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Getting Started

This walkthrough will guide you through setting up an index for Sphinx and accessing it from a .NET application using the native API. The index will be created for the Sakila sample database provided by MySQL.

A working installation of a MySQL Server and Visual Studio 2008 or 2010.

Download and install the Sakila sample database

  1. Download the Sakila database from here.

  2. Install the database as described here.

Download and install the Sphinx search engine

  1. Download Sphinx from here. The choice of operating system is irrelevant for SphinxConnector.NET.

  2. Install Sphinx as described here.

Create an index for the Sakila database

  1. Create a file named sphinx.conf in the directory where the Sphinx executable files reside (usually the bin directory) and copy the following text into the file:

    source sakila
        type                    = mysql
        sql_host                = localhost
        sql_user                = #add MySQL user name here
        sql_pass                = #add password here
        sql_db                  = sakila
        sql_port                = 3306 
        sql_query                                = SELECT film_id, title, title AS title_ord, description, release_year, rental_rate, language_id, \
                                                                 length, UNIX_TIMESTAMP(last_update) AS last_update, 0 AS recommended_by_friends \
                                                                FROM film f;
        sql_attr_str2ordinal        = title_ord
        sql_attr_uint                        = release_year
        sql_attr_float                        = rental_rate
        sql_attr_uint                        = language_id
        sql_attr_uint                        = length
        sql_attr_timestamp                = last_update
        sql_attr_multi                        = uint actor_id from query; SELECT film_id, actor_id FROM film_actor;
        sql_attr_multi                        = uint rating from query; SELECT film_id, CRC32(rating) FROM film;
        sql_attr_bool                        = recommended_by_friends
    index sakila
        source                  = sakila
        path                    = sakila
        charset_type                     = utf-8
        min_word_len            = 1
        min_prefix_len          = 0
        min_infix_len                  = 1
            listen                                         = localhost:9312
            listen                                         = localhost:9306:mysql41
            query_log_format                 = sphinxql
            compat_sphinxql_magics        = 0
            log                                                = searchd.log
            query_log                                = query.log
            pid_file                                =
            max_matches                         = 1000
            workers                                 = threads        
            binlog_path                         =
            mem_limit                                 = 256M
  2. In the source section of the config file you need to modify the following settings for your installation of MySQL:

    • sql_user
    • sql_pass
    • sql_host
    • sql_port
    Note Note

    You may also need to modify the address or listen setting in the searchd section, depending on whether you installed Sphinx locally or on a remote machine.

  3. Now open a command line/terminal window and switch to the directory where the indexer executable resides. To create the index type indexer.exe sakila if you are using Windows or ./indexer sakila if you are using Linux or Windows PowerShell.

    You should now see output similar to this:

    Sphinx 2.0.4-id64-release (r3135)
    Copyright (c) 2001-2012, Andrew Aksyonoff
    Copyright (c) 2008-2012, Sphinx Technologies Inc (
    using config file './sphinx.conf'...
    indexing index 'sakila'...
    collected 1000 docs, 0.1 MB
    collected 6462 attr values
    sorted 0.0 Mvalues, 100.0% done
    sorted 0.5 Mhits, 98.2% done
    total 1000 docs, 108077 bytes
    total 0.313 sec, 344736 bytes/sec, 3189.73 docs/sec
    total 10 reads, 0.002 sec, 285.2 kb/call avg, 0.2 msec/call avg
    total 17 writes, 0.044 sec, 397.8 kb/call avg, 2.6 msec/call avg

    The index has been created and can now be accessed from SphinxConnector.NET.

  4. Start the Sphinx search daemon by typing searchd or ./searchd (under Linux add --console to have the log written to the console).

Create a Visual Studio project

  1. Start Visual Studio and create a new Console Application named SphinxConnectorDemo.

  2. Add a reference to SphinxConnector.dll to your project. Either add SphinxConnector.NET via NuGet to your project, or manually add a reference to SphinxConnector.dll and Common.Logging to your project. You'll find these files in the Required Libs folder of the SphinxConnector.NET ZIP package.

  3. Replace the code in your Program.cs file with the following:

    using System;
    using SphinxConnector;
    namespace SphinxConnectorDemo
        class Program
            static void Main(string[] args)
                SphinxClient sphinxClient = new SphinxClient();
                SphinxSearchResult sphinxSearchResult = sphinxClient.Query("room", "sakila");
                foreach (SphinxMatch match in sphinxSearchResult.Matches)
                    Console.WriteLine("DocumentId {0} Weight {1}", match.DocumentId, match.Weight);
    Note Note
    If necessary, adjust the parameters to the constructor of the SphinxClient class.
  4. Now hit F5 and you should see output similar to this:
    DocumentId 52 Weight 1
    DocumentId 87 Weight 1
    DocumentId 743 Weight 1
Next Steps

Check out the documentation on methods of the SphinxSearchOptions class to see how you can set filters on attributes, set weights on fields and much more.