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LUA(1)                               General Commands Manual                               LUA(1)

       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 is executed.

       Options start with '-' and are described below.  You can use '--' to  signal  the  end  of

       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  exe‐
       cutes them as they are read.  If a line does not contain a complete statement, then a sec‐
       ondary 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  forc‐
       ing  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  expres‐
       sions in the remainder of the line. The expressions must be separated by commas.  The pri‐
       mary prompt is the value of the global variable _PROMPT, if this value is a string; other‐
       wise,  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 (but in this case you have to be careful with quotes if the prompt string contains  a
       space; otherwise you may confuse the shell.)  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.

       -e stat
              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.

       -l name
              call require('name') before executing script.  Typically used to load libraries.

       -v     show version information.


       Error messages should be self explanatory.

       R. Ierusalimschy, L. H. de Figueiredo, and W. Celes

                                   $Date: 2006/01/06 16:03:34 $                            LUA(1)

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