lua - Lua interpreter
lua [ options ] [ script [ args ] ]
lua is the stand-alone Lua interpreter. It loads and executes Lua
programs, either in textual source form or in precompiled binary form.
(Precompiled binaries are output by luac, the Lua compiler.) lua can
be used as a batch interpreter and also interactively.
The given options (see below) are executed and then the Lua program in
file script is loaded and executed. The given args are available to
script as strings in a global table named arg. If these arguments
contain spaces or other characters special to the shell, then they
should be quoted (but note that the quotes will be removed by the
shell). The arguments in arg start at 0, which contains the string
‘script’. The index of the last argument is stored in arg.n. The
arguments given in the command line before script, including the name
of the interpreter, are available in negative indices in arg.
At the very start, before even handling the command line, lua executes
the contents of the environment variable LUA_INIT, if it is defined.
If the value of LUA_INIT is of the form ‘@filename’, then filename is
executed. Otherwise, the string is assumed to be a Lua statement and
Options start with - and are described below. You can use -- to signal
the end of options.
If no arguments are given, then -v -i is assumed when the standard
input is a terminal; otherwise, - is assumed.
In interactive mode, lua prompts the user, reads lines from the
standard input, and executes them as they are read. If a line does not
contain a complete statement, then a secondary prompt is displayed and
lines are read until a complete statement is formed or a syntax error
is found. So, one way to interrupt the reading of an incomplete
statement is to force a syntax error: adding a ‘;’ in the middle of a
statement is a sure way of forcing a syntax error (except inside
multiline strings and comments; these must be closed explicitly). If a
line starts with ‘=’, then lua displays the values of all the
expressions in the remainder of the line. The expressions must be
separated by commas. The primary prompt is the value of the global
variable _PROMPT, if this value is a string; otherwise, the default
prompt is used. Similarly, the secondary prompt is the value of the
global variable _PROMPT2. So, to change the prompts, set the
corresponding variable to a string of your choice. You can do that
after calling the interpreter or on the command line with _PROMPT=´lua:
´, for example. (Note the need for quotes, because the string contains
a space.) The default prompts are ‘‘> ’’ and ‘‘>> ’’.
- load and execute the standard input as a file, that is, not
interactively, even when the standard input is a terminal.
execute statement stat. You need to quote stat if it contains
spaces, quotes, or other characters special to the shell.
-i enter interactive mode after script is executed.
call require(file) before executing script. Typically used to
load libraries (hence the letter l).
-v show version information.
-P suppress the creation of a standard LUA_PATH variable. Use this
if you need to run scripts which conflict with system-installed
Error messages should be self explanatory.
R. Ierusalimschy, L. H. de Figueiredo, and W. Celes
Debian modifications to the manpage by Daniel Silverstone
2003/04/02 00:05:20 LUA(1)