How to install Acunetix Multi-engine

The Acunetix Multi-engine setup is suitable for Enterprise customers who need to scan more than 10 websites or web applications simultaneously. This can be achieved by installing one Main Installation and multiple Scanning Engines, all managed from a central console. Here’s how:

Download the latest build of Acunetix

Download the latest build of Acunetix from here. Use your Acunetix Enterprise Multi-Engine license to download and activate the product. The same installation will be used for both the Main Installation and the Scanning Engine installations.

Install the Main Installation

The Main Installation is the installation which will be used to control all the Engines. It is also the installation which will host the Acunetix configuration database, and from which all the Acunetix settings will be configured. The Scanning Engine of this installation will also be used to perform security scans.

Proceed with installing the Main installation by double clicking on the Acunetix installation. In the “Server information” page, you need to enable “Allow remote access to Acunetix”, and configure a Server Name that is reachable from all the machines running the Scanning Engines.


After installing Acunetix, you will need to use the Acunetix Activation executable to activate the installation using your license.

Install the Scanning Engines using /engineonly switch

The only function of the Acunetix Scanning Engine installations is to perform scans when requested from the Main Installation. The Acunetix Engine configuration is only used to register the engine with the Main installation. Proceed as follows to install an Acunetix Scanning Engine:

  1. Copy the Acunetix installation to the machine. The same installation file will be used to install the Scanning Engine.
  2. From command prompt, run the installation with the /engineonly switch. (If installing the engine on Linux, use --engineonly)
  3. This will start the installation of the Acunetix Scanning Engine
  4. Proceed with the installation. Once again, you will need to enable “Allow remote access to Acunetix”, and specify a Server Name that is accessible from the Acunetix Main Installation.
  5. Proceed and finish the installation.

Register Scanning Engine

After the installation of the Scanning Engine, you will need to register the Scanning Engine with the Main Installation. This process is initiated from the Scanning Engine.

  1. Browse to the Acunetix Engine Registration page.
    Acunetix Multi-engine
  2. Click on Configure Now
  3. Provide a Unique name for this Scanning Engine instance, so as to differentiate it from the other Scanning Engines.
  4. Confirm that the “Scanning engine address (this instance)” reflects the address of this Scanning Engine Instance. Usually this can be kept as default.
  5. Configure the address of the Main Installation. Ensure you include the port number.
  6. If needed, select to Ignore SSL Errors
  7. Click Register once done.


Authorise Scanning Engine from Main Installation

All the Scanning Engine registration requests need to be authorised from the Main Installation. This ensures that the Main Installation administrator remains in control of all the Scan Engine registrations.

  1. From the Main Installation, change to Settings > Engines
  2. Here you will see all the Engines configured, including the ones which are pending Authorization.
  3. Select the Scan Engines which are pending Authorization, and click Authorize to confirm their Registration.
  4. The Status of the Scan Engine request will change to Online, and the version of the Scan Engine is updated.
  5. Back on the Scan Engine machine, the Scan Engine is now shown as Registered

Once this is done, any scans configured on the Main Installation will be distributed between the Scanning Engines configured.


  1. The License on the Main Installation will be propagated to the Scanning Engine installations when the Scanning Engines are Authorized.
  2. The Scanning Engine on the Main Installation cannot be disabled.
  3. You can configure a Target to always be scanned using the same Scanning Engine. This can be done from the Target Settings > Advanced > Scanning Engine. Enable the setting, and choose the Scanning Engine to be used for this Target.
  4. The Acunetix Main Installation and the Acunetix Engines communicate over port 3443. Firewalls should be configured to allow these connections both ways.
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Nicky SciberrasNicholas Sciberras Chief Technical Officer

As the CTO at Acunetix, Nicholas is passionate about IT security and technology at large. Prior to joining Acunetix in 2012, Nicholas spent 12 years at GFI Software, where he managed the email security and anti-spam product lines, led multiple customer service teams and provided technical training.