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Lua Hello World Example: How To Write and Execute Lua Program on Linux OS

Question: I would like to understand the basics of how to write and execute Lua program on Linux OS. Can you explain it with a simple example?

Answer: In this article, let us review very quickly how to write a basic Hello World Lua program and execute lua program on Linux or Unix OS.

1. Write a Hello World Lua Program

Create the helloworld program using a Vim editor as shown below.

$ vim helloworld


-- hello world lua program 
print ("Hello World!")

Note: Comment in Lua starts with two hyphens “–“.

2. Make sure Lua Interpreter is installed on your system

Make sure Lua interpreter is installed on your system as shown below.

$ whereis lua
lua: /usr/bin/lua5.1 /usr/bin/lua /usr/share/man/man1/lua.1.gz

$ which lua

Installing Lua Interpreter

If you don’t have lua interpreter, install it as shown below.

$ sudo apt-get install lua5.1

3. Execute the Lua Program

You can either execute using lua helloworld or ./helloworld

$ lua helloworld
Hello World!

( or )
$ chmod u+x helloworld

$ ./helloworld
Hello World!

Note: As lua is an interpreted language, you don’t have the compilation step similar to the C program.

4. Writing and Executing Lua One liner

You can also execute lua from the command line as shown below. This will print Hello World!.

lua -e 'print("Hello World!")'
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