- Implementations, Interpreters, and Bindings
- Package Managers
- Debugging and Profiling
- IDEs and Plugins
- Utility Belts
- Game Engines
- Game Development
- Web/Networking Platforms
- Command-line Utilities
- Concurrency and Multithreading
- Object-oriented Programming
- Filesystem and OS
- Time and Date
- Image Manipulation
- Digital Signal Processing
- Hardware and Embedded Systems
- Math and Scientific Computing
- Data Stores
- Foreign Function Interfaces
- Analysis Tools and ASTs
- Experimental, etc
- Scriptable by Lua
Implementations, Interpreters, and Bindings
- Lua - Lua's original ANSI C interpreter.
- LuaJIT - High-performance Just-In-Time compiler for Lua.
- LLVM-Lua - Compiles Lua to LLVM.
- lua.vm.js - Lua VM on the web; a direct port of the C interpreter via LLVM, emscripten, and asm.js.
- MoonSharp - A Lua interpreter written entirely in C# for the .NET, Mono and Unity platforms.
- UniLua - A pure C# implementation of Lua 5.2, focused on compatibility with the Unity game engine.
- lupa - Python bindings to LuaJIT2.
- golua - Golang bindings to the Lua C API.
- GopherLua - Lua 5.1 VM and compiler implemented in Go with Go APIs.
Note: From LuaJIT to Lua to lua.vm.js to Moonshine, a basic benchmark sees performance drop by roughly a factor of 6 with each hop.
- LuaRocks - Allows you to install Lua modules as packages called "rocks", which contain version and dependency information. Much like npm or pip.
- MoonRocks - Public Lua rock repository, website, and uploading tool. Default server used by LuaRocks.
Debugging and Profiling
- ProFi - Simple profiler that works with LuaJIT and produces a report file.
- luatrace - Toolset for tracing/analyzing/profiling script execution and generating detailed reports.
- StackTracePlus - Drop-in upgrade to Lua's stack traces which adds local context and improves readability.
- MobDebug - Powerful remote debugger with breakpoints and stack inspection. Used by ZeroBraneStudio.
- lovebird - Browser-based debug console. Originally made for LÖVE, but works in any project with LuaSocket support.
IDEs and Plugins
- Lua Development Tools - Eclipse plugin which provides code completion, debugging, and more. Built on Metalua.
- Lua for IDEA - IntelliJ IDEA plugin which, among other things, provides code completion, smart highlighting, and experimental debugging.
- ZeroBraneStudio - Lightweight, customizable, cross-platform Lua-dedicated IDE with code completion and analysis, written in Lua. Has broad debugging support for numerous Lua engines.
- Babelua - Lua editor/debugger, extension for Visual Studio 2012/2013. Has code highlight, auto-completion, syntax checking and formatting, file previewing, debugging capabilities integrated into Visual Studio.
- Lua Fun - High-performance functional programming library designed for LuaJIT.
- Moses - Functional programming utility belt, inspired by Underscore.js.
- Penlight - Broad, heavyweight utility library, inspired by Python's standard libs. Provides the batteries that Lua doesn't.
- lua-stdlib - Middle-weight standard library extension; adds some useful data structures, utility functions, and basic functional stuff.
- Microlight - A little library of useful Lua functions; the 'extra light' version of Penlight.
- LÖVE 2D - Desktop game development platform. Cross-platform, feature-complete, well-adopted.
- Corona SDK - Development platform for iOS and Android. Proprietary, but used by numerous top games and apps, totaling over 150 million downloads.
- MOAI - Open source, cross-platform, mobile game development framework. Minimalist C++ engine powered by Lua scripting.
- Drystal - Open source, games can run on Linux or on any platform with a recent web browser.
- Amulet - Open source, audio/visual toolkit suitable for small games and experimentation. It runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, HTML5 and iOS.
- gengine - A 2d game engine for fast development, using entities and components system, for Linux, Windows and HTML5.
- Coronium.io - Simple cloud platform supporting analytics, data objects, user management, and more.
- moaifiddle - Edit and share short scripts for the MOAI game engine and run them in the browser using WebGL.
- Jumper - Fast, lightweight, and easy-to-use pathfinding library for grid-based games.
- lume - Utility belt library geared toward game development.
- NoobHub - Network multiplayer for Corona, LÖVE, and more, following a simple pub-sub model.
- Collision detection
- termtris - A tetris clone, written in literate style with "an emphasis on learn-from-ability".
- PacPac - A Pac-man clone, made with LÖVE.
- Mari0 - Fusion of Mario and Portal, made with LÖVE. See also its wikipedia entry.
- Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne - 2D platformer based on Community's Digital Estate Planning episode, made with LÖVE.
- log-lua - Asynchronous logging library with pluggable writers for filesystem, network, ZeroMQ, and more.
