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surfraw provides a fast UNIX command line interface to a variety of popular WWW search engines. Surfraw was originally created by Julian Assange.


Install surfraw from the official repositories.


Surfraw uses the default browser to open the result. The behaviour can be customized via ~/.surfraw.conf



Surfraw consists of a collection of shell scripts, called elvi, each of which searches a specific web site.

To see the list of elvi type:

surfraw -elvi

You can call surfraw in full, or the shortened form:

sr duckduckgo Archlinux 

You can also add surfraw to your $PATH to call the elvi directly.

There are over 100 elvi available for searching the web, e.g. from amazon:

surfraw amazon -search=books -country=en -q Stanislaw Lem 

To search the aur:

sr aur yaourt

To search this wiki:

sr archwiki surfraw

For a full list of web site search scripts see: List of Elvi


/usr/bin/surfraw: line 487: <url>: No such file or directory

If you get a error message like this:

$ sr google foo
/usr/bin/surfraw: line 487: No such file or directory

That happens because you haven't specified a browser. Add your graphical browser's location to config file, like this:

def SURFRAW_graphical_browser /usr/bin/firefox