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YaCys crawling and indexing performance can be dramatically enhanced. The default settings in a standard YaCy release are not preset for maximum performance, because the software shall run on personal computers that are mainly used for other purposes. Too high performance settings would eat up all CPU time, memory and IO bandwidth. But YaCy can be specialized for a high-performance web-search production system.

Depending on your computing environment, you can use one or all of the following remommendations to modify YaCy. Please be aware that all changes can also have some unwanted side-effects.

Increase Memory Usage

This means that upon start-up time YaCy takes more memory from the OS.


Open the Performance Page, select the 'Memory Settings for Database Caches' Submenu. Under 'Memory Settings' increase 'Maximum used memory'; click 'Set'. Then re-start YaCy


This is a premise for the following performance settings. It also can speed up YaCy if memory is low and there are frequent Garbage Collections


You decrease the available memory for other applications on your system.

Why is this not done by default?

YaCy wants to be nice to the average computer user and their systems. Modern computers have 512MB RAM or more. We believe that 96MB for YaCy as default is a good tradeoff between performance and resource allocation.

Increase Indexing Cache

Indexing is the process of creation a Reverse Word Index (RWI) datastructure from a given set of text documents. It means that a document-words releation is reversed to a word-documents relation. This can be enhanced using a word-documents relation write cache. There are currently two write caches of that kind: one for RWIs that are supposed to be transmitted to other peers (DHT-Out) and one for RWIs that shall be stored on the own peer (DHT-In). But unfortunately the DHT-Out cache fills up faster than it is possible to send them away to other peers, so they are (temporary) stored to the own RWI index file(s). Flushing to the file is IO-expensive, and the greater the cache the less IO-events happen.


Open the Performance Page. Within the 'Cache Settings' table, you can see some input fields. The 'Maximum number of words in cache' value can be increased (i.e. 90000 if you have assigned 1GB RAM in the previous step). You can do this for DHT-Out and DHT-In. Normally more words are stored in DHT-Out, because only a fraction of the words that you index are stored on your own peer. Be aware that this value is decreased automatically if a low-memory event occurs, so that words are flushed an memory is freed again. This value is then automatically re-set to 'Initial space of words in cache', so please increase this value also. The next two values 'word flush divisor' are used to determine how many words shall be flushed to disc after each document is indexed. There are two values, one for busy-cycles and one for idle-cycles. That means you can decide that the cache is flushed faster if the peer is busy. I.e.: if you set the busy divisor to 10000, then 5 words are flushed after index a page when your word cache has 50000 words in it.


Indexing time decreases, PPM (page-per-minute) increases.


This needs a lot of memory. If you set too high values, this may cause frequent Garbage Collections (GC) and that may slow down overall speed dramatically. If you increase cache space, frequently visit the performance page and check if the complete memory is taken (at 'Memory Settings for Database Caches')

Why is this not done by default?

It needs higher memory assignment by default. Please see 'Increase Memory Usage' above.

Decrease Waiting Time Between Scheduled Tasks

YaCy has a thread organisation for the processing of queues. Each queue containes entries for special tasks, i.e. there is a queue with urls that wait for beeing fetched, there is a queue with documents that wait to be indexed and so on. Between each job of every task there is a pause to give other processes on the owners computer more CPU and IO time. This must be done with pauses in YaCy, because most OS' do only handle CPU priority and time-slicing, but not IO-usage balancing between processes.


Open the Performance Page. At the 'Scheduled tasks overview and waiting time settings' you can see some input fields for delay values. See at the 'Delay between busy loops' column: There are the delay values in milliseconds that are used to pause between every queue processing.

  • if you want to speed up crawling, decrease the 'Local Crawl' value. PLEASE do not set this to zero, because that may cause cause too heavy load on the target HTTP server.
  • if you want to speed up indexing, decrease the 'Parsing/Indexing' value.


Queues are worked-off faster. If the delay values are well-balanced, then this may cause better indexing speed.


