DFHack Lua API Reference

DFHack has extensive support for the Lua scripting language, providing access to:

  1. Raw data structures used by the game.

  2. Many C++ functions for high-level access to these structures, and interaction with dfhack itself.

  3. Some functions exported by C++ plugins.

Lua code can be used both for writing scripts, which are treated by DFHack command line prompt almost as native C++ commands, and invoked by plugins written in C++.

This document describes native API available to Lua in detail. It does not describe all of the utility functions implemented by Lua files located in hack/lua/* (library/lua/* in the git repo).

DF data structure wrapper

Data structures of the game are defined in XML files located in library/xml (and online, and automatically exported to lua code as a tree of objects and functions under the df global, which also broadly maps to the df namespace in the headers generated for C++.


The wrapper provides almost raw access to the memory of the game, so mistakes in manipulating objects are as likely to crash the game as equivalent plain C++ code would be - e.g. null pointer access is safely detected, but dangling pointers aren’t.

Objects managed by the wrapper can be broadly classified into the following groups:

  1. Typed object pointers (references).

    References represent objects in DF memory with a known type.

    In addition to fields and methods defined by the wrapped type, every reference has some built-in properties and methods.

  2. Untyped pointers

    Represented as lightuserdata.

    In assignment to a pointer NULL can be represented either as nil, or a NULL lightuserdata; reading a NULL pointer field returns nil.

  3. Named types

    Objects in the df tree that represent identity of struct, class, enum and bitfield types. They host nested named types, static methods, builtin properties & methods, and, for enums and bitfields, the bi-directional mapping between key names and values.

  4. The global object

    df.global corresponds to the df::global namespace, and behaves as a mix between a named type and a reference, containing both nested types and fields corresponding to global symbols.

In addition to the global object and top-level types the df global also contains a few global builtin utility functions.

Typed object references

The underlying primitive lua object is userdata with a metatable. Every structured field access produces a new userdata instance.

All typed objects have the following built-in features:

  • ref1 == ref2, tostring(ref)

    References implement equality by type & pointer value, and string conversion.

  • pairs(ref)

    Returns an iterator for the sequence of actual C++ field names and values. Fields are enumerated in memory order. Methods and lua wrapper properties are not included in the iteration.


    a few of the data structures (like ui_look_list) contain unions with pointers to different types with vtables. Using pairs on such structs is an almost sure way to crash with an access violation.

  • ref._kind

    Returns one of: primitive, struct, container, or bitfield, as appropriate for the referenced object.

  • ref._type

    Returns the named type object or a string that represents the referenced object type.

  • ref:sizeof()

    Returns size, address

  • ref:new()

    Allocates a new instance of the same type, and copies data from the current object.

  • ref:delete()

    Destroys the object with the C++ delete operator. If the destructor is not available, returns false. (This typically only occurs when trying to delete an instance of a DF class with virtual methods whose vtable address has not been found; it is impossible for delete() to determine the validity of ref.)


    ref must be an object allocated with new, like in C++. Calling obj.field:delete() where obj was allocated with new will not work. After delete() returns, ref remains as a dangling pointer, like a raw C++ pointer would. Any accesses to ref after ref:delete() has been called are undefined behavior.

  • ref:assign(object)

    Assigns data from object to ref. Object must either be another ref of a compatible type, or a lua table; in the latter case special recursive assignment rules are applied.

  • ref:_displace(index[,step])

    Returns a new reference with the pointer adjusted by index*step. Step defaults to the natural object size.

Primitive references

References of the _kind 'primitive' are used for objects that don’t fit any of the other reference types. Such references can only appear as a value of a pointer field, or as a result of calling the _field() method.

They behave as structs with a value field of the right type. If the object’s XML definition has a ref-target attribute, they will also have a read-only ref_target field set to the corresponding type object.

To make working with numeric buffers easier, they also allow numeric indices. Note that other than excluding negative values no bound checking is performed, since buffer length is not available. Index 0 is equivalent to the value field.

Struct references

Struct references are used for class and struct objects.

They implement the following features:

  • ref.field, ref.field = value

    Valid fields of the structure may be accessed by subscript.

    Primitive typed fields, i.e. numbers & strings, are converted to/from matching lua values. The value of a pointer is a reference to the target, or nil/NULL. Complex types are represented by a reference to the field within the structure; unless recursive lua table assignment is used, such fields can only be read.


    In case of inheritance, superclass fields have precedence over the subclass, but fields shadowed in this way can still be accessed as ref['subclasstype.field'].

    This shadowing order is necessary because vtable-based classes are automatically exposed in their exact type, and the reverse rule would make access to superclass fields unreliable.

  • ref:_field(field)

    Returns a reference to a valid field. That is, unlike regular subscript, it returns a reference to the field within the structure even for primitive typed fields and pointers. Fails with an error if the field is not found.

  • ref:vmethod(args...)

    Named virtual methods are also exposed, subject to the same shadowing rules.

  • pairs(ref)

    Enumerates all real fields (but not methods) in memory order, which is the same as declaration order.

Container references

Containers represent vectors and arrays, possibly resizable.

A container field can associate an enum to the container reference, which allows accessing elements using string keys instead of numerical indices.

Note that two-dimensional arrays in C++ (ie pointers to pointers) are exposed to lua as one-dimensional. The best way to handle this is probably array[x].value:_displace(y).

Implemented features:

  • ref._enum

    If the container has an associated enum, returns the matching named type object.

  • #ref

    Returns the length of the container.

  • ref[index]

    Accesses the container element, using either a 0-based numerical index, or, if an enum is associated, a valid enum key string.

    Accessing an invalid index is an error, but some container types may return a default value, or auto-resize instead for convenience. Currently this relaxed mode is implemented by df-flagarray aka BitArray.

  • ref:_field(index)

    Like with structs, returns a pointer to the array element, if possible. Flag and bit arrays cannot return such pointer, so it fails with an error.

  • pairs(ref), ipairs(ref)

    If the container has no associated enum, both behave identically, iterating over numerical indices in order. Otherwise, ipairs still uses numbers, while pairs tries to substitute enum keys whenever possible.

  • ref:resize(new_size)

    Resizes the container if supported, or fails with an error.

  • ref:insert(index,item)

    Inserts a new item at the specified index. To add at the end, use #ref, or just '#' as index.

  • ref:erase(index)

    Removes the element at the given valid index.

Bitfield references

Bitfields behave like special fixed-size containers. Consider them to be something in between structs and fixed-size vectors.

The _enum property points to the bitfield type. Numerical indices correspond to the shift value, and if a subfield occupies multiple bits, the ipairs order would have a gap.

Since currently there is no API to allocate a bitfield object fully in GC-managed lua heap, consider using the lua table assignment feature outlined below in order to pass bitfield values to dfhack API functions that need them, e.g. matinfo:matches{metal=true}.

Named types

Named types are exposed in the df tree with names identical to the C++ version, except for the :: vs . difference.

All types and the global object have the following features:

  • type._kind

    Evaluates to one of struct-type, class-type, enum-type, bitfield-type or global.

  • type._identity

    Contains a lightuserdata pointing to the underlying DFHack::type_identity object.

All compound types (structs, classes, unions, and the global object) support:

  • type._fields

    Contains a table mapping field names to descriptions of the type’s fields, including data members and functions. Iterating with pairs() returns data fields in the order they are defined in the type. Functions and globals may appear in an arbitrary order.

    Each entry contains the following fields:

    • name: the name of the field (matches the _fields table key)

    • offset: for data members, the position of the field relative to the start of the type, in bytes

    • count: for arrays, the number of elements

    • mode: implementation detail. See struct_field_info::Mode in DataDefs.h.

    Each entry may also contain the following fields, depending on its type:

    • type_name: present for most fields; a string representation of the field’s type

    • type: the type object matching the field’s type; present if such an object exists (e.g. present for DF types, absent for primitive types)

    • type_identity: present for most fields; a lightuserdata pointing to the field’s underlying DFHack::type_identity object

    • index_enum, ref_target: the type object corresponding to the field’s similarly-named XML attribute, if present

    • union_tag_field, union_tag_attr, original_name: the string value of the field’s similarly-named XML attribute, if present

Types excluding the global object also support:

  • type:sizeof()

    Returns the size of an object of the type.

  • type:new()

    Creates a new instance of an object of the type.

  • type:is_instance(object)

    Returns true if object is same or subclass type, or a reference to an object of same or subclass type. It is permissible to pass nil, NULL or non-wrapper value as object; in this case the method returns nil.

In addition to this, enum and bitfield types contain a bi-directional mapping between key strings and values, and also map _first_item and _last_item to the min and max values.

Struct and class types with instance-vector attribute in the xml have a type.find(key) function that wraps the find method provided in C++.

Global functions

The df table itself contains the following functions and values:

  • NULL, df.NULL

    Contains the NULL lightuserdata.

  • df.isnull(obj)

    Evaluates to true if obj is nil or NULL; false otherwise.

  • df.isvalid(obj[,allow_null])

    For supported objects returns one of type, voidptr, ref.

    If allow_null is true, and obj is nil or NULL, returns null.

    Otherwise returns nil.

  • df.sizeof(obj)

    For types and refs identical to obj:sizeof(). For lightuserdata returns nil, address

  • df.new(obj), df.delete(obj), df.assign(obj, obj2)

    Equivalent to using the matching methods of obj.

  • df._displace(obj,index[,step])

    For refs equivalent to the method, but also works with lightuserdata (step is mandatory then).

  • df.is_instance(type,obj)

    Equivalent to the method, but also allows a reference as proxy for its type.

  • df.new(ptype[,count])

    Allocate a new instance, or an array of built-in types. The ptype argument is a string from the following list: string, int8_t, uint8_t, int16_t, uint16_t, int32_t, uint32_t, int64_t, uint64_t, bool, float, double. All of these except string can be used with the count argument to allocate an array.

  • df.reinterpret_cast(type,ptr)

    Converts ptr to a ref of specified type. The type may be anything acceptable to df.is_instance. Ptr may be nil, a ref, a lightuserdata, or a number.

    Returns nil if NULL, or a ref.

Recursive table assignment

Recursive assignment is invoked when a lua table is assigned to a C++ object or field, i.e. one of:

  • ref:assign{...}

  • ref.field = {...}

The general mode of operation is that all fields of the table are assigned to the fields of the target structure, roughly emulating the following code:

function rec_assign(ref,table)
    for key,value in pairs(table) do
        ref[key] = value

Since assigning a table to a field using = invokes the same process, it is recursive.

There are however some variations to this process depending on the type of the field being assigned to:

  1. If the table contains an assign field, it is applied first, using the ref:assign(value) method. It is never assigned as a usual field.

  2. When a table is assigned to a non-NULL pointer field using the ref.field = {...} syntax, it is applied to the target of the pointer instead.

    If the pointer is NULL, the table is checked for a new field:

    1. If it is nil or false, assignment fails with an error.

    2. If it is true, the pointer is initialized with a newly allocated object of the declared target type of the pointer.

    3. Otherwise, table.new must be a named type, or an object of a type compatible with the pointer. The pointer is initialized with the result of calling table.new:new().

    After this auto-vivification process, assignment proceeds as if the pointer wasn’t NULL.

    Obviously, the new field inside the table is always skipped during the actual per-field assignment processing.

  3. If the target of the assignment is a container, a separate rule set is used:

    1. If the table contains neither assign nor resize fields, it is interpreted as an ordinary 1-based lua array. The container is resized to the #-size of the table, and elements are assigned in numeric order:

      for i=1,#table do ref[i-1] = table[i] end
    2. Otherwise, resize must be true, false, or an explicit number. If it is not false, the container is resized. After that the usual struct-like ‘pairs’ assignment is performed.

      In case resize is true, the size is computed by scanning the table for the largest numeric key.

    This means that in order to reassign only one element of a container using this system, it is necessary to use:

    { resize=false, [idx]=value }

Since nil inside a table is indistinguishable from missing key, it is necessary to use df.NULL as a null pointer value.

This system is intended as a way to define a nested object tree using pure lua data structures, and then materialize it in C++ memory in one go. Note that if pointer auto-vivification is used, an error in the middle of the recursive walk would not destroy any objects allocated in this way, so the user should be prepared to catch the error and do the necessary cleanup.


DFHack utility functions are placed in the dfhack global tree.

Native utilities

Input & Output

  • dfhack.print(args...)

    Output tab-separated args as standard lua print would do, but without a newline.

  • print(args...), dfhack.println(args...)

    A replacement of the standard library print function that works with DFHack output infrastructure.

  • dfhack.printerr(args...)

    Same as println; intended for errors. Uses red color and logs to stderr.log.

  • dfhack.color([color])

    Sets the current output color. If color is nil or -1, resets to default. Returns the previous color value.

  • dfhack.is_interactive()

    Checks if the thread can access the interactive console and returns true or false.

  • dfhack.lineedit([prompt[,history_filename]])

    If the thread owns the interactive console, shows a prompt and returns the entered string. Otherwise returns nil, error.

    Depending on the context, this function may actually yield the running coroutine and let the C++ code release the core suspend lock. Using an explicit dfhack.with_suspend will prevent this, forcing the function to block on input with lock held.

  • dfhack.getCommandHistory(history_id, history_filename)

    Returns the list of strings in the specified history. Intended to be used by GUI scripts that don’t have access to a console and so can’t use dfhack.lineedit. The history_id parameter is some unique string that the script uses to identify its command history, such as the script’s name. If this is the first time the history with the given history_id is being accessed, it is initialized from the given file.

  • dfhack.addCommandToHistory(history_id, history_filename, command)

    Adds a command to the specified history and saves the updated history to the specified file.

  • dfhack.interpreter([prompt[,history_filename[,env]]])

    Starts an interactive lua interpreter, using the specified prompt string, global environment and command-line history file.

    If the interactive console is not accessible, returns nil, error.

Exception handling

  • dfhack.error(msg[,level[,verbose]])

    Throws a dfhack exception object with location and stack trace. The verbose parameter controls whether the trace is printed by default.

  • qerror(msg[,level])

    Calls dfhack.error() with verbose being false. Intended to be used for user-caused errors in scripts, where stack traces are not desirable.

  • dfhack.pcall(f[,args...])

    Invokes f via xpcall, using an error function that attaches a stack trace to the error. The same function is used by SafeCall in C++, and dfhack.safecall.

  • safecall(f[,args...]), dfhack.safecall(f[,args...])

    Just like pcall, but also prints the error using printerr before returning. Intended as a convenience function.

  • dfhack.saferesume(coroutine[,args...])

    Compares to coroutine.resume like dfhack.safecall vs pcall.

  • dfhack.exception

    Metatable of error objects used by dfhack. The objects have the following properties:


    The location prefix string, or nil.


    The base message string.


    The stack trace string, or nil.


    A different exception object, or nil.


    The coroutine that has thrown the exception.


    Boolean, or nil; specifies if where and stacktrace should be printed.

    tostring(err), or err:tostring([verbose])

    Converts the exception to string.

  • dfhack.exception.verbose

    The default value of the verbose argument of err:tostring().


  • dfhack.VERSION

    DFHack version string constant.

  • dfhack.curry(func,args...), or curry(func,args...)

    Returns a closure that invokes the function with args combined both from the curry call and the closure call itself. I.e. curry(func,a,b)(c,d) equals func(a,b,c,d).

Locking and finalization

  • dfhack.with_suspend(f[,args...])

