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While playing with nmap, I have started to wonder: are there any ip addresses which were specifically made to learn how to use nmap.

(As far as I understood I can not just scan any ip address, because this is illegal)

On SE I have seen posts with the examples of sites for sql-injections, so I hope that there is something out there to learn how to use nmap. Currently I am scanning my own machine 127.0.0.1 and my own web server, which is not so much fun.

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scanme.nmap.org –  Terry Chia Dec 10 '12 at 14:44
    
@TerryChia Next step: "So, what am I supposed to see when I run [given nmap command] against scanme.nmap.org?" - is there a site that hosts this information? It doesn't seem readily apparent from the ScanMe homepage. –  Iszi Dec 10 '12 at 15:31
    
nmap should tell you what in the scan responds to connection attempts. If you're new to nmap and aren't sure what to do, try zenmap nmap.org/zenmap , it's handy even for experts and shows you the command line options it used in the scan. –  mgjk Dec 10 '12 at 19:59
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2 Answers

As Terry said in the comments, you can test out nmap on scanme.nmap.org, which is designed for exactly this.

You could also set up a machine in a VM, or on Amazon EC2 for testing, with various services and firewall configurations, in order to see how nmap's results change depending on your OS and configuration.

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The many 'boot to root' VMs that are out there have very well-known nmap signatures that you can use to test, verify, and learn about nmap.

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