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Use the stable version on the main downloads site if you are unwilling to expect problems like this.
I want to compile a list of success instructions for different distros and hosts in the FAQ.
So you are saying that you can't stop searchd? If you click on any of the buttons in the CPanel without installing sphinx properly, you are going to get senseless errors. The whole "Not Detected" is what I have saved on default.
This is what I run to kill all instances of searchd:
killall -9 searchd
The usual start/stop searchd is:
<searchd path> --config <confpath>
<searchd path> --config <confpath> --stop
so can you search your docs with this?