    Calls f with arguments after grabbing the DF core suspend lock. Suspending is necessary for accessing a consistent state of DF memory.

    Returned values and errors are propagated through after releasing the lock. It is safe to nest suspends.

    Every thread is allowed only one suspend per DF frame, so it is best to group operations together in one big critical section. A plugin can choose to run all lua code inside a C++-side suspend lock.

  • dfhack.call_with_finalizer(num_cleanup_args,always,cleanup_fn[,cleanup_args...],fn[,args...])

    Invokes fn with args, and after it returns or throws an error calls cleanup_fn with cleanup_args. Any return values from fn are propagated, and errors are re-thrown.

    The num_cleanup_args integer specifies the number of cleanup_args, and the always boolean specifies if cleanup should be called in any case, or only in case of an error.

  • dfhack.with_finalize(cleanup_fn,fn[,args...])

    Calls fn with arguments, then finalizes with cleanup_fn. Implemented using call_with_finalizer(0,true,...).

  • dfhack.with_onerror(cleanup_fn,fn[,args...])

    Calls fn with arguments, then finalizes with cleanup_fn on any thrown error. Implemented using call_with_finalizer(0,false,...).

  • dfhack.with_temp_object(obj,fn[,args...])

    Calls fn(obj,args...), then finalizes with obj:delete().

Persistent configuration storage

This api is intended for storing tool state in the world savegame directory. It is intended for data that is world-dependent. Global state that is independent of the loaded world should be saved into a separate file named after the tool in the dfhack-config/ directory.

Entries are associated with the current loaded site (fortress) and are identified by a string key. The data will still be associated with a fort if the fort is retired and then later unretired. Entries are stored as serialized strings, but there are convenience functions for working with arbitrary Lua tables.

  • dfhack.persistent.getSiteData(key[, default])

    Retrieves the Lua table associated with the current site and the given string key. If default is supplied, then it is returned if the key isn’t found in the current site’s persistent data.

    Example usage:

    local state = dfhack.persistent.getSiteData('my-script-name', {somedata={}})
  • dfhack.peristent.getSiteDataString(key)

    Retrieves the underlying serialized string associated with the current site and the given string key. Returns nil if the key isn’t found in the current site’s persistent data. Most scripts will want to use getSiteData instead.

  • dfhack.peristent.saveSiteData(key, data)

    Persists the given data (usually a table; can be of arbitrary complexity and depth) in the world save, associated with the current site and the given key.

  • dfhack.persistent.saveSiteDataString(key, data_str)

    Persists the given string in the world save, associated with the current site and the given key.

  • dfhack.persistent.deleteSiteData(key)

    Removes the existing entry associated with the current site and the given key. Returns true if succeeded.

  • dfhack.persistent.getWorldData(key[, default])

  • dfhack.peristent.getWorldDataString(key)

  • dfhack.peristent.saveWorldData(key, data)

  • dfhack.persistent.saveWorldDataString(key, data_str)

  • dfhack.persistent.deleteWorldData(key)

    Same semantics as for the Site functions, but will associated the data with the global world context.

The data is kept in memory, so no I/O occurs when getting or saving keys. It is all written to a json file in the game save directory when the game is saved.

Material info lookup

A material info record has fields:

  • type, index, material

    DF material code pair, and a reference to the material object.

  • mode

    One of 'builtin', 'inorganic', 'plant', 'creature'.

  • inorganic, plant, creature

    If the material is of the matching type, contains a reference to the raw object.

  • figure

    For a specific creature material contains a ref to the historical figure.


  • dfhack.matinfo.decode(type,index)

    Looks up material info for the given number pair; if not found, returns nil.

  • ....decode(matinfo|item|plant|obj)

    Uses type-specific methods for retrieving the code pair.

  • dfhack.matinfo.find(token[,token...])

    Looks up material by a token string, or a pre-split string token sequence.

  • dfhack.matinfo.getToken(...), info:getToken()

    Applies decode and constructs a string token.

  • info:toString([temperature[,named]])

    Returns the human-readable name at the given temperature.

  • info:getCraftClass()

    Returns the classification used for craft skills.

  • info:matches(obj)

    Checks if the material matches job_material_category or job_item. Accept dfhack_material_category auto-assign table.

Random number generation

  • dfhack.random.new([seed[,perturb_count]])

    Creates a new random number generator object. Without any arguments, the object is initialized using current time. Otherwise, the seed must be either a non-negative integer, or a list of such integers. The second argument may specify the number of additional randomization steps performed to improve the initial state.

  • rng:init([seed[,perturb_count]])

    Re-initializes an already existing random number generator object.

  • rng:random([limit])

    Returns a random integer. If limit is specified, the value is in the range [0, limit); otherwise it uses the whole 32-bit unsigned integer range.

  • rng:drandom()

    Returns a random floating-point number in the range [0,1).

  • rng:drandom0()

    Returns a random floating-point number in the range (0,1).

  • rng:drandom1()

    Returns a random floating-point number in the range [0,1].

  • rng:unitrandom()

    Returns a random floating-point number in the range [-1,1].

  • rng:unitvector([size])

    Returns multiple values that form a random vector of length 1, uniformly distributed over the corresponding sphere surface. The default size is 3.

  • fn = rng:perlin([dim]); fn(x[,y[,z]])

    Returns a closure that computes a classical Perlin noise function of dimension dim, initialized from this random generator. Dimension may be 1, 2 or 3 (default).

C++ function wrappers

Thin wrappers around C++ functions, similar to the ones for virtual methods. One notable difference is that these explicit wrappers allow argument count adjustment according to the usual lua rules, so trailing false/nil arguments can be omitted.

  • dfhack.getOSType()

    Returns the OS type string from symbols.xml.

  • dfhack.getDFVersion()

    Returns the DF version string from symbols.xml.

  • dfhack.getDFHackVersion()

  • dfhack.getDFHackRelease()

  • dfhack.getDFHackBuildID()

  • dfhack.getCompiledDFVersion()

  • dfhack.getGitDescription()

  • dfhack.getGitCommit()

  • dfhack.getGitXmlCommit()

  • dfhack.getGitXmlExpectedCommit()

  • dfhack.gitXmlMatch()

  • dfhack.isRelease()

  • dfhack.isPrerelease()

    Return information about the DFHack build in use.


    getCompiledDFVersion() returns the DF version specified at compile time, while getDFVersion() returns the version and typically the OS as well. These do not necessarily match - for example, DFHack 0.34.11-r5 worked with DF 0.34.10 and 0.34.11, so the former function would always return 0.34.11 while the latter would return v0.34.10 <platform> or v0.34.11 <platform>.

  • dfhack.getDFPath()

    Returns the DF directory path.

  • dfhack.getHackPath()

    Returns the dfhack directory path, i.e. ".../df/hack/".

  • dfhack.getSavePath()

    Returns the path to the current save directory, or nil if no save loaded.

  • dfhack.getTickCount()

    Returns the tick count in ms, exactly as DF ui uses.

  • dfhack.isWorldLoaded()

    Checks if the world is loaded.

  • dfhack.isMapLoaded()

    Checks if the world and map are loaded.

  • dfhack.isSiteLoaded()

    Checks if a site (e.g. a player fort) is loaded.

  • dfhack.TranslateName(name[,in_english,only_last_name])

    Convert a language_name or only the last name part to string.

  • dfhack.df2utf(string)

    Convert a string from DF’s CP437 encoding to UTF-8.

  • dfhack.df2console()

    Convert a string from DF’s CP437 encoding to the correct encoding for the DFHack console.


When printing CP437-encoded text to the console (for example, names returned from dfhack.TranslateName()), use print(dfhack.df2console(text)) to ensure proper display on all platforms.

  • dfhack.utf2df(string)

    Convert a string from UTF-8 to DF’s CP437 encoding.

  • dfhack.upperCp437(string)

    Return a version of the string with all letters capitalized. Non-ASCII CP437 characters are capitalized if a CP437 version exists. For example, ä is replaced by Ä, but â is never capitalized.

  • dfhack.lowerCp437(string)

    Return a version of the string with all letters in lower case. Non-ASCII CP437 characters are downcased. For example, Ä is replaced by ä.

  • dfhack.toSearchNormalized(string)

    Replace non-ASCII alphabetic characters in a CP437-encoded string with their nearest ASCII equivalents, if possible, and returns a CP437-encoded string. Note that the returned string may be longer than the input string. For example, ä is replaced with a, and æ is replaced with ae.

  • dfhack.capitalizeStringWords(string)

    Return a version of the string with the first letter of each word capitalized. The beginning of a word is determined by a space or quote ". It is also determined by an apostrophe ' when preceded by a space or comma. Non-ASCII CP437 characters will be capitalized if a CP437 version exists. This function does not downcase characters. Use dfhack.lowerCp437 first, if desired.

  • dfhack.run_command(command[, ...])

    Run an arbitrary DFHack command, with the core suspended, and send output to the DFHack console. The command can be passed as a table, multiple string arguments, or a single string argument (not recommended - in this case, the usual DFHack console tokenization is used).

    A command_result constant starting with CR_ is returned, where CR_OK indicates success.

    The following examples are equivalent:

    dfhack.run_command({'ls', 'quick'})
    dfhack.run_command('ls', 'quick')
    dfhack.run_command('ls quick')  -- not recommended
  • dfhack.run_command_silent(command[, ...])

    Similar to run_command(), but instead of printing to the console, returns an output, command_result pair. output is a single string - see dfhack.internal.runCommand() to obtain colors as well.

Gui module

  • dfhack.gui.getCurViewscreen([skip_dismissed])

    Returns the topmost viewscreen. If skip_dismissed is true, ignores screens already marked to be removed.

  • dfhack.gui.getFocusStrings(viewscreen)

    Returns a table of string representations of the current UI focuses. The strings have a “screen/foo/bar/baz…” format e.g..:

    [1] = "dwarfmode/Info/CREATURES/CITIZEN"
    [2] = "dwardmode/Squads"
  • dfhack.gui.matchFocusString(focus_string[, viewscreen])

    Returns true if the given focus_string is found in the current focus strings, or as a prefix to any of the focus strings, or false if no match is found. Matching is case insensitive. If viewscreen is specified, gets the focus strings to match from the given viewscreen.

  • dfhack.gui.getCurFocus([skip_dismissed])

    Returns the focus string of the current viewscreen.

  • dfhack.gui.getViewscreenByType(type[, depth])

    Returns the topmost viewscreen out of the top depth viewscreens with the specified type (e.g. df.viewscreen_titlest), or nil if none match. If depth is not specified or is less than 1, all viewscreens are checked.

  • dfhack.gui.getDFViewscreen([skip_dismissed[, viewscreen]])

    Returns the topmost viewscreen not owned by DFHack. If skip_dismissed is true, ignores screens already marked to be removed. If viewscreen is specified, starts the scan at the given viewscreen.

  • dfhack.gui.getWidget(container, <name or index>[, <name or index>...])

    Returns the DF widget in the given widget container with the given name or (zero-based) numeric index. You can follow a chain of widget containers by passing additional names or indices. For example: :lua ~dfhack.gui.getWidget(game.main_interface.info.labor, "Tabs", 0)

  • dfhack.gui.getWidgetChildren(container)

    Returns all the DF widgets in the given widget container.

General-purpose selections
  • dfhack.gui.getSelectedWorkshopJob([silent])

  • dfhack.gui.getSelectedJob([silent])

  • dfhack.gui.getSelectedUnit([silent])

  • dfhack.gui.getSelectedItem([silent])

  • dfhack.gui.getSelectedBuilding([silent])

  • dfhack.gui.getSelectedCivZone([silent])

  • dfhack.gui.getSelectedStockpile([silent])

  • dfhack.gui.getSelectedPlant([silent])

    Returns the currently selected in-game object or the indicated thing associated with the selected in-game object. For example, Calling getSelectedJob when a building is selected will return the job associated with the building (e.g. the ConstructBuilding job). If silent is ommitted or set to false and a selected object cannot be found, then an error is printed to the console.

  • dfhack.gui.getAnyWorkshopJob(screen)

  • dfhack.gui.getAnyJob(screen)

  • dfhack.gui.getAnyUnit(screen)

  • dfhack.gui.getAnyItem(screen)

  • dfhack.gui.getAnyBuilding(screen)

  • dfhack.gui.getAnyCivZone(screen)

  • dfhack.gui.getAnyStockpile(screen)

  • dfhack.gui.getAnyPlant(screen)

    Similar to the corresponding getSelected functions, but operate on the given screen instead of the current screen and always return nil silently on failure.

Fortress mode
  • dfhack.gui.getDwarfmodeViewDims()

    Returns dimensions of the displayed map viewport. See getPanelLayout() in the gui.dwarfmode module for a more Lua-friendly version.

  • dfhack.gui.resetDwarfmodeView([pause])

    Resets the fortress mode sidebar menus and cursors to their default state. If pause is true, also pauses the game.

  • dfhack.gui.pauseRecenter(pos[,pause]) dfhack.gui.pauseRecenter(x,y,z[,pause])

    Same as resetDwarfmodeView, but also recenter if position is valid. If pause is false, skip pausing. Respects RECENTER_INTERFACE_SHUTDOWN_MS in DF’s init.txt (the delay before input is recognized when a recenter occurs.)

  • dfhack.gui.revealInDwarfmodeMap(pos[,center[,highlight]]) dfhack.gui.revealInDwarfmodeMap(x,y,z[,center[,highlight]])

    Centers the view on the given coordinates. If center is true, make sure the position is in the exact center of the view, else just bring it on screen. If highlight is true, then mark the target tile with a pulsing highlight until the player clicks somewhere else.

    pos can be a df.coord instance or a table assignable to a df.coord (see Recursive table assignment), e.g.:

    {x = 5, y = 7, z = 11}

    If the position is invalid, the function will simply ensure the current window position is clamped between valid values.

  • dfhack.gui.refreshSidebar()

    Refreshes the fortress mode sidebar. This can be useful when making changes to the map, for example, because DF only updates the sidebar when the cursor position changes.

  • dfhack.gui.inRenameBuilding()

    Returns true if a building is being renamed.

  • dfhack.gui.writeToGamelog(text)

    Writes a string to gamelog.txt without doing an announcement.

  • dfhack.gui.makeAnnouncement(type,flags,pos,text[,color,is_bright])

    Adds an announcement with given announcement_type, text, color, and brightness.

    The announcement is written to gamelog.txt. The announcement_flags argument provides a custom set of announcements.txt options, which specify if the message should actually be displayed in the announcement list, and whether to recenter or show a popup.

    Returns the index of the new announcement in df.global.world.status.reports, or -1.

  • dfhack.gui.addCombatReport(unit,slot,report_index[,update_alert])

    Adds the report with the given index (returned by makeAnnouncement) to the specified group of the given unit. If update_alert is true, an alert badge will appear on the left side of the screen if not already visible. Returns true on success.

  • dfhack.gui.addCombatReportAuto(unit,flags,report_index)

    Adds the report with the given index to the appropriate group(s) of the given unit based on the unit’s current job and as requested by the flags. Always updates alert badges. Returns true on any success.

  • dfhack.gui.showAnnouncement(text[,color,is_bright])

    Adds a regular announcement with given text, color, and brightness. The announcement type is always df.announcement_type.REACHED_PEAK, which uses the alert badge for df.announcement_alert_type.GENERAL.

