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Developer(s) xapian.org
Stable release 1.2.21 / May 20, 2015; 5 months ago (2015-05-20)
Preview release 1.3.3 / June 1, 2015; 5 months ago (2015-06-01)
Written in C++
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Search and index API.
License GNU General Public License
Website 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, OS X, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, HP-UX, Tru64, IRIX, Windows,[1] 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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