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Re: Invalid character in host specification (NOT).
From: Fyodor <fyodor () insecure org>
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 16:39:50 -0700

On Wed, Mar 23, 2005 at 01:52:13PM -0800, Alen Williams wrote:

after searching through a text file of IP's, trying to figure out what
on earth the invalid character could possibly be... I realized it's
because I specified more than 4098 hosts.

nmap -n -sL -iL master.txt  | wc -l
Invalid character in  host specification.
QUITTING!
   4098

No - Nmap should have no such arbitrary limit.  Here I generate and
then (list) scan a list of 50,000 IPs:

# nmap -sL -iR 50000 -n -oG- | egrep "^Host " | cut "-d " -f2 > 50kIPs.txt
# nmap -n -sL -iL 50kIPs.txt |& tail -1
Nmap run completed -- 50000 IP addresses (0 hosts up) scanned in 0.388 seconds

Also, what version of Nmap are you using?  I think that error message
was changed a long time (years?) ago.  Try with Nmap 3.81, and if you
still have the problem, check your file closely for invalid (non IP
address or hostname) characters.  In particular, look at the last host
shown and then check the next few dozen in the file.  If all looks
well, you can send me your master.txt and I'll look at it.

Cheers,
-F


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