  • dfhack.gui.showZoomAnnouncement(type,pos,text[,color,is_bright])

    Like above, but also specifies a position you can zoom to from the announcement menu, as well as being able to set the announcement type.

  • dfhack.gui.showPopupAnnouncement(text[,color,is_bright])

    Displays a megabeast-style modal announcement window. DF is currently ignoring the color and brightness settings (see: bug report.) Add [C: color :0: bright ] (where color is 0-7 and bright is 0-1) in front of your text string to force the popup text to be colored.

    Text is run through a parser as it is converted into a markup text box. The parser accepts tokens in square brackets ([ ].) Use [[ and ]] to include actual square brackets in text.

    The following tokens are accepted:

    [R]: (NEW_LINE) Ends the current line and begins on the next.

    [B]: (BLANK_LINE) Ends the current line and adds an additional blank line, beginning on the line after that.

    [P]: (INDENT) Ends the current line and begins four spaces indented on the next.

    [CHAR: n ], [CHAR:~ ch ]: Add a single character. First version takes a base-10 integer n representing a CP437 character. Second version accepts a character ch instead. "[CHAR:154]" and "[CHAR:~"..string.char(154).."]" both result in Ü. Use [CHAR:32] or [CHAR:~ ] to add extra spaces, which would normally be trimmed by the parser.

    [LPAGE: link_type : id ], [LPAGE: link_type : id`` :`` subid ]: Start a markup_text_linkst. These are intended for Legends mode page links and don’t work in popups. The text will just be colored based on link_type. Valid link types are: HF (HIST_FIG,) SITE, ARTIFACT, BOOK, SR (SUBREGION,) FL (FEATURE_LAYER,) ENT (ENTITY,) AB (ABSTRACT_BUILDING,) EPOP (ENTITY_POPULATION,) ART_IMAGE, ERA, HEC. subid is only used for AB and ART_IMAGE. [/LPAGE] ends the link text.

    [C: screenf : screenb : screenbright ]: Color text. Sets the repective values in df.global.gps and then sets text color. color = screenf, bright = screenbright, screenb does nothing since popup backgrounds are always black. Example: "Light gray, [C:4:0:0]red, [C:4:0:1]orange, [C:7:0:0]light gray."

    [KEY: n ]: Keybinding. Shows the (first) keybinding for the df.interface_key n. The keybinding will be displayed in light green, but the previous text color will be restored afterwards.

  • dfhack.gui.showAutoAnnouncement(type,pos,text[,color,is_bright,unit1,unit2])

    Uses the type to look up options from announcements.txt, and calls the above operations accordingly. The units are used to call addCombatReportAuto.

  • dfhack.gui.autoDFAnnouncement(report,text) dfhack.gui.autoDFAnnouncement(type,pos,text[,color,is_bright,unit_a,unit_d,is_sparring])

    Takes a df.announcement_infost (see: structure definition) and a string and processes them just like DF does. Can also be built from parameters instead of an announcement_infost. Setting is_sparring to true means the report will be added to sparring logs (if applicable) rather than hunting or combat.

    The announcement will not display if units are involved and the player can’t see them (or hear, for adventure mode sound announcement types.) Returns true if a report was created or repeated. For detailed info on why an announcement failed to display, enable debugfilter set Debug core gui in the DFHack console. If you want a guaranteed announcement, use dfhack.gui.showAutoAnnouncement instead.

  • dfhack.gui.getMousePos([allow_out_of_bounds])

    Returns the map coordinates of the map tile the mouse is over as a table of {x, y, z}. If the cursor is not over a valid tile, returns nil. To allow the function to return coordinates outside of the map, set allow_out_of_bounds to true.

  • dfhack.gui.getDepthAt(x, y)

    Returns the distance from the z-level of the tile at map coordinates (x, y) to the closest rendered ground z-level below. Defaults to 0, unless overridden by plugins.

Job module

  • dfhack.job.cloneJobStruct(job)

    Creates a deep copy of the given job.

  • dfhack.job.printJobDetails(job)

    Prints info about the job.

  • dfhack.job.printItemDetails(jobitem,idx)

    Prints info about the job item.

  • dfhack.job.removeJob(job)

    Cancels a job, cleans up all references to it, and removes it from the world.

  • dfhack.job.getGeneralRef(job, type)

    Searches for a general_ref with the given type.

  • dfhack.job.getSpecificRef(job, type)

    Searches for a specific_ref with the given type.

  • dfhack.job.getHolder(job)

    Returns the building holding the job.

  • dfhack.job.getWorker(job)

    Returns the unit performing the job.

  • dfhack.job.setJobCooldown(building,worker,cooldown)

    Prevent the worker from taking jobs at the specified workshop for the specified cooldown period (in ticks). This doesn’t decrease the cooldown period in any circumstances.

  • dfhack.job.removeWorker(job,cooldown)

    Removes the worker from the specified workshop job, and sets the cooldown period (using the same logic as setJobCooldown). Returns true on success.

  • dfhack.job.checkBuildingsNow()

    Instructs the game to check buildings for jobs next frame and assign workers.

  • dfhack.job.checkDesignationsNow()

    Instructs the game to check designations for jobs next frame and assign workers.

  • dfhack.job.is_equal(job1,job2)

    Compares important fields in the job and nested item structures.

  • dfhack.job.is_item_equal(job_item1,job_item2)

    Compares important fields in the job item structures.

  • dfhack.job.linkIntoWorld(job,new_id)

    Adds job into df.global.job_list, and if new_id is true, then also sets its id and increases df.global.job_next_id

  • dfhack.job.listNewlyCreated(first_id)

    Returns the current value of df.global.job_next_id, and if there are any jobs with first_id <= id < job_next_id, a lua list containing them.

  • dfhack.job.attachJobItem(job, item, role, filter_idx, insert_idx)

    Attach a real item to this job. If the item is intended to satisfy a job_item filter, the index of that filter should be passed in filter_idx; otherwise, pass -1. Similarly, if you don’t care where the item is inserted, pass -1 for insert_idx. The role param is a df.job_item_ref.T_role. If the item needs to be brought to the job site, then the value should be df.job_item_ref.T_role.Hauled.

  • dfhack.job.isSuitableItem(job_item, item_type, item_subtype)

    Does basic sanity checks to verify if the suggested item type matches the flags in the job item.

  • dfhack.job.isSuitableMaterial(job_item, mat_type, mat_index, item_type)

    Likewise, if replacing material.

  • dfhack.job.getName(job)

    Returns the job’s description, as seen in the Units and Jobs screens.

Units module

  • dfhack.units.isUnitInBox(unit,x1,y1,z1,x2,y2,z2)

    The unit is within the specified coordinates.

  • dfhack.units.isActive(unit)

    The unit is active (alive and on the map).

  • dfhack.units.isVisible(unit)

    The unit is visible on the map.

  • dfhack.units.isCitizen(unit[,include_insane])

    The unit is an alive sane citizen of the fortress; wraps the same checks the game uses to decide game-over by extinction, with an additional sanity check. You can identify citizens, regardless of their sanity, by passing true as the optional second parameter.

  • dfhack.units.isResident(unit[,include_insane])

    The unit is a resident of the fortress. Same include_insane semantics as isCitizen.

  • dfhack.units.isFortControlled(unit)

    Similar to dfhack.units.isCitizen(unit), but is based on checks for units hidden in ambush, and includes tame animals. Returns false if not in fort mode.

  • dfhack.units.isOwnCiv(unit)

    The unit belongs to the player’s civilization.

  • dfhack.units.isOwnGroup(unit)

    The unit belongs to the player’s group.

  • dfhack.units.isOwnRace(unit)

    The unit belongs to the player’s race.

  • dfhack.units.isAlive(unit)

    The unit isn’t dead or undead.

  • dfhack.units.isDead(unit)

    The unit is completely dead and passive, or a ghost. Equivalent to dfhack.units.isKilled(unit) or dfhack.units.isGhost(unit).

  • dfhack.units.isKilled(unit)

    The unit has been killed.

  • dfhack.units.isSane(unit)

    The unit is capable of rational action, i.e. not dead, insane, zombie, or active werewolf.

  • dfhack.units.isCrazed

    The unit is berserk and will attack all other creatures except members of its own species that are also crazed. (can be modified by curses)

  • dfhack.units.isGhost(unit)

    The unit is a ghost.

  • dfhack.units.isHidden(unit)

    The unit is hidden to the player, accounting for sneaking. Works for any game mode.

  • dfhack.units.isHidingCurse(unit)

    The unit is hiding a curse.

  • dfhack.units.isMale(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isFemale(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isBaby(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isChild(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isAdult(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isGay(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isNaked(unit)

    Simple unit property checks

  • dfhack.units.isVisiting(unit)

    The unit is visiting. eg. Merchants, Diplomatics, travelers.

  • dfhack.units.isTrainableHunting(unit)

    The unit is trainable for hunting.

  • dfhack.units.isTrainableWar(unit)

    The unit is trainable for war.

  • dfhack.units.isTrained(unit)

    The unit is trained.

  • dfhack.units.isHunter(unit)

    The unit is a trained hunter.

  • dfhack.units.isWar(unit)

    The unit is trained for war.

  • dfhack.units.isTame(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isTamable(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isDomesticated(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isMarkedForTraining(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isMarkedForTaming(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isMarkedForWarTraining(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isMarkedForHuntTraining(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isMarkedForSlaughter(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isMarkedForGelding(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isGeldable(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isGelded(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isEggLayer(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isEggLayerRace(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isGrazer(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isMilkable(unit)

    Simple unit property checks.

  • dfhack.units.isForest(unit)

    The unit is of the forest.

  • dfhack.units.isMischievous(unit)

    The unit is mischievous.

  • dfhack.units.isAvailableForAdoption(unit)

    The unit is available for adoption.

  • dfhack.units.isPet(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isOpposedToLife(unit)

  • dfhack.units.hasExtravision(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isBloodsucker(unit)

    Simple checks of caste attributes that can be modified by curses.

  • dfhack.units.isDwarf(unit)

    The unit is of the correct race for the fortress.

  • dfhack.units.isAnimal(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isMerchant(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isDiplomat(unit)

    Simple unit type checks.

  • dfhack.units.isVisitor(unit)

    The unit is a regular visitor with no special purpose (eg. merchant).

  • dfhack.units.isInvader(unit)

    The unit is an active invader or marauder.

  • dfhack.units.isUndead(unit[,include_vamps])

    The unit is undead. Pass true as the optional second parameter to count vampires as undead.

  • dfhack.units.isNightCreature(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isSemiMegabeast(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isForgottenBeast(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isMegabeast(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isTitan(unit)

  • dfhack.units.isDemon(unit)

    Simple enemy type checks.

  • dfhack.units.isDanger(unit)

    The unit is dangerous, and probably hostile. This includes Great Dangers (see below), semi-megabeasts, night creatures, undead, invaders, agitated wildlife, and crazed units.

  • dfhack.units.isGreatDanger(unit)

    The unit is of Great Danger. This include demons, titans, forgotten beasts, and megabeasts.

  • dfhack.units.getPosition(unit)

    Returns true x,y,z of the unit, or nil if invalid; may be not equal to unit.pos if caged.

  • dfhack.units.getUnitsInBox(x1,y1,z1,x2,y2,z2[,filter])

    Returns a table of all units within the specified coordinates. If the filter argument is given, only units where filter(unit) returns true will be included. Note that pos2xyz() cannot currently be used to convert coordinate objects to the arguments required by this function.

  • dfhack.units.getUnitByNobleRole(role_name)

    Returns the unit assigned to the given noble role, if any. role_name must be one of the position codes associated with the active fort or civilization government. For example: CAPTAIN_OF_THE_GUARD, MAYOR, or BARON. Note that if more than one unit has the role, only the first will be returned. See getUnitsByNobleRole below for retrieving all units with a particular role.

  • dfhack.units.getUnitsByNobleRole(role_name)

    Returns a list of units (possibly empty) assigned to the given noble role.

  • dfhack.units.getCitizens([exclude_residents, [include_insane]])

    Returns a list of all living, sane, citizens and residents that are currently on the map. Pass exclude_residents and include_insane both default to false but can be overridden.

  • dfhack.units.teleport(unit, pos)

    Moves the specified unit and any riders to the target coordinates, setting tile occupancy flags appropriately. Returns true if successful.

  • dfhack.units.assignTrainer(unit[, trainer_id])

  • dfhack.units.unassignTrainer(unit)

    Assignes (or unassigns) a trainer for the specified trainable unit. The trainer ID can be omitted if “any trainer” is desired. Returns a boolean indicating whether the operation was successful.

  • dfhack.units.getGeneralRef(unit, type)

    Searches for a general_ref with the given type.

  • dfhack.units.getSpecificRef(unit, type)

    Searches for a specific_ref with the given type.

  • dfhack.units.getContainer(unit)

    Returns the container (cage) item or nil.

  • dfhack.units.setNickname(unit,nick)

    Sets the unit’s nickname properly.

  • dfhack.units.getOuterContainerRef(unit)

    Returns a table (in the style of a specific_ref struct) of the outermost object that contains the unit (or one of the unit itself.) The type field contains a specific_ref_type of UNIT, ITEM_GENERAL, or VERMIN_EVENT. The object field contains a pointer to a unit, item, or vermin, respectively.

  • dfhack.units.getVisibleName(unit)

    Returns the language_name object visible in game, accounting for false identities.

  • dfhack.units.getIdentity(unit)

    Returns the false identity of the unit if it has one, or nil.

  • dfhack.units.getNemesis(unit)

    Returns the nemesis record of the unit if it has one, or nil.

  • dfhack.units.getPhysicalAttrValue(unit, attr_type)

  • dfhack.units.getMentalAttrValue(unit, attr_type)

    Computes the effective attribute value, including curse effect.

  • dfhack.units.casteFlagSet(race, caste, flag)

    Returns whether the given df.caste_raw_flags flag is set for the given race and caste.

  • dfhack.units.getMiscTrait(unit, type[, create])

    Finds (or creates if requested) a misc trait object with the given id.

  • dfhack.units.getAge(unit[,true_age])

    Returns the age of the unit in years as a floating-point value. If true_age is true, ignores false identities.

  • dfhack.units.isValidLabor(unit, unit_labor)

    Returns whether the indicated labor is settable for the given unit.

  • dfhack.units.setLaborValidity(unit_labor, isValid)

    Sets the given labor to the given (boolean) validity for all units that are part of your fortress civilization. Valid labors are allowed to be toggled in the in-game labor management screens (including DFHack’s labor manipulator screen).

  • dfhack.units.getNominalSkill(unit, skill[, use_rust])

    Retrieves the nominal skill level for the given unit. If use_rust is true, subtracts the rust penalty.

  • dfhack.units.getEffectiveSkill(unit, skill)

    Computes the effective rating for the given skill, taking into account exhaustion, pain etc.

  • dfhack.units.getExperience(unit, skill[, total])

    Returns the experience value for the given skill. If total is true, adds experience implied by the current rating.

  • dfhack.units.computeMovementSpeed(unit)

    Computes number of frames * 100 it takes the unit to move in its current state of mind and body.

  • dfhack.units.computeSlowdownFactor(unit)

    Meandering and floundering in liquid introduces additional slowdown. It is random, but the function computes and returns the expected mean factor as a float.

  • dfhack.units.getNoblePositions(unit)

    Returns a list of tables describing noble position assignments, or nil. Every table has fields entity, assignment and position.

