Read Me


  1. What is Rasputin
  2. Usage
  3. Installation
    1. Basic function
    2. Word files
  4. Customisation
    1. irasputin.cgi
    3. log.shtml

What is Rasputin?

Rasputin is a simple cgi page that generate random search terms for Google to look up. It does this at random intervals and with random amounts of quoting. Rasputin is released under the GPL, not that I imagine it'd be of much interest for anyone to rip off. For why we wrote this and why you might want to use it see the FAQ


To use Rasputin, just open the CGI in your usual web browser and ignore it. To stop Rasputin close the relevant window/tab. To be more careful make sure to start any Google searches from the search box on Rasputin, this makes the referrer value of genuine searches match Rasputin's salting.


Basic function

The core function of Rasputin requires only a web server capable of serving CGI pages written in perl. No special modules are required, and all of the configuration is within the CGI page. By default it expects everything to be in the same directory. So to install just dump the irasputin.cgi into a suitable directory along with the word files and you should be good to go.

Word files

By default Rasputin expects to find 6 word files in the same directory as the CGI script. These should all be called words.#, where # is a number from 0 to 5. To use more of less word files change the number picked for $Wrnd in irasputin.cgi. Any word or phrase list can be used as long as there is a single word/phrase to each line. To make some of the searches more topical and thus seem more "human" the final word file, words.6 is generated from the days news according to the BBC news site. This is done by running the script as a scheduled task. It should be easy to customise to use your favourite news site.



As Rasputin is a fairly simple script everything is configured via a few environment variables as follows:

Other customisations are available by editing some of the random values generated, or otherwise editing the code.

The optional script depends on curl and tail, and should be run as a scheduled task. To make some of the searches contain phrases relevant to current happenings, generates a file based on the days news as reported by the BBC. This file contains word pairs rather than individual words, this gives a chance of getting names and key terms relevant to the days news. The file is truncated at 3000 lines, as that roughly matches a weeks worth of BBC news. The only configuration needed is to specify the full path to the words file to be populated by setting the variable File


This file is optional, and merely displays the last 20 search terms Rasputin has used. It won't display real searches and is just for amusement's sake, though it might conceivably be of help with tuning the search terms to better match your real usage. As may be guessed by the name this file requires server side includes to be enabled on the web server, though it could easily be re-implemented as a CGI. The web page calls the script: which parses the last 20 lines of the log file and removes the % escaped characters and places each term within li tags. Logging must be enabled within irasputin.cgi and the variable: srchLog must point to the file used by irasputin.cgi for logging.

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