Installing Sphinx on Mac OS X Lion

Moving from Windows/Linux to Mac, one of my Ruby on Rails applications wasn’t working. I’d forgotten to install sphinx, and the error was a little cryptic for an amateur like me.

Anyway, knowing the problem, installing sphinx I expected to be easy. 2 hours later and I realise it’s working. It was probably working within 5 minutes. These notes are here to remind me what I did next time I need to.

Get the 2.0.2(beta) from
I couldn’t work out what to do with the Mac Binaries, so I grabbed the source .tar.gz version.
Installed ( `./configure` `make` `make install`)
I didn’t realise it had installed fine – I should have typed “searchd” in bash to get a response like:

Sphinx 2.0.2-beta (r3019)
Copyright (c) 2001-2011, Andrew Aksyonoff
Copyright (c) 2008-2011, Sphinx Technologies Inc (

FATAL: no readable config file (looked in /usr/local/etc/sphinx.conf, ./sphinx.conf).

Then carry on and get the config working.

If anyone reading this knows what to do with the binary version, please share!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search this site

Free apps

  • – Your birthday or other celebration date based on [years on other planets] / [how many seconds/days] / [how far you’ve travelled around the sun]
  • – Calculates the combination and how many 1st, 2nd, large 1st and large 2nd class Royal Mail stamps you need on large envelopes and packets

Recent posts