  • dfhack.units.getProfessionName(unit[,ignore_noble,plural])

    Retrieves the profession name using custom profession, noble assignments or raws. The ignore_noble boolean disables the use of noble positions.

  • dfhack.units.getCasteProfessionName(race,caste,prof_id[,plural])

    Retrieves the profession name for the given race/caste using raws.

  • dfhack.units.getProfessionColor(unit[,ignore_noble])

    Retrieves the color associated with the profession, using noble assignments or raws. The ignore_noble boolean disables the use of noble positions.

  • dfhack.units.getCasteProfessionColor(race,caste,prof_id)

    Retrieves the profession color for the given race/caste using raws.

  • dfhack.units.getGoalType(unit[,goalIndex])

    Retrieves the goal type of the dream that the given unit has. By default the goal of the first dream is returned. The goalIndex parameter may be used to retrieve additional dream goals. Currently only one dream per unit is supported by Dwarf Fortress. Support for multiple dreams may be added in future versions of Dwarf Fortress.

  • dfhack.units.getGoalName(unit[,goalIndex])

    Retrieves the short name describing the goal of the dream that the given unit has. By default the goal of the first dream is returned. The goalIndex parameter may be used to retrieve additional dream goals. Currently only one dream per unit is supported by Dwarf Fortress. Support for multiple dreams may be added in future versions of Dwarf Fortress.

  • dfhack.units.isGoalAchieved(unit[,goalIndex])

    Checks if given unit has achieved the goal of the dream. By default the status of the goal of the first dream is returned. The goalIndex parameter may be used to check additional dream goals. Currently only one dream per unit is supported by Dwarf Fortress. Support for multiple dreams may be added in future versions of Dwarf Fortress.

  • dfhack.units.getReadableName(unit)

    Returns a string that includes the language name of the unit (if any), the race of the unit, whether it is trained for war or hunting, any syndrome-given descriptions (such as “necromancer”), and the training level (if tame).

  • dfhack.units.getStressCategory(unit)

    Returns a number from 0-6 indicating stress. 0 is most stressed; 6 is least. Note that 0 is guaranteed to remain the most stressed but 6 could change in the future.

  • dfhack.units.getStressCategoryRaw(stress_level)

    Identical to getStressCategory but takes a raw stress level instead of a unit.

  • dfhack.units.getStressCutoffs()

    Returns a table of the cutoffs used by the above stress level functions.

Military module
  • dfhack.military.makeSquad(assignment_id)

    Creates a new squad associated with the assignment (ie df::entity_position_assignment, via id) and returns it. Fails if a squad already exists that is associated with that assignment, or if the assignment is not a fort mode player controlled squad. Note: This function does not name the squad: consider setting a nickname (under squad.name.nickname), and/or filling out the language_name object at squad.name. The returned squad is otherwise complete and requires no more setup to work correctly.

  • dfhack.military.updateRoomAssignments(squad_id, assignment_id, squad_use_flags)

    Sets the sleep, train, indiv_eq, and squad_eq flags when training at a barracks.

  • dfhack.military.getSquadName(squad_id)

    Returns the name of a squad as a string.

Action Timer API

This is an API to allow manipulation of unit action timers, to speed them up or slow them down. All functions in this API have overflow/underflow protection when modifying action timers (the value will cap out). Actions with a timer of 0 (or less) will not be modified as they are completed (or invalid in the case of negatives). Timers will be capped to go no lower than 1. affectedActionType parameters are integers from the DF enum unit_action_type. E.g. df.unit_action_type.Move. affectedActionTypeGroup parameters are integers from the (custom) DF enum unit_action_type_group. They are as follows:

  • All (does not include unknown unit action types)

  • Movement

  • MovementFeet (affects only walking and crawling speed. if you need to differentiate between walking and crawling, check the unit’s flags1.on_ground flag, like the Pegasus boots do in the DFHack modding guide)

  • MovementFeet (for walking speed, such as with pegasus boots from the DFHack modding guide)

  • Combat (includes bloodsucking)

  • Work

API functions:

  • subtractActionTimers(unit, amount, affectedActionType)

    Subtract amount (32-bit integer) from the timers of any actions the unit is performing of affectedActionType (usually one or zero actions in normal gameplay).

  • subtractGroupActionTimers(unit, amount, affectedActionTypeGroup)

    Subtract amount (32-bit integer) from the timers of any actions the unit is performing that match the affectedActionTypeGroup category.

  • multiplyActionTimers(unit, amount, affectedActionType)

    Multiply the timers of any actions of affectedActionType the unit is performing by amount (float) (usually one or zero actions in normal gameplay).

  • multiplyGroupActionTimers(unit, amount, affectedActionTypeGroup)

    Multiply the timers of any actions that match the affectedActionTypeGroup category the unit is performing by amount (float).

  • setActionTimers(unit, amount, affectedActionType)

    Set the timers of any action the unit is performing of affectedActionType to amount (32-bit integer) (usually one or zero actions in normal gameplay).

  • setGroupActionTimers(unit, amount, affectedActionTypeGroup)

    Set the timers of any action the unit is performing that match the affectedActionTypeGroup category to amount (32-bit integer).

Items module

  • dfhack.items.getPosition(item)

    Returns true x,y,z of the item, or nil if invalid; may be not equal to item.pos if in inventory.

  • dfhack.items.getBookTitle(item)

    Returns the title of the “book” item, or an empty string if the item isn’t a “book” or it doesn’t have a title. A “book” is a codex or a tool item that has page or writings improvements, such as scrolls and quires.

  • dfhack.items.getDescription(item, type[, decorate])

    Returns the string description of the item, as produced by the getItemDescription method. If decorate is true, also adds markings for quality and improvements.

  • dfhack.items.getGeneralRef(item, type)

    Searches for a general_ref with the given type.

  • dfhack.items.getSpecificRef(item, type)

    Searches for a specific_ref with the given type.

  • dfhack.items.getOwner(item)

    Returns the owner unit or nil.

  • dfhack.items.setOwner(item,unit)

    Replaces the owner of the item. If unit is nil, removes ownership. Returns false in case of error.

  • dfhack.items.getContainer(item)

    Returns the container item or nil.

  • dfhack.items.getOuterContainerRef(item)

    Returns a table (in the style of a specific_ref struct) of the outermost object that contains the item (or one of the item itself.) The type field contains a specific_ref_type of UNIT, ITEM_GENERAL, or VERMIN_EVENT. The object field contains a pointer to a unit, item, or vermin, respectively.

  • dfhack.items.getContainedItems(item)

    Returns a list of items contained in this one.

  • dfhack.items.getHolderBuilding(item)

    Returns the holder building or nil.

  • dfhack.items.getHolderUnit(item)

    Returns the holder unit or nil.

  • dfhack.items.moveToGround(item,pos)

    Move the item to the ground at position. Returns false if impossible.

  • dfhack.items.moveToContainer(item,container)

    Move the item to the container. Returns false if impossible.

  • dfhack.items.moveToBuilding(item,building[,use_mode[,force_in_building])

    Move the item to the building. Returns false if impossible.

    use_mode defaults to 0. If set to 2, the item will be treated as part of the building.

    If force_in_building is true, the item will be considered to be stored by the building (used for items temporarily used in traps in vanilla DF)

  • dfhack.items.moveToInventory(item,unit,use_mode,body_part)

    Move the item to the unit inventory. Returns false if impossible.

  • dfhack.items.remove(item[, no_uncat])

    Removes the item, and marks it for garbage collection unless no_uncat is true.

  • dfhack.items.makeProjectile(item)

    Turns the item into a projectile, and returns the new object, or nil if impossible.

  • dfhack.items.isCasteMaterial(item_type)

    Returns true if this item type uses a creature/caste pair as its material.

  • dfhack.items.getSubtypeCount(item_type)

    Returns the number of raw-defined subtypes of the given item type, or -1 if not applicable.

  • dfhack.items.getSubtypeDef(item_type, subtype)

    Returns the raw definition for the given item type and subtype, or nil if invalid.

  • dfhack.items.getItemBaseValue(item_type, subtype, material, mat_index)

    Calculates the base value for an item of the specified type and material.

  • dfhack.items.getValue(item[, caravan_state])

    Calculates the value of an item. If a df.caravan_state object is given (from df.global.plotinfo.caravans or df.global.main_interface.trade.mer), then the value is modified by civ properties and any trade agreements that might be in effect.

  • dfhack.items.isRequestedTradeGood(item[, caravan_state])

    Returns whether a caravan will pay extra for the given item. If caravan_state is not given, checks all active caravans.

  • dfhack.items.createItem(item_type, item_subtype, mat_type, mat_index, unit)

    Creates an item, similar to the createitem plugin.

  • dfhack.items.checkMandates(item)

    Returns true if the item is free from mandates, or false if mandates prevent trading the item.

  • dfhack.items.canTrade(item)

    Checks whether the item can be traded.

  • dfhack.items.canTradeWithContents(item)

    Returns false if the item or any contained items cannot be traded.

  • canTradeAnyWithContents(item)

    Returns true if the item is empty and can be traded or if the item contains any item that can be traded.

  • dfhack.items.markForTrade(item, depot)

    Marks the given item for trade at the given depot.

  • dfhack.items.canMelt(item[, game_ui])

    Returns true if the item can be designated for melting. Unless game_ui is given and true, bars, non-empty metal containers, and items in unit inventories are not considered meltable, even though they can be designated for melting using the game UI.

  • dfhack.items.markForMelting(item)

    Marks the given item for melting, unless already marked. Returns true if the melting status was changed.

  • dfhack.items.cancelMelting(item)

    Removes melting designation, if present, from the given item. Returns true if the melting status was changed.

  • dfhack.items.isRouteVehicle(item)

    Checks whether the item is an assigned hauling vehicle.

  • dfhack.items.isSquadEquipment(item)

    Checks whether the item is assigned to a squad.

  • dfhack.items.getCapacity(item)

    Returns the capacity volume of an item that can serve as a container for other items. Return value will be 0 for items that cannot serve as a container.

World module

  • dfhack.world.ReadPauseState()

    Returns true if the game is paused.

  • dfhack.world.SetPauseState(paused)

    Sets the pause state of the game.

  • dfhack.world.ReadCurrentYear()

    Returns the current game year.

  • dfhack.world.ReadCurrentTick()

    Returns the number of game ticks (df.global.world.frame_counter) since the start of the current game year.

  • dfhack.world.ReadCurrentMonth()

    Returns the current game month, ranging from 0-11 (The Dwarven year has 12 months).

  • dfhack.world.ReadCurrentDay()

    Returns the current game day, ranging from 1-28 (Each Dwarven month as 28 days)

  • dfhack.world.ReadCurrentWeather()

    Returns the current game weather (df.weather_type).

  • dfhack.world.SetCurrentWeather(weather)

    Sets the current game weather to weather.

  • dfhack.world.ReadWorldFolder()

    Returns the name of the directory/folder the current saved game is under, or an empty string if no game was loaded this session.

  • dfhack.world.isFortressMode([gametype])

  • dfhack.world.isAdventureMode([gametype])

  • dfhack.world.isArena([gametype])

  • dfhack.world.isLegends([gametype])

    Without any arguments, returns true if the current gametype matches. Optionally accepts a gametype id to match against.

  • dfhack.world.getCurrentSite()

    Returns the currently loaded df.world_site or nil if no site is loaded.

Maps module

  • dfhack.maps.getSize()

    Returns map size in blocks: x, y, z

  • dfhack.maps.getTileSize()

    Returns map size in tiles: x, y, z

  • dfhack.maps.getBlock(x,y,z)

    Returns a map block object for given x,y,z in local block coordinates.

  • dfhack.maps.isValidTilePos(coords), or isValidTilePos(x,y,z)

    Checks if the given df::coord or x,y,z in local tile coordinates are valid.

  • dfhack.maps.isTileVisible(coords), or isTileVisible(x,y,z)

    Checks if the given df::coord or x,y,z in local tile coordinates is visible.

  • dfhack.maps.getTileBlock(coords), or getTileBlock(x,y,z)

    Returns a map block object for given df::coord or x,y,z in local tile coordinates.

  • dfhack.maps.ensureTileBlock(coords), or ensureTileBlock(x,y,z)

    Like getTileBlock, but if the block is not allocated, try creating it.

  • dfhack.maps.getTileType(coords), or getTileType(x,y,z)

    Returns the tile type at the given coordinates, or nil if invalid.

  • dfhack.maps.getTileFlags(coords), or getTileFlags(x,y,z)

    Returns designation and occupancy references for the given coordinates, or nil, nil if invalid.

  • dfhack.maps.getRegionBiome(region_coord2d), or getRegionBiome(x,y)

    Returns the biome info struct for the given global map region.

    dfhack.maps.getBiomeType(region_coord2d) or getBiomeType(x,y)

    Returns the biome_type for the given global map region.

  • dfhack.maps.enableBlockUpdates(block[,flow,temperature])

    Enables updates for liquid flow or temperature, unless already active.

  • dfhack.maps.spawnFlow(pos,type,mat_type,mat_index,dimension)

    Spawns a new flow (i.e. steam/mist/dust/etc) at the given pos, and with the given parameters. Returns it, or nil if unsuccessful.

  • dfhack.maps.getGlobalInitFeature(index)

    Returns the global feature object with the given index.

  • dfhack.maps.getLocalInitFeature(region_coord2d,index)

    Returns the local feature object with the given region coords and index.

  • dfhack.maps.getTileBiomeRgn(coords), or getTileBiomeRgn(x,y,z)

    Returns x, y for use with getRegionBiome and getBiomeType.

  • dfhack.maps.getPlantAtTile(pos), or getPlantAtTile(x,y,z)

    Returns the plant struct that owns the tile at the specified position.

  • dfhack.maps.getWalkableGroup(pos)

    Returns the walkability group for the given tile position. A return value of 0 indicates that the tile is not walkable. The data comes from a pathfinding cache maintained by DF.


    This cache is only updated when the game is unpaused, and thus can get out of date if doors are forbidden or unforbidden, or tools like liquids or tiletypes are used. It also cannot possibly take into account anything that depends on the actual units, like burrows, or the presence of invaders.

  • dfhack.maps.canWalkBetween(pos1, pos2)

    Checks if both positions are walkable and also share a walkability group.

  • dfhack.maps.hasTileAssignment(tilemask)

    Checks if the tile_bitmask object is not nil and contains any set bits; returns true or false.

  • dfhack.maps.getTileAssignment(tilemask,x,y)

    Checks if the tile_bitmask object is not nil and has the relevant bit set; returns true or false.

  • dfhack.maps.setTileAssignment(tilemask,x,y,enable)

    Sets the relevant bit in the tile_bitmask object to the enable argument.

  • dfhack.maps.resetTileAssignment(tilemask[,enable])

    Sets all bits in the mask to the enable argument.

Burrows module

  • dfhack.burrows.findByName(name[, ignore_final_plus])

    Returns the burrow pointer or nil. if ignore_final_plus is true, then + characters at the end of the names are ignored, both for the specified name and the names of the burrows that it matches against.

  • dfhack.burrows.clearUnits(burrow)

    Removes all units from the burrow.

  • dfhack.burrows.isAssignedUnit(burrow,unit)

    Checks if the unit is in the burrow.

