November 22, 2010 in Classic self-hosted technical help
What's the point? What's wrong with the search that we get as default, if this is better why isn't it default?
Sphinx is an alternate search engine that's much more efficient than the MySQL search functions (which are the default). Sphinx has to be manually configured (which is somewhat difficult, and would be all but impossible without a basic knowledge of how to use SSH and the command line), and to my knowledge can only be installed on a dedicated server or VPS.
Additionally, it's only really useful for very large forums (since it significantly lowers their resource usage). It'd be serious overkill for almost all forums small enough that they don't need a VPS or dedicated server.
Sphinx is much, much better at searching through a lot of data than MySQL is. If you have a large forum, offloading the searching to Sphinx helps things to run more quickly and smoothly.
If you don't have a large forum or performance problems, there's no need to worry about it.
300k+ posts over 6 years? Is it worth installing?
If you have the ability to install it, it's worth it. Sphinx is free, and will make search a LOT faster and more accurate. Combined with the fact that you can search for very short words (which is a must for certain forums), it's a no-brainer. The only reason not to install Sphinx is if you aren't familiar with compiling/installing software via command line (or don't have SSH access).
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