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depgraph provides luadepgraph command-line tool for building, analyzing, and visualizing graph of dependencies between Lua modules within a package. To install it using LuaRocks, open terminal and run luarocks install depgraph or sudo luarocks install depgraph.

luadepgraph scans all passed files, looking for require calls. It distinguishes several types of dependencies based on call context:

  • A dependency is lazy if require is called inside a function;
  • A dependency is conditional if require is called within a branch of an if statement;
  • A dependency is protected if require is called using pcall or xpcall.

Dependency target is inferred from the argument passed to require if it's a literal string or a concatenation of a string and another expression.

Specifying Lua files

luadepgraph needs to know which Lua files are part of the package and have to be included in its dependency graph. It can handle two types of files: regular modules and external files that can't be imported from other files, but can depend on modules, e.g. scripts and test files.

Modules are specified using -m/--modules option and external files are added using -e/--ext-files. Both options accept several files or directories. -m/--modules also accepts rockspecs; if no modules are added but there is a single rockspec in current directory, it will be used automatically.

Unless using a rockspec, pass prefix directory from where Lua modules can be loaded using -p/--prefix.

Graph actions

luadepgraph can perform several actions on the graph:

  • --list: print a listing of modules and external files in the graph. This is the default action.
  • --show <module>: print all information about a module, which includes its location, dependencies and dependents. External files can be passed by file name.
  • --deps: print a listing of all external dependencies of the graph.
  • --cycles: look for circular dependencies and show the shortest ones.
  • --dot [<title>]: export the graph in .dot format, which can be turned into an image using Graphviz.
    • Nodes with black border are modules, blue borders - external files, yellow - unresolved and external dependencies.
    • Solid edges are normal dependencies, dashed edges - conditional dependencies, dotted - lazy ones.
    • Black edges are unprotected dependencies, green ones are protected.

There are some options that can preprocess or filter the graph before executing an action, run luadepgraph -h for more info.


List all modules in src directory:

luadepgraph -m src -p src

Show dependencies and dependents of module

luadepgraph -m src -p src --show

List all modules used by unit test spec/foo_spec.lua:

luadepgraph -m src -p src -e spec --root spec/foo_spec.lua

Show external dependencies of a package given a rockspec:

luadepgraph -m rockspecs/rock-1.0-1.rockspec --deps

Look for circular dependencies:

luadepgraph -m rockspecs/rock-1.0-1.rockspec --cycles

Same, but ignore lazy dependencies:

luadepgraph -m rockspecs/rock-1.0-1.rockspec --cycles --strict

Turn the graph into an image (dot command-line tool is a part of Graphviz):

luadepgraph -m rockspecs/rock-1.0-1.rockspec --dot | dot -Tgif -o rock.gif


A command-line tool for building and analyzing graph of dependencies between Lua modules within a package.







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