  • dfhack.burrows.setAssignedUnit(burrow,unit,enable)

    Adds or removes the unit from the burrow.

  • dfhack.burrows.clearTiles(burrow)

    Removes all tiles from the burrow.

  • dfhack.burrows.listBlocks(burrow)

    Returns a table of map block pointers.

  • dfhack.burrows.isAssignedTile(burrow,tile_coord)

    Checks if the tile is in burrow.

  • dfhack.burrows.setAssignedTile(burrow,tile_coord,enable)

    Adds or removes the tile from the burrow. Returns false if invalid coords.

  • dfhack.burrows.isAssignedBlockTile(burrow,block,x,y)

    Checks if the tile within the block is in burrow.

  • dfhack.burrows.setAssignedBlockTile(burrow,block,x,y,enable)

    Adds or removes the tile from the burrow. Returns false if invalid coords.

Buildings module

  • dfhack.buildings.getGeneralRef(building, type)

    Searches for a general_ref with the given type.

  • dfhack.buildings.getSpecificRef(building, type)

    Searches for a specific_ref with the given type.

  • dfhack.buildings.setOwner(civzone,unit)

    Replaces the owner of the civzone. If unit is nil, removes ownership. Returns false in case of error.

  • dfhack.buildings.getSize(building)

    Returns width, height, centerx, centery.

  • dfhack.buildings.findAtTile(pos), or findAtTile(x,y,z)

    Scans the buildings for the one located at the given tile. Does not work on civzones. Warning: linear scan if the map tile indicates there are buildings at it.

  • dfhack.buildings.findCivzonesAt(pos), or findCivzonesAt(x,y,z)

    Scans civzones, and returns a lua sequence of those that touch the given tile, or nil if none.

  • dfhack.buildings.getCorrectSize(width, height, type, subtype, custom, direction)

    Computes correct dimensions for the specified building type and orientation, using width and height for flexible dimensions. Returns is_flexible, width, height, center_x, center_y.

  • dfhack.buildings.checkFreeTiles(pos,size[,extents,change_extents,allow_occupied,allow_wall])

    Checks if the rectangle defined by pos and size, and possibly extents, can be used for placing a building. If change_extents is true, bad tiles are removed from extents. If allow_occupied, the occupancy test is skipped. Set allow_wall to true if the building is unhindered by walls (such as an activity zone).

  • dfhack.buildings.countExtentTiles(extents,defval)

    Returns the number of tiles included by extents, or defval.

  • dfhack.buildings.containsTile(building, x, y)

    Checks if the building contains the specified tile. If the building contains extents, then the extents are checked. Otherwise, returns whether the x and y map coordinates are within the building’s bounding box.

  • dfhack.buildings.hasSupport(pos,size)

    Checks if a bridge constructed at specified position would have support from terrain, and thus won’t collapse if retracted.

  • dfhack.buildings.getStockpileContents(stockpile)

    Returns a list of items stored on the given stockpile. Ignores empty bins, barrels, and wheelbarrows assigned as storage and transport for that stockpile.

  • dfhack.buildings.getCageOccupants(cage)

    Returns a list of units in the given built cage. Note that this is different from the list of units assigned to the cage, which can be accessed with cage.assigned_units.


Low-level building creation functions:

  • dfhack.buildings.allocInstance(pos, type, subtype, custom)

    Creates a new building instance of given type, subtype and custom type, at specified position. Returns the object, or nil in case of an error.

  • dfhack.buildings.setSize(building, width, height, direction)

    Configures an object returned by allocInstance, using specified parameters wherever appropriate. If the building has fixed size along any dimension, the corresponding input parameter will be ignored. Returns false if the building cannot be placed, or true, width, height, rect_area, true_area. Returned width and height are the final values used by the building; true_area is less than rect_area if any tiles were removed from designation. You can specify a non-rectangular designation for building types that support extents by setting the room.extents bitmap before calling this function. The extents will be reset, however, if the size returned by this function doesn’t match the input size parameter.

  • dfhack.buildings.constructAbstract(building)

    Links a fully configured object created by allocInstance into the world. The object must be an abstract building, i.e. a stockpile or civzone. Returns true, or false if impossible.

  • dfhack.buildings.constructWithItems(building, items)

    Links a fully configured object created by allocInstance into the world for construction, using a list of specific items as material. Returns true, or false if impossible.

  • dfhack.buildings.constructWithFilters(building, job_items)

    Links a fully configured object created by allocInstance into the world for construction, using a list of job_item filters as inputs. Returns true, or false if impossible. Filter objects are claimed and possibly destroyed in any case. Use a negative quantity field value to auto-compute the amount from the size of the building.

  • dfhack.buildings.deconstruct(building)

    Destroys the building, or queues a deconstruction job. Returns true if the building was destroyed and deallocated immediately.

  • dfhack.buildings.notifyCivzoneModified(building)

    Rebuilds the civzone <-> overlapping building association mapping. Call after changing extents or modifying size in some fashion

  • dfhack.buildings.markedForRemoval(building)

    Returns true if the building is marked for removal (with x), false otherwise.

  • dfhack.buildings.getRoomDescription(building[, unit])

    If the building is a room, returns a description including quality modifiers, e.g. “Royal Bedroom”. Otherwise, returns an empty string.

    The unit argument is passed through to DF and may modify the room’s value depending on the unit given.

  • dfhack.buildings.completeBuild(building)

    Complete an unconstructed or partially-constructed building and link it into the world.


More high-level functions are implemented in lua and can be loaded by require('dfhack.buildings'). See hack/lua/dfhack/buildings.lua.

Among them are:

  • dfhack.buildings.getFiltersByType(argtable,type,subtype,custom)

    Returns a sequence of lua structures, describing input item filters suitable for the specified building type, or nil if unknown or invalid. The returned sequence is suitable for use as the job_items argument of constructWithFilters. Uses tables defined in buildings.lua.

    Argtable members material (the default name), bucket, barrel, chain, mechanism, screw, pipe, anvil, weapon are used to augment the basic attributes with more detailed information if the building has input items with the matching name (see the tables for naming details). Note that it is impossible to override any properties this way, only supply those that are not mentioned otherwise; one exception is that flags2.non_economic is automatically cleared if an explicit material is specified.

  • dfhack.buildings.constructBuilding{...}

    Creates a building in one call, using options contained in the argument table. Returns the building, or nil, error.


    Despite the name, unless the building is abstract, the function creates it in an ‘unconstructed’ stage, with a queued in-game job that will actually construct it. I.e. the function replicates programmatically what can be done through the construct building menu in the game ui, except that it does less environment constraint checking.

    The following options can be used:

    • pos = coordinates, or x = ..., y = ..., z = ...

      Mandatory. Specifies the left upper corner of the building.

    • type = df.building_type.FOO, subtype = ..., custom = ...

      Mandatory. Specifies the type of the building. Obviously, subtype and custom are only expected if the type requires them.

    • fields = { ... }

      Initializes fields of the building object after creation with df.assign. If room.extents is assigned this way and this function returns with error, the memory allocated for the extents is freed.

    • width = ..., height = ..., direction = ...

      Sets size and orientation of the building. If it is fixed-size, specified dimensions are ignored.

    • full_rectangle = true

      For buildings like stockpiles or farm plots that can normally accommodate individual tile exclusion, forces an error if any tiles within the specified width*height are obstructed.

    • items = { item, item ... }, or filters = { {...}, {...}... }

      Specifies explicit items or item filters to use in construction. It is the job of the user to ensure they are correct for the building type.

    • abstract = true

      Specifies that the building is abstract and does not require construction. Required for stockpiles and civzones; an error otherwise.

    • material = {...}, mechanism = {...}, ...

      If none of items, filter, or abstract is used, the function uses getFiltersByType to compute the input item filters, and passes the argument table through. If no filters can be determined this way, constructBuilding throws an error.

Constructions module

  • dfhack.constructions.designateNew(pos,type,item_type,mat_index)

    Designates a new construction at given position. If there already is a planned but not completed construction there, changes its type. Returns true, or false if obstructed. Note that designated constructions are technically buildings.

  • dfhack.constructions.designateRemove(pos), or designateRemove(x,y,z)

    If there is a construction or a planned construction at the specified coordinates, designates it for removal, or instantly cancels the planned one. Returns true, was_only_planned if removed; or false if none found.

  • dfhack.constructions.findAtTile(pos), or findAtTile(x,y,z)

    Returns the construction at the given position, or nil if there isn’t one.

  • dfhack.constructions.insert(construction)

    Properly inserts the given construction into the game. Returns false and fails to insert if there was already a construction at the position.

Kitchen module

  • dfhack.kitchen.findExclusion(type, item_type, item_subtype, mat_type, mat_index)

    Finds a kitchen exclusion in the vectors in df.global.ui.kitchen. Returns -1 if not found.

    • type is a df.kitchen_exc_type, i.e. df.kitchen_exc_type.Cook or df.kitchen_exc_type.Brew.

    • item_type is a df.item_type

    • item_subtype, mat_type, and mat_index are all numeric

  • dfhack.kitchen.addExclusion(type, item_type, item_subtype, mat_type, mat_index)

  • dfhack.kitchen.removeExclusion(type, item_type, item_subtype, mat_type, mat_index)

    Adds or removes a kitchen exclusion, using the same parameters as findExclusion. Both return true on success and false on failure, e.g. when adding an exclusion that already exists or removing one that does not.

Screen API

The screen module implements support for drawing to the tiled screen of the game. Note that drawing only has any effect when done from callbacks, so it can only be feasibly used in the core context.

Basic painting functions

Common parameters to these functions include:

  • x, y: screen coordinates in tiles; the upper left corner of the screen is x = 0, y = 0

  • pen: a pen object

  • map: a boolean indicating whether to draw to a separate map buffer (defaults to false, which is suitable for off-map text or a screen that hides the map entirely). Note that only third-party plugins like TWBT currently implement a separate map buffer. If no such plugins are enabled, passing true has no effect. However, this parameter should still be used to ensure that scripts work properly with such plugins.


  • dfhack.screen.getWindowSize()

    Returns width, height of the screen.

  • dfhack.screen.getMousePos()

    Returns x,y of the UI interface tile the mouse is over, with the upper left corner being 0,0. To get the map tile coordinate that the mouse is over, see dfhack.gui.getMousePos().

  • dfhack.screen.getMousePixels()

    Returns x,y of the screen coordinates the mouse is over in pixels, with the upper left corner being 0,0.

  • dfhack.screen.inGraphicsMode()

    Checks if [GRAPHICS:YES] was specified in init.

  • dfhack.screen.paintTile(pen,x,y[,char,tile,map])

    Paints a tile using given parameters. See below for a description of pen.

    Returns false on error, e.g. if coordinates are out of bounds

  • dfhack.screen.readTile(x,y[,map])

    Retrieves the contents of the specified tile from the screen buffers. Returns a pen object, or nil if invalid or TrueType.

  • dfhack.screen.paintString(pen,x,y,text[,map])

    Paints the string starting at x,y. Uses the string characters in sequence to override the ch field of pen.

    Returns true if painting at least one character succeeded.

  • dfhack.screen.fillRect(pen,x1,y1,x2,y2[,map])

    Fills the rectangle specified by the coordinates with the given pen. Returns true if painting at least one character succeeded.

  • dfhack.screen.findGraphicsTile(pagename,x,y)

    Finds a tile from a graphics set (i.e. the raws used for creatures), if in graphics mode and loaded.

    Returns: tile, tile_grayscale, or nil if not found. The values can then be used for the tile field of pen structures.

  • dfhack.screen.hideGuard(screen,callback[,args...])

    Removes screen from the viewscreen stack, calls the callback (with optional supplied arguments), and then restores the screen on the top of the viewscreen stack.

  • dfhack.screen.clear()

    Fills the screen with blank background.

  • dfhack.screen.invalidate()

    Requests repaint of the screen by setting a flag. Unlike other functions in this section, this may be used at any time.

  • dfhack.screen.getKeyDisplay(key)

    Returns the string that should be used to represent the given logical keybinding on the screen in texts like “press Key to …”.

  • dfhack.screen.keyToChar(key)

    Returns the integer character code of the string input character represented by the given logical keybinding, or nil if not a string input key.

  • dfhack.screen.charToKey(charcode)

    Returns the keybinding representing the given string input character, or nil if impossible.


The pen argument used by dfhack.screen functions may be represented by a table with the following possible fields:


Provides the ordinary tile character, as either a 1-character string or a number. Can be overridden with the char function parameter.


Foreground color for the ordinary tile. Defaults to COLOR_GREY (7).


Background color for the ordinary tile. Defaults to COLOR_BLACK (0).


Bright/bold text flag. If nil, computed based on (fg & 8); fg is masked to 3 bits. Otherwise should be true/false.


Graphical tile id. Ignored unless [GRAPHICS:YES] was in init.txt.

tile_color = true

Specifies that the tile should be shaded with fg/bg.

tile_fg, tile_bg

If specified, overrides tile_color and supplies shading colors directly.


If set to true, will not overwrite the background tile when filling in the foreground tile.


If set to true, the specified tile will be written to the background instead of the foreground.


If set to true, the specified tile will have the top half of the specified ch character superimposed over the lower half of the tile.


If set to true, the specified tile will have the bottom half of the specified ch character superimposed over the top half of the tile.

Alternatively, it may be a pre-parsed native object with the following API:

  • dfhack.pen.make(base[,pen_or_fg,bg,bold])

    Creates a new pre-parsed pen by combining its arguments according to the following rules:

    1. The base argument may be a pen object, a pen table as specified above, or a single color value. In the single value case, it is split into fg and bold properties, and others are initialized to 0. This argument will be converted to a pre-parsed object and returned if there are no other arguments.

    2. If the pen_or_fg argument is specified as a table or object, it completely replaces the base, and is returned instead of it.

    3. Otherwise, the non-nil subset of the optional arguments is used to update the fg, bg and bold properties of the base. If the bold flag is nil, but pen_or_fg is a number, bold is deduced from it like in the simple base case.

    This function always returns a new pre-parsed pen, or nil.

  • dfhack.pen.parse(base[,pen_or_fg,bg,bold])

    Exactly like the above function, but returns base or pen_or_fg directly if they are already a pre-parsed native object.

  • pen.property, pen.property = value, pairs(pen)

    Pre-parsed pens support reading and setting their properties, but don’t behave exactly like a simple table would; for instance, assigning to pen.tile_color also resets pen.tile_fg and pen.tile_bg to nil.

Screen management

In order to actually be able to paint to the screen, it is necessary to create and register a viewscreen (basically a modal dialog) with the game.


As a matter of policy, in order to avoid user confusion, all interface screens added by dfhack should bear the “DFHack” signature.

Screens are managed with the following functions:

  • dfhack.screen.show(screen[,below])

    Displays the given screen, possibly placing it below a different one. The screen must not be already shown. Returns true if success.

  • dfhack.screen.dismiss(screen[,to_first])

    Marks the screen to be removed when the game enters its event loop. If to_first is true, all screens up to the first one will be deleted.

  • dfhack.screen.isDismissed(screen)

    Checks if the screen is already marked for removal.

Apart from a native viewscreen object, these functions accept a table as a screen. In this case, show creates a new native viewscreen that delegates all processing to methods stored in that table.


  • The gui.Screen class provides stubs for all of the functions listed below, and its use is recommended

  • Lua-implemented screens are only supported in the core context.

