Awesome Lua Awesome

A curated list of quality Lua packages and resources.

Inspired by the lists awesome, awesome-awesomeness, and awesome-nodejs.



Implementations, Interpreters, and Bindings

  • Lua - Lua's original ANSI C interpreter.
    • Lua Repo - The official Lua repo, as seen by the Lua team, mirrored to GitHub.
  • LuaJIT - High-performance Just-In-Time compiler for Lua.
  • LLVM-Lua - Compiles Lua to LLVM.
  • lua.vm.js - Lua VM on the web; a direct port of the C interpreter via LLVM, emscripten, and asm.js.
  • Moonshine - A Lua VM implemented in JavaScript. Slower than lua.vm.js, but with better docs, examples, and JS interfacing.
  • Fengari - The Lua VM rewritten in Javascript with seamless JS and DOM interoperability.
  • MoonSharp - A Lua interpreter written entirely in C# for the .NET, Mono and Unity platforms.
  • UniLua - A pure C# implementation of Lua 5.2, focused on compatibility with the Unity game engine.
  • lupa - Python bindings to LuaJIT2.
  • golua - Golang bindings to the Lua C API.
  • GopherLua - Lua 5.1 VM and compiler implemented in Go with Go APIs.
  • LuaBridge - A lightweight library for mapping data, functions, and classes back and forth between C++ and Lua.

Note: From LuaJIT to Lua to lua.vm.js to Moonshine, a basic benchmark sees performance drop by roughly a factor of 6 with each hop.

Package Managers

  • LuaRocks - De-facto tool for installing Lua modules as packages called "rocks", plus public rock repository and website. Much like npm or pip.

Build Tools and Standalone Makers

  • Lake - A build engine written in Lua, similar to Ruby's rake.
  • Luabuild - Highly customizable Lua 5.2 build system.
  • luastatic - Simple tool for turning Lua programs into standalone executables.
  • omnia - A batteries-included creator of standalone executables, built on top of luastatic.

Debugging and Profiling

  • ProFi - Simple profiler that works with LuaJIT and produces a report file.
  • luatrace - Toolset for tracing/analyzing/profiling script execution and generating detailed reports.
  • StackTracePlus - Drop-in upgrade to Lua's stack traces which adds local context and improves readability.
  • MobDebug - Powerful remote debugger with breakpoints and stack inspection. Used by ZeroBraneStudio.
  • lovebird - Browser-based debug console. Originally made for LÖVE, but works in any project with LuaSocket support.

IDEs and Plugins

  • Lua Development Tools - Eclipse plugin which provides code completion, debugging, and more. Built on Metalua.
  • Lua for IDEA - IntelliJ IDEA plugin which, among other things, provides code completion, smart highlighting, and experimental debugging.
  • ZeroBraneStudio - Lightweight, customizable, cross-platform Lua-dedicated IDE with code completion and analysis, written in Lua. Has broad debugging support for numerous Lua engines.
  • BabeLua - Lua editor/debugger extension for VS2012-13 with highlighting, auto-completion, linting, and formatting capabilities.
  • lua-mode - Emacs major mode for editing Lua.
  • vscode-lua - VSCode intellisense and linting.

Utility Belts

  • Lua Fun - High-performance functional programming library designed for LuaJIT.
  • Moses - Functional programming utility belt, inspired by Underscore.js.
  • Penlight - Broad, heavyweight utility library, inspired by Python's standard libs. Provides the batteries that Lua doesn't.
  • lua-stdlib - Middle-weight standard library extension; adds some useful data structures, utility functions, and basic functional stuff.
  • Microlight - A little library of useful Lua functions; the 'extra light' version of Penlight.
  • compat53 - Compatibility module providing Lua-5.3-style APIs for Lua 5.2 and 5.1.
  • RxLua - Reactive Extensions, Observables, etc.

Game Engines

  • LÖVE 2D - Desktop game development platform. Cross-platform, feature-complete, well-adopted.
  • Corona SDK - Development platform for iOS and Android. Proprietary, but used by numerous top games and apps, totaling over 150 million downloads.
  • MOAI - Open source, cross-platform, mobile game development framework. Minimalist C++ engine powered by Lua scripting.
  • Drystal - Open source, games can run on Linux or on any platform with a recent web browser.
  • Amulet - Open source, audio/visual toolkit suitable for small games and experimentation. It runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, HTML5 and iOS.
  • LÖVR - 3D framework for creating virtual reality experiences, inspired by LÖVE 2D.