- OpenResty - A fast and scalable web application platform created by extending Nginx with Lua. Today's de-facto Lua web platform, used heavily by Cloudflare, Taobao, Tencent, and others.
- turbo - Event-driven, non-blocking, LuaJIT-based networking suite and framework, inspired by Tornado.
- Kepler Project - A collection of web-oriented projects using a common set of standards and components.
- Pegasus.lua - Pegasus.lua is a http server to work with web applications written in Lua language.
- awesome-resty - A list like this one, but focused on OpenResty.
- Core platform
- Third-party modules
- lua-resty-http - Lua HTTP client driver, built on the cosocket API.
- Frameworks & tools
- Lapis - Full-stack framework for Lua and OpenResty. Like the Django or Rails of Lua. Supports Moonscript.
- ledge - Lua module providing scriptable, RFC-compliant HTTP cache functionality.
- Sailor — An MVC web framework compatible with OpenResty, Apache and other webservers.
- Kong - Microservice & API Management Layer
Search this page for 'OpenResty' to find related packages under other categories (data stores in particular).
- ansicolors - Simple function for printing to the console in color.
- cliargs - A simple command-line argument parsing module.
- lua-term - Terminal operations and manipulations.
- argparse - A feature-rich command line parser inspired by argparse for Python.
Concurrency and Multithreading
- Coroutine-based multitasking:
- llthreads - A simple wrapper for low-level pthreads & WIN32 threads.
- lanes - Library implementing a message passing model with one OS thread per Lua thread.
- luaproc - Message-passing model which allows multiple threads per OS thread and easily generalizes across a network. See also the paper where it originated.
For more on the differences (particularly between
luaproc), see this comparison of options; somewhat dated, but covers how each one works and the significant differences.
- lustache - Mustache template implementation.
- etlua - Embedded Lua templates, ERB-style.
- lua-resty-template - Lua-oriented template engine for OpenResty, somewhat Jinja-like.
- LDoc - Documentation generator which modernizes and extends LuaDoc.
- Locco - Lua port of Docco, the "quick-and-dirty, hundred-line-long, literate-programming-style documentation generator".
- docroc - Parse comments into a Lua table to generate documentation.
- 30log - Minimalist OOP library with basic classes, inheritance, and mixins in 30 lines.
- middleclass - Simple but robust OOP library with inheritance, methods, metamethods, class variables and mixins.
Filesystem and OS
- LuaFileSystem - Extends and complements Lua's built-in set of filesystem functions.
- luaposix - Bindings for POSIX APIs, including curses.
Time and Date
- LuaDate - Date and time module with parsing, formatting, addition/subtraction, localization, and ISO 8601 support.
- magick - Lua bindings to ImageMagick for LuaJIT using FFI.
Digital Signal Processing
- LuaFFT - An easy to use Fast Fourier Transformation package in pure Lua.
- Worp - Sound/music/DSP engine written for LuaJIT.
Hardware and Embedded Systems
- eLua - Lua, extended with optimizations and specific features for efficient and portable embedded software development.
Math and Scientific Computing
- SciLua - Numerical/scientific computing framework built on LuaJIT, with an interface to R.
- Torch7 - Scientific computing framework with wide support for machine learning algorithms, used by Facebook, Google, and more.
- lhf's Lua Tools - Assorted libraries and tools, many math-related.
- lyaml - YAML encoding/decoding via binding to LibYAML.
- LPeg - A pattern-matching library for Lua, based on Parsing Expression Grammars.
- lunamark - Converts Markdown to other textual formats including HTML and LaTeX. Uses LPeg for fast parsing.
- i18n.lua - Internationalization library with locales, formatting, and pluralization.
- inspect.lua - Human-readable representation of Lua tables.
- serpent - Serializer and pretty printer.
- Ser - Dead simple serializer with good performance.
- lua-zlib - Simple streaming interface to zlib for gzip/gunzip.
- lua-zip - Lua binding to libzip. Reads and writes zip files.
- LuaCrypto - Lua bindings to OpenSSL.
- lua-lockbox - A collection of cryptographic primitives written in pure Lua.
- luatweetnacl - Bindings to tweetnacl, modern high-security cryptographic library.
- LuaSocket - Networking extension which provides a socket API for TCP and UDP, and implements HTTP, FTP, and SMTP.
- lua-websockets - WebSocket client and server modules. Webserver-agnostic, implemented in Lua on top of LuaSocket.
- LuaSQL - Simple interface for connecting to ODBC, ADO, Oracle, MySQL, SQLite and PostgreSQL.
- redis-lua - Pure Lua client library for Redis.
- pgmoon - Lua PostgreSQL driver for OpenResty and others.
- lua-resty-mysql - Lua MySQL driver for OpenResty.
- lua-resty-redis - Lua Redis client driver for OpenResty.
