With the use of Linux Containers (LXC) we can scale our tasks over a stack of containers, what we call the: lxc suite. The SearXNG suite (lxc-searxng.env) is loaded by default, every time you start the lxc.sh script (you do not need to care about).

Before you can start with containers, you need to install and initiate LXD once:

$ snap install lxd
$ lxd init --auto

To make use of the containers from the SearXNG suite, you have to build the LXC suite containers initial. But be warned, this might take some time:

$ sudo -H ./utils/lxc.sh build

A cup of coffee later, your LXC suite is build up and you can run whatever task you want / in a selected or even in all LXC suite containers.


If you see any problems with the internet connectivity of your containers read section Internet Connectivity & Docker.

If you do not want to build all containers, you can build just one:

$ sudo -H ./utils/lxc.sh build searxng-archlinux

Good to know …

Each container shares the root folder of the repository and the command utils/lxc.sh cmd handles relative path names transparent, compare output of:

$ sudo -H ./utils/lxc.sh cmd -- ls -la Makefile

In the containers, you can run what ever you want, e.g. to start a bash use:

$ sudo -H ./utils/lxc.sh cmd searxng-archlinux bash
INFO:  [searxng-archlinux] bash
[root@searxng-archlinux SearXNG]#

If there comes the time you want to get rid off all the containers and clean up local images just type:

$ sudo -H ./utils/lxc.sh remove
$ sudo -H ./utils/lxc.sh remove images

Internet Connectivity & Docker

There is a conflict in the iptables setup of Docker & LXC. If you have docker installed, you may find that the internet connectivity of your LXD containers no longer work.

Whenever docker is started (reboot) it sets the iptables policy for the FORWARD chain to DROP [ref]:

$ sudo -H iptables-save | grep FORWARD
:FORWARD ACCEPT [7048:7851230]
:FORWARD DROP [7048:7851230]

A handy solution of this problem might be to reset the policy for the FORWARD chain after the network has been initialized. For this create a file in the if-up section of the network (/etc/network/if-up.d/iptable) and insert the following lines:

iptables -F FORWARD

Don’t forget to set the execution bit:

sudo chmod ugo+x /etc/network/if-up.d/iptable

Reboot your system and check the iptables rules:

$ sudo -H iptables-save | grep FORWARD
:FORWARD ACCEPT [7048:7851230]
:FORWARD ACCEPT [7048:7851230]

Install suite

To install the complete SearXNG suite (includes searx, morty & filtron) into all LXC use:

$ sudo -H ./utils/lxc.sh install suite

The command above installs a SearXNG suite (see Installation Script). To install a nginx reverse proxy (or alternatively use apache):

sudo -H ./utils/lxc.sh cmd -- FORCE_TIMEOUT=0 ./utils/searxng.sh install nginx

To get the IP (URL) of the SearXNG service in the containers use show suite command. To test instances from containers just open the URLs in your WEB-Browser:

$ sudo ./utils/lxc.sh show suite | grep SEARXNG_URL

[searxng-ubu2110]      SEARXNG_URL          : http://n.n.n.147/searxng
[searxng-ubu2004]      SEARXNG_URL          : http://n.n.n.246/searxng
[searxnggfedora35]     SEARXNG_URL          : http://n.n.n.140/searxng
[searxng-archlinux]    SEARXNG_URL          : http://n.n.n.165/searxng

Running commands

Inside containers, you can use make or run scripts from the DevOps tooling box. By example: to setup a Buildhosts and run the Makefile target test in the archlinux container:

sudo -H ./utils/lxc.sh cmd searxng-archlinux ./utils/searxng.sh install buildhost
sudo -H ./utils/lxc.sh cmd searxng-archlinux make test

Setup SearXNG buildhost

You can install the SearXNG buildhost environment into one or all containers. The installation procedure to set up a build host takes its time. Installation in all containers will take more time (time for another cup of coffee).:

sudo -H ./utils/lxc.sh cmd -- ./utils/searxng.sh install buildhost

To build (live) documentation inside a archlinux container:

sudo -H ./utils/lxc.sh cmd searxng-archlinux make docs.clean docs.live
[I 200331 15:00:42 server:296] Serving on

