Installing Thinking Sphinx

Thinking Sphinx v5 supports Rails 4.2, 5.x and 6.x.

Note: Thinking Sphinx v5.x (as documented here) is written for Ruby 2.4+. For older Ruby support, please refer to previous versions of Thinking Sphinx.

Sphinx communicates via the MySQL protocol, and so you will need a MySQL gem to allow Thinking Sphinx to make queries to Sphinx.

  • For standard (MRI) Ruby, use the mysql2 gem (v0.4 or newer).
  • For JRuby, use the jdbc-mysql gem.

Even if you’re using PostgreSQL, you will still need to have the mysql2 gem installed (along with the pg gem too, of course).

Install them like you would any other gem - either manually:

gem install thinking-sphinx -v "~> 5.0"
gem install mysql2 -v "~> 0.5.0"
# or, for JRuby:
gem install jdbc-mysql -v 5.1.35

Or by adding them to your Gemfile:

gem 'mysql2',          '~> 0.5.0', :platform => :ruby
gem 'jdbc-mysql',      '= 5.1.35',  :platform => :jruby
gem 'thinking-sphinx', '~> 5.0'

Versions of jdbc-mysql after 5.1.35 have altered behaviour that is not compatible with Sphinx.

You can also refer directly to the git repository - but if you’re doing this, specifying the version, branch and commit reference is recommended so when you next go to upgrade the gem, it’s clear what you were using (and perhaps why). The develop branch is where commits are pushed between version releases. The master branch is only updated when a new version is released.

gem 'mysql2',          '~> 0.5.0', :platform => :ruby
gem 'jdbc-mysql',      '= 5.1.35',  :platform => :jruby
gem 'thinking-sphinx', '~> 5.0',
  :git    => '',
  :branch => 'develop',

Update .gitignore

When you start Sphinx, a new folder called /db/sphinx will be created. The files contained are equivalent to your database’s data files, and should be not be committed into version control.

It’s also recommended that you ignore the config/ENV.sphinx.conf files.

Add the following lines to your .gitignore file to ignore these files:


Using Thinking Sphinx with Unicorn

If you’re using Unicorn as your web server, you’ll want to ensure the connection pool is cleared after forking.

after_fork do |server, worker|
  # Add this to an existing after_fork block if needed.

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