About Zettair

Zettair is a compact and fast text search engine designed and written by the Search Engine Group at RMIT University. It was once known as Lucy.

Zettair allows you to index and search HTML (or TREC) collections. It has been designed for simplicity as well as speed and flexibility, and its primary feature is the ability to handle large amounts of text.

It has a single executable, which performs both indexing and searching: when an index doesn't exist, Zettair will create one for you based on the parameters you provide, and when you do have an index, Zettair will use that index to search the indexed data.

It has a simple command-line interface, and supports ranked, simple (non-nested) Boolean, and phrase queries.

Features of Zettair include:

  • Speed and scalability
  • Boolean, ranked and phrase querying
  • Modular C API for inclusion in other projects
  • Native support for TREC experiments

As of 0.6.1, the Zettair search engine has been tested on the following platforms:

  • Linux
  • FreeBSD
  • Mac OS X
  • Solaris
  • Win32 (Windows 95, 98, NT, etc)
  • Cygwin

We believe that it should operate under most POSIX-like environments.

Zettair was written in C and is licensed under a BSD-style license.


Zettair contains Search Engine Group research contributions primarily from Justin Zobel, Hugh Williams, Falk Scholer, John Yiannis, Steffen Heinz, Nicholas Lester, William Webber, Alistair Moffat and Anh Vo.

Zettair contains source code contributions from Nicholas Lester, Steven Garcia, Hugh Williams, Justin Zobel, Falk Scholer, Dirk Bahle, John Yiannis, Bodo von Billerbeck, and William Webber.