With searchcode server you can search across any repository of code that has been added by your administrator.

Type in anything you want to find and you will be presented with the results that match with the relevant lines highlighted. Searches can filtered down using the right filter panel. Suggested search terms are,


Type any term you want to search for in the search box and press the enter key. Generally best results can be gained by searching for terms that you expect to be close to each other on the same line.

Other characters are treated as part of the search itself. This means that a search for something such as i++; is not only a legal search it is likely to return results for most code bases.

If a search does not return the results you are expecting or no results at all consider rewriting the query. For example searching for Arrays.asList("a1", "a2", "b1", "c2", "c1") could be turned into a looser query by searching for Arrays.asList or Arrays asList. Another example would be EMAIL_ADDRESS_REGEX for email address regex.

To view the full file that is returned click on the name of the file, or click on any line to be taken to that line.


Any search can be filtered down to a specific source or identified language using the refinement options. Select one or more of each and click the "Apply" button to do this.

Filters on the normal interface persist between searches. This allows you to select a specific repository or language and continue searching. To clear applied filters uncheck the filters indivudually and click on "Filter Selected". You can also click "Clear Filters" button to clear all active filters. The HTML only page filters are cleared between every new search.


Source code is complex to search. As such the following restrictions currently apply

  • Relevant lines in the search display favor lines in the beginning of file however there may be other matching lines within the file. By default searchcode will only inspect the first 10000 lines for matches when serving results.
  • The following characters are not indexed and will be ignored from searches < > ) ( [ ] | =.
  • Where possible if there are no matches searchcode server will attempt to suggest an alternate search which is more likely to produce results.

Estimated Cost

The estimated cost for any file or project is created using the Basic COCOMO algorithmic software cost estimation model. The cost reflected includes design, coding, testing, documentation for both developers and users, equipment, buildings etc... which can result in a higher estimate then would be expected. Generally consider this the cost of developing the code, and not what it is "worth". It is based on an average salary of $56,000 per year.


searchcode does not capture or store personally identifiable information, and as a general rule is only interested in data in aggregate. searchcode will never share internal logs with any third party unless required legally (avoiding jail is a serious motivator).

What is collected?

When accessing any page or running any query the following may be logged,

  1. Search Term (if applicable)
  2. Time the page or query was run
  3. General Details, such as, page of the search results, how many results were found, if the searcher is a robot

However personally identifiable information above may be used at run time for determining if a hit to a page or search is by a robot or genuine user. searchcode reserves the right to downgrade the performance for robots to provide a better experience for users.


Should you wish to provide feedback on this privacy policy please contact Ben Boyter at or via twitter @boyter

Free Software (Open Source)

Some things are released as free software. The bug/feature tracker I use SingleBugs for instance. All public bugs those being ones that everyone using searchcode should care about are delt with using Github's searchcode bug tracker. As with DuckDuckGo I promise to donate 10% of profits (if any) to free software see here.

Code for parsing code documentation. This is released into

There is also a full featured free API which provides access to both the documentation and code index. You can read details on the API page.

For further details about why searchcode is not 100% free software please read the following article about Why searchcode is not 100% free software.

News / Coverage

  1. How this Aussie coder is making life easy for techies around the world with searchcode<
  2. Sphinx Searches Code at
  3. Searchcode brings regex to code search


  1. Riley Baird for the Firefox addon
  2. Triplecheck for the SPDX generation code
  3. David A. Wheeler's SLOCCount for cost estimates

The Story

Around 2010 I was looking for a project to work on. I was resonably unsatisfied in my role at the time and decided to work on something to keep my mind occupied. Following a startup hackathon were I realised that actually shipping something is both easier and harder then you would think I started work on what became known as as I had always wanted run my own search engine but did not have the skills nor capitol required to build a web one. I released searchforphp with a post on Hacker News and it recieved some pretty reasonable attention.

Following the release on Hacker News I started talking to Gabriel Weinburg of DuckDuckGo fame. I wanted to emulate the !bang syntax into searchforphp and thought I would ask first. This started a relationship where I started supplying documentation sources for the DuckDuckGo zero-click information. I suspect I may have been the first contributor to DuckDuckGo in ernest. Gabriel asked if I was planning on expanding out to other documentation and I started down the path of creating etc... After a short time I realised that this was probably not the best of ideas and started looking for a domain to encompass all. Gabriel suggested and thus searchcode was born.

A few months after releasing the first few versions of searchcode Google announced that they were going to sunset their code search. In a passing comment Gabriel asked if I was planning to implement code search. I had not considered it up till that point but decided that it shouldn't be too difficult and started work. Boy was I ever wrong about it not being too difficult. The first release indexed about 1gb of source code and was hosted on a VPS hosted by

After time it became apparent that the VPS did not have enough disk space or power to support the growing index. It was moved over two two dedicated servers running at Hetzner. A little bit later it was rewritten from PHP into the current Python version and moved to the current domain of Over time the searchable code base to over 20 billion lines of code.

The third incantation (this one) is still running at Hetzner using four dedicated servers. With the closure of Ohloh Code Search it is now probably the most widely spanning code search engine and one of the largest next to GitHub the only with a freely available API, and certainly the largest web available code index run by a single person. Whats next? Well the move allows a much more scalable infrastructure and the eventual goal is to index even more of the worlds source code. Be sure to sign up to the mailing list to get information as it happens.

Team / Contact

searchcode is currently the work of a single developer standing on the shoulders of giants.

Feel free to contact me at or via twitter @boyter