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Developer(s) xapian.org
Stable release 1.2.21 / May 20, 2015; 4 months ago (2015-05-20)
Preview release 1.3.2 / November 24, 2014; 9 months ago (2014-11-24)
Written in C++
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Search and index API.
License GNU General Public License
Website http://xapian.org/

Xapian is an open source probabilistic information retrieval library, released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It is a full text search engine library for programmers.

It is written in C++, with bindings to allow use from Perl, Python, PHP, Java, Tcl, C#, Ruby, and Lua. Xapian is highly portable and runs on Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, HP-UX, Tru64, IRIX, Microsoft Windows,[1] GNU Hurd,[2] and OS/2.[3]

Xapian is designed to be a highly adaptable toolkit to allow developers to easily add advanced indexing and search facilities to their own applications.

A growing number of organisations and projects are known to be using Xapian including Debian, Gmane, Die Zeit, Delicious, MoinMoin, and One Laptop per Child.[4]


  • Transactions: if database update fails in the middle of a transaction, the database is guaranteed to remain in a consistent state.
  • Simultaneous search and update, with new documents being immediately visible.
  • Support for large databases: Xapian has been proven to scale to hundreds of millions of documents.
  • Accurate probabilistic ranking: more relevant documents are listed first.
  • Phrase and proximity searching.
  • Relevance feedback, which improves ranking and can expand a query, find related documents, categorise documents etc.
  • Structured Boolean queries, e.g. "race AND condition NOT horse"
  • Wildcard search, e.g. "wiki*"
  • Spelling correction
  • Synonyms
  • Omega, a packaged solution for adding a search engine to a web site or intranet. Omega can easily be extended and adapted to fit changing requirements.

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