How Much Does Lua Cost


Lua is a powerful and lightweight programming language that has gained popularity among developers for its simplicity and versatility. As an avid programmer myself, I have been fascinated by Lua for quite some time and have often wondered about its cost. In this article, I will explore the various aspects of Lua’s pricing and give you my personal insights into this topic.

The Cost of Lua

Let’s address the elephant in the room, Lua is free and open-source! Yes, you read that right. Lua was designed to be a free and accessible language for everyone to use. It was created by a team of dedicated developers led by Roberto Ierusalimschy at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Their goal was to provide a language that could be embedded into other applications and extended with custom functionalities.

Since its inception in 1993, Lua has been distributed under the MIT license, which allows anyone to use, modify, and distribute the language for any purpose. This open-source nature of Lua has played a significant role in its widespread adoption and success. It has enabled developers from all backgrounds to leverage the power of Lua without any financial burden.

Additional Costs to Consider

While the core Lua language is free, there are some additional costs that you might encounter depending on your specific use case.

1. Lua Libraries and Modules

One of the major strengths of Lua is its extensive ecosystem of libraries and modules that provide additional functionality for various domains such as game development, web development, networking, and more. While many of these libraries are also free and open-source, some developers choose to offer commercial versions or paid support for their Lua libraries. If you require the support or additional features offered by these commercial versions, there might be associated costs.

2. Lua Development Tools

While Lua can be written and executed using a simple text editor, there are several development tools available that enhance the coding experience. Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) like ZeroBrane Studio and IDE plugins like Lua Development Tools for Visual Studio Code provide features like syntax highlighting, code completion, debugging, and profiling. While these tools themselves are often free, there might be premium versions or add-ons that come with a price tag. However, it’s important to note that these tools are optional, and you can still develop Lua applications without them.

My Personal Take

As someone who has extensively used Lua in my projects, I can confidently say that its cost-effectiveness is one of its most appealing aspects. The fact that Lua is free and open-source means that developers can experiment, learn, and build amazing applications without any financial constraints. The vibrant Lua community, which freely shares knowledge and contributes to its ecosystem, further adds to its value.

It’s worth mentioning that Lua’s cost-effectiveness doesn’t compromise its efficiency or capabilities. Lua is widely used in various domains, including game development (with popular game engines like Corona SDK and Love2D), embedded systems, and scripting language for other applications like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. This demonstrates the trust and confidence that developers and companies have in Lua.


In conclusion, Lua is a programming language that comes at no cost. Its open-source nature allows developers to leverage its power and versatility without any financial burden. While there might be additional costs associated with specific libraries or development tools, they are optional and not essential to start using Lua. As a programmer, I am truly grateful for Lua’s accessibility, as it has empowered me to bring my ideas to life without worrying about the price tag.