Searx returns an 'http error' message for all searches

Hello fellow freedomboxers. I recently installed Searx and everything looks good but search functionality is not working. I’m hoping you can help; here is a write-up below.

Problem Description
I have installed the Searx app. Diagnostics and interface runs clean although I am getting an error when running any searches.

Additional info: You can see from the error message below, this may have to do with ‘instances’. I was thinking by having this installed on my server I am an instance in and of myself, right?
Also, I do NOT have the toggle in the Freedombox app admin page for Searx turned on for public users, however, I can confirmed I’m signed in to Freedombox when trying he searches.

Steps to Reproduce

  1. Login to FreedomBox.
  2. Click on Searx app
  3. Entry search query and hit enter

Expected Results
Presented with search results

**Actual results:
Error! Engines cannot retrieve results.
bing (HTTP error), wikipedia (HTTP error), google (HTTP error), wikidata (HTTP error)
Please, try again later or find another searx instance.

Debian GNU/Linux 11 (bullseye) and FreedomBox version 23.5. FreedomBox is up to date.
I’m on a VPS with an AMD64 chip.
Apt Install

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Can’t say I’ve gotten it working either. Something isn’t right with the config, IIRC, but I have so little experience with searx that I couldn’t diagnose what when I messed with it late last year.

Try different search engines. Start in the Preferences link in the upper right of the page. Pick the Engines link, and then you will see all of the general purpose search engines. There will be dozens.

DO NOT ENABLE ALL OF THEM. This is solved.

If you enable all of the engines you’ll probably get a 500 error which won’t go away until you remove all of your FreedomBox cookies.

Not all search engines are supported all the time. Search providers do not have any obligation to keep the interfaces used by Searx stable - so service with a search provider may come and go over time. Use automatic updates on FreedomBox to keep your Searx fixes coming in regularly. Use multple engines and change things up when needed.

Without revealing any spoilers I’ll point out that some of the search services availble for Searx are rather, uh, special purpose. It’s part of the fun. There are ten search type categories (General, Files, Images, Science, etc.), each of which has several to many search options. There’s a lot you can customize in here and experimentation is rewarded.

Here are my favorite bits to help you get further along:

  • I like the Logicodev Dark style in Preferences
  • I like the Open Access DOI resolvers which help you read research papers - I’ve turned over a new leaf using that. Look at the Science engines selections.
  • I have weaned myself off of major curated search providers. There are acceptable alternatives.
  • If you must do google searches, and don’t want to use Google, use StartPage through Searx
  • reddit as a search engine is becoming more popular, and I’ve started to use that.
  • Method = POST is better for your privacy than Method = GET. Leave it on the default of POST.

Today my general search engines are:

  • etools
  • qwant
  • yandex
  • duden (broken today. Engines cannot retrieve results: duden(HTTP error))
  • seznam
  • mojeek (most of my results come from this today)
  • naver

@timmy We have recently implemented fully uninstalling Searx, so after this feature gets into the next FreedomBox version, you should be able to solve this by reinstalling the app.

These errors indicate that your searx server is not connecting to the search services.

  • You may have an issue in the internet connection from Freedombox to the rest of the internet
  • You may have a temporary failure that will resolve itself quickly
  • There may be some changes on the search server side for which your searx version has not accounted for - next update may fix this
  • You can try different search providers from the preferences menu.
  • The “Engines,” tab in preferences will give you some feedback on search providers which do return results for you when you look at the response times (NA = no results received).

I think your problem here is that Freedombox can’t connect to Google/Bing/Wikipedia/Wikidata for some reason. Perhaps your DNS server used by Freedombox is not correct? First try using your ISP assigned DNS, then try switching to your preferred DNS server after this if you don’t like your ISP DNS.

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