Zinc is a search engine that does full text indexing. It is a lightweight alternative to elasticsearch and runs in less than 100 MB of RAM. It uses bluge as the underlying indexing library.

It is very simple and easy to operate as opposed to elasticsearch which requires a couple dozen knobs to understand and tune.

It is a drop-in replacement for elasticsearch if you are just ingesting data using APIs and searching using kibana (Kibana is not supported with zinc. Zinc provides its own UI).

Why zinc

The only viable solution to search was elasticsearch which while is a very good product, is complex and requires lots of resources and is more than a decade old. I built this tool so it becomes easier for folks to use full text search indexing without doing a lot of work.


  1. Provides full text indexing capability
  2. Single binary for installation and running. Binaries avalaible under releases for multiple platforms.
  3. Web UI for querying data written in Vue
  4. Compatibility with elasticsearch APIs for ingestion of data (single record and bulk API)
  5. Out of the box authentication
  6. Schema less – No need to define schema upfront and different documents in the same index can have different fields.

Missing features:

  1. Clustering and High Availability


Search screen

Search screen 1
Search screen for games

User management screen

Users screen

Getting started

Download / Installation / Run

Binaries can be downloaded from releases page for appropriate platform.

Create a data folder that will store the data

$ mkdir data

$ FIRST_ADMIN_USER=admin FIRST_ADMIN_PASSWORD=Complexpass#123 zinc

Now point your browser to http://localhost:4080 and login

Data ingestion

python example

import base64, json
import requests

user = "admin"
password = "Complexpass#123"
bas64encoded_creds = base64.b64encode(bytes(user + ":" + password, "utf-8")).decode("utf-8")

data = {
    "Athlete": "DEMTSCHENKO, Albert",
    "City": "Turin",
    "Country": "RUS",
    "Discipline": "Luge",
    "Event": "Singles",
    "Gender": "Men",
    "Medal": "Silver",
    "Season": "winter",
    "Sport": "Luge",
    "Year": 2006

headers = {"Content-type": "application/json", "Authorization": "Basic " + bas64encoded_creds}
index = "games3"
zinc_host = "http://localhost:4080"
zinc_url = zinc_host + "/api/" + index + "/document"

res = requests.put(zinc_url, headers=headers, data=json.dumps(data))

Bulk ingestion API follows same interface as elasticsearch API defined in documentation.


Python example

import base64
import json
import requests

user = "admin"
password = "Complexpass#123"
bas64encoded_creds = base64.b64encode(
    bytes(user + ":" + password, "utf-8")).decode("utf-8")

params = {
    "search_type": "match",
        "term": "DEMTSCHENKO",
        "start_time": "2021-06-02T14:28:31.894Z",
        "end_time": "2021-12-02T15:28:31.894Z"
    "fields": ["_all"]

# params = {
#     "search_type": "querystring",
#     "query":
#     {
#         "term": "+City:Turin +Silver",
#         "start_time": "2021-06-02T14:28:31.894Z",
#         "end_time": "2021-12-02T15:28:31.894Z"
#     },
#     "fields": ["_all"]
# }

headers = {"Content-type": "application/json",
           "Authorization": "Basic " + bas64encoded_creds}
index = "games3"
zinc_host = "http://localhost:4080"
zinc_url = zinc_host + "/api/" + index + "/_search"

res = requests.post(zinc_url, headers=headers, data=json.dumps(params))



{"took":0,"timed_out":false,"max_score":7.6978611753656345,"hits":{"total":{"value":3},"hits":[{"_index":"games3","_type":"games3","_id":"bd3e67f0-679b-4aa4-b0f5-81b9dc86a26a","_score":7.6978611753656345,"@timestamp":"2021-10-20T04:56:39.000871Z","_source":{"Athlete":"DEMTSCHENKO, Albert","City":"Turin","Country":"RUS","Discipline":"Luge","Event":"Singles","Gender":"Men","Medal":"Silver","Season":"winter","Sport":"Luge","Year":2006}},{"_index":"games3","_type":"games3","_id":"230349d9-72b3-4225-bac7-a8ab31af046d","_score":7.6978611753656345,"@timestamp":"2021-10-20T04:56:39.215124Z","_source":{"Athlete":"DEMTSCHENKO, Albert","City":"Sochi","Country":"RUS","Discipline":"Luge","Event":"Singles","Gender":"Men","Medal":"Silver","Season":"winter","Sport":"Luge","Year":2014}},{"_index":"games3","_type":"games3","_id":"338fea31-81f2-4b56-a096-b8294fb6cc92","_score":7.671309826309841,"@timestamp":"2021-10-20T04:56:39.215067Z","_source":{"Athlete":"DEMTSCHENKO, Albert","City":"Sochi","Country":"RUS","Discipline":"Luge","Event":"Mixed Relay","Gender":"Men","Medal":"Silver","Season":"winter","Sport":"Luge","Year":2014}}]},"buckets":null,"error":""}

search_type can have following values:

  1. alldocuments
  2. wildcard
  3. fuzzy
  4. term
  5. daterange
  6. matchall
  7. match
  8. matchphrase
  9. multiphrase
  10. querystring


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