Programming language: C
Tags: Search Engines    
Latest version: v1.2.9

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sist2 (Simple incremental search tool)

Warning: sist2 is in early development


  • Fast, low memory usage, multi-threaded
  • Portable (all its features are packaged in a single executable)
  • Extracts text from common file types *
  • Generates thumbnails *
  • Incremental scanning
  • Automatic tagging from file attributes via [user scripts](scripting/README.md)
  • Recursive scan inside archive files **
  • OCR support with tesseract ***

* See format support
** See Archive files
*** See OCR

Getting Started

  1. Have an Elasticsearch instance running
    1. Download the latest sist2 release *
    2. (or) Download a development snapshot (Not recommended!)
    3. (or) docker pull simon987/sist2:latest

* Windows users: sist2 runs under WSL
* Mac users: See #1

Example usage


See help page sist2 --help for more details.

Scan a directory

sist2 scan ~/Documents -o ./orig_idx/
sist2 scan --threads 4 --content-size 16384 /mnt/Pictures
sist2 scan --incremental ./orig_idx/ -o ./updated_idx/ ~/Documents

Push index to Elasticsearch or file

sist2 index --force-reset ./my_idx
sist2 index --print ./my_idx > raw_documents.ndjson

Start web interface

sist2 web --bind --port 4321 ./my_idx1 ./my_idx2 ./my_idx3

Use sist2 with docker


docker run -it \
    -v /path/to/files/:/files \
    -v $PWD/out/:/out \
    simon987/sist2 scan -t 4 /files -o /out/my_idx1


docker run -it --network host\
    -v $PWD/out/:/out \
    simon987/sist2 index /out/my_idx1


docker run --rm --network host -d --name sist2\
    -v $PWD/out/my_idx:/idx \
    -v $PWD/my/files:/files
    simon987/sist2 web --bind /idx
docker stop sist2

Format support

File type Library  Content Thumbnail Metadata
pdf,xps,cbz,fb2,epub MuPDF text+ocr yes, png title
audio/* ffmpeg - yes, jpeg ID3 tags
video/* ffmpeg - yes, jpeg title, comment, artist
image/* ffmpeg - yes, jpeg Common EXIF tags
ttf,ttc,cff,woff,fnt,otf Freetype2 - yes, bmp Name & style
text/plain (none) yes no -
tar, zip, rar, 7z, ar ... Libarchive yes* - no
docx, xlsx, pptx libOPC yes no no

* See Archive files

Archive files

sist2 will scan files stored into archive files (zip, tar, 7z...) as if they were directly in the file system. Recursive (archives inside archives) scan is also supported.


  • Parsing media files with formats that require seek (e.g. .gif, .mp4 w/ fragmented metadata etc.) is not supported.
  • Archive files are scanned sequentially, by a single thread. On systems where sist2 is not I/O bound, scans might be faster when larger archives are split into smaller parts.

To check if a media file can be parsed without seek, execute cat file.mp4 | ffprobe -


You can enable OCR support for pdf,xps,cbz,fb2,epub file types with the --ocr <lang> option. Download the language data files with your package manager (apt install tesseract-ocr-eng) or directly from Github.

The simon987/sist2 github image comes with common languages (hin, jpn, eng, fra, rus, spa) pre-installed.


sist2 scan --ocr jpn ~/Books/Manga/
sist2 scan --ocr eng ~/Books/Textbooks/

Build from source

You can compile sist2 by yourself if you don't want to use the pre-compiled binaries.

  1. Install compile-time dependencies


    apt install git cmake pkg-config libglib2.0-dev \
        libssl-dev uuid-dev python3 libmagic-dev libfreetype6-dev \
        libcurl-dev libbz2-dev yasm libharfbuzz-dev ragel \
        libarchive-dev libtiff5 libpng16-16 libpango1.0-dev
  2. Build

    git clone --recurse-submodules https://github.com/simon987/sist2
    cmake .

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the sist2 README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.