Netsparker Desktop Command Line Interface and Arguments

Netsparker Desktop has a command line interface which you can use to fire up a scan. The command line interface can be used to integrate automated web application security scans, for example trigger a scan via a third party application once new source code is submitted to a project.

You can also use the command line feature to automate complex scan sequences that target many domains as explained in Scanning multiple websites with Netsparker Desktop's command line.

List of Command Line Arguments for Netsparker Desktop

When using the command line interface you can use arguments to pre-configure the web vulnerability scanner and also specify post scan tasks, such as the generation of a scan report. Below is a list of all the arguments available:

Note: If the value you are using (path, username, password, filename etc) contains a space character, it must be specified in between double quotes, as shown in the examples at the end of this article.

Name: Autopilot Mode
Argument: /a, /auto
For: When this argument is used Netsparker will execute the designated scan, generate a report in the specified location using the specified report template and then exit. The autopilot option is most commonly used when Netsparker is invoked as part of a batch process.

Name: Scan Profile Name
/p, /profile
For: Use this argument to specify the name of the Scan Profile that should be used during the scan. If not specified, the default Scan Profile will be used.  Scan Profiles provide a powerful and convenient mechanism to pass complex sets of scan configuration data during command line execution. For example, a profile allows the following scan settings to be defined within Netsparker, and accessed as a single named configuration:

  • The target URL and the scope of the scan, relative to that URL
  • The range of selected security tests
  • The number of threads used for crawling and attacking
  • The active parsers and how their extracted links will be interpreted
  • The target back-end database

Scan Profiles also support advanced scanning concepts, such as the ability to manually import links or add HTTP requests. Read the Configuring and Managing Scan Profiles in Netsparker Desktop for more detailed information on Scan Profiles.

Name: Target URL
Argument: /u, /url
For: Use this option to specify the address (URL) of the target web application or web service. This is a mandatory argument unless a Scan Profile which includes a URL has been specified. If a Scan Profile is specified Netsparker will derive its target URL from the Scan Profile. If a Scan Profile is specified and the URL configuration parameter is also specified, Netsparker will ignore the Scan Profile and derive its target URL from the target URL parameter.

Name:  Report Path
Argument: /r, /report
For: Use this option to either specify the filename or the path where the report should be saved. If only the filename is specified the report will be created in the folder from which Netsparker Desktop is launched.

Note: This argument should always be used in conjunction with the /auto argument.

Name: Report Template Name
Argument: /rt, /reporttemplate
For: Use this argument to specify the name of the report template. If not specified, the first report template file will be used. You can also use this argument multiple times to export several reports using different templates.

Name: Help
Argument: /h, /help
For: Use this argument to see a list of all the available argument.

Name: Silent Mode
Argument: /s, /silent
For: Use this argument to suppress error messages. This argument is ideal for scheduling scans and automated jobs.

Name: Authentication Credentials
Argument: /auth
For: Use this argument to specify a combination of username, password and domain information that Netsparker should use with Basic, Digest and NTLM authentication.  Some examples follow:

/auth username password
/auth username password "host or domain"
/auth username@domain password
/auth host\username password

Note: as an alternative to using the /auth argument, credentials can be configured as part of a Scan Profile.

Name: Authentication URL
Argument: -authurl, --authurl, /authurl
For: Use this optional argument to specify the scope URL of the authentication. If this argument is not used the URL of the target website will be used instead.

Name: Authentication Type
Argument: -authtype, --authtype, /authtype
For: Use this optional argument to specify the type of authentication mechanism used. The authentication methods supported by Netsparker can be:

  • Basic
  • NTLM
  • Digest
  • Kerberos
  • Negotiate

Name: Log HTTP Requests
Argument: /lr, /logrequests
For: Use this option to log all HTTP requests that the Netsparker scanner sends and receives during a web application security scan. The HTTP requests will be saved in a file called "HttpRequests.saz" and will be located within the current scan directory. You can use Fiddler to view the contents of the log file.

Name: Resume Scan
Argument: /rs, /resumescan
For: Use this argument to resume a previously unfinished scan. When using this argument you need to specify where the unfinished scan file is, for example: "Netsparker.exe /resumescan C:\scans\scan1.nss"

Name: Generate only HTML reports
Argument: /nopdf
For: Use this option to only generate a HTML report. Unless this switch is used, the scanner will automatically generate a HTML and a PDF report.

Name: Report Generation For Scan Session File
Argument: /generatereport
For: Use this option to generate reports from a saved scan file. A scan session file path should be provided after the /generatereport argument. When using this argument the scan session file will be loaded and the reports will be generated with the report templates specified with the /rt argument.

Note: This argument should always be used in conjunction with the /r , /rt and /auto arguments.

Name: Base Scan Session
Argument: /b, /base
For: Use this argument to specify the path of the base scan session file for an incremental scan. Therefore when using this argument the scanner will automatically launch an incremental scan.

Examples of Netsparker Desktop Command Line Usage

Scan a Website and Generate a Report

Command: Netsparker /a /url /rt "Detailed Scan Report" /r "C:\reports\scan report.html"

Explanation: Scan and generate a report using the Detailed Scan Report template. Save the report to C:\reports\scan report.html.

Scan a Website and Generate Two Reports

Command: Netsparker /a /url /r "C:\reports\scan report-1.html" /rt "Detailed Scan Report" /r "C:\reports\scan report-2.html" /rt "OWASP Top Ten 2013 Report"

Explanation: Scan and generate two reports; scan report-1.html using the Detailed Scan report template, and scan report-2.html using the OWASP Top Ten 2013 report template.

Scan a Website with NTLM Authentication

Command: Netsparker /a /url /auth john.doe "secret password" /authtype NTLM

Explanation: Scan, and use the username john.doe and password secret password when challenged for credentials. The authentication type is NTLM (/authtype NTLM)

Generate a Report from a Saved Scan

Command: Netsparker /silent /auto /p "Default" /generatereport MyScan.nss /r "Detailed Scan Report.htm" /rt "Detailed Scan Report"

Explanation: Load the scan session file MyScan.nss and generate the report Detailed Scan Report.htm using the report template Detailed Scan Report.


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