Supported callbacks and fields are:

  • screen._native

    Initialized by show with a reference to the backing viewscreen object, and removed again when the object is deleted.

  • function screen:onShow()

    Called by dfhack.screen.show if successful.

  • function screen:onDismiss()

    Called by dfhack.screen.dismiss if successful.

  • function screen:onDestroy()

    Called from the destructor when the viewscreen is deleted.

  • function screen:onResize(w, h)

    Called before onRender or onIdle when the window size has changed.

  • function screen:onRender()

    Called when the viewscreen should paint itself. This is the only context where the above painting functions work correctly.

    If omitted, the screen is cleared; otherwise it should do that itself. In order to make a dialog where portions of the parent viewscreen are still visible in the background, call screen:renderParent().

    If artifacts are left on the parent even after this function is called, such as when the window is dragged or is resized, any code can set gui.Screen.request_full_screen_refresh to true. Then when screen.renderParent() is next called, it will do a full flush of the graphics and clear the screen of artifacts.

  • function screen:onIdle()

    Called every frame when the screen is on top of the stack.

  • function screen:onHelp()

    Called when the help keybinding is activated (usually ‘?’).

  • function screen:onInput(keys)

    Called when keyboard or mouse events are available. If any keys are pressed, the keys argument is a table mapping them to true. Note that this refers to logical keybindings computed from real keys via options; if multiple interpretations exist, the table will contain multiple keys.

    The table also may contain special keys:


    Maps to an integer in range 0-255. Duplicates a separate “STRING_A???” code for convenience.


    If the left, right, and/or middle mouse button was just pressed.


    If the left, right, and/or middle mouse button is being held down.

    If this method is omitted, the screen is dismissed on reception of the LEAVESCREEN key.

  • function screen:onGetSelectedUnit()

  • function screen:onGetSelectedItem()

  • function screen:onGetSelectedJob()

  • function screen:onGetSelectedBuilding()

  • function screen:onGetSelectedStockpile()

  • function screen:onGetSelectedCivZone()

  • function screen:onGetSelectedPlant()

    Override these if you want to provide a custom return value for the matching dfhack.gui.getSelected... function.

PenArray class

Screens that require significant computation in their onRender() method can use a dfhack.penarray instance to cache their output.

  • dfhack.penarray.new(w, h)

    Creates a new penarray instance with an internal buffer of w * h tiles. These dimensions currently cannot be changed after a penarray is instantiated.

  • penarray:clear()

    Clears the internal buffer, similar to dfhack.screen.clear().

  • penarray:get_dims()

    Returns the x and y dimensions of the internal buffer.

  • penarray:get_tile(x, y)

    Returns a pen corresponding to the tile at (x, y) in the internal buffer. Note that indices are 0-based.

  • penarray:set_tile(x, y, pen)

    Sets the tile at (x, y) in the internal buffer to the pen given.

  • penarray:draw(x, y, w, h, bufferx, buffery)

    Draws the contents of the internal buffer, beginning at (bufferx, buffery) and spanning w columns and h rows, to the screen starting at (x, y). Any invalid screen and buffer coordinates are skipped.

    bufferx and buffery default to 0.

Textures module

In order for the game to render a particular tile (graphic), it needs to know the texpos - the position in the vector of the registered game textures (also the graphical tile id passed as the tile field in a Pen). Adding new textures to the vector is not difficult, but the game periodically deletes textures that are in the vector, and that’s a problem since it invalidates the texpos value that used to point to that texture. The textures module solves this problem by providing a stable handle instead of a raw texpos. When we need to draw a particular tile, we can look up the current texpos value via the handle. Texture module can register textures in two ways: to reserved and dynamic ranges. Reserved range is a limit buffer in a game texture vector, that will never be wiped. It is good for static assets, which need to be loaded at the very beginning and will be used during the process running. In other cases, it is better to use dynamic range. If reserved range buffer limit has been reached, dynamic range will be used by default.

  • loadTileset(file, tile_px_w, tile_px_h[, reserved])

    Loads a tileset from the image file with give tile dimensions in pixels. The image will be sliced in row major order. Returns an array of TexposHandle. reserved is optional boolean argument, which indicates texpos range. true - reserved, false - dynamic (default).

    Example usage:

    local logo_textures = dfhack.textures.loadTileset('hack/data/art/dfhack.png', 8, 12)
    local first_texposhandle = logo_textures[1]
  • getTexposByHandle(handle)

    Get the current texpos for the given TexposHandle. Always use this method to get the texpos for your texture. texpos can change when game textures are reset, but the handle will be the same.

  • createTile(pixels, tile_px_w, tile_px_h[, reserved])

    Create and register a new texture with the given tile dimensions and an array of pixels in row major order. Each pixel is an integer representing color in packed RBGA format (for example, #0022FF11). Returns a TexposHandle. reserved is optional boolean argument, which indicates texpos range. true - reserved, false - dynamic (default).

  • createTileset(pixels, texture_px_w, texture_px_h, tile_px_w, tile_px_h[, reserved])

    Create and register a new texture with the given texture dimensions and an array of pixels in row major order. Then slice it into tiles with the given tile dimensions. Each pixel is an integer representing color in packed RBGA format (for example #0022FF11). Returns an array of TexposHandle. reserved is optional boolean argument, which indicates texpos range. true - reserved, false - dynamic (default).

  • deleteHandle(handle)

    handle here can be single TexposHandle or an array of TexposHandle. Deletes all metadata and texture(s) related to the given handle(s). The handles become invalid after this call.

Filesystem module

Most of these functions return true on success and false on failure, unless otherwise noted.

  • dfhack.filesystem.exists(path)

    Returns true if path exists.

  • dfhack.filesystem.isfile(path)

    Returns true if path exists and is a file.

  • dfhack.filesystem.isdir(path)

    Returns true if path exists and is a directory.

  • dfhack.filesystem.getcwd()

    Returns the current working directory. To retrieve the DF path, use dfhack.getDFPath() instead.

  • dfhack.filesystem.chdir(path)

    Changes the current directory to path. Use with caution.

  • dfhack.filesystem.restore_cwd()

    Restores the current working directory to what it was when DF started.

  • dfhack.filesystem.get_initial_cwd()

    Returns the value of the working directory when DF was started.

  • dfhack.filesystem.mkdir(path)

    Creates a new directory. Returns false if unsuccessful, including if path already exists.

  • dfhack.filesystem.mkdir_recursive(path)

    Creates a new directory, including any intermediate directories that don’t exist yet. Returns true if the folder was created or already existed, or false if unsuccessful.

  • dfhack.filesystem.rmdir(path)

    Removes a directory. Only works if the directory is already empty.

  • dfhack.filesystem.mtime(path)

    Returns the modification time (in seconds) of the file or directory specified by path, or -1 if path does not exist. This depends on the system clock and should only be used locally.

  • dfhack.filesystem.atime(path)

  • dfhack.filesystem.ctime(path)

    Return values vary across operating systems - return the st_atime and st_ctime fields of a C++ stat struct, respectively.

  • dfhack.filesystem.listdir(path)

    Lists files/directories in a directory. Returns {} if path does not exist.

  • dfhack.filesystem.listdir_recursive(path [, depth = 10[, include_prefix = true]])

    Lists all files/directories in a directory and its subdirectories. All directories are listed before their contents. Returns a table with subtables of the format:

    {path: 'path to file', isdir: true|false}

    Note that listdir() returns only the base name of each directory entry, while listdir_recursive() returns the initial path and all components following it for each entry. Set include_prefix to false if you don’t want the path string prepended to the returned filenames.

Console API

  • dfhack.console.clear()

    Clears the console; equivalent to the cls built-in command.

  • dfhack.console.flush()

    Flushes all output to the console. This can be useful when printing text that does not end in a newline but should still be displayed.

Internal API

These functions are intended for the use by dfhack developers, and are only documented here for completeness:

  • dfhack.internal.getPE()

    Returns the PE timestamp of the DF executable (only on Windows)

  • dfhack.internal.getMD5()

    Returns the MD5 of the DF executable (only on OS X and Linux)

  • dfhack.internal.getAddress(name)

    Returns the global address name, or nil.

  • dfhack.internal.setAddress(name, value)

    Sets the global address name. Returns the value of getAddress before the change.

  • dfhack.internal.getVTable(name)

    Returns the pre-extracted vtable address name, or nil.

  • dfhack.internal.getImageBase()

    Returns the mmap base of the executable.

  • dfhack.internal.getRebaseDelta()

    Returns the ASLR rebase offset of the DF executable.

  • dfhack.internal.adjustOffset(offset[,to_file])

    Returns the re-aligned offset, or nil if invalid. If to_file is true, the offset is adjusted from memory to file. This function returns the original value everywhere except windows.

  • dfhack.internal.getMemRanges()

    Returns a sequence of tables describing virtual memory ranges of the process.

  • dfhack.internal.patchMemory(dest,src,count)

    Like memmove below, but works even if dest is read-only memory, e.g. code. If destination overlaps a completely invalid memory region, or another error occurs, returns false.

  • dfhack.internal.patchBytes(write_table[, verify_table])

    The first argument must be a lua table, which is interpreted as a mapping from memory addresses to byte values that should be stored there. The second argument may be a similar table of values that need to be checked before writing anything.

    The function takes care to either apply all of write_table, or none of it. An empty write_table with a nonempty verify_table can be used to reasonably safely check if the memory contains certain values.

    Returns true if successful, or nil, error_msg, address if not.

  • dfhack.internal.memmove(dest,src,count)

    Wraps the standard memmove function. Accepts both numbers and refs as pointers.

  • dfhack.internal.memcmp(ptr1,ptr2,count)

    Wraps the standard memcmp function.

  • dfhack.internal.memscan(haystack,count,step,needle,nsize)

    Searches for needle of nsize bytes in haystack, using count steps of step bytes. Returns: step_idx, sum_idx, found_ptr, or nil if not found.

  • dfhack.internal.diffscan(old_data, new_data, start_idx, end_idx, eltsize[, oldval, newval, delta])

    Searches for differences between buffers at ptr1 and ptr2, as integers of size eltsize. The oldval, newval or delta arguments may be used to specify additional constraints. Returns: found_index, or nil if end reached.

  • dfhack.internal.cxxDemangle(mangled_name)

    Decodes a mangled C++ symbol name. Returns the demangled name on success, or nil, error_message on failure.

  • dfhack.internal.getDir(path)

    Lists files/directories in a directory. Returns: file_names or empty table if not found. Identical to dfhack.filesystem.listdir(path).

  • dfhack.internal.strerror(errno)

    Wraps strerror() - returns a string describing a platform-specific error code

  • dfhack.internal.addScriptPath(path, search_before)

    Registers path as a script path. If search_before is passed and true, the path will be searched before the default paths (e.g. dfhack-config/scripts, hack/scripts); otherwise, it will be searched after.

    Returns true if successful or false otherwise (e.g. if the path does not exist or has already been registered).

  • dfhack.internal.removeScriptPath(path)

    Removes path from the list of script paths and returns true if successful.

  • dfhack.internal.getScriptPaths()

    Returns the list of script paths in the order they are searched, including defaults. (This can change if a world is loaded.)

  • dfhack.internal.findScript(name)

    Searches script paths for the script name and returns the path of the first file found, or nil on failure.


    This requires an extension to be specified (.lua or .rb) - use dfhack.findScript() to include the .lua extension automatically.

  • dfhack.internal.runCommand(command[, use_console])

    Runs a DFHack command with the core suspended. Used internally by the dfhack.run_command() family of functions.

    • command: either a table of strings or a single string which is parsed by the default console tokenization strategy (not recommended)

    • use_console: if true, output is sent directly to the DFHack console

    Returns a table with a status key set to a command_result constant (status = CR_OK indicates success). Additionally, if use_console is not true, enumerated table entries of the form {color, text} are included, e.g. result[1][0] is the color of the first piece of text printed (a COLOR_ constant). These entries can be iterated over with ipairs().

  • dfhack.internal.md5(string)

    Returns the MD5 hash of the given string.

  • dfhack.internal.md5File(filename[,first_kb])

    Computes the MD5 hash of the given file. Returns hash, length on success (where length is the number of bytes read from the file), or nil, error on failure.

    If the parameter first_kb is specified and evaluates to true, and the hash was computed successfully, a table containing the first 1024 bytes of the file is returned as the third return value.

  • dfhack.internal.threadid()

    Returns a numeric identifier of the current thread.

  • dfhack.internal.msizeAddress(address)

    Returns the allocation size of an address. Does not require a heap snapshot. This function will crash on an invalid pointer. Windows only.

  • dfhack.internal.getHeapState()

    Returns the state of the heap. 0 == ok or empty, 1 == heap bad ptr, 2 == heap bad begin, 3 == heap bad node. Does not require a heap snapshot. This may be unsafe to use directly from lua if the heap is corrupt. Windows only.

  • dfhack.internal.heapTakeSnapshot()

    Clears any existing heap snapshot, and takes an internal heap snapshot for later consumption. Windows only. Returns the same values as getHeapState()

  • dfhack.internal.isAddressInHeap(address)

    Checks if an address is a member of the heap. It may be dangling. Requires a heap snapshot.

  • dfhack.internal.isAddressActiveInHeap(address)

    Checks if an address is a member of the heap, and actively in use (ie valid). Requires a heap snapshot.

  • dfhack.internal.isAddressUsedAfterFreeInHeap(address)

    Checks if an address is a member of the heap, but is not currently allocated (ie use after free). Requires a heap snapshot. Note that Windows eagerly removes freed pointers from the heap, so this is unlikely to trigger.

  • dfhack.internal.getAddressSizeInHeap(address)

    Gets the allocated size of a member of the heap. Useful for detecting misaligns, as this does not return block size. Requires a heap snapshot.

  • dfhack.internal.getRootAddressOfHeapObject(address)

    Gets the base heap allocation address of a address that lies internally within a piece of allocated memory. Eg, if you have a heap allocated struct and call this function on the address of the second member, it will return the address of the struct. Returns 0 if the address is not found. Requires a heap snapshot.

  • dfhack.internal.getClipboardTextCp437()

    Gets the system clipboard text (and converts text to CP437 encoding).

  • dfhack.internal.setClipboardTextCp437(text)

    Sets the system clipboard text from a CP437 string.

  • dfhack.internal.getSuppressDuplicateKeyboardEvents()

  • dfhack.internal.setSuppressDuplicateKeyboardEvents(suppress)

    Gets and sets the flag for whether to suppress DF key events when a DFHack keybinding is matched and a command is launched.

Core interpreter context

While plugins can create any number of interpreter instances, there is one special context managed by the DFHack core. It is the only context that can receive events from DF and plugins.

Core context specific functions:

  • dfhack.is_core_context

    Boolean value; true in the core context.

  • dfhack.timeout(time,mode,callback)

    Arranges for the callback to be called once the specified period of time passes. The mode argument specifies the unit of time used, and may be one of 'frames' (raw FPS), 'ticks' (unpaused FPS), 'days', 'months', 'years' (in-game time). All timers other than 'frames' are canceled when the world is unloaded, and cannot be queued until it is loaded again. Returns the timer id, or nil if unsuccessful due to world being unloaded.

  • dfhack.timeout_active(id[,new_callback])

    Returns the active callback with the given id, or nil if inactive or nil id. If called with 2 arguments, replaces the current callback with the given value, if still active. Using timeout_active(id,nil) cancels the timer.

