Google's Protocol Buffers project, ported to Lua
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example move form Apr 3, 2014
plugin fix problem with top-level field names May 3, 2014
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Google's Protocol Buffers project, ported to Lua

"Protocol Buffers" is a binary serialization format and technology, released to the open source community by Google in 2008.

There are various implementations of Protocol Buffers and this is for Lua.


Install python runtime and the protobuf 2.3 for python.

checkout the code.

Compile the C code:

$cd protobuf && make

Make a link to protoc-gen-lua in your $PATH:

$cd /usr/local/bin && sudo ln -s /path/to/protoc-gen-lua/plugin/protoc-gen-lua

Then you can compile the .proto like this:

protoc --lua_out=./ foo.proto

Quick Example

You write a .proto file like this:

person.proto :

  message Person {
    required int32 id = 1;
    required string name = 2;
    optional string email = 3;

Then you compile it.

Then, make sure that protobuf/ in package.cpath and package.path, you use that code like this:

require "person_pb"

-- Serialize Example
local msg = person_pb.Person() = 100 = "foo" = "bar"
local pb_data = msg:SerializeToString()

-- Parse Example
local msg = person_pb.Person()

The API of this library is similar the protobuf library for python. For a more complete example, read the python documentation.