*Aside: 2020-02-02 is the first palindromic date since 2011-11-02 (~3,014 days: ~8.2 years ago)!


Contents

Online instructions for installing searX are limited; this guide gets you quickly up and running. 


TL/DR

searX is a free metasearch engine with the aim of protecting the privacy of its users.

  • searX does not share users’ IP addresses or search history.
  • Tracking cookies served by the search engines are blocked.
  • searX queries do not appear in search engine webserver logs.
  • In addition to the general search, the engine also features tabs to search within specific domains:

    General | Files | Images | IT | Maps | Music | News | Science | Social Media | Videos

  • Tip: I do a lot of technical searches (StackOverflow …) and in my preliminary use of searX I find that selecting “General” (only) as the Default Category (in Preferences) gives the best results.

Notably:

  • Each search result is given as a direct link to the respective site, rather than a tracked redirect link as used by Google.

    • When available, these direct links are accompanied by “cached” and/or “proxied” links that allow viewing results pages without actually visiting the sites in question.

    • The “cached” links point to saved versions of a page on archive.org, while the “proxied” links allow viewing the current live page via a searX-based web proxy.


About searX

Searx is a metasearch engine, aggregating the results of other search engines [customizable in searX preferences] while not storing information about its users.

Why use searX?

  • searX may not offer you as personalised results as Google, but it doesn’t generate a profile about you
  • searX doesn’t care about what you search for, never shares anything with a third party, and it can’t be used to compromise you
  • searX is free software, the code is 100% open and you can help to make it better. See more on GitHub

If you do care about privacy, want to be a conscious user, or otherwise believe in digital freedom, make searX your default search engine or run it on your own server

Technical details – How does it work?

Searx is a metasearch engine, inspired by the seeks project. It provides basic privacy by mixing your queries with searches on other platforms without storing search data.

Queries are made using a POST request on every browser (except chrome). Therefore they show up in neither our logs, nor your url history. In case of Chrome users there is an exception, searX uses the search bar to perform GET requests.

Searx can be added to your browser’s search bar; moreover, it can be set as the default search engine.

How can I make it my own?

  • Searx appreciates your concern regarding logs, so take the code and run it yourself!
  • Add your Searx to this list to help other people reclaim their privacy and make the Internet freer!
  • The more decentralized the Internet is, the more freedom we have!

More information


Local Installation

Arch Linux x86_64 platform.

Generate a private SSL rsa key (here 64 bits: you can use whatever you want: 16 | 32 | 64 | …):

$ openssl rand -hex 64                                                                                                
6f3e18cf920765f6728a2260c28949fed4be30a350f8034d102085a2494c9b4f195150e15e9f09c8854584d241408a1659d6ff748255f9c648ae2029437c397e

Git clone this repository:

git clone https://github.com/asciimoo/searx
cd searx/searx
## edit in your favorite text editor:
vim -e settings.yml

Add your private key – change

secret_key : "ultrasecretkey" # change this!

to (e.g. – this is an example – use your own key; don’t post / share it)

secret_key : "6f3e18cf920765f6728a2260c28949fed4be30a350f8034d102085a2494c9b4f195150e15e9f09c8854584d241408a1659d6ff748255f9c648ae2029437c397e"

On my computer I cloned searX here

/mnt/Vancouver/apps/searx

so the web server (which runs searX locally: on your own computer) is at

/mnt/Vancouver/apps/searx/searx/webapp.py

Run that in a terminal (you can close the terminal after),

python /mnt/Vancouver/apps/searx/searx/webapp.py &

and open searX in a browser,

http://127.0.0.1:8888/

You can add that as an alias to your ~/.bashrc

alias searx='python /mnt/Vancouver/apps/searx/searx/webapp.py'

and/or [if you install as a system package, e.g. on Arch Linux: yay -S searx or yay -S searx-git) you may be able to run searX automatically, as a deamon, e.g. (Arch Linux)

https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/searx/

systemctl start uwsgi@searx

[You may need to install uWSGI; see also this StackOverflow post, What is the point of uWSGI?, and this Arch Linux Wiki page.]

Aside: I tried the local installs (AUR; yay -S searx-git…) but couldn’t get it to work. Those installs were additionally complicated by the need for sudo permissions (I also worry about additions to my default system OS, particularly where webservers and access to/from the web are concerned). However, the git-cloned repo described above installed flawlessly!  


searx_screenshot-2020-01-30.png