  • dfhack.onStateChange.foo = function(code)

    Creates a handler for state change events. Receives the same SC_ codes as plugin_onstatechange() in C++.

Event type

An event is a native object transparently wrapping a lua table, and implementing a __call metamethod. When it is invoked, it loops through the table with next and calls all contained values. This is intended as an extensible way to add listeners.

This type itself is available in any context, but only the core context has the actual events defined by C++ code.


  • dfhack.event.new()

    Creates a new instance of an event.

  • event[key] = function

    Sets the function as one of the listeners. Assign nil to remove it.


    The df.NULL key is reserved for the use by the C++ owner of the event; it is an error to try setting it.

  • #event

    Returns the number of non-nil listeners.

  • pairs(event)

    Iterates over all listeners in the table.

  • event(args...)

    Invokes all listeners contained in the event in an arbitrary order using dfhack.safecall.

Lua Modules

DFHack sets up the lua interpreter so that the built-in require function can be used to load shared lua code from hack/lua/. The dfhack namespace reference itself may be obtained via require('dfhack'), although it is initially created as a global by C++ bootstrap code.

The following module management functions are provided:

  • mkmodule(name)

    Creates an environment table for the module. Intended to be used as:

    local _ENV = mkmodule('foo')
    return _ENV

    If called the second time, returns the same table; thus providing reload support.

  • reload(name)

    Reloads a previously require-d module “name” from the file. Intended as a help for module development.

  • dfhack.BASE_G

    This variable contains the root global environment table, which is used as a base for all module and script environments. Its contents should be kept limited to the standard Lua library and API described in this document.

Global environment

A number of variables and functions are provided in the base global environment by the mandatory init file dfhack.lua:

  • Color constants

    These are applicable both for dfhack.color() and color fields in DF functions or structures:



  • State change event codes, used by dfhack.onStateChange

    Available only in the core context, as is the event itself:


  • Command result constants (equivalent to command_result in C++), used by dfhack.run_command() and related functions:


  • Functions already described above

    safecall, qerror, mkmodule, reload

  • Miscellaneous constants


    evaluate to the relevant character strings.


    is an unspecified unique token used by the class module below.

  • printall(obj)

    If the argument is a lua table or DF object reference, prints all fields.

  • printall_recurse(obj)

    If the argument is a lua table or DF object reference, prints all fields recursively.

  • copyall(obj)

    Returns a shallow copy of the table or reference as a lua table.

  • pos2xyz(obj)

    The object must have fields x, y and z. Returns them as 3 values. If obj is nil, or x is -30000 (the usual marker for undefined coordinates), returns nil.

  • xyz2pos(x,y,z)

    Returns a table with x, y and z as fields.

  • same_xyz(a,b)

    Checks if a and b have the same x, y and z fields.

  • get_path_xyz(path,i)

    Returns path.x[i], path.y[i], path.z[i].

  • pos2xy(obj), xy2pos(x,y), same_xy(a,b), get_path_xy(a,b)

    Same as above, but for 2D coordinates.

  • safe_index(obj,index...)

    Walks a sequence of dereferences, which may be represented by numbers or strings. Returns nil if any of obj or indices is nil, or a numeric index is out of array bounds.

  • ensure_key(t, key[, default_value])

    If the Lua table t doesn’t include the specified key, t[key] is set to the value of default_value, which defaults to {} if not set. The new or existing value of t[key] is then returned.

  • ensure_keys(t, key...)

    Walks a series of keys, creating any missing keys as empty tables. The new or existing table from the last specified key is returned from the function.

String class extensions

DFHack extends Lua’s basic string class to include a number of convenience functions. These are invoked just like standard string functions, e.g.:

if imastring:startswith('imaprefix') then
  • string:startswith(prefix)

    Returns true if the first #prefix characters of the string are equal to prefix. Note that prefix is not interpreted as a pattern.

  • string:endswith(suffix)

    Returns true if the last #suffix characters of the string are equal to suffix. Note that suffix is not interpreted as a pattern.

  • string:split([delimiter[, plain]])

    Split a string by the given delimiter. If no delimiter is specified, space (' ') is used. The delimiter is treated as a pattern unless a plain is specified and set to true. To treat multiple successive delimiter characters as a single delimiter, e.g. to avoid getting empty string elements, pass a pattern like ' +'. Be aware that passing patterns that match empty strings (like ' *') will result in improper string splits.

  • string:trim()

    Removes spaces (i.e. everything that matches '%s') from the start and end of a string. Spaces between non-space characters are left untouched.

  • string:wrap([width])

    Inserts newlines into a string so no individual line exceeds the given width. Lines are split at space-separated word boundaries. Any existing newlines are kept in place. If a single word is longer than width, it is split over multiple lines. If width is not specified, 72 is used.

  • string:escape_pattern()

    Escapes regex special chars in a string. E.g. 'a+b' -> 'a%+b'.


  • utils.compare(a,b)

    Comparator function; returns -1 if a<b, 1 if a>b, 0 otherwise.

  • utils.compare_name(a,b)

    Comparator for names; compares empty string last.

  • utils.is_container(obj)

    Checks if obj is a container ref.

  • utils.make_index_sequence(start,end)

    Returns a lua sequence of numbers in start..end.

  • utils.make_sort_order(data, ordering)

    Computes a sorted permutation of objects in data, as a table of integer indices into the data sequence. Uses data.n as input length if present.

    The ordering argument is a sequence of ordering specs, represented as lua tables with following possible fields:

    ord.key = function(value)

    Computes comparison key from input data value. Not called on nil. If omitted, the comparison key is the value itself.

    ord.key_table = function(data)

    Computes a key table from the data table in one go.

    ord.compare = function(a,b)

    Comparison function. Defaults to utils.compare above. Called on non-nil keys; nil sorts last.

    ord.nil_first = true/false

    If true, nil keys are sorted first instead of last.

    ord.reverse = true/false

    If true, sort non-nil keys in descending order.

    For every comparison during sorting the specs are applied in order until an unambiguous decision is reached. Sorting is stable.

    Example of sorting a sequence by field foo:

    local spec = { key = function(v) return v.foo end }
    local order = utils.make_sort_order(data, { spec })
    local output = {}
    for i = 1,#order do output[i] = data[order[i]] end

    Separating the actual reordering of the sequence in this way enables applying the same permutation to multiple arrays. This function is used by the sort plugin.

  • for link,item in utils.listpairs(list)

    Iterates a df-list structure, for example df.global.world.job_list.

  • utils.assign(tgt, src)

    Does a recursive assignment of src into tgt. Uses df.assign if tgt is a native object ref; otherwise recurses into lua tables.

  • utils.clone(obj, deep)

    Performs a shallow, or semi-deep copy of the object as a lua table tree. The deep mode recurses into lua tables and subobjects, except pointers to other heap objects. Null pointers are represented as df.NULL. Zero-based native containers are converted to 1-based lua sequences.

  • utils.clone_with_default(obj, default, force)

    Copies the object, using the default lua table tree as a guide to which values should be skipped as uninteresting. The force argument makes it always return a non-nil value.

  • utils.parse_bitfield_int(value, type_ref)

    Given an int value, and a bitfield type in the df tree, it returns a lua table mapping the enabled bit keys to true, unless value is 0, in which case it returns nil.

  • utils.list_bitfield_flags(bitfield[, list])

    Adds all enabled bitfield keys to list or a newly-allocated empty sequence, and returns it. The bitfield argument may be nil.

  • utils.sort_vector(vector,field,cmpfun)

    Sorts a native vector or lua sequence using the comparator function. If field is not nil, applies the comparator to the field instead of the whole object.

  • utils.linear_index(vector,key[,field])

    Searches for key in the vector, and returns index, found_value, or nil if none found.

  • utils.binsearch(vector,key,field,cmpfun,min,max)

    Does a binary search in a native vector or lua sequence for key, using cmpfun and field like sort_vector. If min and max are specified, they are used as the search subrange bounds.

    If found, returns item, true, idx. Otherwise returns nil, false, insert_idx, where insert_idx is the correct insertion point.

  • utils.insert_sorted(vector,item,field,cmpfun)

    Does a binary search, and inserts item if not found. Returns did_insert, vector[idx], idx.

  • utils.insert_or_update(vector,item,field,cmpfun)

    Like insert_sorted, but also assigns the item into the vector cell if insertion didn’t happen.

    As an example, you can use this to set skill values:

    utils.insert_or_update(soul.skills, {new=true, id=..., rating=...}, 'id')

    (For an explanation of new=true, see Recursive table assignment)

  • utils.erase_sorted_key(vector,key,field,cmpfun)

    Removes the item with the given key from the list. Returns: did_erase, vector[idx], idx.

  • utils.erase_sorted(vector,item,field,cmpfun)

    Exactly like erase_sorted_key, but if field is specified, takes the key from item[field].

  • utils.search_text(text,search_tokens)

    Returns true if all the search tokens are found within text. The text and search tokens are normalized to lower case and special characters (e.g. A with a circle on it) are converted to their “basic” forms (e.g. a). search_tokens can be a string or a table of strings. If it is a string, it is split into space-separated tokens before matching. The search tokens are treated literally, so any special regular expression characters do not need to be escaped. If utils.FILTER_FULL_TEXT is true, then the search tokens can match any part of text. If it is false, then the matches must happen at the beginning of words within text. You can change the value of utils.FILTER_FULL_TEXT in gui/control-panel on the “Preferences” tab.

  • utils.call_with_string(obj,methodname,...)

    Allocates a temporary string object, calls obj:method(tmp,...), and returns the value written into the temporary after deleting it.

  • utils.getBuildingName(building)

    Returns the string description of the given building.

  • utils.getBuildingCenter(building)

    Returns an x/y/z table pointing at the building center.

  • utils.split_string(string, delimiter)

    Splits the string by the given delimiter, and returns a sequence of results.

  • utils.prompt_yes_no(prompt, default)

    Presents a yes/no prompt to the user. If default is not nil, allows just pressing Enter to submit the default choice. If the user enters 'abort', throws an error.

  • utils.prompt_input(prompt, checkfun, quit_str)

    Presents a prompt to input data, until a valid string is entered. Once checkfun(input) returns true, …, passes the values through. If the user enters the quit_str (defaults to '~~~'), throws an error.

  • utils.check_number(text)

    A prompt_input checkfun that verifies a number input.


The argparse module provides functions to help scripts process commandline parameters.

  • argparse.processArgs(args, validArgs)

    A basic commandline processing function with simple syntax, useful if your script doesn’t need the more advanced features of argparse.processArgsGetopt().

    If validArgs is specified, it should contain a set of valid option names (without the leading dashes). For example:

    argparse.processArgs(args, utils.invert{'opt1', 'opt2', 'opt3'})

    processArgs returns a map of option names it found in args to:

    • the token that came after the option

    • '' if the next token was another option

    • a list of strings if the next token was '[' (see below)

    Options in args from the commandline can be prefixed with either one dash ('-') or two dashes ('--'). The user can add a backslash before the dash to allow a string to be identified as an option value instead of another option. For example: yourscript --opt1 \-arg1.

    If a '[' token is found in args, the subsequent tokens will be interpreted as elements of a list until the matching closing ']' is found. Brackets can be nested, but the inner brackets will be added to the list of tokens as literal '[' and ']' strings.

    Example commandlines:

    yourscript --optName --opt2
    yourscript --optName value
    yourscript --optName [ list of values ]
    yourscript --optName [ list of [ nested values ] [ in square brackets ] ]
    yourscript --optName \--value

    Note that processArgs does not support non-option (“positional”) parameters. They are supported by processArgsGetopt (see below).

  • argparse.processArgsGetopt(args, optionActions)

    A fully-featured commandline processing function, with behavior based on the popular getopt library. You would use this instead of the simpler processArgs function if any of the following are true:

    • You want both short (e.g. -f) and aliased long-form (e.g. --filename) options

    • You have commandline components that are not arguments to options (e.g. you want to run your script like yourscript command --verbose arg1 arg2 arg3 instead of yourscript command --verbose --opt1 arg1 --opt2 arg2 --opt3 arg3).

    • You want the convenience of combining options into shorter strings (e.g. '-abcarg' instead of '-a -b -c arg)

    • You want to be able to parse and validate the option arguments as the commandline is being processed, as opposed to validating everything after commandline processing is complete.

    Commandlines processed by processArgsGetopt can have both “short” and “long” options, with each short option often having a long-form alias that behaves exactly the same as the short form. Short options have properties that make them very easy to type quickly by users who are familiar with your script options. Long options, on the other hand, are easily understandable by everyone and are useful in places where clarity is more important than brevity, e.g. in example commands. Each option can be configured to take an argument, which will be the string token that follows the option name on the commandline.

    Short options are a single letter long and are specified on a commandline by prefixing them with a single dash (e.g. the short option a would appear on the commandline as -a). Multiple successive short options that do not take arguments can be combined into a single option string (e.g. '-abc' instead of '-a -b -c'). Moreover, the argument for a short option can be appended directly to the single-letter option without an intervening space (e.g. -d param can be written as -dparam). These two convenience shorthand forms can be combined, allowing groups of short parameters to be written together, as long as at most the last short option takes an argument (e.g. combining the previous two examples into -abcdparam)

    Long options focus on clarity. They are usually entire words, or several words combined with hyphens (-) or underscores (_). If they take an argument, the argument can be separated from the option name by a space or an equals sign (=). For example, the following two commandlines are equivalent: yourscript --style pretty and yourscript --style=pretty.

    Another reason to use long options is if they represent an esoteric parameter that you don’t expect to be commonly used and that you don’t want to “waste” a single-letter option on. In this case, you can define a long option without a corresponding short option.

    processArgsGetopt takes two parameters:

    args: list of space-separated strings the user wrote on the commandline
    optionActions: list of option specifications

    and returns a list of positional parameters – that is, all strings that are neither options nor argruments to options. Options and positional parameters can appear in any order on the commandline, as long as arguments to options immediately follow the option itself.

    Each option specification in optionActions has the following format: {shortOptionName, longOptionAlias, hasArg=boolean, handler=fn}

    • shortOptionName is a one-character string (or '' or nil if the parameter only has a long form). Numbers cannot be short options, and negative numbers (e.g. '-10') will be interpreted as positional parameters and returned in the positional parameters list.

    • longOptionAlias is an optional longer form of the short option name. If no short option name is specified, then this element is required.

    • hasArg indicates whether the handler function for the option takes a parameter.

    • handler is the handler function for the option. If hasArg is true then the next token on the commandline is passed to the handler function as an argument.

    Example usage:

    local args = {...}
    local open_readonly, filename = false, nil     -- set defaults
    local positionals = argparse.processArgsGetopt(args, {
      {'r', handler=function() open_readonly = true end},
      {'f', 'filename', hasArg=true,
       handler=function(optarg) filename = optarg end}

    In this example, if args is {'first', '-rf', 'fname', 'second'} or, equivalently, {'first', '-r', '--filename', 'myfile.txt', 'second'} (note the double dash in front of the long option alias), then open_readonly will be true, filename will be 'myfile.txt' and positionals will be {'first', 'second'}.

