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Searx – Meta search engine respecting privacy, for your server

Privacy is for me very important, not that I have something special to hide, but I want to be sure I control what I do while not being set in a box (Profiling).

The search engine is probably the tool I am using the most in daily basis and I long used Google Search….But on top of not respecting your privacy (It’s their job of course), it will also build a profile of you and will change the ranking of the search results based on it. Then you quickly browse on the same websites every day with few new contents.

But there is actually plenty of alternatives. The most popular is probably DuckDuckGo, a meta search engine respecting your privacy (Does not track you,…)

Note that a meta search engine differs from a search engine. To be short, a search engine will crawl the web and index it in a database, then you will search inside this database. A meta search engine does not crawl and index, but will aggregate the results from others search engine instead.

Running a search engine actually needs significant resources (Space, IO, etc…) and requirement more development than a meta search. That’s why there is few alternatives as search engine but many as meta search engine.

And you can also run your own meta search engine on your own server. This is what Searx is all about.

searx meta search engine

Supporting different languages, searx can also be easily customized such as the selection of the search engines or categories. You can also set the output results as rss feed, or csv and even json.

You can directly give it a try on their official instance,

searx installation steps

And here is how to install it on Ubuntu/Debian based system.



You will first need to have a LAMP server, if you don’t know what it is, or don’t have it, please see this tutorial.

1) Install the system dependencies

In root (or with sudo), run:

2) Clone their latest version into your /var/www and change the ownership of the folder by searx user

Still in root,


3) Install searx dependencies in a virtualenv

Still in root,


4) Generate a secret key to set in the setting.yml file
If you want to make some additional modification like the port number, etc… simply edit the settings.yml manually.

At this point searx is not demonized ; uwsgi allows this.


5) Configure and activate uwsgi

Create the configuration file /etc/uwsgi/apps-available/searx.ini

and copy the following content:

And finally activate the uwsgi

6) Create a dedicated virtualhost with uwsgi configured

Here is my virtualhost as exemple

Restart apache

And you should be good to go!

If you face any issue during the installation, feel free to ask questions in the comment section or directly on their issues tracker.

Google Announcement

Tails 1.2 is out – Protect your privacy and anonymity

tails os logo

The live operating system Tails is now in its 1.2 version! With the aim of preserving your privacy and anonymity by forcing all connections to internet to go through the Tor network, but also leaving no trace on your computer and with embedded cryptographic tools to encrypt files, emails and instant messaging.



The project has released their 1.2 version and the majors changes are:

  • Replace the Iceweasel-based browser by directly the Tor Browser (Based on Firefox), this fixes the POODLE vulnerability.
  • Upgrade Tor to
  • Kernel 3.16.3
  • Upgrade I2P and isolate its traffic
  • Virtualbox guest additions enabled by default
  • Clearer OTR status in Pidgin
  • and many others.

If you are travelling or using a unsecure/ not trusted computer, Tails will be the best system to use to protect your privacy and anonymity, perfect on a USB key.



Tox, the P2P Skype alternative oriented privacy

After all the NSA revelations from Edward Snowden, a lot of new projects have emerged aiming to protect our privacy, especially through robust end-to-end encryption.

One of my first article on this blog was to present a serious opensource alternative to Skype, the quite popular Jitsi. Still actively developed, it’s probably the most promising alternative. But the objective of the project is not purely oriented on the privacy (Although they have good support of OTR and others encryption types).

It is more the case of Tox.

Indeed, with the revelation of governmental surveillance programs, Tox, a FOSS initiative  is aiming to be an easy and all-in-one communication platform that ensure and respect the privacy of their users.

tox p2p messaging screenshot

Decentralized by using torrent-style DHT, Tox directly uses UDP connections (better for Hole punching) and add encryption to it.

Tox supports messaging, calls and videos but note that it is still in alpha (So do expect some bugs)

It has been developed by a group of 4chan members and the project is hosted on Github.

If you are interested to give it a shot, here is their download page.

For more information, you can directly access their wiki.

Tails 1.1 is out! Several majors improvement out there!

Tails logoIf you follow this blog, you probably know TAILS (The Amnesic Incognito Live System), a Linux Live Operating System focusing on preserving your privacy and anonymity. I wrote an article on this great project for their V1 release.

Well, the team have been again, hard working, to release after few months, their Tails 1.1


In the changelog, a lot of improvements such as:

– Upgraded to Debian 7 (Wheezy) with Gnome 3 fallback

– Replacement of OpenOffice by LibreOffice

– Support now UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface)

– Windows 8 camouflage (Instead of XP)

Windows 8 camouflage tails v1.1

– Kernel upgrade to 3.14.13-1

– A lot of softwares upgrades and security fixes (Firefox 24.7.0 ESR, dbus 1.6.8, etc…)

– and many minors improvements.

In my opinion, although not perfect, Tails is the most advanced live operating system to preserve your privacy and your anonymity.

So why not just giving it a try? Download their latest version, grab a USB and give it a shot!

privacy opinion