To get IP of the container and the port number live docs is listening:

$ sudo ./utils/lxc.sh show suite | grep docs.live
[searxng-archlinux]  INFO:  (eth0) docs.live:  http://n.n.n.12:8080/


The --help output of the script is largely self-explanatory:

  lxc.sh build        [containers|<name>]
  lxc.sh copy         [images]
  lxc.sh remove       [containers|<name>|images]
  lxc.sh [start|stop] [containers|<name>]
  lxc.sh show         [images|suite|info|config [<name>]]
  lxc.sh cmd          [--|<name>] '...'
  lxc.sh install      [suite|base [<name>]]

  :containers:   build, launch all containers and 'install base' packages
  :<name>:       build, launch container <name>  and 'install base' packages
  :images:       copy remote images of the suite into local storage
  :containers:   delete all 'containers' or only <container-name>
  :images:       delete local images of the suite
  :containers:   start/stop all 'containers' from the suite
  :<name>:       start/stop container <name> from suite
  :info:         show info of all (or <name>) containers from LXC suite
  :config:       show config of all (or <name>) containers from the LXC suite
  :suite:        show services of all (or <name>) containers from the LXC suite
  :images:       show information of local images
  use single quotes to evaluate in container's bash, e.g.: 'echo $(hostname)'
  --             run command '...' in all containers of the LXC suite
  :<name>:       run command '...' in container <name>
  :base:         prepare LXC; install basic packages
  :suite:        install LXC searxng suite into all (or <name>) containers

LXC suite: searxng
  Suite includes installation of SearXNG
  images:     ubu2004 ubu2204 fedora35 archlinux
  containers: searxng-ubu2004 searxng-ubu2204 searxng-fedora35 searxng-archlinux

SearXNG suite

# -*- coding: utf-8; mode: sh indent-tabs-mode: nil -*-
# SPDX-License-Identifier: AGPL-3.0-or-later
# shellcheck shell=bash

# This file is a setup of a LXC suite.  It is sourced from different context, do
# not manipulate the environment directly, implement functions and manipulate
# environment only in subshells.

lxc_set_suite_env() {

    export LXC_SUITE_NAME="searxng"

    # name of https://images.linuxcontainers.org
    export LXC_HOST_PREFIX="${LXC_SUITE_NAME:-searx}"
    export LXC_SUITE=(

        # end of standard support see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases
        "$LINUXCONTAINERS_ORG_NAME:ubuntu/20.04"  "ubu2004" # LTS EOSS April 2025
        "$LINUXCONTAINERS_ORG_NAME:ubuntu/22.04"  "ubu2204" # LTS EOSS April 2027

        # EOL see https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases
        "$LINUXCONTAINERS_ORG_NAME:fedora/35"     "fedora35"

        # rolling releases see https://www.archlinux.org/releng/releases/
        "$LINUXCONTAINERS_ORG_NAME:archlinux"     "archlinux"

lxc_suite_install_info() {
        cat <<EOF
  Suite includes installation of SearXNG
  images:     ${LOCAL_IMAGES[*]}
  containers: ${CONTAINERS[*]}

lxc_suite_install() {
        export FORCE_TIMEOUT
        "${LXC_REPO_ROOT}/utils/searxng.sh" install all
        rst_title "suite installation finished ($(hostname))" part

lxc_suite_info() {
        for ip in $(global_IPs) ; do
            if [[ $ip =~ .*:.* ]]; then
                info_msg "(${ip%|*}) IPv6:       http://[${ip#*|}]"
                # IPv4:
                # shellcheck disable=SC2034,SC2031
                info_msg "(${ip%|*}) docs-live:  http://${ip#*|}:8080/"
        "${LXC_REPO_ROOT}/utils/searxng.sh" searxng.instance.env