Apr 30

For many developers, the normal Google search engine is all they need to find source code on the Web to solve a particular programming problem.  But Google doesn’t understand code, so dedicated code search engines have emerged to bring code search to a new level.

Following is a list of all known code search engines and the tagline and “About” information from the site.  Please comment if you know of other code search engines, as I will keep this list updated.


Helping you code, one byte at a time

byteMyCode is a project designed to make the task of sharing source code easier. We have modeled a community around making it easy to find, share, revise, comment on, and rate code snippets. byteMyCode serves as a good organizational tool for those little code snippets that you never know when you will need. It also comes in handy when you need to send a code snippet to a friend or coworker, but don’t have the means to do so.


Source Code Search Engine – Searching 250 million lines of code

Codase is the leading source code search company with advanced source code understanding and xml index/search technologies. Rather than treating code as text, Codase understands programming languages, and treats code as code, the way it’s supposed to be. This unique and syntax-aware approach provides the most accurate and detailed search results with fine granularity levels of controls. With Codase, one can search functions, classes, strings, constants, macros, comments and other programming language constructs.

Codase hosts huge amount of open source codes providing a much better coverage, as it covers codes usually hidden inside compressed files and source control repositories, where general search engines fail to find and index. In addition, Codase only indexes and searches high quality codes with every line of code literally validated and compiled by intelligent and powerful source code analysis engine.


5,084,793 members and growing!

The Code Project was formed to provide developers with a place to meet and exchange ideas. We hope to provide developers with all the resources they need to help them in their day to day programming, as well as helping them keep up to date with the latest technologies.


Searching 283,407,427 lines of C/C++ code


freshmeat maintains the Web’s largest index of Unix and cross-platform software, themes and related “eye-candy”, and Palm OS software. Thousands of applications, which are preferably released under an open source license, are meticulously cataloged in the freshmeat database, and links to new applications are added daily. Each entry provides a description of the software, links to download it and to obtain more information, and a history of the project’s releases, so readers can keep up-to-date on the latest developments.

Google Code Search

Search public source code

Google Code Search helps you find function definitions and sample code by giving you one place to search publicly accessible source code hosted on the Internet.  With Google Code Search, you can:

  • Use regular expressions to search more precisely
  • Restrict your search by language, license or filename
  • View the source file with links back to the entire package and the webpage where it came from


Fast API search including Java, PHP, HTML, CSS, AJAX, XML, and C/C++.


Searching 766,893,913 lines of open source code

Koders.com, a Black Duck Software Company, is a free on-line search engine for open source software and other web-downloadable code.  Over 30,000 developers each day rely on Koders to search over 766 million lines of code written in over 30 languages and identified with 28 software licenses.  Koders is helping to fuel the open source software revolution.  Developers can use this free resource to quickly find the best reusable open source code, methods, examples, algorithms and more, enabling them to be more successful with open source and complete projects faster.


Find code. Find answers.

Search 2.6 billion lines of code, 600 repositories and over 100,000 projects for free.


Component Finder

merobase is a search and tagging engine that allows users to find, remember and share components on the Internet. In contrast with first-generation code search engines, merobase treats source code modules as first class abstractions rather than chunks of text, and is thereby able to offer a much wider range of search options. In particular, merobase specializes in finding components based on their interface (or API) rather than the strings in their source code.

Microsoft Shared Source Initiative

Through the Shared Source Initiative, Microsoft is sharing source code with customers, partners, developers, academics, and governments worldwide. The Shared Source Initiative encompasses a wide spectrum of technologies, programs, and licenses offered by Microsoft to various communities of customers, partners, developers, organizations, and other interested individuals.

MSDN Code Gallery

MSDN Code Gallery is your destination for downloading sample applications and code snippets, as well as sharing your own resources.

O’Reilly Code Search

Enter search terms to find relevant sample code from nearly 700 O’Reilly books.  The database currently contains over 123,000 individual examples, composed of 2.6 million lines of code — all edited and ready to use.

Planet Source Code

The largest public source code database on the Internet with 12,930,323 lines of code, articles and tutorials in 11 languages, as well as 1,677 open job postings.


Find Programming Documentation – Fast!

We have Perl, PHP, JavaScript, HTML DOM, CSS, and MySQL. And we added Ruby to be hip. We’re constantly working to add new resources and improve the ones we already have.


SourceForge.net is the world’s largest Open Source software development web site.  SourceForge.net provides free hosting to Open Source software development projects with a centralized resource for managing projects, issues, communications, and code.  Registered Projects: 175,968, Registered Users: 1,839,945.


Ucodit is a search engine for open source code. Ucodit searches across popular open source repositories such as apache.org, java.net and Sourceforce.net to present the user with highly relevant interfaces, implementations and associations.

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Article published on April 30, 2008

4 Responses to “Code Search Engines”

  1. Vinayak Borkar Says:

    GrepCode ( http://grepcode.com/ ) is a Java source code search engine, released in Apr ’09. Please let us know what you think.

  2. Deron Eriksson Says:

    Java developers may be interested in Jarvana, our maven repository search engine. It currently searches over 7 million Java classes and 125 thousand archives (jars, zips, etc). Jarvana can be used to search for Java classes, projects, and content. Source code and javadocs are browsable online when available.

  3. thinkery Says:

    Commandlinefu (http://commandlinefu.com) is also very helpful if you need server commands.

  4. Source Codes Says:

    Excellent site. Thanks for giving source code search engines. It’s more helpful for us. QuickRef.org, Is it ok for PHP source code? or Can u give some other search engines?

    Thanks for sharing this article.


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