Game Development

  • Corona
    • Coronium - Simple cloud platform supporting analytics, data objects, user management, and more.
  • LÖVE
    • awesome-love2d - A list like this one, but focused on game dev and the LÖVE platform.
    • lurker - Shortens the iteration cycle by auto-swapping changed Lua files in a running LÖVE project.
    • HUMP - A set of lightweight helpers for LÖVE; a game-oriented utility belt.
  • MOAI
    • moaifiddle - Edit and share short scripts for the MOAI game engine and run them in the browser using WebGL.
  • Jumper - Fast, lightweight, and easy-to-use pathfinding library for grid-based games.
  • lume - Utility belt library geared toward game development.
  • NoobHub - Network multiplayer for Corona, LÖVE, and more, following a simple pub-sub model.
  • Collision detection
    • bump.lua - Minimal rectangle-based collision detection which handles tunnelling and basic collision resolution.
    • HardonCollider - Detect collisions between arbitrarily positioned and rotated shapes of any type.
  • Tweening
    • flux - A fast, lightweight tweening library for Lua with easing functions and the ability to group tweens together.
    • tween.lua - Small library for tweening, with several easing functions.
  • Examples


  • lua-log - Asynchronous logging library with pluggable writers for file system, network, ZeroMQ, and more.
  • LuaLogging - Log4j-inspired logging library supporting various appenders.
  • luasyslog - Log to syslog, based on LuaLogging.

Web/Networking Platforms

  • OpenResty - A fast and scalable web application platform created by extending Nginx with Lua. Today's de-facto Lua web platform, used heavily by Cloudflare, Taobao, Tencent, and others.
  • turbo - Event-driven, non-blocking, LuaJIT-based networking suite and framework, inspired by Tornado.
  • Kepler Project - A collection of web-oriented projects using a common set of standards and components.
  • Pegasus.lua - Pegasus.lua is a http server to work with web applications written in Lua language.


  • awesome-resty - A list like this one, but focused on OpenResty.
  • Core platform
    • ngx_lua - The core piece of OpenResty. Embeds Lua in Nginx and exposes, among other things, the cosocket API for non-blocking sockets (compatible with LuaSocket's API).
    • OpenResty GitHub Organization - Home of the repositories for ngx_lua, ngx_openresty, and many related modules.
  • Third-party modules
  • Frameworks & tools
    • Lapis - Full-stack framework for Lua and OpenResty. Like the Django or Rails of Lua. Supports Moonscript.
    • ledge - Lua module providing scriptable, RFC-compliant HTTP cache functionality.
    • Sailor — An MVC web framework compatible with OpenResty, Apache and other webservers.
    • Kong - Microservice & API Management Layer.

Search this page for 'OpenResty' to find related packages under other categories (data stores in particular).

Command-line Utilities

  • ansicolors - Simple function for printing to the console in color.
  • cliargs - A simple command-line argument parsing module.
  • lua-term - Terminal operations and manipulations.
  • argparse - A feature-rich command line parser inspired by argparse for Python.

Concurrency and Multithreading

  • Coroutine-based multitasking:
    • Lumen - Simple concurrent task scheduling.
    • ConcurrentLua - Implements an Erlang-style message-passing concurrency model.
    • cqueues - Library for managing sockets, signals, and threads based on an event loop with coroutines.
  • Multithreading:
    • llthreads - A simple wrapper for low-level pthreads & WIN32 threads.
    • llthreads2 - Newer rewrite of llthreads.
    • lanes - Library implementing a message passing model with one OS thread per Lua thread.
    • luaproc - Message-passing model which allows multiple threads per OS thread and easily generalizes across a network. See also the paper where it originated.

For more on the differences (particularly between lanes and luaproc), see this comparison of options; somewhat dated, but covers how each one works and the significant differences.


  • lustache - Mustache template implementation.
  • etlua - Embedded Lua templates, ERB-style.
  • lua-resty-template - Lua-oriented template engine for OpenResty, somewhat Jinja-like.


  • LDoc - Documentation generator which modernizes and extends LuaDoc.
  • Locco - Lua port of Docco, the "quick-and-dirty, hundred-line-long, literate-programming-style documentation generator".
  • docroc - Parse comments into a Lua table to generate documentation.

Object-oriented Programming

  • 30log - Minimalist OOP library with basic classes, inheritance, and mixins in 30 lines.
  • middleclass - Simple but robust OOP library with inheritance, methods, metamethods, class variables and mixins.

File system and OS

  • LuaFileSystem - Extends and complements Lua's built-in set of file system functions.
  • luaposix - Bindings for POSIX APIs, including curses.
  • lunix - Bindings to common Unix system APIs, striving for thread-safety.
  • lua-path - File system path manipulation library.

