Anonymous use of yacy decentralized search engine on Whonix

You may run yacy on whonix-workstation over TOR. For this you are to install privoxy. Set yacy to use external (optional) proxy and set it to and port 8118. Then sudo vi /etc/privoxy/config and set privoxy to use socks5 of whonix-gateway. You may use other text editor instead of vi. Put the following line into config file:
forward-socks5 / .
Save and exit the text editor.
Now yacy will run via a special dedicated socks5 port with its own ip.
Also go to and choose False option to get more search results.
Give at least 1500 Ram to whonix-workstation. The more, the better.
Also you may set the limit for crawled files size as 200000. To crawl a webpage or several webpages of a site to add it/them to index, chose Load Web Pages, Crawler and “load only files in a sub-path of given url” to avoid crawling pages from other websites. Also set no more than option and put 10-100 pages. No need to crawl entire sites. The main page and several most interesting pages will do.
If you use Firefox, you should have Allow pages to use their own colors switched on in Firefox settings. Otherwise you won’t see any connections with peers on Peer-to-peer Network page.
To avoid slow yacy work your memory cache should be set to true in firefox about:config. Also in Firefox preferences set Overide automatic cache management to ON and put 180-200 m.
Keep in mind that gugle, yohu and other major search engines filter many political results they don’t like. That’s where yacy stands out.
To have decent speed for yacy you have to have a powerful CPU. The more powerful - the better. The more pages are crawled into your index, the more powerful CPU and more RAM you will need. If running whonix on a USB stick, keep yacy on another USB. Otherwise you may shorten the life of your whonix usb stick and damage it sooner because there is always the risk that yacy may freeze your OS when it’s used on slow storage media, or with little ram, or with a weak CPU.

Another solution is to create an encrypted container on the HDD and put yacy into it but the folder with indexes and crawled pages should be on a second usb stick, so that you could unplug your whonix USB stick and yacy USB stick and hide them when your PC is grabbed by the adversaries. Thus they get the container but without your indexes and crawled pages. If anyone knows how to implement this or has a better solution of HDD use, post a reply with your guidelines.

Most people underestimate the importance of a decentralized search engine. Use yacy and spread information about it.

Yacy also has some documentation on that topic:

A bit cumbersome, that privoxy needs to be involved. Doesn’t YaCy have native socks proxy support? Or does it only support http proxies? Is there a feature request?

Only privoxy helped. On the yacy network page in the image you should see green and red lines going from/to your peer from/to other peers. Without privoxy I got no lines at all, that meaning that your DHT index is not sent or received from/to other peers. With privoxy I get red lines and may share my index. But green lines are absent. I don’t know how to get green lines too. It may require opening ports which is not good for anonymity. Is there any workaround? This manual is about configuring yacy to crawl/index onion pages. They say: "An independent YaCy network to index Tor hidden services is to be build. No normal Internet sites should be indexed for that purpose. There also is a another YaCy network to index both Tor hidden-services and normal Web sites. "
But that another network no longer exists: “This network is shutted down. It’s mor important to support the common freeworld and the special torworld network. It would be more usefull to provide an access to your node on tor using hidden services than to build this network.”
But you cannot be connected to two networks simultaneously. People will prefer the clearnet network that is freeworld network.
The project is already 8 years old and not much development so far while search engines are the main base making the present-day internet. Informational barriers between countries will exist if people continue using centralized search-engines.

There is a feature request for socks proxy support already:

Doesn’t look like this feature is going to be added anytime soon.

Whonix wiki stub:

Help welcome!

I wish they implemented additional optional sharing of DHT via their server too for people behind firewalls.

The YaCy wiki page matured a lot since.

This page needs to be updated. The developer of yacy said, that wiki page is outdated, the debian package is deprecated (the last update was in 2020), and he advised to use docker instead: W: GPG error: ./ Release: The following signatures were invalid: 8BD752501CB62448A30EA3EA1F968B3903D886E7 · Issue #124 · yacy/yacy_search_server · GitHub

Info about its docker is here yacy_search_server/ at master · yacy/yacy_search_server · GitHub