LuaJIT is only distributed as a source package. This page explains how to build and install LuaJIT with different operating systems and C compilers.
For the impatient (on POSIX systems):
make && sudo make install
LuaJIT currently builds out-of-the box on most systems:
|OS||Min. Version||Requirements||LuaJIT Versions|
|Windows||7||x86 or x64, ARM64: TBA||v2.0 –|
|macOS (OSX)||10.4||v2.1 –|
|POSIX||mmap, dlopen||v2.0 –|
|Android||4.0||Recent Android NDK||v2.0 –|
|iOS||3.0||Xcode iOS SDK||v2.1 –|
|PS3||PS3 SDK||v2.0 – v2.1 EOL|
|PS4||PS4 SDK (ORBIS)||v2.0 –|
|PS5||PS5 SDK (PROSPERO)||v2.1 –|
|PS Vita||PS Vita SDK (PSP2)||v2.0 – v2.1 EOL|
|Xbox 360||Xbox 360 SDK (XEDK)||v2.0 – v2.1 EOL|
|Xbox One||Xbox One SDK (DURANGO)||v2.1 –|
The codebase has compatibility defines for some more systems, but without official support.
Building LuaJIT requires a recent toolchain based on GCC, Clang/LLVM or MSVC++.
The Makefile-based build system requires GNU Make and supports cross-builds. Batch files are provided for MSVC++ builds and console cross-builds.
|x86||32||v2.1+: SSE2||v2.0 –|
|ARM||32||ARMv5+, ARM9E+||hard-fp + soft-fp||v2.0 –|
|ARM64||64||ARM64le + ARM64be||v2.1 –|
|PPC32||32||hard-fp + soft-fp||v2.0 – v2.1 EOL|
|MIPS32||32||MIPS32r1 – r5||hard-fp + soft-fp||v2.0 –|
|MIPS64||64||MIPS64r1 – r5||hard-fp + soft-fp||v2.1 –|
|MIPS64||64||MIPS64r6||hard-fp + soft-fp||v2.1 EOL|
There are no plans to add historic architectures or to continue support for end-of-life (EOL) architectures, for which no new CPUs are commonly available anymore. Likewise, there are no plans to support marginal and/or de-facto-dead architectures.
The standard configuration should work fine for most installations. Usually there is no need to tweak the settings. The following files hold all user-configurable settings:
- src/luaconf.h sets some configuration variables.
- Makefile has settings for installing LuaJIT (POSIX only).
- src/Makefile has settings for compiling LuaJIT under POSIX, MinGW or Cygwin.
- src/msvcbuild.bat has settings for compiling LuaJIT with MSVC (Visual Studio).
Please read the instructions given in these files, before changing any settings.
POSIX Systems (Linux, macOS, *BSD etc.)
Depending on your distribution, you may need to install a package for GCC, the development headers and/or a complete SDK. E.g. on a current Debian/Ubuntu, install libc6-dev with the package manager.
The recommended way to fetch the latest version is to do a pull from the git repository.
Alternatively download the latest source package of LuaJIT (pick the .tar.gz). Move it to a directory of your choice, open a terminal window and change to this directory. Now unpack the archive and change to the newly created directory (replace XX.YY.ZZ with the version you downloaded):
tar zxf LuaJIT-XX.YY.ZZ.tar.gz cd LuaJIT-XX.YY.ZZ
The supplied Makefiles try to auto-detect the settings needed for your operating system and your compiler. They need to be run with GNU Make, which is probably the default on your system, anyway. Simply run:
This always builds a native binary, depending on the host OS you're running this command on. Check the section on cross-compilation for more options.
By default, modules are only searched under the prefix /usr/local. You can add an extra prefix to the search paths by appending the PREFIX option, e.g.:
Please use the LuaJIT 2.1 branch to compile for macOS (OSX).
The top-level Makefile installs LuaJIT by default under /usr/local, i.e. the executable ends up in /usr/local/bin and so on. You need root privileges to write to this path. So, assuming sudo is installed on your system, run the following command and enter your sudo password:
sudo make install
Otherwise specify the directory prefix as an absolute path, e.g.:
make install PREFIX=/home/myself/lj2
Obviously the prefixes given during build and installation need to be the same.
Next, pull from the git repository or download the source package and unpack it using an archive manager (e.g. the Windows Explorer) to a directory of your choice.
Building with MSVC
Open a "Visual Studio Command Prompt" (either x86 or x64), cd to the directory where you've unpacked the sources and run these commands:
cd src msvcbuild
Check the msvcbuild.bat file for more options. Then follow the installation instructions below.