- lua-resty-cassandra - Lua Cassandra client driver for OpenResty and others.
- busted - BDD-style unit testing framework with great docs and Moonscript support.
- telescope - Flexible and highly customizable testing library.
- luassert - Assertion library extending Lua's built-in assertions.
- lust - Minimal test framework.
Foreign Function Interfaces
- LuaJIT FFI - LuaJIT's mechanism for calling external C functions and using C data structures from pure Lua code.
- luaffi - Standalone FFI library, compatible with the LuaJIT FFI interface.
Analysis Tools and ASTs
- luadec51 - Lua Decompiler for Lua version 5.1.
- luacov - Simple coverage analyzer, used by busted and telescope for checking test coverage.
- luacheck - Simple static analyzer which detects accidental globals and undefined or shadowed locals.
- Metalua - Pure Lua parser and compiler, used for generating ASTs. A number of other tools make use of the Metalua parser in this way.
- LuaInspect - Lua's most powerful code analysis and linting tool, built on Metalua. Used by ZeroBraneStudio, among others.
- LuaMinify - Minifier which also brings its own static analysis tools, lexer, and parser.
- Typed Lua - A typed superset of Lua that compiles to plain Lua.
- punchdrunk.js - Moonshine + LÖVE API reimplementation = run LÖVE games in the browser.
- graphql-lua - Lua implementation of GraphQL.
Scriptable by Lua
- luakit - Fast, small, webkit based browser framework extensible by Lua.
- Hammerspoon - A powerful, extensible OS X automation tool. A community-maintained fork of Mjolnir.
- kpie - A scripting utility to juggle windows.
- lumail - A console-based mail client, with extensive scripting capabilities.
- AwesomeWM - A highly configurable and extensible window manager for X, scripted and configured by Lua.
- Textadept - Extremely lightweight, customizable, cross-platform editor, written (mostly) in (and scripted by) Lua.
- KoReader - An ebook reader application supports PDF, DJVU, EPUB, FB2 and much more, running on Kindle, Kobo, PocketBook and Android devices.
- MoonScript - Moonscript is a dynamic scripting language that compiles to Lua. It reduces verbosity and provides a rich set of features like comprehensions and classes. Its author calls it 'CoffeeScript for Lua'.
- sitegen - A static site generator which uses MoonScript and supports HTML and Markdown, page grouping, and plugins.
- Reference Manual - The official definition of the Lua language.
- lua-users wiki - A large community-maintained collection of Lua information and resources, supplementing the official website.
- Lua Unofficial FAQ - Answers all sorts of Lua-related questions, including many of the form 'How to ___?'.
- lua-l - The official Lua mailing list, and one of the focal points of the Lua community.
- Lua-users style guide - A general, high-level style guide; unopinionated, easily agreed on.
- Olivine style guide - A more opinionated and specific, and therefore more rigorous, guide.
- Lua Crash Course - Short crash course readover, or reference for when you forget the basics.
- Learn Lua in 15 Minutes - A well-commented example file which covers the basics.
- lua-users tutorial - In-depth collection of tutorials aimed at newcomers.
- Lua Missions - A series of 'Missions' to work through which are designed to teach aspects of Lua along the way.
- Creating an Image Server - Walks through setting up and using OpenResty to build a simple image processing server; a great starting point for playing with OpenResty.
- Embedding Lua in C - An introductory walkthrough of embedding Lua in a C program. A bit dated, but still a great walkthrough.
- Lua: Good, bad, and ugly parts - A thorough summary of the good, different, bad, and ugly aspects of Lua, including many subtle quirks, by the author of ZeroBraneStudio.
- Lua states, libraries, coroutines and memory - Diagrams and explains some more advanced concepts of the Lua VM, particularly when interfacing with C.
Talks & Slides
- Roberto's Talks - History of talks given by Lua's chief architect, with slides for each.
- Lua Workshop Talks - High-quality talks are given at each ~annual Lua Workshop, and a history of them is online, slides included.
- Programming in Lua - The authoritative intro to all aspects of Lua programming, written by Lua's chief architect. Three editions released; first edition available online.
- Programming Gems - A collection of articles covering existing wisdom and practices on programming well in Lua, in a broad variety of use cases.
- Lua Programming - A shorter overview of the language, up to date for Lua 5.2, and available online.
- awesome-resty - A list like this one, but focused on OpenResty.
- awesome-love2d - A list like this one, but focused on game dev and the LÖVE platform.
- awesome-lua by @forhappy - Another list similar to this one. It goes into more depth in a few categories, but has less breadth.
- Where Lua is Used - A comprehensive list of stand-alone programs written in or extensible using Lua.
Contributions welcome and wanted! Read the contribution guidelines first.
To the extent possible under law, Lewis Ellis has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.