I am writing a small program to us in LuaLaTex. The purpose of it is to produce an qr-code with a given uuid, the qr-code is printed on the page and the uuid is stored in the pdf's meta-data.

Nevertheless I thought it would be nice to have a single executable in the texmf folder to called by the class file from my document. To generate the qr-codes i used (Linux) qrencode & convert with this lua script uuidqrcode.lua:

#!/usr/bin/env lua 

function gen_qr_uuid ()
    local uuid = require 'uuid'
    -- uuid.seed(math.randomseed(os.time()))
    local encode = uuid()
    local name = encode
    local format = 'pdf'

    local qrencode = string.format(
        [[qrencode \
            --type=EPS \
            --output=%s.eps \
            --size=10 \
            --level=H \
            --margin=0 \
            --casesensitive \
            %s \

    local convert = string.format(
        [[convert \
            %s.eps \
            %s.%s \

    local rmeps = string.format("rm %s.eps", name)


for i=1, (arg[1] or 1) do
    gen_qr_uuid ()

To convert this script to a standalone executable i used luastatic with this script makeluaexec:

luastatic $1 `pkg-config --libs --cflags lua`

With this I have a single executable file but it sill depends on qrencode & convert, so when I move to a other Linux machine these tools has to be installed. Is there a way to pack these tools into my self generated executable?


Yes. The qrencode program is just a wrapper around libqrencode, and the convert command is just a wrapper around ImageMagick. Instead of calling those commands, call the library functions from your code directly. Bindings such as https://github.com/isage/lua-imagick and https://github.com/vincascm/qrencode will be useful for this. Then, when you call luastatic, just pass in the relevant static libraries.

  • Hi Joseph, thank you for the hint to these library's, after a little wiggle to install the lua-imagick on my centos machine (ImageMagick has to be a newer version, but they provide rpm's, so was not that big deal), I noticed that the lua library / binding of qrencode only provides suport for "ASCII and PNG" so there is no need anymore for the convert command. So i do not get the desired qr-code in pdf (vector) format. Basically I can work with the solution now, but back to my first question, is it possible to include a executable? – M117 Oct 5 '18 at 8:34
  • Not without a lot of trouble. It would be much easier to modify the qrencode bindings (or write new ones) so they support EPS. – Joseph Sible Oct 5 '18 at 13:10
  • I found this Embedding binary data in executables, maybe this works for this use case? I mean on lua-imagick they say: "FFI-based bindings are hackish and buggy" but are very convenient and already well documented. What do you think about this approach? Could it be done with writing a auxlib? – M117 Oct 5 '18 at 13:27
  • You could, but then you'd have to extract it from the binary into a temporary file to run it, then delete it when it's done, and you'd have to get/build statically-linked versions of the programs, or they'd fail due to missing dependencies. – Joseph Sible Oct 5 '18 at 13:39
  • Ok, I think this approach with binding these things into the executable is not the best way to go, better write a function which checks if the dependencies are available and if not exiting the program before running in a error. Thanks a lot for your help – M117 Oct 5 '18 at 13:49

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