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Installing YaCy on Ubuntu

This guide will walk you through installing YaCy on Ubuntu.

By default YaCy is configured to bind to but it's admin interface is only accessible by default to a white list which includes localhost and, since my install is headless on a remote Ubuntu server, I access the admin interface remotely via an SSH tunnel.

Installing YaCy

run this script in a terminal, install_yacy.sh:


# Update package lists
sudo apt-get update

# Install Java Development Kit (JDK)
sudo apt-get install -y openjdk-21-jdk

# Check if Java is correctly installed
java -version

# Download YaCy
wget https://download.yacy.net/yacy_v1.924_20210209_10069.tar.gz

# Extract the downloaded file
tar xfz yacy_v1.924_20210209_10069.tar.gz

# Change to the extracted directory
cd yacy

# Start YaCy

Accessing the Admin Interface Remotely via an SSH Tunnel

You can create an SSH tunnel to your remote YaCy server, for example yacy.foxhop.net so that when you access localhost:8090, it tunnels to the remote host.

Open a terminal on your local machine and run the following command:

ssh -L 8090:localhost:8090 user@yacy.foxhop.net

Replace user with your username on the remote host. Now, when you access localhost:8090 on your local machine, it will be tunneled to the remote host.

Securing YaCy Portal and admin access with SSL/TLS

In the early days of YaCy, encryption was not as prevalent as it is today. However, securing your YaCy instance with SSL/TLS is essential for modern web safety standards. Here's how to enable SSL/TLS encryption for your YaCy server:

  1. Generate a keystore using the keytool command:

    keytool -keystore mySrvKeystore -genkey -keyalg RSA -alias yacy.foxhop.net

    This command creates a keystore file named mySrvKeystore.

  2. Move the mySrvKeystore file to the DATA/SETTINGS/ directory in your YaCy installation:

    mv mySrvKeystore /path/to/YaCy/DATA/SETTINGS/
  3. Edit the yacy.conf file to configure YaCy to use the new keystore:

    vim /path/to/YaCy/DATA/SETTINGS/yacy.conf

    Add or modify the following lines:


    Replace YourKeystorePassword with the password you chose when you created the keystore with the keytool command.

  4. Restart YaCy to apply the SSL/TLS settings:


Now, you can access the YaCy admin interface securely via https://localhost:8443. By default, YaCy listens on port 8443 for HTTPS, but this can be changed in the admin console, as was done in this case to use port 8091 so that https://localhost:8091 works instead. Ensure that HTTP remains on port 8090 for DHT network access by peers.

What's next?

With SSL/TLS enabled, it's time to start a local crawl and consider sharing the results with the YaCy network. To do this, you may need to open port 8090 on your router and forward it to your YaCy host. Before making changes to your network configuration, verify your peer mode status in the YaCy admin interface to understand your node's role in the network.

Sharing your crawl index with the network allows for a distributed scraping effort, meaning that the data you collect can benefit all users of YaCy, not just your local instance. This is the essence of the Distributed Hash Table (DHT) that underpins YaCy's decentralized architecture.

Continue to explore the capabilities of your YaCy server, and remember to update your documentation to assist others in their journey toward a more open and collaborative internet.`

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© Russell Ballestrini.