Programming Tutorials

Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Lua

Lua is a lightweight, small, compact, and fast programming language designed as an embeddable scripting language. This cross-platform interpreted language has a simple syntax with powerful data description constructs. It has automatic memory management and incremental garbage collection, making it ideal for configuration, scripting, and rapid prototyping. Lua tries to help you solve problems with only hundreds of lines, or even less. To achieve this aim, Lua relies on extensibility.

In the popularity stakes, Lua lags behind say Python, Perl, or Ruby for scripting purposes. As a barometer of its popularity, Lua is currently ranked in 41st place on the TIOBE Index (January 2020).

Lua is not designed to develop standalone software. But Lua excels as a secondary language. Witness Lua cropping up in kernels, tools, and games. Lua was designed, from the beginning, to be integrated with software written in C and other conventional languages. But it’s also used as a standalone language.

This language is free software distributed under the terms of the MIT license. Lua’s developers consist of a team at PUC-Rio, the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The language has been in development for 26 years.

Here’s our recommended tutorials to learn Lua. If you’re looking for free Lua programming books, check here.


1. Learn Lua in Y minutes by Tyler Neylon

Code documentation written as code. It’s a whirlwind tour presented as valid, commented code and explained as it goes.

Read the tutorial


2. Lua for Programmers by Michael Ebens

  • Part 1: Language Essentials, the current part; covers fundamental syntax and concepts such as operators, loops, and functions.
  • Part 2: Data and Standard Libraries, covers Lua’s built-in data types and some of the standard libraries.
  • Part 3: More Advanced Concepts, deals with things like variable scope, advanced functions, and file loading.
  • Part 4: Tips and Tricks, a collection of small things that you may find useful.

Read the tutorials


3. Lua Tutorial by tutorialspoint

This tutorial covers various topics ranging from the basics of Lua to its scope in various applications.

Read the tutorial


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