Update: Latest Information on the next version of Red-Piranha is on the Wiki

Red-Piranha is an open source search system that can actually 'learn' what you are looking for.  It lets you go everywhere , find anything , understand everything.

Because it is open source , it can integrate with any system. Because you can use it as a web page , command line or XML- WebService , it will work with most languages , including Java , Perl , C#/.Net and PHP. As a Java based program , it  will run on any platform including Windows , Linux / Unix and Mac.

    Suggested Uses
    Getting Started
    Using Red-Piranha
    Spread The Word
    Make It Better


  • Personal Search Engine for your Desktop (Windows , Linux and Mac).
  • Intranet Search Engine - Search your Company or College Intranet.
  • Part of your Development Project - Have search abilities up and running in a few minutes.
  • To provide Search facilities on your website.
  • As a P2P search engine.
  • In conjunction with a wiki, as a knowledge / document management solution.
  • Scan a set of websites for the data you want (e.g. Search Job sites on a hourly basis).
  • Explore the Semantic web using RDF.
  • Search RSS feeds for the information you want.
  • Search your Companies systems (including SAP , Oracle or any other Database / Data source).
  • Provide a back end for searching in your App (Web , Swing , SWT , Flash, Mozilla-XUL, PHP , Perl or even c#/.Net) .
  • Document Management for PDF, Word and other Docs.
  • As a Webservice to provide search information
  • As a command line tool , to give searching power to your scripts.
  • Provide a Search facility for your project documentation.

Red-Piranha allows you to search information with a minimum of effort. With a little effort , it can search *anything* , including Oracle Databases , XML Webservices (including Java/J2EE and .Net webservices) , RSS and even Web based XML feeds such as Google and Amazon.


First of all download Red-Piranha from here. If you're not sure which one you want, download the ready-to-deploy (bin) file. The other files contain either the ready-to-deploy plus full source (bin_src_lib) or the source only (src).

If you have not already installed Java and Tomcat , you can get them from the Sun Java and Apache Tomcat websites. Red-Piranha should work with Java 1.3 and Tomcat 3 , although we recommend Java 1.4 or higher and Tomcat 4/5.

Unzip the file you have downloaded - there should be a file called RP.war. Copy this file into the the 'webapps' folder of your tomcat. Within a number of seconds you should see a new folder called 'RP' created.

Congratulations - your copy of Red-Piranha has now deployed and is ready to use.


To use Red-Piranha - open your favourite web browser and point it at http://localhost:8080/RP . Within a few seconds , you should see the Red-Piranha start screen. This will have three items of interest
  • A Text box , where we enter the information to add or search
  • An 'add information' button - to tell Red-Piranha about new information
  • A 'Search' button - to carry out a search.
Before we can search , we must tell Red-Piranha we information we are interested in. This is as easy as putting the piece of information we want to add (e.g. the folder c:\temp\) in the search box and pressing the 'Add information' button. A message will be displayed saying that your information is being added and will be available to search shortly. For more information , look in the logs at TOMCAT_HOME\Webapps\RP\logs\rp.log

Examples of things we can add to Red-Piranha are
  • A folder (e.g. C:\Temp\). All files in both this folder and *all* it's subfolders will be added.
  • An individual file. This file can be text , a web page , a word document , or pdf document. For binary files (like word , which are not plain text) , Red-Piranha will scan the file for recognizable text and add that.
  • A Web page. Red-Piranha will add this web page , *and* web pages it links to.
  • A Google Search (e.g. http://www.google.com/search?q=some+thing&num=100). Red-Piranha will get the results of the google search , and add information on the pages it links to.
  • An XML file (including RSS feeds) , either on disk or over the web.
  • Favourites / Bookmarks folders - Red-Piranha will index the web pages that these favourites point to.

Adding information can take anything from a few milliseconds , depending on the amount of information being added. Once added, Red-Piranha will check on a regular basis to see if the information added has changed and re-index if required. Your information is now available to be searched.

To do a search , put the item you want to search for into the textbox and press 'search'. Red-Piranha will show the search results on the screen. Clicking on the link beside the search results will show you the original information (as long as you have access to it).

From version 0.3 onwards , Red-Piranha can 'learn' what search results you are interested in an improve your future searches. To give Red-Piranha feedback and help it 'learn' what you are interested in , click on any of the links on the 'search results' page. Red-Piranha makes a note of your choice , which is used to adjust the search results later.


If you're using Red-Piranha , the let us know. Even better, tell your friends. Email everybody you know. Put it on your website (feel free to link to http://red-piranha.sourceforge.net/). Include it in your latest blogs. Anything that you do to spread the word will help us (a lot). Thanks.

Either way (good or bad) , drop us a line on the users mailing list.


Already , you can do a lot with Red-Piranha. We would like your help to make it do a lot more. You can help a little , or you can help a lot - it's your choice. Some things that we would find very useful:

  • Bug reports and fixes
  • Documentation (your experience of using Red-Piranha)
  • Integrations (how you linked Red-Piranha to your systems)
  • Extensions (how you got Red-Piranha to do new things)
  • Improved Learning Abilities (how you made Red-Piranha smarter)
  • Performance and Security (how you made Red-Piranha faster , and more secure)

For more information , send an email to either the project admins or the developer mailing list.

If you're interested in playing with the technologies , here is a list of what Red-Piranha uses under the covers. Thanks to everybody involved in these projects , as we wouldn't have been able to get this far without you.

  • Spring - a J2EE lite framework that gives us a lot of functionality
  • Tomcat - the Java Web Server we can run in.
  • Lucene - the Apache project to give a searching and indexing engine.
  • RDF / XML - Jena , to store all our information in RDF (aka the Semantic Web)
  • Xerces - for XML manipulation
  • PDF box - for reading of PDF documents.

For more information on the structure of Red-Piranha , what it does , and how it does it , a useful point to start is the Specification / Architecture Document.

Red-Piranha and Red-Piranha logo  (c) Paul Browne and www.firstpartners.net 2003-2005.
Red-Piranha Community Edition is released under the  GNU Public License
and is the open source version of Red-Piranha Enterprise Edition.
SourceForge.net Logo
Site map XML Generator