About the search system

The search system in Ganeti Web Manager utilizes three main technologies:

Below, I will discuss the different components of the search system.


Haystack is the meat ‘n’ potatoes of the search system, involved in every aspect. Mainly it does the following:

  • Defines the search set in terms of GWM models in /ganeti_web/search_indexes.py
  • Manages making queries and indexing the search back-end (currently Whoosh).
  • Provides search-specific forms and templates (GWM only uses one search result template: /templates/search/search.html)

Find out more about defining search indexes with the Haystack SearchIndex API. To find out more about Haystack in general, see its documentation.


Whoosh is a pure-Python indexing and searching library that Haystack uses as a search back-end. The developer actually doesn’t need to interact with Whoosh directly.

Of indexing and DB performance

Haystack is currently set to do live indexing. This means that the search index gets updated every time an included model is updated in the database. This means the index will always be up-to-date, but has the potential to severely hamper performance when dealing with a lot of database changes.

Indexing behavior is set when the search set is defined in /ganeti_web/search_indexes.py If database performance starts to become an issue, try using SearchIndex instead of RealTimeSearchIndex, and run:

$ ./manage.py update_index

from time-to-time. For more information, please see the Haystack documentation on the subject.

jQuery UI Autocomplete widget

The Autocomplete widget suggests search results in real-time as the user types a query. This is facilitated through two main components:

  • jQuery UI Autocomplete widget itself
  • An autocomplete Django view ganeti_web/views/search.py that supplies Autocomplete with suggestion data to display

Basically, the Autocomplete widget calls the autocomplete view as the user types, and fills a pop-up box underneath the input box with search suggestions. The JavaScript logic can be found in /static/js/autocomplete_search.js, and the search view can be found in ganeti_web/views/search.py. Both of these files contain details about how the suggestion data is structured, sent, and processed.

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