Users of Grub can download the peer-to-peer grubclient software and let it run during computer idle time. The client indexes the URLs and sends them back to the main grub server in a highly compressed form. The collective crawl could then, in theory, be utilized by an indexing system, such as the one being proposed at Wikia Search. Grub is able to quickly build a large snapshot by asking thousands of clients to crawl and analyze a small portion of the web each.
Wikia has now released the entire Grub package under an open source software license. However, the old Grub clients are not functional anymore. New clients can be found on the Wikia wiki.
The project was started in 2000 by Kord Campbell, Igor Stojanovski, and Ledio Ago in Oklahoma City. Undetermined copyright, patent or trademark rights from Grub, Inc. were purchased in 2003 for $1.3 million by LookSmart, Ltd. For a short time the original team continued working on the project, releasing several new versions of the software, albeit under a closed license.
Operations of Grub were shut down in late 2005. The site was reactivated on July 27, 2007, and the site is currently being updated. The original developers are assisting with the new deployment, and investigating the robots.txt issue, to ensure a repeat performance[clarification needed] does not occur.