From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Developer(s)Adam Tauber (alias asciimoo)[1]
Initial releaseJanuary 22, 2014; 10 years ago (2014-01-22)[2]
Stable release
1.1.0[3] Edit this on Wikidata / 7 August 2022; 20 months ago (7 August 2022) (archived); (active)
Written inPython
TypeMetasearch engine
LicenseAGPL-3.0-or-later (List of Searx instances)

Searx (/sɜːrks/; stylized as searX) is a free and open-source metasearch engine,[4] available under the GNU Affero General Public License version 3, with the aim of protecting the privacy of its users.[5][6][7] To this end, Searx does not share users' IP addresses or search history with the search engines from which it gathers results. Tracking cookies served by the search engines are blocked, preventing user-profiling-based results modification.[8][9] By default, Searx queries are submitted via HTTP POST,[a] to prevent users' query keywords from appearing in webserver logs.[10][11] Searx was inspired by the Seeks project,[10] though it does not implement Seeks' peer-to-peer user-sourced results ranking.

Each search result is given as a direct link to the respective site, rather than a tracked redirect link as used by Google. In addition, 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 the Wayback Machine, while the proxied links allow viewing the current live page via a Searx-based web proxy. In addition to the general search, the engine also features tabs to search within specific domains: files, images, Information technology, maps, music, news, science, social media, and videos.[12][13]

Users can run private instances of Searx on their own computer, but there are also many public, user-run, Searx instances,[14] some of which are available as Tor hidden services.[14] Meta-Searx instances can also be used to forward the search query to a random public instance.[14] A public API is available for Searx,[15][16] as well as Firefox search provider plugins.[17]

As of 7 September 2023, the Searx GitHub repository has been archived, stating that SearX is no longer maintained.[18] The SearXNG repository remains open.[19]

Search engines and other settings[edit]

Across all categories, Searx can fetch search results from about 82 different engines. This includes major search engines and site-specific searches like Bing, Google, Reddit, Wikipedia, Yahoo, and Yandex.[20] The engines used for each search category can be set via a "preferences" interface, and these settings will be saved in a cookie in the user's web browser, rather than on the server side, since for privacy reasons, Searx does not implement a user login model. Other settings such as the search interface language and the search results language (over 20 languages are available) can be set the same way.[11]

In addition to the preferences cookie, it is possible on each query to modify the engines used, search categories selected, and/or languages to search in by specifying one or more of the following textual search operators before the search keywords.[21]

  • !category — Search the specified category instead of the default ones.
  • ?category — Search the specified category in addition to the default ones.
  • !engine — Search the specified engine instead of the default ones.
  • ?engine — Search the specified engine in addition to the default ones.
  • :language — Search for results in the specified language instead of the default one.

The ! and ? operators can be specified more than once to select multiple categories or engines, for example !google !deviantart ?images :japanese cow.


Any user may run their own instance of Searx,[22] which can be done to maximize privacy, avoid congestion on public instances, preserve customized settings (even if browser cookies are cleared), allow auditing of the source code being run, and more.[23] Users may include their Searx instances on the editable list of all public instances, or keep them private.[20][23] It is also possible to add custom search engines to a self-hosted instance that are not available on the public instances.[24] In 2019, Google has begun to block some self-hosted instances. This included some of the IP addresses used by from queries that result in a google (unexpected crash: CAPTCHA required) error.[25] In response, some instances have been modified to silently skip trying to search with Google even when it's the only engine specified.[26][27]

SearXNG fork[edit]

In the middle of 2021, some contributors of SearX forked the repo to SearXNG with a view to provide faster debugging and fixes of engine errors.[28] SearXNG is for users that need a faster upstream development time with less bugs.[29][19] User theme, engine reliability and anonymous metrics are the most notable changes in SearXNG.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Except on Chromium-based web browsers, where HTTP GET requests are used instead.[10]


  1. ^ "asciimoo (Adam Tauber)". GitHub.
  2. ^ Tauber, Adam. "searx: A privacy-respecting, hackable metasearch engine" – via PyPI.
  3. ^ "Release v1.1.0".
  4. ^ Kühnast, Charly. "Peppered with Hits » Linux Magazine". Linux Magazine. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  5. ^ Bradbury, Danny (August 10, 2017). "Self-hosted search option is a new approach to bursting the filter bubble". Naked Security. Archived from the original on September 4, 2017. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  6. ^ Zak, Robert (April 3, 2017). "What Is the Best Search Engine for Privacy?". Make Tech Easier. Archived from the original on July 3, 2018. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  7. ^ Sonmez, John (December 22, 2014). "Searx: self-hosted web metasearch engine". Tuxdiary. Archived from the original on 2017-07-07. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  8. ^ administrator, Acc. "Як захистити свої дані в інтернеті: 11 корисних додатків". Новини АСС (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  9. ^ "Searx: Die konfigurierbare Suchmaschine, die deine Privatsphäre respektiert". t3n News (in German). Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  10. ^ a b c "about.html". GitHub. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  11. ^ a b "preferences -". Archived from the original on 2018-03-20. Retrieved 2017-09-25.
  12. ^ "A Primer on Staying Secure and Anonymous on the Dark Web". TechSpot. Retrieved 2017-08-30.
  13. ^ Von Jan Weisensee (2016-09-07). "Searx 0.10.0: Die eigene Suchmaschine auf einem Raspberry Pi" [Searx 0.10.0: Your own search engine on a Raspberry Pi]. (in German). Archived from the original on 2020-08-07. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  14. ^ a b c "Public Searx instances".
  15. ^ "Search API — searx 0.12.0 documentation". Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  16. ^ Seitz, Justin (2017-04-18). "Building a Keyword Monitoring Pipeline with Python, Pastebin and Searx | Automating OSINT Blog". Archived from the original on 2017-09-16. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  17. ^ "Search results for "searx" – Add-ons for Firefox (en-US)". Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  18. ^ "GitHub - searx/searx: Privacy-respecting metasearch engine". GitHub. 2023-09-07. Retrieved 2023-09-17.
  19. ^ a b c "searxng/searxng". GitHub. 2023-08-19. Retrieved 2023-09-19.
  20. ^ a b Tauber, Adam (2017-08-30). "searx: Privacy-respecting metasearch engine". Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  21. ^ "Search syntax — searx 0.12.0 documentation". Retrieved 2017-08-30.
  22. ^ "My Searx instance - Logan Marchione". Logan Marchione. 2015-10-18. Archived from the original on 2018-12-08. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  23. ^ a b "Why use a private instance? — searx 0.12.0 documentation". Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  24. ^ "Engine overview — searx 0.12.0 documentation". Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  25. ^ "Google Captcha". GitHub issues. 2016-10-12. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  26. ^ "!google cow - searx". Retrieved 2019-07-15. Sorry! we didn't find any results. Please use another query or search in more categories.[permanent dead link]
  27. ^ "!google cow - searx". Retrieved 2019-07-15. Sorry! we didn't find any results. Please use another query or search in more categories.
  28. ^ master, web (2022-09-08). "SearXNG: A Metasearch Engine With Great Results". GreyCoder. Retrieved 2023-08-19.
  29. ^ searx/searx, Searx engine, 2023-08-19, retrieved 2023-08-19

External links[edit]