Is it possible to programmatically execute a node search? Maybe via NodeSearch or Drupal\search?

The closest I could get was to programmatically do stuff such as:


echo \Drupal::service('plugin.manager.search')->getCacheMaxAge();

Note that I don't want to use search_api but simply what Drupal 8 provides out of the box as a response to /search/node?keys=test. Also note that I don't wish to integrate via HTTP.

  • What do you want to use the results for?
    – user72672
    Jan 10, 2020 at 9:31
  • @Jdrupal get the nids which match and return them on a custom JSON api response.
    – cherouvim
    Jan 10, 2020 at 9:43
  • Can't you just make an entity query?
    – user72672
    Jan 10, 2020 at 9:44
  • @Jdrupal yes of course, but that would need a lot of code. I would also like to have the exact search result characteristics of Drupal search.
    – cherouvim
    Jan 10, 2020 at 9:46

1 Answer 1


You can achieve that with the search plugin used by the search page entity with the node_search id.

use Drupal\search\Entity\SearchPage;

// Default is the node_search page.
$id = \Drupal::service('search.search_page_repository')->getDefaultSearchPage();
$defaultSearchPage = SearchPage::load($id);
$searchPlugin = $defaultSearchPage->getPlugin();
$searchPlugin->setSearch($keywords, $parameters, $arguments);
$searchPlugin->buildResults(); // $searchPlugin->execute() works too if you want raw results
  • +1 for the answer. It took me time to figure out what data to use for $parameters and $arguments. Eventually got it working by using request class. i.e $searchPlugin->setSearch($keywords, \Drupal::request()->query->all(), \Drupal::request()->attributes->all()); Jan 24, 2020 at 13:59

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