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On an Ubuntu VMWare VM I ran:

sudo nmap -sP 192.168.0.*

This returned:

Starting Nmap 5.00 ( ) at 2010-12-28 22:46 PST

Host is up (0.00064s latency).
Host is up (0.00078s latency).
Host is up (0.00011s latency).
Host is up (0.00068s latency).
Host is up (0.00066s latency).

So, nmap reported that every ip in the subnet 192.168.0.* was live. The problem is I only have 4 live machines on 192.168.0.* so why did nmap report every ip address was live?

The ip address of the Ubuntu VM is From this VM I can ping the live systems on my internal subnet 192.168.0.* and get the expected response. And if I ping a machine that doesn't exist I can get no response as expected.

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Some firewalls can explain this behavior.

Instead of blocking icmp, they will respond to each echo request they receive.

In this case, it could be due to VMware and the type of virtual network you're using.

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The thing is, if I use the ping command from the VM it works as expected. Why would it behave one way for ping and another for nmap? – martianway Dec 29 '10 at 9:28
nmap sends not only icmp echo request, but tcp probes also : this could explain the difference. – petrus Dec 29 '10 at 9:43

try the --unprivileged parameter nmap -sP --unprivileged 192.168.0.*

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