How to Setup Private Search Engine?

Written by Darshit Varotaria

I'm a Web Application Pentester, Security Researcher and Bug Hunter.

May 10, 2020

In this blog we will setup private search engine. Yes! you heard it right, we will be setting up custom search engine which will be running on the localhost. This search engine will give out all the information on the localhost. Now, to get an idea about how it work, you have to know about the concept of Metasearch engines.

MetaSearch engines does not mean to be competing with Google, Yahoo, Bing or any other search engines. It’s mean to be provide precise result for the query made. But, how it will make precise query or we can say better then any popular and dominating search engines in market. For that, you have to understand the working of MetaSearch engines.

When we search for our query on different search engines, we have results which are ranking on top. Now, every search engine will provide different search results which are ranking on top. So, a MetaSearch engine will work as a mediator, it will take the query from the user end and find the information on different search engines. In the end user will have the more precise list of information at on place from multiple search engines. That’s cool!

Image Source: Wikipedia

We will be using “Searx“, its a MetaSearch engine project you can find on Github.

Steps to Setup Private Search Engine:

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1. Cloning it from Github and get inside the directory “searx”.

$ git clone https://github.com/asciimoo/searx.git && cd searx

2. Install dependencies and required packages.

$ ./manage.sh update_packages

Setup Private Search Engine SearX
Screenshot of my device

3. Most Important! go to path /home/searx/searx/settings.yml and change the “secret_key“.

Setup Private Search Engine Secret Key
Screenshot of my device

4. Now, Run the python file “webapp.py” to start application. (Note:Make sure you are in correct folder /home/searx/searx/)

python webapp.py

5. Copy the localhost link with port and open it in browser.

SearX Metasearching
Screenshot of my device

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