Building with MinGW or Cygwin
Open a command prompt window and make sure the MinGW or Cygwin programs are in your path. Then cd to the directory of the git repository or where you've unpacked the sources. Then run this command for MinGW:
Or this command for Cygwin:
Then follow the installation instructions below.
Copy luajit.exe and lua51.dll (built in the src directory) to a newly created directory (any location is ok). Add lua and lua\jit directories below it and copy all Lua files from the src\jit directory of the distribution to the latter directory.
There are no hardcoded absolute path names — all modules are loaded relative to the directory where luajit.exe is installed (see src/luaconf.h).
The GNU Makefile-based build system allows cross-compiling on any host for any supported target, as long as both architectures have the same pointer size. If you want to cross-compile to any 32 bit target on an x64 OS, you need to install the multilib development package (e.g. libc6-dev-i386 on Debian/Ubuntu) and build a 32 bit host part (HOST_CC="gcc -m32").
You need to specify TARGET_SYS whenever the host OS and the target OS differ, or you'll get assembler or linker errors. E.g. if you're compiling on a Windows or macOS host for embedded Linux or Android, you need to add TARGET_SYS=Linux to the examples below. For a minimal target OS, you may need to disable the built-in allocator in src/Makefile and use TARGET_SYS=Other. Don't forget to specify the same TARGET_SYS for the install step, too.
The examples below only show some popular targets — please check the comments in src/Makefile for more details.
# Cross-compile to a 32 bit binary on a multilib x64 OS make CC="gcc -m32" # Cross-compile on Debian/Ubuntu for Windows (mingw32 package) make HOST_CC="gcc -m32" CROSS=i586-mingw32msvc- TARGET_SYS=Windows
The CROSS prefix allows specifying a standard GNU cross-compile toolchain (Binutils, GCC and a matching libc). The prefix may vary depending on the --target the toolchain was built for (note the CROSS prefix has a trailing "-"). The examples below use the canonical toolchain triplets for Linux.
Since there's often no easy way to detect CPU features at runtime, it's important to compile with the proper CPU or architecture settings. You can specify these when building the toolchain yourself. Or add -mcpu=... or -march=... to TARGET_CFLAGS. For ARM it's important to have the correct -mfloat-abi=... setting, too. Otherwise LuaJIT may not run at the full performance of your target CPU.
# ARM soft-float make HOST_CC="gcc -m32" CROSS=arm-linux-gnueabi- \ TARGET_CFLAGS="-mfloat-abi=soft" # ARM soft-float ABI with VFP (example for Cortex-A8) make HOST_CC="gcc -m32" CROSS=arm-linux-gnueabi- \ TARGET_CFLAGS="-mcpu=cortex-a8 -mfloat-abi=softfp" # ARM hard-float ABI with VFP (armhf, requires recent toolchain) make HOST_CC="gcc -m32" CROSS=arm-linux-gnueabihf- # PPC make HOST_CC="gcc -m32" CROSS=powerpc-linux-gnu- # PPC/e500v2 (fast interpreter only) make HOST_CC="gcc -m32" CROSS=powerpc-e500v2-linux-gnuspe- # MIPS big-endian make HOST_CC="gcc -m32" CROSS=mips-linux- # MIPS little-endian make HOST_CC="gcc -m32" CROSS=mipsel-linux-
You can cross-compile for Android using the Android NDK. Please adapt the environment variables to match the install locations and the desired target platform. E.g. Android 4.1 corresponds to ABI level 16.
# Android/ARM, armeabi-v7a (ARMv7 VFP), Android 4.1+ (JB) NDKDIR=/opt/android/ndk NDKBIN=$NDKDIR/toolchains/llvm/prebuilt/linux-x86_64/bin NDKCROSS=$NDKBIN/arm-linux-androideabi- NDKCC=$NDKBIN/armv7a-linux-androideabi16-clang make HOST_CC="gcc -m32" CROSS=$NDKCROSS \ STATIC_CC=$NDKCC DYNAMIC_CC="$NDKCC -fPIC" \ TARGET_LD=$NDKCC TARGET_AR="$NDKBIN/llvm-ar rcus" \ TARGET_STRIP=$NDKBIN/llvm-strip
Please use the LuaJIT 2.1 branch to compile for iOS (iPhone/iPad).
Cross-compiling for consoles
Building LuaJIT for consoles requires both a supported host compiler (x86 or x64) and a cross-compiler (to PPC or ARM) from the official console SDK.
Due to restrictions on consoles, the JIT compiler is disabled and only the fast interpreter is built. This is still faster than plain Lua, but much slower than the JIT compiler. The FFI is disabled, too, since it's not very useful in such an environment.
The following commands build a static library libluajit.a, which can be linked against your game, just like the Lua library.
