Lua Packaging Guidelines

What is Lua?

As described on the Lua website, Lua is

"Lua is a powerful, efficient, lightweight, embeddable scripting language. It supports procedural programming, object-oriented programming, functional programming, data-driven programming, and data description."

To learn Lua, read Programming in Lua.

Spec Template for a Lua Package

Many Lua packages use Lua-rocks for packaging. It is helpful to examine the .rockspec specification as a guide in writing your spec file. Some packages require compilation of C programs, but others may be pure Lua. Both will have very similar install locations.

Summary:        Lua integration with libev
Name:           lua-ev
License:        MIT

Version:        1.5
Release:        2%{?dist}

Source0:        %{url}/archive/v%{version}/%{name}-%{version}.tar.gz

BuildRequires:  cmake
BuildRequires:  gcc
BuildRequires:  libev-devel
BuildRequires:  lua-devel

Event loop programming with Lua.

%autosetup -n %{name}-%{version}

%cmake -DINSTALL_CMOD=%{lua_libdir}


#packaged tests do not work directly
#Use example program as a smoke test
LUA_CPATH=%{buildroot}%{lua_libdir}/?.so \
lua example.lua
LUA_CPATH=%{buildroot}%{lua_libdir}/?.so \
lua -e 'ev = require "ev"; print(ev.version())'

%license README
%doc example.lua

* Thu Dec 08 2022 Benson Muite <> - 1.5-1
- Use README as license

* Sat Nov 19 2022 Benson Muite <> - 1.5-2
- Fix install location based on review
- Add further smoke test

* Wed Nov 16 2022 Benson Muite <> - 1.5-1
- Initial release


Lua add-on packages generally follow the naming scheme of lua-modulename — e.g. lua-filesystem, lua-lpeg, lua-moonscript. If the module name makes it clear that it is an add-on for Lua, though, the module name itself is sufficient. e.g. lutok.

Use your judgement — e.g. the second l in lua-lpeg already stands for Lua, but it might not be seen as unambiguous enough.


The following macros for packaging lua extensions are provided by the lua-devel package:

Macro Description


version of system installed lua


installation directory for compiled modules


installation directory for arch-independent modules


declares the needed runtime dependencies for the binary package

For EPEL, define the following macros at the top of your spec file:

%{!?lua_version: %global lua_version %{lua: print(string.sub(_VERSION, 5))}}
# for compiled modules
%{!?lua_libdir: %global lua_libdir %{_libdir}/lua/%{lua_version}}
# for arch-independent modules
%{!?lua_pkgdir: %global lua_pkgdir %{_datadir}/lua/%{lua_version}}

To make the package pull the correct runtime dependencies, declare them like this:

Requires: lua >= %{lua_version}
Requires: lua <  %{lua: os.setlocale('C'); print(string.sub(_VERSION, 5) + 0.1)}