If you do too fast page-fetching, this may cause denial-of-service effects on target web servers. There is a built-in load-balancing beween target domains, but that may not help if you are crawling only a single domain. Please try to avoid this case. For all other values: no pauses between loops may cause that your system may not be used for other tasks than YaCy, because then YaCy eats up all IO-bandwith and CPU time.

Why is this not done by default?

To protect the used from doing DoS-by-mistake and to implement a 'IO-nice' so that the users computer is not blocked.

Switch to Robinson Mode

If you want to use the indexing result only on your own private search portal, you can switch off index ditribution, index receive and remote indexing. We call that the Robinson mode. Because index distribution is synchronized with indexing tasks, the indexing is slower when index distribution is switched on. There is no circumvention of synchronization by implementation of a separate DHT transmission thread, because both processes would access the same databases at the same time and conflicting IO would cause less performance.


Open the 'Basic Configuration' Page and click on the 'Network' sub-menu. Check the 'Robinson Mode' button. You can then select which kind of robinson mode you want to activate: - if you want complete separation and invisibility to other peers, choose 'Private Peer' - if you want content-separation, but visibility to other peers (they are allowed to search your peer), choose 'Public Peer' - if you want a cluster of public peers, choose 'Public Cluster'. You can define the cluster by simply naming the other cluster peers in a comma-separated list. The Form of the names are <peer-name>.yacy


Because DHT transmissions are synchronized with the indexing within the 'Parsing/Indexing' queue (see above), indexing ist speed up if there is no DHT transmission. Furthermore, your web index is not mixed with indexes from other peers.


When index distribution or index receive is switched off (or both), then YaCy does not permit a global search. If a web search is startet, only indexes from the own peer are used. This functional limitation was set to ensure that the peer-to-peer principle of give-and-take is preserved. In other words: if you switch to Robinson Mode you can use YaCy only as your own indexing/search portal.

Why is this not done by default?

Without index distribution there would not be a global search engine.

Increase Number of Crawl Threads

If your web-crawl is well-balanced (many domains) and crawling is still too slow (indexing queue is empty and cannot be filled fast enough by the crawler), then it is recommended to increase the maximum number of active crawl threads.


Open the Performance Page. At the 'Thread Pool Settings' table you see input fields for maximum active crawl threads. Increase this number, but limit it to a number that is not too big for your (cheap) router.


The number of concurrent http-fetch requests to target web servers increase. This can speed up crawling.


Your router may not be able to handle so many concurrent requests.

Why is this not done by default?

To be compliant with minimum requirements of cheap network equipment, and to protect target servers from beeing accessed with too many requests at the same time.

Do Not Monitor the Crawler

After a web indexing is started, you see the Crawler Monitor page. This page uses Ajax technology to load several xml files from the built-in web server, which are constructed doing database-lookups. This creates a constant IO usage which conflicts with the IO needs during crawling


After you started a crawl, do not leave the Crawler Monitor page open. You can monitor the PPM number also at the Status page and at the Network page.


No additional IO is created that conflics with indexing. Indexing gets faster.


You cannot see the Crawling Monitor page.

But why is there this feature if it decreases speed?

That would mean that we should not have something like the Crawler Monitor page. But thats such a strong nice-to-have (as heard many times) that we recently implemented that.

Switch Off File Sharing

Other application that create strong IO or IP load causes YaCy to work more slowly. File sharing software create both, strong IO and IP load. There is no need to shut down file sharing, but it will increase speed of YaCy

Re-Boot your Router

Cheap routers cannot handle many open network connections very proper. In case that network connections get lost, they may even turn into zombie threads. When doing a web crawl it typically occurrs that many unresolved links are tried to access, which may cause this problem. If your internet connection gets constantly slower, then the most probable cause is not heavy load from YaCy, but too many zombie thread in your router. A re-boot of the router solves that problem and increases internet speed again.

Start Several Crawls

It may appear strange, but starting of several crawl jobs can increase crawling speed because that may help to balance the http-fetch over different domains. If the servers at the different domains are slow, then many jobs will cause a balancing over these domains which can increase crawling speed.

