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Search Engine written in pure Elixir

Project README

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A full-text search engine written in pure Elixir.

Three goals: 1) a simple CLI, 2) a scalable API, and 3) shareable document repos.

BEAM, OTP, and GenStage give us the best possible foundation on which to build.

About Searchex

Searchex provides a search capability for full-text documents. Example document types include:

  • text, markdown, XML and JSON files
  • source code files
  • product descriptions
  • blog and forum posts
  • chat rooms and twitter feeds
  • web pages

Searchex allows you to create searchable Repos that can be shared over the Internet. See a sample repo on GitHub.

Searchex is a new project, usable for testing but not for production. For testing, we're using collections of up to 2,000 documents with 1MB of raw text. See the Roadmap for development plans.



Searchex Architecture

A Searchex DOCUMENT has two key elements:

  1. document META-DATA, like title, author_name, publication_date

  2. the FULL-TEXT of the document

Searchex organizes documents into separate COLLECTIONS. Each collection has two main elements:

  1. the CATALOG, a table-like structure that contains the document ID, meta-data, and document location.

  2. the INDEX, an inverted index built for fast search and retrieval

Each collection is defined by a CONFIG file, a yaml file that specifies things like:

  • document directories
  • file types
  • meta-data fields definitions and extraction regexes
  • document separator regex (for multi-doc files)

The Searchex CLI

The searchex command-line program can manage config files, build catalogs and indexes, and perform searches.

Escript Installation

If you have Elixir 1.4+ enter this at the console:

mix escript.install hex searchex

Make sure ~/.mix/escripts is on your path!

The Searchex API

Elixir developers can embed Searchex into their applications.

Add searchex to your list of dependencies in mix.exs:

def deps do
  [{:searchex, "~> 0.0.4"}]

Then run mix deps.get

View API documentation at

Quick Start

After the searchex escript is installed...

  1. Fetch a Searchex repository

    searchex fetch elixir-search/sample

  2. Run

    searchex help # show help page searchex ls # list collections searchex info # show collection stats searchex query tiny . # list docs from collection: tiny searchex show tiny 1 # show the doc 1 from 'tiny' searchex query genesis 'cain abel' # query docs from collection: genesis

Note: the first time you run a query, Searchex will build a catalog and index. This can take a minute or two. After that, queries will run sub-second.


  • Config management
  • Porter stemming algorithm
  • BM25 query algorithm
  • Indexing Middleware
  • LRU Cache
  • Basic CLI
  • Fetchable document repos
  • Adapter Middleware (filesys, ecto)
  • Incremental add/remove/update
  • Server mode
  • Phoenix/Firestorm integration
  • Streaming document ingestion (GenStage/Flow)
  • Git-based file-change detection
  • Faceted Search
  • LRU Registry
  • Typeahead support
  • Alerting
  • Multi-collection search
  • Configuration GUI
  • Toolchain Integration (ExDoc, Hex, GitHub Issues)
  • Searchable Tutorials (Elixir Blogs, Slide Decks, Videos)
  • Output formatting plugins (Vim, Emacs, etc.)
  • P2P Streaming
  • Internationalization
  • Dockerization
  • Bayesian/ML Classifiers
Open Source Agenda is not affiliated with "Searchex" Project. README Source: elixir-search/searchex
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