[BLFS Trac] #2926: New package: Lua

BLFS Trac trac at linuxfromscratch.org
Sun Jul 26 13:44:34 PDT 2009

#2926: New package: Lua
 Reporter:  ag@…                     |       Owner:  blfs-book@…                   
     Type:  enhancement              |      Status:  new                           
 Priority:  normal                   |   Milestone:  6.5                           
Component:  BOOK                     |     Version:  SVN                           
 Severity:  normal                   |    Keywords:                                
 About Lua.

 Lua was designed as an extension language and because of this is small.
 However, this doesn't mean is not rich or it's not expressive (quite the
 opposite, especially if you know the roots (1) of Roberto Ierusalimschy
 (the main Lua author) which is Scheme.

 The Lua project is hosted at http://www.lua.org

 Current version is 5.1.4 and it has no dependencies.

 The Lua distribution doesn't provide a configure script, so there are just
 "make" targets.
 To compile Lua we just need to issue, a "make linux" from the top level
 from the distribution.

 By default the installation goes into the /usr/local hierarchy, so we need
 to use the INSTALL_TOP and INSTALL_LIB variables to change that, with

 make install INSTALL_TOP=/usr INSTALL_LIB=/usr/lib

 Lua ships with an etc/lua.pc file, that also needs some fixing


 As a final step we place the .pc file into /usr/lib/pkgconfig with
 0644 permissions.

 That's it. Using those instructions, here is the package provides
 (not so much as expected)


 Now. As it has been said already, Lua is tiny and minimalist yet quite
 so doesn't provides any batteries with it, like the most scripting
 languages usually do

 To overcome this, the Lua community created many excellent modules (to
 complement the Lua core), which they provide specifics functions.
 Like a socket interface (2), or luaposix(3) or modules that offering
 various bindings, e.g., gui toolkits.

 All these modules (usually are hosted at luaforge.net) are not officially

 A module system was implemented, which is the LuaRocks (4).
 The purpose of LuaRocks is to (per word) provide a deployment and
 management system for Lua modules,
 something like cpan or RubyGems.
 The current release is in first stable version with minor releases with
 The LuaRocks team is on a process  to a 2.* new stable release, with a big
 difference from current stable.

 Currently LuaRocks is installed into /usr/share/lua/5.1/luarocks and by
 default all the
 installed modules goes into /usr/lib/luarocks/rocks hierarchy. The user
 should include a "include luarocks" on top of the script to start using
 the modules.

 That is what is going to change. Modules would be installed to the
 standard locations,
 i.e., LUA_PATH and  LUA_CPATH.

 Now. The above variables are both paths that Lua is searching for modules.

 The first is the LUA_PATH, that e.g., for the 5.1.4 release is
 /usr/share/lua/5.1 and the second is
 the LUA_CPATH that is /usr/lib/lua/5.1

 The simple difference is that in LUA_PATH are located modules which are
 just plain text files with a .lua extension, and in the UA_CPATH are
 located modules written in C with embedded Lua code (*.so files).

 Those two variables can be used in runtime, so the user should know about
 their importance.

 There is another approach.

 Below are vim sunstitutions to src/luaconf.h which we can applying them
 before the installation
 as the very first step (if I remember well, I've adopted them from a
 gentoo patch), where we
 are defining where Lua will look for the modules, that means in our case
 under /usr/{lib,share}/lua/5.1.

 %s@^#d.\{-}e \(LUA_ROOT\).*@&\r#define \12\t"/usr/"@
 g/\.so;/s/\(.*\)"/\1;" LUA_CDIR2"?.so"/

 So in a conclusion, we have to write an additional page or extend the lua
 page (that might add some bloat, though this depends from the
 implementation) describing the above and with instructions to:

 * install and use LuaRocks

 * download and install four/five important and popular Lua modules (I do
 have the instructions and I can provide them when needed)

 Another thing to know is if we want to build the shared library, liblua.so
 or just the static liblua.a. If we need to build the shared library we
 should do a research how the other distributions
 do build the shared library. There is also a patch written for 5.1.1,
 which can still be valid, from Luca Piol in


 As I am not in a position to build a 6.5 LFS, I can't really do this
 ticket, so I would welcome a collaboration from editor(s) that are


 2. http://luaforge.net/projects/luasocket/

 3. http://luaforge.net/projects/luaposix/

 4. http://www.luarocks.org/

Ticket URL: <http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/ticket/2926>
BLFS Trac <http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs>
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