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Types of rocks

LuaRocks as a package manager has quite some dependencies on other applications/libraries/tools on the system. Here is a list of locations/whats necessary;

path to LuaRocks

  • LuaRocks commandline scripts. These are the main LuaRocks commands (luarocks, luarocks-admin) and this path should probably be in your system path.
  • LuaRocks modules. These are Lua modules (luarocks.fs, etc.) used by LuaRocks (and potentially by other scripts). If you want these modules available, then this path should be added to the LUA_PATH environment variable

path to Lua binaries and associated data

  • Lua interpreter. Where to find the Lua interpreter to execute scripts and LuaRocks itself.
  • Lua libraries to link against. When compiling C modules, the library is necessary to link against.
  • Lua header files (.h). Also required when compiling C modules.

For Windows users the libraries and headers maybe awkward, as Windows tends to have binary distributions. LuaRocks can provide BinaryRocks, but many rocks are available only as source code and need to be compiled during the installation process.

path to rocks trees

most installations will feature two rocks trees;

The deployment directories contained within the rock trees should probably be added to the LUA_PATH and LUA_CPATH environment variables, so the Lua interpreter can find the modules installed.

path to install commandline scripts

When rocks contain commandline scripts, similar to LuaRocks own luarocks and luarocks-admin commands, then they need to be installed in a location where they can be executed. You probably want to add this location to your system path.


Because more rocks are available as source code than as binary rocks, it is probably best to have a C compiler available. MinGW and Microsoft compilers are supported a.o. The compiler should be in the system path, or explicitly configured in the LuaRocks config files.

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