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luakit is a fast, light and simple to use micro-browser framework extensible by Lua using the WebKit web content engine and the GTK+ toolkit.

Don't Panic!

You don't have to be a developer to use luakit on a daily basis. If you are familiar with vimperator, pentadactyl, jumanji, uzbl & etc you will find luakit behaves similarly out of the box.


  • GTK+ 3
  • Lua 5.1 or LuaJIT 2
  • lfs (lua file system)
  • webkit2gtk
  • sqlite3
  • gstreamer (for video playback)


Luakit is available on most Linux Distributions and BSD system via their package managers. A few examples below:

  • Debian/Ubuntu: apt-get install luakit
  • Gentoo: emerge luakit
  • Guix: guix install luakit
  • Arch: pacman -S luakit
  • FreeBSD: pkg install luakit
  • OpenBSD: pkg_add luakit
  • Void Linux: xbps-install luakit

Packaging status:

Packaging Status

Installing from source

Make sure you system fulfills the requirements listed above, then install luakit with the following commands:

$ git clone
$ cd luakit
$ make
$ sudo make install

Uninstall with:

$ sudo make uninstall

Note: If you are on BSD, you might need to use gmake.

Use Luakit

Just run:

$ luakit [URI..]

Or to see the full list of luakit launch options run:

$ luakit -h

Luakit works with vim-style bindings. To find out more, type :help within luakit.


Luakit configuration files are written in lua. This means you can program within the config files, which make the configuration options endless.

There are three ways to customize luakit.

1. within luakit

After starting luakit, type :settings. This page shows you webkit engine related settings.

2. userconf.lua

Create a file called $HOME/.config/luakit/userconf.lua. Then add your configuration there. Configuration in this file supersedes configuration set in :settings

3. copy rc.lua

The most powerful customization is to copy rc.lua from /etc/xdg/luakit/rc.lua to $HOME/.config/luakit/rc.lua

When this file is found, /etc/xdg/luakit/rc.lua is ignored.

Be informed that when luakit is updated, you may need to adapt changes from /etc/xdg/luakit/rc.lua to your own copy.

Colors and fonts

Copy the /etc/xdg/luakit/theme.lua to $HOME/.config/luakit/theme.lua. You can change fonts and colors there.

Development Information

This section contains information about the compile and testing process.

Luakit honors the PREFIX variable. The default is /usr/local.

$ make PREFIX=/usr
$ sudo make PREFIX=/usr install


  • You also have to set the PREFIX when uninstalling.
  • If you want to change PREFIX after a previous build, you need to make clean first.

Luakit uses luajit by default, to use lua you can turn off luajit with:

$ make USE_LUAJIT=0

To build with local paths (interesting for package maintainer and contributers). You may wish to build luakit with:


This lets you start luakit from the build directory, using the config and libraries within the same.

Take a look at for more options.

If you made changes and want to know if luakit is still working properly, you can execute the test suite with:

$ make test

Tips and fixes:

Video playback

If you're having issues with video playback, this is often related to buggy graphic drivers. It often helps to set LIBGL_DRI3_DISABLE before starting luakit:


Webkit process limit

Since Webkit 2.26, the webkit engine used in luakit is creating a new process for each tab. This has the benefit that a webkit webview crash will only crash one tab. The downside is lower performance and increased memory use.

If you value speed over stability, you can ask webkit to use one process for all tabs by setting WEBKIT_USE_SINGLE_WEB_PROCESS before starting luakit:


HiDPI Monitor Configuration

If you have a HiDPI monitor (> 1920x1080) and find that web pages are too small, you can change the webview.zoom_level on the settings page (luakit://settings/) to 150 or 200 as per your taste.

Reporting Bugs

Please note that most rendering related issues come from the used webkit engine and can not be fixed by luakit. If you think your issue is luakit related, please use the bug tracker at:

Coming from a very old luakit version? Look at the MIGRATION document.


Join us in #luakit on the network.