Add searXNG as search engine for Firefox


Go to solution or alternative.

This shows how to add searXNG (or any custom search engine) as a search engine to Firefox without installing an Add-on.

Recently I’ve installed searXNG on my server and wanted to use it as my default search engine on Firefox. Sadly I couldn’t figure out how to do so. Everyone kept referring to the support of Firefox and to install an Add-on like custom search engine to do so.

Although I couldn’t believe that this would be the only way I proceeded to install said Add-on. When configuring it I realized that it could be done without the Add-on.

Adding searXNG as search engine to Firefox

Heads up: Both versions assume the search engine works with HTTP-GET method.

  1. go to desired search engine (in my case:
  2. right click address bar and select add “searXNG”
  3. (optional) go to settings (about:preferences#search)
    • select SearXNG in the drop down of the section Default Search Engine
    • add a keyword for SearXNG in the table of section Search Shortcuts. To do so, double click the (empty) keyword field to the right of SearXNG and enter a keyword. For example @sng
Search Shortcut entry of SearXNG with the keyword set to @sng.
Search Shortcut entry of SearXNG with the keyword set to @sng.

That’s all. Easy and without installing an Add-on. I still have no idea why seemingly nobody is promoting this option and why it’s not possible to enter this via the settings dialogue.


There is an alternative, which works with the bookmark system.

Completely manual

  1. Find out what your search query looks like (in my case it’s<search term>).
  2. replace <search term> with %s and add this to your bookmarks (i.e.
  3. add a keyword to your bookmarks

See Alternate Usage

Via right click menu

  1. go to your search site (i.e. and right click your search field
  2. find Add a Keyword for this Search… and click it
  3. In the Add bookmark popup enter a keyword for your search field (i.e. man)
  4. click safe

Alternate usage

Now you can type man ps into your address bar and it will navigate to your designated search site. In this example it will list the results of man pages for the command ps.

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