Extend Lua with custom C functions using Clang

note, May 23, 2023 on Mitja Felicijan's blog

Here is a boilerplate for extending Lua with custom C functions. This requires Clang and Lua 5.1 to be installed. GCC can be used instead of Clang, but the Makefile will need to be modified.

  • nativefunc.c

    #include <lua.h>
    #include <lauxlib.h>
    static int l_mult50(lua_State *L) {
      double number = luaL_checknumber(L, 1);
      lua_pushnumber(L, number * 50);
      return 1;
    int luaopen_nativefunc(lua_State *L) {
      static const struct luaL_Reg nativeFuncLib[] = {{"mult50", l_mult50}, {NULL, NULL}};
      luaL_register(L, "nativelib", nativeFuncLib);
      return 1;
  • main.lua

    require "nativefunc"
  • Makefile

    CC       = clang
    CFLAGS   =
    INCLUDES = `pkg-config lua5.1 --cflags-only-I`
      $(CC) -shared -o nativefunc.so -fPIC nativefunc.c $(CFLAGS) $(INCLUDES)
      rm *.so