Lua Web Programming

In this article, we will cover the basics of Lua web programming, including its key features, advantages, and how to get started with creating a simple Lua-based web application.

Web programming is a crucial aspect of software development and modern-day technology. While Lua may not be as popular as some other web programming languages, such as JavaScript or Python, it is a versatile and efficient language that can be used for a variety of web applications.
Lua’s key strengths are speed and efficiency. This makes it an ideal choice for web applications that require fast response times and efficient processing.

There are several frameworks and libraries available for web programming in Lua. Some of the most popular include Lapis, Kepler, and OpenResty. These frameworks provide a range of features and capabilities for web development, including routing, templating, database integration, and more.

Web programming in Lua can be accomplished using several frameworks and libraries. Some of the popular Lua web programming frameworks include Lapis, Sailor, Kepler and Orbit. In this article we are going to discuss the Orbit framework only.

Lua Web Programming Orbit

Orbit is a web framework for Lua that is designed to be simple and lightweight.

It is built on top of the Kepler project and provides a flexible and easy-to-use API for building web applications.

Features of Orbit Framework

  • Lightweight and flexible.
  • Modular architecture.
  • MVC pattern.
  • Routing system.
  • Middleware support.
  • Template engine support.
  • Built-in support for JSON and XML.
  • Easy to learn and use.

Orbit Setup – Install Orbit

Once you have Lua installed, you can install Orbit using LuaRocks, which is a package manager for Lua.

Open a terminal and run the following command:

luarocks install orbit

This will install the latest Orbit version and its dependencies.

Create a project

After installing Orbit, you can create your own Orbit project using the following command:

orbit new myproject

This will create an Orbit directory named myproject with the basic structure of an Orbit project.

Configure The Project

Next, you can customize the project by editing the config.lua file in the project directory.

This file contains configuration settings for the application, such as database connection settings, session settings, etc.

Define Routes and Controllers

After configuring the project, you can set up routes and controllers to handle incoming requests. Routes are specified in the routes.lua file, and controllers are defined in the controllers directory.

Here’s an example code in Orbit framework:

local orbit = require("orbit")

-- Define the web application
local app =

-- Define a route for the home page
app:route({ method = "GET", path = "/" }, function(req, res)
res.content_type = "text/html"
res.content = "<h1>Welcome to MrExamples!</h1>"
return res

-- Define a route for a contact page
app:route({ method = "GET", path = "/contact" }, function(req, res)
res.content_type = "text/html"
res.content = "<p>Learning through examples</p>"
return res

-- Start the server

Above code uses the Orbit framework to create a web application. It requires the framework and creates a new instance of it using Two routes are defined using the app:route() method. The first route handles GET requests to the home page (/) and returns a simple HTML response. The second route handles GET requests to a contact page (/contact) and returns another HTML response. The app:run() method starts the server listening on the default port (8080) and serves the defined routes.

Following code is used for form submission in Orbit:

-- Require the Orbit framework
local orbit = require("orbit")

-- Create a new instance of the Orbit framework
local app =

-- Define a route to handle GET requests to the form page
app:route({ method = "GET", path = "/form" }, function(web)
-- Return a simple HTML form
return "<html><head><title>Form Page</title></head><body><form method='POST' action='/submit'><input type='text' name='name'><input type='submit' value='Submit'></form></body></html>"

-- Define a route to handle POST requests to the form submission endpoint
app:route({ method = "POST", path = "/submit" }, function(web)
-- Get the form data from the request body
local data = web.POST

-- Return a dynamic HTML response using the submitted data
return "<html><head><title>Form Submission</title></head><body><h1>Hello " .. .. "!</h1></body></html>"

-- Start the server

First of all the framework module is imported and an instance is created using The app:route() method defines two routes, one for handling GET requests to the form page and another for handling POST requests to the form submission endpoint. The first route returns a simple HTML form with text input and submit button.

The second route extracts the submitted form data from the web.POST table and generates a dynamic HTML response that includes a greeting message with the submitted name. The server is started using the app:run() method, which listens on the default port and serves the defined routes. This simple application allows users to input their name into a form and receive a greeting message in response.

In addition to frameworks, Lua also has several libraries for web programming. Some of the popular Lua web programming libraries include:

Library Overview
LuaSocket LuaSocket is a popular Lua library that provides networking support, including TCP and UDP sockets, HTTP client and server support, and SMTP client support. It enables Lua scripts to create and use sockets to communicate over the network, making it possible to build client-server applications and other networked software in Lua.
Lua-cURL Lua-cURL is another widely used Lua library that provides support for HTTP, FTP, SMTP, and many other protocols. It allows Lua scripts to make requests to remote servers and retrieve data from them, as well as to upload files and send email messages.
LuaSQL LuaSQL is a Lua library that provides support for connecting to and working with SQL databases, including MySQL, SQLite, and PostgreSQL. It offers a simple and consistent API for database access, making it easy to write Lua scripts that interact with databases.
CGILua CGILua is a Lua library that provides support for CGI programming, allowing Lua scripts to be executed on a web server. It provides an easy way to write web applications in Lua and is particularly useful for building dynamic websites and web applications.

With these Lua libraries, you can easily extend the functionality of Lua web frameworks.

Due to Lua’s versatility and availability of these powerful libraries, it is becoming an increasingly popular choice for web development.

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