A Beginner’s Guide to Install Lua Programming Language

In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to Install Lua programming language.

Lua is a versatile and powerful programming language that is easy to learn and use. Whether you’re interested in game development, scripting, automation, or web development, Lua has something to offer.

Install Lua

Before you can start programming in Lua, you need to install it on your computer. Lua is available for all major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Install Lua on Windows

Lua for Windows is a comprehensive programming environment for the Lua scripting language on the Windows platform. It includes Lua binaries and libraries, along with a Lua-capable editor, all bundled together in a single installation package. With Lua for Windows (LFW), users have everything they need to efficiently write, execute, and debug Lua scripts on their Windows operating system.

To install Lua on a Windows computer, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Lua Github url: (https://github.com/rjpcomputing/luaforwindows) and download the latest version of Lua for Windows.
  • Once the download is complete, run the installation file.
  • Follow the installation prompts and select the desired installation location.
  • Make sure the PATH environment variable contains the directory where Lua files are installed. The Lua installation directory can be added to the “Path” variable by going to “Advanced system settings” in the Control Panel.
  • Open a command prompt and type “lua” to start the Lua interpreter. If the installation was successful, you should see the Lua prompt.

Install Lua on Linux

Here are the steps to install Lua on Linux using the package manager from official repositories on some popular distributions:


  • Open the terminal and run the following command:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install lua5.3

This will install Lua version 5.3 on your system.


  • Open the terminal and run the following command:
sudo dnf install lua
The latest version of Lua available in the official repository will be installed.

Arch Linux/Manjaro

  • Open the terminal and run the following command:
sudo pacman -S lua

Lua will be installed using the latest version available from the official repositories.

Once you have installed Lua on your Linux system using the package manager, you can begin using it. To launch the interactive Lua interpreter, run the ‘lua’ command in the terminal.

You can also create Lua files with the .lua extension, and then execute them using the ‘lua’ command followed by the file name.

Install Lua Mac OS

To install Lua on a Mac OS system, you can follow these steps:

  • You can access the official Lua website by opening a web browser and navigating to www.lua.org.
  • To download Lua, navigate to the official website at www.lua.org using your web browser. From there, select the “Download” link located in the top menu and choose the correct version of Lua for your system. If you’re using Mac OS X, you can opt for the latest stable release, which is a universal binary that is compatible with both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs.
  • After downloading the Lua package file from the official website, open it and proceed with the installation instructions. This may include agreeing to the license terms, selecting an installation location, and providing authorization by entering your password. Simply follow the prompts as they appear.
  • Once you have completed the installation, open a terminal window and enter “lua” to launch the Lua interpreter. A prompt “>” will appear, indicating that Lua is now ready to accept your commands.
  • Type “print(‘Hello, world!’)” in the terminal window and press Enter to ensure that Lua has been installed correctly. If Lua is working correctly, it should respond with “Hello, world!”.
You have successfully installed Lua on your Mac OS system.

Local Environment Setup:

To set up a local environment for Lua programming, you can follow these general steps:

  • Install Lua: To install the Lua interpreter on your computer, you can either download it from the official Lua website or use a package manager that supports your operating system.
  • Choose a code editor: Any code editor with support for Lua, such as Atom, Sublime Text, or Visual Studio Code, can be used.
  • Create a project directory: You can create a directory where you can store your Lua scripts and other files related to your project.
  • Start coding: Once you have chosen a code editor, you can start writing your Lua code. Simply save your code files in your project directory and use the Lua interpreter to run them.
  • Test your code: You can test and debug your Lua code by running it through the Lua interpreter. This will help you identify and fix any errors that may occur.
  • Explore Lua libraries: Lua offers a variety of libraries that can be utilized to expand the capabilities of your programs. You can browse through the available libraries and select the ones that best suit the needs of your project.

By following these steps, you can set up a local environment for Lua programming and start building your Lua applications.

Lua IDE:

Lua has several Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) that offer a complete set of tools for writing, testing, and debugging Lua code. Some of the popular IDEs for Lua are as follows:

ZeroBrane Studio

An IDE for Lua that is user-friendly and doesn’t take up too much space. It comes with advanced features like code completion, debugging, and profiling.

IntelliJ IDEA

An IDE that offers extensive features and supports Lua via its Lua plugin. These features include syntax highlighting, code completion, and debugging capabilities.


The Eclipse IDE is an open-source development environment that supports Lua programming through the Lua Development Tools (LDT) plugin. This plugin provides features like syntax highlighting, code completion, and debugging. It is a powerful tool for Lua development, and it is highly customizable to fit your specific needs.

Visual Studio Code

One widely used and customizable IDE for Lua is Visual Studio Code, which supports Lua through the Lua language server extension. This extension provides several features such as syntax highlighting, code completion, and debugging, and is highly customizable through various plugins and settings.


A versatile and user-friendly text editor that offers support for Lua through the Lua language server plugin. The plugin provides several features, including syntax highlighting, code completion, and linting. The editor also offers extensive customization options to tailor the workspace to the user’s preferences.

Lua First Program

Now that you have Lua installed on your computer, let’s write our first Lua program, “Hello Lua Developer’s“.

Open a text editor and enter the following code:

print("Hello Lua Developer's!")

Save the file with a .lua extension, for example, “first.lua“.

To run the program, open a command prompt or terminal window and navigate to the directory where you saved the file.

Then type the following command:

lua first.lua

You should see the message “Hello Lua Developer’s!” printed in the console.

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