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An XML Parser written entirely in Lua 5

xml2lua-1.0-1 Build Status MIT license

xml2lua is an XML parser written entirely in Lua which doesn’t depend on any external C/C++ library.

This version was adapted to work with Lua 5 and can be used in Lua applications, including interactive Digital Television (DTV) Ginga NCL applications for the Brazilian DTV System (worldwide known as ISDB-T International or ISDB-Tb).

The original parser was written by Paul Chakravarti and is available on LuaUsers.

The code (and documentation) is not complete yet, however it is usable and this release is intended to avoid potential duplication between efforts and get early feedback.

The API is relatively stable however there may be some detailed changes.


If you clone this repository, you are download all the module source code and can run the examples directly. However, if you want to use the module inside your own project, the best way is to download it using LuaRocks at the command line:

luarocks install xml2lua

How to use

A simplified example which parses an XML directly from a string is presented below:

--Uses a handler that converts the XML to a Lua table
local handler = require("xmlhandler.tree")

local xml = [[
  <person type="P">
  <person type="J">
    <name>University of Brasília</name>

--Instantiates the XML parser
local parser = xml2lua.parser(handler)

--Manually prints the table (since the XML structure for this example is previously known)
for i, p in pairs(handler.root.people.person) do
  print("Name:",, "City:",, "Type:", p._attr.type)

There are some examples such as the example1.lua.

Command line tool

You can use a command line tool to try parsing XML files. Execute lua testxml.lua -help on the terminal for more details.


This code is freely distributable under the terms of the MIT license.