for security packages, to fix vulnerable versions of installed software. When possible, install such tool.

How to solve

Software packages are an important part of the system, including its primary goal and duties. On a daily basis, new security flaws are found, many which will affect the ones we have installed. These flaws, also named software vulnerabilities, can cause a lot of troubles for your system. This is especially true when such a software package can be remotely attacked and misused. A successful could result into your system starting to send spam messages, leak confidential data, or become part of a botnet.

With a package audit tool it is easy to find which packages need to be updated. In most cases packages will be flagged with a security warning when a known vulnerability has been fixed. Newer distributions usually have an audit option as part of the package manager. For other systems, a little bit of research is needed to discover a way to find vulnerable packages. For example the yum-security package is an example used for older systems running RHEL, Fedora, or CentOS.

Additional resources

Need more details?

Consider the upgrade to Lynis Enterprise to receive additional details and guidance. The Enterprise version helps to you with daily health checks of your environment, learn in-depth system hardening, and resources to protect your systems better.

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Lynis is a technical security auditing tool for Unix flavors like Linux, macOS, AIX, Solaris, and *BSD. It is open source software and free to use. Typical usage include system hardening, compliance testing, and vulnerability scanning. The project has an active community, including development via GitHub.

Lynis Enterprise

Do you need to collect data from multiple systems or compliance reporting? Lynis Enterprise uses Lynis to collect the data and make your work easier.

Benefits: automate security audits, detailed reporting, compliance testing.

  • Centralized management
  • Improvement plan with priorities
  • Reporting
  • Dashboards
  • Predefined policies
  • Integration (API)
  • Improvement snippets for tools like Ansible, Chef, Cfengine, Puppet, and SaltStack
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