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  The problem seems to be the "pclose" function (as pointed out by lhf). In
some systems, it is harmless to call it over a non "popened" stream, but
it crashes in other systems. This function *is not* ANSI, so there is no
way to implement something that will work on all systems, and no way to say
which implementation is "correct". If you have this kind of problems,
recompile Lua without the "-DPOPEN" option (see the "config" file). The only
difference will be that Lua will not accept "piped" streams, like
"writeto('| tr a-z A-Z')".

-- Roberto

PS: maybe that should be the default in "config".