I've already installed TeXLive and TexMaker. Now I'm thinking of turning to LuaTeX. What are the steps I have to follow in order to start compiling with LuaTeX? Do I have to install Lua first? If so, which is the best way to do it on Windows 10? Out of the many github repositories dedicated to this purpose (e.g. rjpcomputing/luaforwindows or luarocks/luarocks/wiki/installation-instructions-for-windows) which one is the most reliable?

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    As TeXnician noted, you do not have to install Lua, because the stuff you need is already included when you install LuaTeX (LuaLaTeX) with TeXLive. The Lua support is within TeXLive, not at the top level of your hard drive. And, you do not need to know any Lua programming (unless you want to), because the vital Lua code is already contained in fontspec and some other packages you will use. I use LuaLaTeX exclusively, and do not know a whit of Lua. Once in a while, I copy and paste some Lua code posted on these forums, if it does something remarkable.
    – user139954
    Dec 30, 2017 at 18:34
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    A significant aspect of Lua is that it was designed from scratch for embedded systems and clients. Thus, LuaTeX is a TeX engine that embeds a (nearly full) Lua, version 5.2, at present. (Alas, not yet version 5.3; hopefully, though, this will change in the not too distant future.) A main reason for why Lua, rather than some other programming language, was chosen was precisely that it's easily embedded in other programs (such as the LuaTeX executable).
    – Mico
    Dec 30, 2017 at 23:44

1 Answer 1


You do not have to install Lua separately in order to run luatex. If you have installed TeX Live (the usual install is the full install) you will have it on your machine. If you want to double-check use texlua --version in the command line of your operating system.

  • Until now, I did not realize that texlua was an alias for luatex. Users might prefer lualatex.
    – user139954
    Dec 30, 2017 at 20:08
  • @RobtAll Maybe, but the OP asked for luatex. Why bother with the format if you consider switching engines?
    – TeXnician
    Dec 30, 2017 at 20:39
  • Maybe "asked for luatex" really meant "should asked for lualatex." Not so much a switch, as a clarification.
    – user139954
    Dec 30, 2017 at 22:06
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    @RobtAll texlua isn't really an alias it accepts lua rather than tex code in that mode. Dec 30, 2017 at 22:09
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    @RobtAll they are but so are all of latex and tex and pdflatex and pdftex, the program name affects the behaviour, so it's odd to call them aliases Dec 31, 2017 at 16:14

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