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Userland Lua

Some time ago I promised to bring Lua to NetBSD's userland, which will
give NetBSD users amazing new possibilities.

The addition of Lua to base has been approved by core and the diff is up
for review at  A previous version
of the diff has already been discussed in private with some developers
and their feedback has been addressed.  The plan is to go ahead with
this and committ it to NetBSD-current soon.  If you see anything
fundamentally wrong please email me.

A few remarks:

- The unaltered Lua sources go to external/mit/lua/dist.

- "Reachover" Makefiles for the library and binaries go to
external/mit/lua as described in hier(7).

- The Lua library is built by linking the corresponding Makefile in
lib/Makefile using SUBDIR.

A few FAQs:

Q: Why Lua in base, isn't the version in pkgsrc good enough?
A: There is nothing wrong with Lua in pkgsrc.  But Lua, being a small
language designed to be embedded in other software written e.g. in C,
must be present in base if software in base is to use/embed it.

Q; Which software will use Lua?
A: There is software in the repository that already has Lua support and
more will come once the Lua interpreter is in base.  There is even an
ongoing project to bring Lua to the kernel space.

Q: Does Lua in base interfere with pkgsrc Lua?
A: Not at all, they can coexist safely.  They use a different Lua root,
so by default they will not interfere.  You can, however, use the
LUA_PATH environment variable (or Lua global variable) to setup the path
where Lua will look for modules.  This way the Lua in base can use
modules installed via pkgsrc and vice versa.

Q: Can Lua in base use Lua modules installed from pkgsrc?
A: Yes, see above.

Q: Where can I learn more about Lua?
A: Visit


- Marc Balmer

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