Installing Corona — macOS

This guide will help you get up and running with Corona for macOS.

Installing Corona

Before proceeding, ensure that your system meets the core requirements to install Corona.

We'll assume you've already downloaded Corona. If not, please do so before continuing.

Download Corona

  1. Locate the application disk image, for example Corona-2018.3326.dmg, and double click it. This should mount the disk image and, once you agree to the terms of service, present you with a disk image window:
  1. Drag the Corona folder into the Applications folder alias. This will copy the contents of the folder into /Applications.

You can use Corona without installing Apple's Developer Kit or the Android SDK. Later, if you want to build and test your code on a iOS device, you will need to sign up as an Apple Developer and create the necessary certificates and provisioning profiles (guide).


There are two ways to stay current with releases/builds of Corona:

  • Public Release — The latest stable release of Corona, providing maximum reliability for your projects. This is updated several times a year.

  • Daily Builds — The bleeding edge. Daily builds contain the latest features as they are integrated into Corona.

Product Activation

In order to use Corona, you must be connected to the Internet and perform a simple one-time authorization process.

  1. Open the Corona Simulator from the folder where you installed it.
  1. The first time you launch, you will be presented with a License Agreement (EULA). Read the license terms and click Agree.

  2. If you've already registered for a Corona account, simply enter your account e-mail and password to activate the product. Otherwise, click Register to create an account.

  3. Upon successful login, you will receive a confirmation dialog. You're ready to get started!

Java Development Kit

Installing Corona lets you create and test apps locally on your Mac. If you intend to build apps for testing on Android devices, you will need to install the Java Development Kit (JDK). If you try to build an Android app without the JDK installed, the Corona Simulator will help you install it. Alternatively, if you want to install it manually, you can follow these instructions:

  1. Go to the JDK download page.
  2. Click the JDK download link to obtain the current Java Platform (JDK).
  3. On the next page, read the license agreement and click the option to accept it if you agree.
  4. Locate the Mac OS X link and click it to download the file. This file will be named approximately jdk-8u131-macosx-x64.dmg.
  5. When the download is complete, open the .dmg and run the installer.

Text Editors

You'll need a text editor or IDE to write code for your Corona projects. If you don't already have a favorite text editor, the following options are recommended:

Development Environment

The Corona development environment consists of two aspects: the Corona Simulator and the Corona Simulator Console.

Simulator Options

The Corona Simulator for macOS features the following basic menu items:

Getting Started

If you're new to Corona, the most fun way to learn is to create a simple game. Don't worry if you've never created a mobile app or programmed before — the chapters in the guide will walk you through the entire process from start to finish!

Command Line Usage

To start a particular app in the Corona Simulator without double-clicking it, use a command like this:

"/Applications/Corona/Corona Simulator" ~/CoronaApps/MyApp

If the specified directory doesn't contain a main.lua file, an error is displayed. Optionally -project can be specified (note that this suppresses any error messages if the directory is invalid).

If you don't want the Simulator Console window to automatically appear use the -no-console option:

"/Applications/Corona/Corona Simulator" -no-console YES

Output from the Simulator will appear on standard output.

If you never want the Simulator to automatically start a console window, but for some reason cannot use the command line, you can run the following command in a Terminal window:

defaults write com.coronalabs.Corona_Simulator no-console -bool yes

Use this command to turn the Simulator Console back on again:

defaults delete com.coronalabs.Corona_Simulator no-console

One additional flag is allowed -debug YES which allows an IDE to connect a debugger to the Simulator session. Specify it before the directory/file argument.