1.1.0 • Public • Published

Flying Sphinx Client for Node.js

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This is a Node.js client for

Please note that this is not a client for Sphinx itself. Check out sphinxapi or limestone for talking to Sphinx itself.


The flying-sphinx package is available via npm:

npm install flying-sphinx


If you're not familiar with Sphinx, then this isn't the place to start... but once you understand how Sphinx works, there's a few key areas to interact with Flying Sphinx: configuration of Sphinx, processing the indices, and starting up and stopping the daemon.

Authentication credentials are sourced from the environment (FLYING_SPHINX_IDENTIFIER and FLYING_SPHINX_API_KEY) - and these are automatically available through Heroku. If for some reason you wish to run commands locally, then you'll need to make sure those two settings are in place.


To get your Sphinx configuration file loaded, you'll need send the file through to Flying Sphinx. This can be done from the command line via Heroku:

$ heroku run flying-sphinx configure /path/to/sphinx.conf

If you have additional configuration files (such as wordforms, stopwords or exceptions), want to set a specific version/engine of Sphinx, or want to generate your configuration file dynamically, then you can use the following commands through Javascript:

var flyingSphinx = require('flying-sphinx');
var configuration = flyingSphinx.configuration();
// first argument can one of two options:
// * 'configure' - updates the configuration only.
// * 'rebuild'   - stops the daemon, updates the configuration, re-indexes, and
//                 starts the daemon up again.
configuration.process('configure', function(configurer) {
  // Upload Sphinx configuration
  configurer.addConfiguration('indexer { }');
  // Can be 'sphinx' or 'manticore'
  // For Sphinx, you should use 2.2.11 or newer.
  // For Manticore, you should use 2.7.5 or newer.
  // The supported versions are listed here:
  // For setting files, specify the setting, the name of the file, and
  // the contents of the file.
  configurer.addSettingFile('wordforms', 'wordforms.txt', 'file contents');

Make sure any settings file names match what you've set in your configuration file, but don't stress about paths - Flying Sphinx will set them up for you. Settings files must be unique per setting - if you refer to @a.txt@ for wordforms in more than one place, it'll be a single file, not scoped to index.

Processing Indices

Now that Flying Sphinx is aware of your Sphinx configuration, you'll want to get Sphinx processing your data. This can be done over the command line as well:

$ heroku run flying-sphinx index

If you want to process specific indices, just specify them as arguments:

$ heroku run flying-sphinx index article user

This can also be done through code if necessary:

var flyingSphinx = require('flyingSphinx');

run can take two arguments, the first being an array of index names, the second being a callback function to run with the resulting log. They're both optional, but if you just want a callback, specify an empty array for the first argument.

Controlling the Daemon

Again, easy via either the command line or through code:

$ heroku run flying-sphinx start
$ heroku run flying-sphinx stop
var flyingSphinx = require('flyingSphinx');

Both of the javascript methods are asynchronous and can take an optional callback function as an argument.

Convenience Commands

Via the command line, you can also use the restart command (to stop and then start the Sphinx daemon) and the rebuild command (to stop the daemon, process indices, then start the daemon back up).

$ heroku run flying-sphinx restart
$ heroku run flying-sphinx rebuild

You can also supply a file path to a configuration file for the rebuild argument:

$ heroku run flying-sphinx rebuild /path/to/sphinx.conf

Compatibility and Limitations

This library is currently built and tested against Node v8/v10/v11/v12. If you are using an older version of Node, please use the v0.2.3 release of this library.


Patches are indeed welcome. The API documentation will be provided at some point in the future, but generally keep in mind the following:

  • The environment is managed via npm.
  • Please use the test frameworks as shown by the existing tests - and do write tests.
  • Keep your commits in a separate branch.
  • Don't mess around with the version number in your branch - this keeps merges easier for me to manage.


Copyright © 2012-2019 Pat Allan, released under an MIT licence.



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