RESTful search server written in Python, powered by SQLite.
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scout is a RESTful search server written in Python. The search is powered by SQLite's full-text search extension, and the web application utilizes the Flask framework.

Scout aims to be a lightweight, RESTful search server in the spirit of ElasticSearch, powered by the SQLite full-text search extension. In addition to search, Scout can be used as a document database, supporting complex filtering operations. Arbitrary files can be attached to documents and downloaded through the REST API.

Scout is simple to use, simple to deploy and just works.


  • Multiple search indexes present in a single database.
  • RESTful design for easy indexing and searching.
  • Simple key-based authentication (optional).
  • Lightweight, low resource utilization, minimal setup required.
  • Store search content and arbitrary metadata.
  • Multiple result ranking algorithms, porter stemmer.
  • Besides full-text search, perform complex filtering based on metadata values.
  • Comprehensive unit-tests.
  • Supports SQLite FTS4.
  • Documentation hosted on ReadTheDocs.


Scout can be installed from PyPI using pip or from source using git. Should you install from PyPI you will run the latest version, whereas installing from git ensures you have the latest changes.

Alternatively, you can run scout using docker and the provided Dockerfile.

Installation using pip:

$ pip install scout

You can also install the latest master branch using pip:

$ pip install -e git+

If you wish to install from source, first clone the code and run install:

$ git clone
$ cd scout/
$ python install

Using either of the above methods will also ensure the project's Python dependencies are installed: flask and peewee.

Check out the documentation for more information about the project.

Running scout

If you installed using pip, you should be able to simply run:

$ scout /path/to/search-index.db

If you've just got a copy of the source code, you can run:

$ python scout/ /path/to/search-index.db


To run scout using docker, you can use the provided Dockerfile or simply pull the coleifer/scout image from dockerhub:

$ docker run -it --rm -p 9004:9004 coleifer/scout
# scout is now running on

Build your own image locally and run it:

$ cd scout/docker
$ docker build -t scout .
$ docker run -d \
    --name my-scout-server \
    -p 9004:9004 \
    -v scout-data:/data \