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My advice would be to use the FLTK toolkit :

It is very efficient, lightweight, and
it offers widgets like analog meters etc.
There is a nice 1D plotting library (only
1 small cpp file...) on top of FLTK, called
Cartesian :

It is very easy to add file descriptors watching
(select) within the GUI main loop. It helps
a lot for sockets. Of course, other toolkits
probably offers the same kind of features.

As far as I know there are some Lua bindings
for FLTK. However, it might be more efficient
to write the GUI code in C++, and to exchange
data using the Lua C API if you don't really
need GUI objects to be exported on the Lua
side (do you see what I mean ?).

My 2 cents,

Quoting Dave Smead <>:

> Greetings,
> I'm a Lua newbie, but a programmer of many years using C and Python.
> I've used Linux exclusively since 1994, Debian most of that time and
> presently using Ubuntu 8.10.
> At the moment I'm still having some difficulties getting Lua packages
> installed because I'm not up to speed on luarocks yet.  I'm a little
> hesitant to download packages outside the luarocks mechanism because I'm
> painfully aware that grabbing a tar.gz file and running make will
> sometimes clobber library versions that are used by programs obtained
> via apt-get, (that is make a mess that is difficult to clean up).
> My immediate interest is using Lua to access graphics primitives such as
> draw-line, draw-circle, draw-arc, etc.  I see there are bindings to SDL,
> opengl, wx, tk and others.  While I need some gui widgets, mostly I need
> widgets that represent analog meters, and trend graphs, (plots). I have
> C code from the 1980's that ran on DOS with a primitive vgalib so
> primitive is fine for what I need.
> Can anyone offer opinions of which graphics library would be best
> suited?
> The graphics rendering program will run on a Linux machine, but I want
> to connect it via a TCP socket to a very small microcomputer that tells
> the rendering program what to draw using ASCII strings, or better yet,
> by passing a Lua table to the rendering program.
> Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom.
> David Smead