Lua Resources

There are many great free online resources for Lua including:

  • A highly recommended detailed and authoritative introduction to all aspects of Lua programming by Lua’s chief architect:  Programming in Lua  (2nd edition), by Roberto Ierusalimschy available online at
  • For an official definition of the Lua language, consult the  Lua 5.1 Reference Manual , by R. Ierusalimschy, L. H. de Figueiredo, W. Celes available online at
  • Additional documentation is available at
  • A live, interactive demo of Lua is available at This is an excellent place to see some simple sample programs and to play with your own.

And really everything at

Follow up with any others you know of.

If you are new to lua you can practice learning the language at  There are 10 exercises that I have contributed. I plan to add more. You will need to setup luarocks and busted framework for testing lua. But, you get to learn the language independently of Corona API’s which is kind of neat. If you are from the Javascript world, it is sort of learning Javascript independently from JQuery. 

Is there anything more along the lines of the GitHub and Ruby online tutorials for Lua?


These are completely online and do not require the user to go through any command line gymnastics, which turn off anyone who has not coded before.

A pretty well maintained list of Lua resources can also be found here:


A new one along the lines of develephant’s previous link (and named the same), but not nearly as organized:

A recent topic on the Lua mailing list (which I suppose belongs here as well, along with the wiki and friends) has resulted in a few things:

Steve Donovan’s Lua Gentle Intro

Dirk Laurie’s A glossary of some essential Lua terms (has some 5.2 and 5.3 stuff, but generally relevant)

Not quite as new, but somebody else in the thread mentioned Stack Overflow’s Lua topics

Unrelated, but the Lua.Space blog also has some interesting material.

Update : Paul “marbux” Merrell’s Lua Resource Links

Some interesting performance tips via Lua Performance Tips (pdf)

@everyone above

Thanks, these are great resources.  I’m currently trying to squeeze out even my smallest inefficiencies for the sake of performance and these articles are perfect.  

We can find a lot of tips who improve a lot performance. Most of tips are quite old and there is quite often lua update. How do we know if tips still improve performance ?

for example : 

for i = 1, 1000000 do local x = math.sin(i) end runs 30% slower than this one: local sin = math.sin for i = 1, 1000000 do local x = sin(i) end

Does now compiler or lua optimize it by itself?

Or quite common “mistake” are now as fast as good practice as 

For i=0,1000 do local x=value do something end faster than : local x for i=0,1000 do x=value do something end

There are large number of lua resources available online which will help you to learn lua you can check for lua resources