Goolag is a PHP application designed to operate Google Desktop Search (GDS) from a remote computer.

GDS can only be used on the computer on which it is installed

Goolag was developped to work around this limitation

I was responsible for a documentation database project on an intranet and I was looking for a tool with the capability to index Microsoft Word and PDF documents. While I was searching on the web, I realized some people were able to steer GDS from its primary function and use it as a search engine accessible by any user. One of such tools that was often mentioned in the forums was Soogle by Peter Zhou.
I tested it but I could not make it work properly, so I decided to redevelop it from scratch.
I take this opportunity to thank him for leading me in the right direction.

The program use GDS' official API and some undocumented GDS features to perform a search, then processes the XML data sent back by GDS.


On the computer to be searched:

On client computers:

On the server, the program was tested with Google Desktop 2, Apache 1.3.33 and PHP 4.3.10.
Browsing was tested with Firefox 1.0.7 and IE 6.0 SP1 browsers, both on a Win2k platform.

Installing Goolag

Expand the archive into a folder that can be accessed by PHP.

Start the registry editor (Start » Run » regedit)
Open the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Google Desktop\API\search_url
and make a note of the security code of your GDS installation.

Open the "index.php" file in any text editor (such as Notepad) and edit the first line to reflect the value taken from the registry
$GDSurl = '';
(don't forget the single quotes at both ends of the string and leave out the "?q=" string that is not used).

Using Goolag

Are you familiar with Google?
Don't look no further, Goolag is practically identical :-)

Screenshot Goolag #1
The colors identify the categories.
In the screenshot above, green means a result of "web" type, and yellow a result of "file" type.

Known issues and limitations

GDS can search the following categories:
Email, chat, web, file, contact, calendar, task, journal and note

I developped Goolag on a server which unfortunately was not capable of generating all categories.
I could only test "web" and "file".

Some files may not open.
Don't forget this is a Web application so that any file found will have to be transferred by the browser used for the search.
I filled in more than 180 Mime types; there are probably many more out there.
A rather irritating problem I could not solve: the number of results is wrong when you enter a search based on a category.
Whatever the search, GDS always returns the number of results found for all categories. For example, if you have 157 results that match "computer":
GDS will return 157 results even if you specified only "web" and "mail" as search categories. The "Previous page - Next page" navigation bar at bottom will be wrong in this case.
To be honest with Google, I must admit that searching by category is not mentioned in their official documentation, this is purely personal tweaking.


Alexis du SAUSSAY
I work in Sophia Antipolis (France - the tiny Silicon Valley on the French Riviera)
I do a bit of everything with computers, more like a "Swiss knife" than a true specialist :-)
Coldfusion and PHP developper when I have the time and when my customers need it.


Goolag is "freeware" and is published under the terms of the following license: "GNU GPL"

If you find Goolag useful, you can help me develop it further in various ways:


download goolag   goolag v1.0 (zip, november 2005)
download> goolag   goolag v1.1 (zip, march 2007, GDS 5 compatible)

Self promotion : classified ads Sophia Antipolis

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