Move DATA to a RAID

This was never tested, but storage of the RWI on a RAID can speed up indexing because indexing is such a heavy IO job.

Put Parts of the Index to Other Disc

This would be a nice alternative to the RAID idea: set symbolic links for paths of the index storage to another IO device. Doing so, you divide the IO over several devices which can give more overall IO speed. A path that is appropriate for separation to another disc could be DATA/INDEX/foo/SEGMENTS/bar/, this is the directory where the RWIs are stored, foo and bar are freeworld/default for default settings.

What the heck is going on?

Now, the following isn't even remotely relevant to YaCy, and yet it is. The sysstat tools are a neat package of utils available for variants of the GNU Operating System such as Linux.

Running the following...:

while true; do  clear; tail -n 26 DATA/LOG/yacy00.log;   vmstat; iostat; sleep 20s; done

or just

tail -f DATA/LOG/yacy00.log

(just press ctrl-c when you feel overwhelmed by the immensity of this information)

..may give you information which could be used to make good decisions as to what the effects of your adjustments to YaCy settings are on your system.

You prefer to just tail the log in one screen window and run iostat 10 or wmstat 10 in another (the parameter is the delay beween updates, but make no mistake: These tools have many more useful options).


IO (In/Out) is data being read and written to the disk. The rest of the system has to wait for this, so the system will seem utterly slow when there is very high IO activity.

Swap are bytes swapped written to and from your swap. If you have such IO activity then you should reduce the amount of memory made available to YaCy: There are too much in the memory and it's been swapped out - and this is very bad. cache is disk cache and in reality free memory; it's dropped once the memory is neede by a program.

IO shows you blocks in and blocks out. High numbers is very sad and depressing: It means that there is a huge amount of disk activity.

The CPU field shows you (us)er processes, (sy)stem processes, (id)le activity and your worst nightmare: (wa)iting for IO. An example of this is:

procs -----------memory---------- ---swap-- -----io---- --system-- ----cpu----
 r  b   swpd   free   buff  cache   si   so    bi    bo   in    cs us sy id wa
 0  0  24600   3584   4624 383804    0    1   203   185    6     4  8  2 75 15
 0  0  24600   7284   4576 380064    0    0   625    60 2016   297 11  9 68 12
 0  1  24600   2472   4636 384516    0    0   749    49 1976   300  5  2 79 14
 0  1  24600   4072   4656 382756    0    0  1365   730 2048   347  6  1 65 28
 0  1  24600   2716   4672 384032    0    0  1373   398 2105   301 29 19 38 15
 0  1  24600   3712   4652 382844    0    0  1223    74 2085   325 15 16 60  9
 0  0  24600   4076   4600 383520    0    0  1959   639 2058   353  5  2 53 41

This system appears to be doing fine, since it's not (wa)iting that much for IO.

In contrast: The following box..:

procs -----------memory---------- ---swap-- -----io---- --system-- ----cpu----
 r  b   swpd   free   buff  cache   si   so    bi    bo   in    cs us sy id wa
 0  2  59104   2404   2528 143560    0    0  1247   110 2593   493 28  2  9 61
 0  0  59104   2292   2380 143520    0    0  1393    33 2679   442  9  8  5 77
 0  1  59104   1160   2180 145600    0    0  1403     3 2689   380  6  6 16 73
 0  2  59104   1380   2092 145716    0    0  1601   140 2503   431  4  2  6 87
 0  3  59100   1032   1892 145864   30    0  1580   179 2748   489 19  4  7 69
 0  2  59100   1996   1760 145136    0    0  1485    59 2770   447 12  2  0 86
 0  2  59100   2200   1768 144840    0    0  1124    10 2663   466  3  2 16 78

...is mostly (wa)iting for bytes being read (and occationally written) from the storage device. There are almost no CPU cycles since it's all busy (wa)iting for bytes to be read. This is very bad and means that you may want to take configuration steps in order to reduce IO activity.