This first edition was written for Lua 5.0. While still largely relevant for later versions, there are some differences.
The fourth edition targets Lua 5.3 and is available at Amazon and other bookstores.
By buying the book, you also help to support the Lua project.

Other Resources

The reference manual is a must for anyone that wants to really learn any language. This book does not replace the Lua reference manual. Quite the opposite, they both complement each other. The manual only describes Lua. It shows neither examples nor a rationale for the constructs of the language. On the other hand, it describes the whole language; this book skips some seldom-used dark corners of the language. Moreover, the manual is the authoritative document about Lua. Wherever this book disagrees with the manual, trust the manual. To get the manual and more information about Lua, visit the Lua site at

You can also find useful information at the Lua users site, kept by the community of users at Among other resources, it offers a tutorial, a list of third-part packages and documentation, and an archive of the official Lua mailing list. It may be useful to check also the book's web page:
There you can find an updated errata, code for some of the examples presented in the book, and some extra material.

This book describes Lua 5.0. If you are using a more recent version, check the corresponding manual for occasional differences between versions. If you are using an older version, this is good time to upgrade.