rainbow over mountains with black sand beach
Evgeny Tchebotarev via Pexels

searx.is is live

I launched searx.is as a SearXNG instance registered and hosted in Iceland with pure 100% renewable energy powering the server.

What is SearXNG?

SearXNG is a free internet metasearch engine which aggregates results from more than 70 search services. Users are neither tracked nor profiled. 
-searxng website


I wanted a better, more private search experience. And I wanted it resistant to censorship and takedown notices. It's also a great project for Each One Teach One interns to help out with a production, open source project.

Why SearXNG?

Just as the quote above states, it queries 70+ search engines and combines the results for you. My instance enables all the engines it can support. Some source search engines block by IP, block by country, or block by the feel of the wind. When they stop working, I disable them.

Why Iceland?

It's a fantastic country with fantastic people. My friend runs the ISP. 99% of the citizens have fiber to the home. The whole country is powered by geothermal and hydro-power energy. Its best restaurant is a hot dog stand in the capital. It's the number one most free Internet in the world. Number two is Estonia. Number three is a tie between Canada and Costa Rica. 

Open source?

Yes, of course. The live configuration is shared here. I also host docs.searx.is to help developers add more engines and help out. As you can see, there no logs. I even setup a beta testing system on a Pine64 RockPro64.

How do I use it?

Just like any other search engine, load the main page, query away. If you want to make it default, generally, load the main page, right click in your URL bar, choose "Add searx.is" and then configure your search engine as searx.is.

What's next?

Increasing performance. Querying 50+ other engines adds lag to response time.The slowest responding engine slows down everything. Could this be better parallelized? Could we return results as they arrive? Would a CDN help cache the static assets or most common results?

Another challenge is Iceland has limited fiber connections to the rest of the world. It's also in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, so it's not close to 99% of the world. Sheer network latency also adds to the feeling of slow performance.

Better rate limiting/abuse mitigation. The system has a built-in rate limiting service to try to stem abusive queries. And the firewall also rate limits to try to avoid abuse. It's an arms race and there is no winning, only keeping the system usable and performant.

IPv6 support is coming soon.

Enjoy private search.