Installing Metasploit Framework on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and Debian 7

This Guide covers the installation of Metasploit Framework OSS Project on Ubuntun Linux LTS. If you do not wish to run the Open Source version or set up a development environment and do not mind giving your email address to Rapid 7 for marketing I would recommend downloading their commercial installer from for Metasploit Express and Pro. 

If you prefer an all in one installer only for framework the Metasploit team offers nightly built installers at making a quick setup a breeze if you do not plan to pull separate branches to test experimental code or do development. 

Install Oracle Java 8

We start by adding the Oracle Java Package source

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:webupd8team/java

Once added we can install the latest version

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y install oracle-java8-installer


Installing Dependencies

We start by making sure that we have the latest packages by updating the system using apt-get:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Now that we know that we are running an updated system we can install all the dependent packages that are needed by Metasploit Framework:

sudo apt-get install build-essential libreadline-dev libssl-dev libpq5 libpq-dev libreadline5 libsqlite3-dev libpcap-dev git-core autoconf postgresql pgadmin3 curl zlib1g-dev libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev libyaml-dev curl zlib1g-dev gawk bison libffi-dev libgdbm-dev libncurses5-dev libtool sqlite3 libgmp-dev gnupg2 dirmngr


Installing a Proper Version of Ruby

The distribution sadly does not comes by default with a proper version of Linux for us to use with Metasploit Framework and we will have to download and compile a proper one. There 2 mains ways recommended for this are using RVM or rbenv (Do not install both choose one or the other)If installing using RVM be warned that symlinks will not work do to the way it places the binary stubs of the metasploit-framework gem

Installing Ruby using RVM:

gpg2 --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys 409B6B1796C275462A1703113804BB82D39DC0E3 7D2BAF1CF37B13E2069D6956105BD0E739499BDB
curl -L | bash -s stable
source ~/.rvm/scripts/rvm
echo "source ~/.rvm/scripts/rvm" >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc
RUBYVERSION=$(wget -q -O - )
rvm install $RUBYVERSION
rvm use $RUBYVERSION --default
ruby -v

Installing Ruby using rbenv:

cd ~
git clone git:// .rbenv
echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bashrc
echo 'eval "$(rbenv init -)"' >> ~/.bashrc
exec $SHELL

git clone git:// ~/.rbenv/plugins/ruby-build
echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/plugins/ruby-build/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bashrc

# sudo plugin so we can run Metasploit as root with "rbenv sudo msfconsole" 
git clone git:// ~/.rbenv/plugins/rbenv-sudo

exec $SHELL

RUBYVERSION=$(wget -q -O - )
rbenv install $RUBYVERSION
rbenv global $RUBYVERSION
ruby -v


Installing Nmap

One of the external tools that Metasploit uses for scanning that is not included with the sources is Nmap. Here we will cover downloading the latest source code for Nmap, compiling and installing:

mkdir ~/Development
cd ~/Development
git clone
cd nmap 
sudo make install
make clean

Installing Metasploit Framework

We will download the latest version of Metasploit Framework via Git so we can use msfupdate to keep it updated:

cd /opt
sudo git clone
sudo chown -R `whoami` /opt/metasploit-framework
cd metasploit-framework

Install using bundler the required gems and versions:

cd metasploit-framework

# If using RVM set the default gem set that is create when you navigate in to the folder
rvm --default use ruby-${RUBYVERSION}@metasploit-framework

gem install bundler
bundle install

Lets create the links to the commands so we can use them under any user and not being under the framework folder, for this we need to be in the metasploit-framework folder if not already in it:

cd metasploit-framework
sudo bash -c 'for MSF in $(ls msf*); do ln -s /opt/metasploit-framework/$MSF /usr/local/bin/$MSF;done'

Configuring Postgre SQL Server

We need to make the binaries for Postgres available to the user, on Ubuntu 18.4 the default is version 10. On Debian 9 Stable systems it is 9.6. Confirm the path before adding.

echo "export PATH=$PATH:/usr/lib/postgresql/10/bin" >> ~/.bashrc
. ~/.bashrc 

Now we add the current user to the postgres group and create a new session so the permissions apply

sudo usermod -a -G postgres `whoami`
sudo su - `whoami`

We now navigate to the Metasploit folder and initialize the database and REST API. When you run the msfdb follow the instructions on the screen.

cd /opt/metasploit-framework/
./msfdb init

If the service will be exposed to any network other than local do generate proper SSL keys for use of it in operations. For more information check Rapid7 documentation

First Run

Now we are ready to run Metasploit for the first time. My recommendation is to run it first under a regular user so the folders create under your home directory have the proper permissions. First time it runs it will create the entries needed by Metasploit in the database so it will take a while to load.