Time and Date

  • LuaDate - Date and time module with parsing, formatting, addition/subtraction, localization, and ISO 8601 support.
  • cron.lua - Time-related functions for Lua, inspired by JavaScript's setTimeout and setInterval.
  • luatx - Time, date, and timezone library.

Image Manipulation

  • magick - Lua bindings to ImageMagick for LuaJIT using FFI.

Digital Signal Processing

  • LuaFFT - An easy to use Fast Fourier Transformation package in pure Lua.
  • Worp - Sound/music/DSP engine written for LuaJIT.

Hardware and Embedded Systems

  • eLua - Lua, extended with optimizations and specific features for efficient and portable embedded software development.

Math and Scientific Computing

  • SciLua - Numerical/scientific computing framework built on LuaJIT, with an interface to R.
  • Torch7 - Scientific computing framework with wide support for machine learning algorithms, used by Facebook, Google, and more.
  • lhf's Lua Tools - Assorted libraries and tools, many math- or data-related.

Parsing and Serialization

  • JSON
    • lua-cjson - Blazing fast JSON encoding/decoding implemented in C and exposed to Lua.
    • luajson - JSON encoder/decoder implemented in Lua on top of LPeg.
    • dkjson - JSON encoder/decoder implemented in pure Lua.
    • json.lua - A fast and tiny JSON library in pure Lua.
  • XML
    • LuaExpat - SAX XML parser via binding to the Expat library.
    • SLAXML - Pure Lua SAX-like streaming XML parser.
  • MessagePack
    • lua-MessagePack - Pure Lua implementation of MessagePack.
    • lua-cmsgpack - A MessagePack C implementation with Lua bindings, as used by Redis.=
  • LPeg
    • LPeg - A pattern-matching library for Lua, based on Parsing Expression Grammars.
    • lpeg_patterns - A collection of LPeg patterns.
    • LuLPeg - A pure Lua implementation of LPeg v0.12.
    • LPegLJ - A pure LuaJIT implementation of LPeg v1.0.
    • LPegLabel - An extension of LPeg adding support for labeled failures.
  • lyaml - YAML encoding/decoding via binding to LibYAML.
  • lunamark - Converts Markdown to other textual formats including HTML and LaTeX. Uses LPeg for fast parsing.
  • LXSH - A collection of lexers and syntax highlighters written with LPeg.
  • lua-pb - Protocol Buffers implementation.


  • i18n.lua - Internationalization library with locales, formatting, and pluralization.
  • inspect.lua - Human-readable representation of Lua tables.
  • serpent - Serializer and pretty printer.
  • Ser - Dead simple serializer with good performance.
  • say - Simple string key-value store for i18n.


  • lua-zlib - Simple streaming interface to zlib for gzip/gunzip.
  • lua-zip - Lua binding to libzip. Reads and writes zip files.


  • LuaCrypto - Lua bindings to OpenSSL.
  • lua-lockbox - A collection of cryptographic primitives written in pure Lua.
  • luatweetnacl - Bindings to tweetnacl, modern high-security cryptographic library.
  • luaossl - "Most comprehensive OpenSSL module in the Lua universe" - used by lapis, kong, and lua-http.


  • LuaSocket - Networking extension which provides a socket API for TCP and UDP, and implements HTTP, FTP, and SMTP.
  • lua-websockets - WebSocket client and server modules. Webserver-agnostic, implemented in Lua on top of LuaSocket.
  • lua-cURLv3 - Lua binding to libcurl.
  • lua-http - Asynchronous HTTP and WebSocket library with client and server APIs, TLS, and HTTP/2; based on cqueues.

Data Stores

  • LuaSQL - Simple interface for connecting to ODBC, ADO, Oracle, MySQL, SQLite and PostgreSQL.
  • pgmoon - Lua PostgreSQL driver for OpenResty, LuaSocket, and cqueues.
  • lua-resty-mysql - Lua MySQL driver for OpenResty.
  • lua-resty-cassandra - Lua Cassandra client driver for OpenResty and others.
  • Redis
    • redis-lua - Pure Lua client library for Redis.
    • lua-resty-redis - Lua Redis client driver for OpenResty.
    • lredis - Asynchronous Redis client with pipelining and Pub/Sub support; based on cqueues.

Message Brokers


  • busted - BDD-style unit testing framework with great docs and Moonscript support.
  • telescope - Flexible and highly customizable testing library.
  • luassert - Assertion library extending Lua's built-in assertions.
  • lust - Minimal test framework.

Foreign Function Interfaces

  • LuaJIT FFI - LuaJIT's mechanism for calling external C functions and using C data structures from pure Lua code.
  • luaffi - Standalone FFI library, compatible with the LuaJIT FFI interface.

