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Lucene vs Sphinx: What are the differences?

What is Lucene? A high-performance, full-featured text search engine library written entirely in Java. Lucene Core, our flagship sub-project, provides Java-based indexing and search technology, as well as spellchecking, hit highlighting and advanced analysis/tokenization capabilities.

What is Sphinx? Open source full text search server, designed from the ground up with performance, relevance (aka search quality), and integration simplicity in mind. Sphinx lets you either batch index and search data stored in an SQL database, NoSQL storage, or just files quickly and easily — or index and search data on the fly, working with Sphinx pretty much as with a database server. A variety of text processing features enable fine-tuning Sphinx for your particular application requirements, and a number of relevance functions ensures you can tweak search quality as well.

Lucene and Sphinx belong to "Search Engines" category of the tech stack.

Some of the features offered by Lucene are:

  • over 150GB/hour on modern hardware
  • small RAM requirements -- only 1MB heap
  • incremental indexing as fast as batch indexing

On the other hand, Sphinx provides the following key features:

  • Output formats: HTML (including Windows HTML Help), LaTeX (for printable PDF versions), ePub, Texinfo, manual pages, plain text
  • Extensive cross-references: semantic markup and automatic links for functions, classes, citations, glossary terms and similar pieces of information
  • Hierarchical structure: easy definition of a document tree, with automatic links to siblings, parents and children

Grooveshark, Ansible, and Webedia are some of the popular companies that use Sphinx, whereas Lucene is used by Evernote, Twitter, and Slack. Sphinx has a broader approval, being mentioned in 38 company stacks & 13 developers stacks; compared to Lucene, which is listed in 33 company stacks and 9 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -
- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Lucene?

Lucene Core, our flagship sub-project, provides Java-based indexing and search technology, as well as spellchecking, hit highlighting and advanced analysis/tokenization capabilities.

What is Sphinx?

Sphinx lets you either batch index and search data stored in an SQL database, NoSQL storage, or just files quickly and easily — or index and search data on the fly, working with Sphinx pretty much as with a database server. A variety of text processing features enable fine-tuning Sphinx for your particular application requirements, and a number of relevance functions ensures you can tweak search quality as well.

Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

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        What companies use Lucene?
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        What are some alternatives to Lucene and Sphinx?
        Solr
        Solr is the popular, blazing fast open source enterprise search platform from the Apache Lucene project. Its major features include powerful full-text search, hit highlighting, faceted search, near real-time indexing, dynamic clustering, database integration, rich document (e.g., Word, PDF) handling, and geospatial search. Solr is highly reliable, scalable and fault tolerant, providing distributed indexing, replication and load-balanced querying, automated failover and recovery, centralized configuration and more. Solr powers the search and navigation features of many of the world's largest internet sites.
        Elasticsearch
        Elasticsearch is a distributed, RESTful search and analytics engine capable of storing data and searching it in near real time. Elasticsearch, Kibana, Beats and Logstash are the Elastic Stack (sometimes called the ELK Stack).
        Apache Solr
        It uses the tools you use to make application building a snap. It is built on the battle-tested Apache Zookeeper, it makes it easy to scale up and down.
        MkDocs
        It builds completely static HTML sites that you can host on GitHub pages, Amazon S3, or anywhere else you choose. There's a stack of good looking themes available. The built-in dev-server allows you to preview your documentation as you're writing it. It will even auto-reload and refresh your browser whenever you save your changes.
        Searchkick
        Searchkick learns what your users are looking for. As more people search, it gets smarter and the results get better. It’s friendly for developers - and magical for your users.
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        What tools integrate with Lucene?
        What tools integrate with Sphinx?
          No integrations found
          Decisions about Lucene and Sphinx
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          Interest over time
          Reviews of Lucene and Sphinx
          No reviews found
          How developers use Lucene and Sphinx
          Avatar of Andrew Gatenby
          Andrew Gatenby uses SphinxSphinx

          We use Sphinx as the main search indexing system on our clients' websites. It's a more powerful system than we even scratch the surface of, and allows us to index data from a variety of sources.

          Avatar of GadgetSteve
          GadgetSteve uses SphinxSphinx

          Generate beautiful documentation from version controlled inputs

          Avatar of Blue Kangaroo
          Blue Kangaroo uses LuceneLucene

          High-performance text-based category classification.

          Avatar of PlushForums
          PlushForums uses SphinxSphinx

          Advanced full-text search.

          How much does Lucene cost?
          How much does Sphinx cost?
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