Installing openscap on OS X?

Greg Elin gregelin at
Thu May 22 15:45:46 UTC 2014

Thanks for you notes, Steve.

Here is the use case driving my question for OpenSCAP on OS X.  I'm not
really trying to lock down the entire Mac, it's more that I am trying to
just recognize the developer is on a Mac.  Suggestions appreciated!

*Use case background: *
I'm working on GovReady, a toolkit to make security assessments for FISMA
purposes easier. My target audience or IT shops understaffed in security
and always have a backlog. The idea is to create leverage openSCAP and SSG
to create a more automated and user-friendly process to gain shared
awareness of the certification-worthiness of a system.

*Use case:*
Bob is a FISMA-naive needs to be more aware of the security of the
app/system they are building. Janice is a IT administrator who needs to
check how secure an open source Bob's app is but doesn't have a lot of
time. Bob and Janice go to and download the toolkit,
installing it in the app in question. Kind of like adding jQuery. They just
download GovReady and unzip it into a directory. Next they type a simple
line command, `govready install` and everything gets installed. Then they
type `govready assess` (or `govready scan`) and some  canned-tests (e.g.
profiles) are run and beautiful reports generated. GovReady provides a kind
of beginner wrapper around the underlying tools.

If Bob and Janice are CentOS/RHEL (or using a Vagrant VM running Linux),
this is pretty easy. But many FISMA-naive developers in DC these days are
on OS X or even Windows.  So I'm trying to understand how I can create a
simple install process that works cross-platform. The cross-platform
install at BEST would install the appropriate open source scanning tool for
the platform. If that is too hard right now, then at least the install
process should fail gracefully and encourage the individual to use virtual

Greg Elin
personal cell: 917-304-3488
personal email: greg at
email: gregelin at

On Thu, May 22, 2014 at 11:25 AM, Steve Grubb <sgrubb at> wrote:

> Hello,
> On Wed, 21 May 2014 18:07:27 -0400
> Greg Elin <gregelin at> wrote:
> > Has anyone tried to install openSCAP on OS-X?
> Openscap is portable to other platforms in that the gnu autotools is
> the foundation of the build system. The libraries it uses are portable.
> There is support for everything required of SCAP 1.2 except OCIL.
> That said, there are some deficiencies. Openscap is designed to be
> modular. To add a new test, you write an OVAL probe which is really
> simple. You fill in a structure and exit. Each probe is essentially a
> process spun-up on demand as the content is evaluated.
> What is needed is someone that cares about a platform to contribute
> probes. The openscap developers have done the bulk of the work. It
> should be a couple hours/days of someone's time if they wanted to help
> the SCAP community by sending some code for porting to other platforms.
> We would welcome code enabling Windows, Android, OSX, or any other
> platform.
> -Steve
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