A programmer friendly language that compiles to Lua.

MoonScript is a dynamic scripting language that compiles into Lua. It gives you the power of one of the fastest scripting languages combined with a rich set of features.

class Thing
  name: "unknown"

class Person extends Thing
  say_name: => print "Hello, I am #{@name}!"

with Person!
  .name = "MoonScript"

MoonScript can either be compiled into Lua and run at a later time, or it can be dynamically compiled and run using the moonloader. It’s as simple as require "moonscript" in order to have Lua understand how to load and run any MoonScript file.

Because it compiles right into Lua code, it is completely compatible with alternative Lua implementations like LuaJIT, and it is also compatible with all existing Lua code and libraries.

The command line tools also let you run MoonScript directly from the command line, like any first-class scripting language.

A comprehensive overview of the language can be found in the reference manual, the rest of this page serves as an overview of the language.


MoonScript provides a clean syntax using significant whitespace that avoids all the keyword noise typically seen in a Lua script. Below is a sample of some constructs found in the language.

export my_func
x = 2323

collection =
  height: 32434
  hats: {"tophat", "bball", "bowler"}

my_func = (a) -> x + a

print my_func 100

It also adds table comprehensions, implicit return on functions, classes, inheritance, scope management statements import & export, and a convenient object creation statement called with.

import concat, insert from table

double_args = (...) ->
  [x * 2 for x in *{...}]

tuples = [{k, v} for k,v in ipairs my_table]

It can be loaded directly from a Lua script without an intermediate compile step. It even knows how to tell you where errors occurred in the original file when they happen.


Installing with LuaRocks

If you're on Windows, then install the Windows binaries, otherwise the easiest way to install is to use LuaRocks.

LuaRocks can be obtained here or from your package manager.

After it is installed, run the following in a terminal:

$ luarocks install moonscript

This will provide the moon and moonc executables along with the moonscript and moon Lua module.

Windows Binaries

Precompiled Windows binaries are available to avoid the trouble of compiling: win32-v0.4.0/build.zip

Extract the contents into your PATH. You can also use the included moonscript.dll to require the module in.

This version has been compiled against Lua 5.1.


If you're on Linux and use watch mode (which compiles .moon files to .lua files as they are changed) you can install linotify to use inotify instead of polling.


The source code to the project lives on GitHub:

Issues with the tool can be reported on the issue tracker:

The latest development version can be installed with the dev rockspec:

$ luarocks install \


In addition to Lua 5.1 or 5.2, the following Lua modules are required to run the compiler and associated tools:

All of the required ones can be retrieved automatically using the LuaRocks installation.


Extras & Addons

Editor Support

Vim syntax and indent:

Sublime Text (and Textmate) syntax and indent:


Online Compiler:

Overview of Differences & Highlights

A more detailed overview of the syntax can be found in the reference manual.


The syntax of MoonScript has been heavily inspired by the syntax of CoffeeScript. MoonScript is CoffeeScript for Lua.

MoonScript would not have been possible without the excellent tool LPeg for parsing.