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Where your moon rocks live.

moonbox will help you manage specific versions of lua rocks for a project. It heavily relies on luarocks.

alt text

Image reference


The name comes from the Apollo 11 sample boxes to store moon rocks.

One of the proud accomplishments in Y-12 history was to develop and manufacture "moon boxes" for the historic Apollo 11 mission in July 1969. Astronauts used the boxes to collect and bring back to Earth nearly 50 pounds of moon rocks and soil, and the Y-12-made boxes were also used in subsequent Apollo missions. Each of the boxes was machined from a single piece of aluminum, "seamless except for the lid opening, which had a metalized gasket that firmly sealed when closed." Metal straps secured the lid while in transit. The boxes are on display in multiple places, including the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and in the Y-12 History Center.

(click here for more info)


Via LuaRocks:

➯ luarocks install


➯ git clone
➯ cd moonbox
➯ ./configure      # supports --prefix as parameter (default is /usr/local)
➯ make install



moonbox needs a configuration file to work with. If you do not have one, you can create a sample one with moonbox init. Otherwise, just follow this convention:

penlight                                                     # without version, will install the latest
redis-lua 2.0.4-1                                            # provide a rock version
gin 0.1.4-1                               # you can also provide a custom server   # you can provide a rockspec url too

Installing rocks

cd your_project_dir
➯ moonbox init #creates a sample BoxFile inside your project, edit with your rocks and versions
➯ moonbox install
>> starting to install rocks at 'your_project_dir/.moonbox'

Using switching to 'build' mode
Updating manifest for your_project_dir/.moonbox/lib/luarocks/rocks

penlight 1.3.1-1 is now built and installed in your_project_dir/.moonbox (license: MIT/X11)

>> installation complete!


moonbox comes handy when you need to have an isolated directory with all your rocks dependencies. You can run source moonbox env enter and this will update your LUA_PATH/LUA_CPATH environment variables to work with your current directory.

As you may have noticed, environment commands are sourced. This means that every moonbox change will impact your current shell process.

Environment show

source moonbox env show
>> env at 'your_project_dir/.moonbox'

Entering an Environment

source moonbox env enter
>> env setted up at 'your_project_dir/.moonbox'
➯ lua
Lua 5.1.5  Copyright (C) 1994-2012, PUC-Rio
> require 'pl.lapp'

Leaving an Environment

source moonbox env leave
>> env at 'your_project_dir/.moonbox' has been removed.
➯ lua
Lua 5.1.5  Copyright (C) 1994-2012, PUC-Rio
> require 'pl.lapp'
stdin:1: module 'pl.lapp' not found:
	no field package.preload['pl.lapp']
stack traceback:
	[C]: in function 'require'
	stdin:1: in main chunk
	[C]: ?

Need more help?

➯ moonbox help

Lua versions supported (5.1, 5.2)

If you have installed luarocks 2.1.2 or later, moonbox will support both versions of Lua.


moonbox uses bats to run tests. You can install it following this guide.

Once installed, run from the command line:

cd moonbox_sources
➯ make test
bats test/test_suite.bats
 ✓ install/uninstall moonbox
 ✓ 'moonbox help' command'moonbox version' command'moonbox install' command without BoxFile
 ✓ 'moonbox init' check BoxFile creation
 ✓ 'moonbox install' with empty BoxFile
 ✓ 'moonbox install' with populated BoxFile - rockname
 ✓ 'moonbox install' with populated BoxFile - rockname && version
 ✓ 'moonbox install' with populated BoxFile - rockname && version && repo
 ✓ 'moonbox install' with populated BoxFile - rockspec
 ✓ 'source moonbox env show' command without previous moonbox env setup
 ✓ 'source moonbox env show' command with previous moonbox env setup
 ✓ 'source moonbox env enter' command without moonbox install
 ✓ 'source moonbox env enter' command'source moonbox env leave' command

15 tests, 0 failures


Released under MIT License, check LICENSE file for details.


Guys from luarocks, they rock (literally)! and moonbox could not live without it!

To the awesome time lord @pote for gpm. I took several ideas from his work.

@ignacio to point me out several tips and changes. Also he is my jedi Lua master.