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Easy Lua

Easy Lua is the simplest way to add Lua scripts to your Adobe Flash or ActionScript project. It builds on top of the excellent Lua port that ships with Adobe's open source CrossBridge project.


  • Hides all the low level Lua C API details in one easy to use class. No Lua C API knowledge required.
  • Works with all ActionScript palatforms (web, desktop, and mobile).
  • Automatically converts basic ActionScript variables to Lua equivalents (and back again).
  • Supports multiple instances of the Lua interpretter so that you can sandbox separate scripts.
  • Simplifies the process of loading embedded Lua scripts in your project.


  • Currently ActionScript can call Lua code (and receive a return value), but Lua code can't call ActionScript directly.


Installation is simple. First, copy the files in the src and lib directories to your project. Second, tell the compiler to link your code to lib/lua.swc.

Basic Usage


Create an instance of the EasyLua class:

var easyLua:EasyLua = new EasyLua();

Evaluating Lua code

Call the eval method to execute some Lua code. This code defines a helloWorld function that returns a string:

easyLua.eval("function helloWorld() return 'hello world' end");

Call the function that we defined above and return the result back to ActionScript:

var result:String = easyLua.eval("return helloWorld()");

You must explicity add the return keyword to tell Lua to return the value back to ActionScript. Failure to do so will result in no value being returned. This way you get to decide if you want to deal with the conversion overhead. Most basic Lua types (nil, numbers, strings, booleans, and tables) are supported. An exception will be raised if you try to return an unsupported type.

Calling Lua functions

Easy Lua provides a helper method called evalFunction to simplify all of the above. Unlike eval, this method will automatically include a return and convert any arguments to their Lua equivalents.

easyLua.eval("function helloWorldImproved(arg) return arg end");
var result:Object = easyLua.evalFunction('helloWorldImproved', { foo: 'bar' });


You must manually dispose instances of Easy Lua when you are finished with them. This ensures that the resources used by Lua are released.


Embedding Scripts

Most non-trivial Lua programs store their code in files. Easy Lua integrates with ActionScript's embedded asset feature where each asset file becomes its own class. You can then load these embedded assets either manually or using the CrossBridge virtual file system (VFS).

Embedding assets

First you will need to embed your scripts just like you would embed any other asset. Below is an example asset/hello.lua that you would create in your project's root folder:

function helloWorld()
  return "hello world"

Below is an example src/ where you define all of your asset classes.

  public class MyAssets
    [Embed(source="../asset/hello.lua", mimeType="application/octet-stream")]
    public static var helloLuaScript:Class;

Virtual file system (VFS)

CrossBridge provides a VFS that lets you register files with Flash. This is the recommended way to load files since it uses the standard Lua require syntax.

EasyLua.addAssetAsFile('hello.lua', MyAssets.helloLuaScript);
var easyLua:EasyLua = new EasyLua();
easyLua.eval("require 'hello'");
var result:String = easyLua.eval("return helloWorld()");

Note that that addAssetAsFile is a static method. This is because the VFS is shared between all instances of the EasyLua class.

Manual file loading

In some cases you may want to load scripts manually and avoid the VFS. This can be accomplished with the evalEmbedded method:

var easyLua:EasyLua = new EasyLua();
var result:String = easyLua.eval("return helloWorld()");

Lua table conversion

In Lua, tables can act as integer indexed arrays or as hashes (associative arrays). When Lua returns a table, Easy Lua tries to automatically convert it to the correct actionscript type (Array or Object). The autoConvertArrays setter can disable this automatic conversion (and save some CPU cycles). Tables will then always convert to Object:

easyLua.autoConvertArrays = false;

Stdout and Lua's print()

Basic support for Lua's print function exists. All output is routed to ActionScript's trace function. In practice, this is useful for basic debugging of Lua code while running inside of an ActionScript IDE or debugger (such as Adobe's Flash Builder). More advanced usage will require you to modify the class.


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request


Easy Lua is the simplest way to add Lua scripts to your Adobe Flash or ActionScript project.







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