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A modern two-way bridge between Python and Lua

Project description

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A modern two-way bridge between Python and Lua.

Major Features

For Python Users

  • Integrate Lua into Python using CFFI as backend, which runs fast on both CPython and PyPy.

  • Run multiple Lua runtimes in one Python process.

  • Link to multiple lua libraries installed in system and use their luarocks.

  • Zero-copy data sharing between Python and Lua.

  • Seamless operations on Lua objects.

  • Hackable and extendable; customizable interacting behaviors.

  • Parallel numerical calculation using Lua to break the limit of Python’s GIL.

For Lua Users

  • Enrich Lua’s abilities by using Python’s modules.

  • Link to CPython and PyPy.

  • Seamless operations on Python objects.

Above all, ffilupa has plenty of fun!

Why ffilupa

Compare to lupa

  • lupa uses Cython as it’s backend, which is less friendly to PyPy and not extendable.

  • lupa doesn’t support Lua as the host language, which means you can’t use it in a Lua program.

  • lupa doesn’t support seamless operations on Lua objects.

  • lupa is not under actively development.

  • lupa inspired ffilupa a lot.

Compare to LunaticPython

  • Well, LunaticPython is too old and out of development for a long time.

  • LunaticPython doesn’t support multiple Lua runtimes.

  • LunaticPython leaks new features.


Before installing ffilupa, please check whether you have installed the development library of lua. On Ubuntu, you can install liblua5.3-dev or liblua5.2-dev:

$ sudo apt install [liblua5.3-dev|liblua5.2-dev]

On Mac OS X, you can use Homebrew:

$ brew install lua pkg-config

During installation, ffilupa will automatically find lua libraries through pkg-config.

Make sure you have installed Python 3.5+ in your system, including it’s development files and the suitable C compiler. On Ubuntu:

$ sudo apt install python3-dev

On Mac OS X:

$ brew install python

You’d better install the dependencies of ffilupa:

$ pip install cffi semantic_version

It’s optional; ffilupa will install them if you haven’t installed before.

Install stable version

For Python Users

$ pip install ffilupa

Install development version from Git branch

For Python Users

$ pip install git+

For Lua Users

Make sure you have installed luarocks.

$ git clone
$ cd ffilupa
$ luarocks make

FAQ about installation

How to deal with the exception ‘Required lua lib not found’?

Please check the installation of Lua. ffilupa currently only supports Lua 5.2 and 5.3. Then reinstall ffilupa in order to find the recently installed Lua libraries.

Does ffilupa support Windows?

ffilupa can support Windows, but not now. It might support Windows in next minor release.


For Python Users

A Brief Look

>>> import ffilupa
>>> lua = ffilupa.LuaRuntime()
>>> lua_func = lua.eval('''
...     function(a, b) -- a plus b
...         return a + b
...     end
... ''')
>>> lua_func(22, 33)

Access Globals of Lua

>>> def greeting(name='World'): # greeting someone
...     print('Hello, {}!'.format(name))
>>> lua._G.greeting = greeting
>>> lua.execute('greeting()')
Hello, World!
>>> lua.execute('greeting("John")')
Hello, John!

Zero-copy Data Sharing

>>> poem = {
...     'the': 'quick',
...     'brown': 'fox',
...     'jumps': 'over',
... }
>>> lua_func = lua.eval('''
...     function(poem) -- finish the poem
...         poem['lazy'] = 'doges'
...     end
... ''')
>>> lua_func(poem)
>>> poem['lazy']

Deal with Lua Table

>>> table = lua.table_from(poem)
>>> lua_func = lua.eval('''
...     function(poem) -- shuffle the poem
...         local new_poem = {}
...         for k, v in pairs(poem) do
...             new_poem[v] = k
...         end
...         return new_poem
...     end
... ''')
>>> new_poem = lua_func(table)
>>> for k in sorted(new_poem):
...     print(k, new_poem[k], end=' ')
doges lazy fox brown over jumps quick the

For Lua Users

A Brief Look

ffilupa = require 'ffilupa'
Fraction = ffilupa.import_module('fractions').Fraction
a = Fraction(1, 2)
b = Fraction(1, 3)
c = a + b    -- c == 5/6

Extend Lua’s Abilities

Path = ffilupa.import_module('pathlib').Path
p = Path('.')
p = p / 'ffilupa'
for _, filename in pairs(p:iterdir()) do
    print(filename)    -- print all filename in ./ffilupa


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