To cross-compile for PS3 from a Linux host (requires 32 bit GCC, i.e. multilib Linux/x64) or a Windows host (requires 32 bit MinGW), run this command:
make HOST_CC="gcc -m32" CROSS=ppu-lv2-
To cross-compile for PS4 from a Windows host, open a "Visual Studio .NET Command Prompt" (64 bit host compiler), cd to the directory where you've unpacked the sources and run the following commands:
cd src ps4build
To cross-compile for PS Vita from a Windows host, open a "Visual Studio .NET Command Prompt" (32 bit host compiler), cd to the directory where you've unpacked the sources and run the following commands:
cd src psvitabuild
To cross-compile for Xbox 360 from a Windows host, open a "Visual Studio .NET Command Prompt" (32 bit host compiler), cd to the directory where you've unpacked the sources and run the following commands:
cd src xedkbuild
LuaJIT is API-compatible with Lua 5.1. If you've already embedded Lua into your application, you probably don't need to do anything to switch to LuaJIT, except link with a different library:
- It's strongly suggested to build LuaJIT separately using the supplied build system. Please do not attempt to integrate the individual source files into your build tree. You'll most likely get the internal build dependencies wrong or mess up the compiler flags. Treat LuaJIT like any other external library and link your application with either the dynamic or static library, depending on your needs.
- If you want to load C modules compiled for plain Lua
with require(), you need to make sure the public symbols
(e.g. lua_pushnumber) are exported, too:
- On POSIX systems you can either link to the shared library or link the static library into your application. In the latter case you'll need to export all public symbols from your main executable (e.g. -Wl,-E on Linux) and add the external dependencies (e.g. -lm -ldl on Linux).
- Since Windows symbols are bound to a specific DLL name, you need to link to the lua51.dll created by the LuaJIT build (do not rename the DLL). You may link LuaJIT statically on Windows only if you don't intend to load Lua/C modules at runtime.
Additional hints for initializing LuaJIT using the C API functions:
- Here's a simple example for embedding Lua or LuaJIT into your application.
- Make sure you use luaL_newstate. Avoid using lua_newstate, since this uses the (slower) default memory allocator from your system (no support for this on 64 bit architectures).
- Make sure you use luaL_openlibs and not the old Lua 5.0 style of calling luaopen_base etc. directly.
- To change or extend the list of standard libraries to load, copy src/lib_init.c to your project and modify it accordingly. Make sure the jit library is loaded or the JIT compiler will not be activated.
- The bit.* module for bitwise operations is already built-in. There's no need to statically link Lua BitOp to your application.
Hints for Distribution Maintainers
The LuaJIT build system has extra provisions for the needs of most POSIX-based distributions. If you're a package maintainer for a distribution, please make use of these features and avoid patching, subverting, autotoolizing or messing up the build system in unspeakable ways.
There should be absolutely no need to patch luaconf.h or any of the Makefiles. And please do not hand-pick files for your packages — simply use whatever make install creates. There's a reason for all of the files and directories it creates.
The build system uses GNU make and auto-detects most settings based on the host you're building it on. This should work fine for native builds, even when sandboxed. You may need to pass some of the following flags to both the make and the make install command lines for a regular distribution build:
- PREFIX overrides the installation path and should usually be set to /usr. Setting this also changes the module paths and the paths needed to locate the shared library.
- DESTDIR is an absolute path which allows you to install to a shadow tree instead of the root tree of the build system.
- MULTILIB sets the architecture-specific library path component for multilib systems. The default is lib.
- Have a look at the top-level Makefile and src/Makefile for additional variables to tweak. The following variables may be overridden, but it's not recommended, except for special needs like cross-builds: BUILDMODE, CC, HOST_CC, STATIC_CC, DYNAMIC_CC, CFLAGS, HOST_CFLAGS, TARGET_CFLAGS, LDFLAGS, HOST_LDFLAGS, TARGET_LDFLAGS, TARGET_SHLDFLAGS, TARGET_FLAGS, LIBS, HOST_LIBS, TARGET_LIBS, CROSS, HOST_SYS, TARGET_SYS
The build system has a special target for an amalgamated build, i.e. make amalg. This compiles the LuaJIT core as one huge C file and allows GCC to generate faster and shorter code. Alas, this requires lots of memory during the build. This may be a problem for some users, that's why it's not enabled by default. But it shouldn't be a problem for most build farms. It's recommended that binary distributions use this target for their LuaJIT builds.
The tl;dr version of the above:
make amalg PREFIX=/usr && \ make install PREFIX=/usr DESTDIR=/tmp/buildroot
Finally, if you encounter any difficulties, please contact me first, instead of releasing a broken package onto unsuspecting users. Because they'll usually gonna complain to me (the upstream) and not you (the package maintainer), anyway.