Analysis Tools and ASTs

  • luadec51 - Lua Decompiler for Lua version 5.1.
  • luacov - Simple coverage analyzer, used by busted and telescope for checking test coverage.
  • luacheck - Simple static analyzer which detects accidental globals and undefined or shadowed locals.
  • Metalua - Pure Lua parser and compiler, used for generating ASTs. A number of other tools make use of the Metalua parser in this way.
  • LuaInspect - Lua's most powerful code analysis and linting tool, built on Metalua. Used by ZeroBraneStudio, among others.
  • LuaMinify - Minifier which also brings its own static analysis tools, lexer, and parser.
  • Typed Lua - A typed superset of Lua that compiles to plain Lua.
  • lua-parser - A Lua 5.3 parser written using LPegLabel, with improved error messages.

Experimental, etc

  • punchdrunk.js - Moonshine + LÖVE API reimplementation = run LÖVE games in the browser.
  • luvit - Node.js's underlying architecture (libUV) with Lua on top instead of JavaScript.
  • graphql-lua - Lua implementation of GraphQL.

Scriptable by Lua

  • luakit - Fast, small, webkit based browser framework extensible by Lua.
  • Hammerspoon - A powerful, extensible OS X automation tool. A community-maintained fork of Mjolnir.
  • kpie - A scripting utility to juggle windows.
  • lumail - A console-based mail client, with extensive scripting capabilities.
  • AwesomeWM - A highly configurable and extensible window manager for X, scripted and configured by Lua.
  • Textadept - Extremely lightweight, customizable, cross-platform editor, written (mostly) in (and scripted by) Lua.
  • KoReader - An ebook reader application supports PDF, DJVU, EPUB, FB2 and much more, running on Kindle, Kobo, PocketBook and Android devices.


  • MoonScript - Moonscript is a dynamic scripting language that compiles to Lua. It reduces verbosity and provides a rich set of features like comprehensions and classes. Its author calls it 'CoffeeScript for Lua'.
  • sitegen - A static site generator which uses MoonScript and supports HTML and Markdown, page grouping, and plugins.



  • lua-l - The official Lua mailing list, and one of the focal points of the Lua community.
  • Lua.Space - The Lua community blog.
  • Lua Users Foundation - An association of individuals with the mission of supporting and promoting Lua and its community and ecosystems.
  • - A site for and by users of Lua, featuring an IRC channel, a web archive of lua-l, and a large wiki.
  • Conferences/Meetups
    • Lua Workshop - Annual 2-day meeting of the Lua community, in rotating locations.
    • Lua Conf - Annual 1-day Lua conference in Brazil.
    • FOSDEM - Annual 2-day gathering of F/OSS developers in Brussels which sometimes has a "Lua devroom".


  • Reference Manual - The official definition of the Lua language.
  • lua-users wiki - A large community-maintained collection of Lua information and resources, supplementing the official website.
  • Lua Unofficial FAQ - Answers all sorts of Lua-related questions, including many of the form 'How to ___?'.


Style Guides


  • Lua Crash Course - Short crash course readover, or reference for when you forget the basics.
  • Learn Lua in 15 Minutes - A well-commented example file which covers the basics.
  • Learning Lua from JS - An overview of the similarities and differences between Lua and JS; a great start for JavaScript folks looking to pick up Lua.
  • lua-users tutorial - In-depth collection of tutorials aimed at newcomers.
  • Lua Missions - A series of 'Missions' to work through which are designed to teach aspects of Lua along the way.
  • Creating an Image Server - Walks through setting up and using OpenResty to build a simple image processing server; a great starting point for playing with OpenResty.


Talks & Slides

  • Roberto's Talks - History of talks given by Lua's chief architect, with slides for each.
  • Lua Workshop Talks - High-quality talks are given at each ~annual Lua Workshop, and a history of them is online, slides included.


  • Programming in Lua - The authoritative intro to all aspects of Lua programming, written by Lua's chief architect. Three editions released; first edition available online.
  • Lua Quick Reference - A quick reference on how to program in and embed Lua 5.1 through 5.3, by the creator of Textadept.
  • Programming Gems - A collection of articles covering existing wisdom and practices on programming well in Lua, in a broad variety of use cases.
  • Lua Programming - A shorter overview of the language, up to date for Lua 5.2, and available online.

Other Lists

  • awesome-resty - A list like this one, but focused on OpenResty.
  • awesome-love2d - A list like this one, but focused on game dev and the LÖVE platform.
  • Where Lua is Used - A comprehensive list of stand-alone programs written in or extensible using Lua.


Contributions welcome and wanted! Read the contribution guidelines first.



To the extent possible under law, Lewis Ellis has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.