  • argparse.stringList(arg, arg_name, list_length)

    Parses a comma-separated sequence of strings and returns a lua list. Leading and trailing spaces are trimmed from the strings. If arg_name is specified, it is used to make error messages more useful. If list_length is specified and greater than 0, then exactly that number of elements must be found or the function will error. Example:

    stringList('hello , world,alist', 'words') => {'hello', 'world', 'alist'}
  • argparse.numberList(arg, arg_name, list_length)

    Parses a comma-separated sequence of numeric strings and returns a list of the discovered numbers (as numbers, not strings). If arg_name is specified, it is used to make error messages more useful. If list_length is specified and greater than 0, exactly that number of elements must be found or the function will error. Example:

    numberList('10, -20 ,  30.5') => {10, -20, 30.5}
  • argparse.coords(arg, arg_name, skip_validation)

    Parses a comma-separated coordinate string and returns a coordinate table of {x, y, z}. If the string 'here' is passed, returns the coordinates of the active game cursor, or throws an error if the cursor is not active. This function also verifies that the coordinates are valid for the current map and throws if they are not (unless skip_validation is set to true).

  • argparse.positiveInt(arg, arg_name)

    Throws if tonumber(arg) is not a positive integer; otherwise returns tonumber(arg). If arg_name is specified, it is used to make error messages more useful.

  • argparse.nonnegativeInt(arg, arg_name)

    Throws if tonumber(arg) is not a non-negative integer; otherwise returns tonumber(arg). If arg_name is specified, it is used to make error messages more useful.

  • argparse.boolean(arg, arg_name)

    Converts string.lower(arg) from “yes/no/on/off/true/false/etc…” to a lua boolean. Throws if the value can’t be converted, otherwise returns true/false. If arg_name is specified, it is used to make error messages more useful.


A third-party lua table dumper module from http://lua-users.org/wiki/DataDumper. Defines one function:

  • dumper.DataDumper(value, varname, fastmode, ident, indent_step)

    Returns value converted to a string. The indent_step argument specifies the indentation step size in spaces. For the other arguments see the original documentation link above.


Unified interface for DFHack tool help text. Help text is read from the rendered text in hack/docs/docs/tools. If no rendered text exists, help is read from the script sources (for scripts) or the string passed to the PluginCommand initializer (for plugins). See DFHack documentation system for details on how DFHack’s help system works.

The database is loaded when DFHack initializes, but can be explicitly refreshed with a call to helpdb.refresh() if docs are added/changed during a play session.

Each entry has several properties associated with it:

  • The entry name, which is the name of a plugin, script, or command provided by a plugin.

  • The entry types, which can be builtin, plugin, and/or command. Entries for built-in commands (like ls or quicksave) are both type builtin and command. Entries named after plugins are type plugin, and if that plugin also provides a command with the same name as the plugin, then the entry is also type command. Entry types are returned as a map of one or more of the type strings to true.

  • Short help, a the ~54 character description string.

  • Long help, the entire contents of the associated help file.

  • A list of tags that define the groups that the entry belongs to.

  • helpdb.refresh()

    Scan for changes in available commands and their documentation.

  • helpdb.is_entry(str), helpdb.is_entry(list)

    Returns whether the given string (or list of strings) is an entry (are all entries) in the db.

  • helpdb.get_entry_types(entry)

    Returns the set (that is, a map of string to true) of entry types for the given entry.

  • helpdb.get_entry_short_help(entry)

    Returns the short (~54 character) description for the given entry.

  • helpdb.get_entry_long_help(entry[, width])

    Returns the full help text for the given entry. If width is specified, the text will be wrapped at that width, preserving block indents. The wrap width defaults to 80.

  • helpdb.get_entry_tags(entry)

    Returns the set of tag names for the given entry.

  • helpdb.is_tag(str), helpdb.is_tag(list)

    Returns whether the given string (or list of strings) is a (are all) valid tag name(s).

  • helpdb.get_tags()

    Returns the full alphabetized list of valid tag names.

  • helpdb.get_tag_data(tag)

    Returns a list of entries that have the given tag. The returned table also has a description key that contains the string description of the tag.

  • helpdb.search_entries([include[, exclude]])

    Returns a list of names for entries that match the given filters. The list is alphabetized by their last path component, with populated path components coming before null path components (e.g. autobutcher will immediately follow gui/autobutcher). The optional include and exclude filter params are maps (or lists of maps) with the following elements:


    if a string, filters by the given substring. if a table of strings, includes entry names that match any of the given substrings.


    if a string, filters by the given tag name. if a table of strings, includes entries that match any of the given tags.


    if a string, matches entries of the given type. if a table of strings, includes entries that match any of the given types.

    Elements in a map are ANDed together (e.g. if both str and tag are specified, the match is on any of the str elements AND any of the tag elements).

    If lists of filters are passed instead of a single map, the match succeeds if all of the filters match.

    If include is nil or empty, then all entries are included. If exclude is nil or empty, then no entries are filtered out.


A third-party lua profiler module from http://lua-users.org/wiki/PepperfishProfiler. Module defines one function to create profiler objects which can be used to profile and generate report.

  • profiler.newProfiler([variant[, sampling_frequency]])

    Returns a profile object with variant either 'time' or 'call'. 'time' variant takes optional sampling_frequency parameter to select lua instruction counts between samples. Default is 'time' variant with 10*1000 frequency.

    'call' variant has much higher runtime cost which will increase the runtime of profiled code by factor of ten. For the extreme costs it provides accurate function call counts that can help locate code which takes much time in native calls.

  • obj:start()

    Resets collected statistics. Then it starts collecting new statistics.

  • obj:stop()

    Stops profile collection.

  • obj:report(outfile[, sort_by_total_time])

    Write a report from previous statistics collection to outfile. outfile should be writeable io file object (io.open or io.stdout). Passing true as second parameter sort_by_total_time switches sorting order to use total time instead of default self time order.

  • obj:prevent(function)

    Adds an ignore filter for a function. It will ignore the pointed function and all of it children.


local prof = profiler.newProfiler()



local out = io.open( "lua-profile.txt", "w+")


Implements a trivial single-inheritance class system.

  • Foo = defclass(Foo[, ParentClass])

    Defines or updates class Foo. The Foo = defclass(Foo) syntax is needed so that when the module or script is reloaded, the class identity will be preserved through the preservation of global variable values.

    The defclass function is defined as a stub in the global namespace, and using it will auto-load the class module.

  • Class.super

    This class field is set by defclass to the parent class, and allows a readable Class.super.method(self, ...) syntax for calling superclass methods.

  • Class.ATTRS { foo = xxx, bar = yyy }

    Declares certain instance fields to be attributes, i.e. auto-initialized from fields in the table used as the constructor argument. If omitted, they are initialized with the default values specified in this declaration.

    If the default value should be nil, use ATTRS { foo = DEFAULT_NIL }.

    Declaring an attribute is mostly the same as defining your init method like this:

    function Class.init(args)
        self.attr1 = args.attr1 or default1
        self.attr2 = args.attr2 or default2

    The main difference is that attributes are processed as a separate initialization step, before any init methods are called. They also make the direct relation between instance fields and constructor arguments more explicit.

  • new_obj = Class{ foo = arg, bar = arg, ... }

    Calling the class as a function creates and initializes a new instance. Initialization happens in this order:

    1. An empty instance table is created, and its metatable set.

    2. The preinit methods are called via invoke_before (see below) with the table used as the argument to the class. These methods are intended for validating and tweaking that argument table.

    3. Declared ATTRS are initialized from the argument table or their default values.

    4. The init methods are called via invoke_after with the argument table. This is the main constructor method.

    5. The postinit methods are called via invoke_after with the argument table. Place code that should be called after the object is fully constructed here.

Predefined instance methods:

  • instance:assign{ foo = xxx }

    Assigns all values in the input table to the matching instance fields.

  • instance:callback(method_name, [args...])

    Returns a closure that invokes the specified method of the class, properly passing in self, and optionally a number of initial arguments too. The arguments given to the closure are appended to these.

  • instance:cb_getfield(field_name)

    Returns a closure that returns the specified field of the object when called.

  • instance:cb_setfield(field_name)

    Returns a closure that sets the specified field to its argument when called.

  • instance:invoke_before(method_name, args...)

    Navigates the inheritance chain of the instance starting from the most specific class, and invokes the specified method with the arguments if it is defined in that specific class. Equivalent to the following definition in every class:

    function Class:invoke_before(method, ...)
      if rawget(Class, method) then
        rawget(Class, method)(self, ...)
      Class.super.invoke_before(method, ...)
  • instance:invoke_after(method_name, args...)

    Like invoke_before, only the method is called after the recursive call to super, i.e. invocations happen in the parent to child order.

    These two methods are inspired by the Common Lisp before and after methods, and are intended for implementing similar protocols for certain things. The class library itself uses them for constructors.

To avoid confusion, these methods cannot be redefined.


A module for reading custom tokens added to the raws by mods.

  • customRawTokens.getToken(typeDefinition, token)

    Where typeDefinition is a type definition struct as seen in df.global.world.raws (e.g.: dfhack.gui.getSelectedItem().subtype) and token is the name of the custom token you want read. The arguments from the token will then be returned as strings using single or multiple return values. If the token is not present, the result is false; if it is present but has no arguments, the result is true. For creature_raw, it checks against no caste. For plant_raw, it checks against no growth.

  • customRawTokens.getToken(typeInstance, token)

    Where typeInstance is a unit, entity, item, job, projectile, building, plant, or interaction instance. Gets typeDefinition and then returns the same as getToken(typeDefinition, token). For units, it gets the token from the race or caste instead if applicable. For plant growth items, it gets the token from the plant or plant growth instead if applicable. For plants it does the same but with growth number -1.

  • customRawTokens.getToken(raceDefinition, casteNumber, token)

    The same as getToken(unit, token) but with a specified race and caste. Caste number -1 is no caste.

  • customRawTokens.getToken(raceDefinition, casteName, token)

    The same as getToken(unit, token) but with a specified race and caste, using caste name (e.g. “FEMALE”) instead of number.

  • customRawTokens.getToken(plantDefinition, growthNumber, token)

    The same as getToken(plantGrowthItem, token) but with a specified plant and growth. Growth number -1 is no growth.

  • customRawTokens.getToken(plantDefinition, growthName, token)

    The same as getToken(plantGrowthItem, token) but with a specified plant and growth, using growth name (e.g. “LEAVES”) instead of number.

It is recommended to prefix custom raw tokens with the name of your mod to avoid duplicate behaviour where two mods make callbacks that work on the same tag.


  • Using an eventful onReactionComplete hook, something for disturbing dwarven science:

    if customRawTokens.getToken(reaction, "EXAMPLE_MOD_CAUSES_INSANITY") then
        -- make unit who performed reaction go insane
  • Using an eventful onProjItemCheckMovement hook, a fast or slow-firing crossbow:

    -- check projectile distance flown is zero, get firer, etc...
    local multiplier = tonumber(customRawTokens.getToken(bow, "EXAMPLE_MOD_FIRE_RATE_MULTIPLIER")) or 1
    if firer.counters.think_counter > 0 then
      firer.counters.think_counter = math.max(math.floor(firer.counters.think_counter * multiplier), 1)
  • Something for a script that prints help text about different types of units:

    local unit = dfhack.gui.getSelectedUnit()
    if not unit then return end
    local helpText = customRawTokens.getToken(unit, "EXAMPLE_MOD_HELP_TEXT")
    if helpText then print(helpText) end
  • Healing armour:

    -- (per unit every tick)
    local healAmount = 0
    for _, entry in ipairs(unit.inventory) do
        if entry.mode == 2 then -- Worn
            healAmount = healAmount + tonumber((customRawTokens.getToken(entry.item, "EXAMPLE_MOD_HEAL_AMOUNT")) or 0)
    unit.body.blood_count = math.min(unit.body.blood_max, unit.body.blood_count + healAmount)

In-game UI Library

A number of lua modules with names starting with gui are dedicated to wrapping the natives of the dfhack.screen module in a way that is easy to use. This allows relatively easily and naturally creating dialogs that integrate in the main game UI window.

These modules make extensive use of the class module, and define things ranging from the basic Painter, View and Screen classes, to fully functional predefined dialogs.


This module defines the most important classes and functions for implementing interfaces. This documents those of them that are considered stable.



    The black pen used to clear the screen. In graphics mode, it will clear the foreground and set the background to the standard black tile.


    A pen that will clear all textures from the UI layer, making the tile transparent.


    A pen that will write tiles over existing background tiles instead of clearing them.

  • simulateInput(screen, keys...)

    This function wraps an undocumented native function that passes a set of keycodes to a screen, and is the official way to do that.

    Every argument after the initial screen may be nil, a numeric keycode, a string keycode, a sequence of numeric or string keycodes, or a mapping of keycodes to true or false. For instance, it is possible to use the table passed as argument to onInput.

    You can send mouse clicks as well by setting the _MOUSE_L key or other mouse-related pseudo-keys documented with the screen:onInput(keys) function above. Note that if you are simulating a click at a specific spot on the screen, you must set df.global.gps.mouse_x and df.global.gps.mouse_y if you are clicking on the interface layer or df.global.gps.precise_mouse_x and df.global.gps.precise_mouse_y if you are clicking on the map.

  • mkdims_xy(x1,y1,x2,y2)

    Returns a table containing the arguments as fields, and also width and height that contains the rectangle dimensions.

  • mkdims_wh(x1,y1,width,height)

    Returns the same kind of table as mkdims_xy, only this time it computes x2 and y2.

  • is_in_rect(rect,x,y)

    Checks if the given point is within a rectangle, represented by a table produced by one of the mkdims functions.

  • blink_visible(delay)

    Returns true or false, with the value switching to the opposite every delay msec. This is intended for rendering blinking interface objects.

  • getKeyDisplay(keycode)

    Wraps dfhack.screen.getKeyDisplay in order to allow using strings for the keycode argument.

  • invert_color(color, bold)

    This inverts the brightness of color. If this color is coming from a pen’s foreground color, include pen.bold in bold for this to work properly.

ViewRect class

This class represents an on-screen rectangle with an associated independent clip area rectangle. It is the base of the Painter class, and is used by Views to track their client area.

  • ViewRect{ rect = ..., clip_rect = ..., view_rect = ..., clip_view = ... }

    The constructor has the following arguments:


    The mkdims rectangle in screen coordinates of the logical viewport. Defaults to the whole screen.


    The clip rectangle in screen coordinates. Defaults to rect.


    A ViewRect object to copy from; overrides both rect and clip_rect.


    A ViewRect object to intersect the specified clip area with.

  • rect:isDefunct()

    Returns true if the clip area is empty, i.e. no painting is possible.

  • rect:inClipGlobalXY(x,y)

    Checks if these global coordinates are within the clip rectangle.

  • rect:inClipLocalXY(x,y)

    Checks if these coordinates (specified relative to x1,y1) are within the clip rectangle.

  • rect:localXY(x,y)

    Converts a pair of global coordinates to local; returns x_local,y_local.

  • rect:globalXY(x,y)

    Converts a pair of local coordinates to global; returns x_global,y_global.

  • rect:viewport(x,y,w,h) or rect:viewport(subrect)

    Returns a ViewRect representing a sub-rectangle of the current one. The arguments are specified in local coordinates; the subrect argument must be a mkdims table. The returned object consists of the exact specified rectangle, and a clip area produced by intersecting it with the clip area of the original object.

Painter class

The painting natives in dfhack.screen apply to the whole screen, are completely stateless and don’t implement clipping.

The Painter class inherits from ViewRect to provide clipping and local coordinates, and tracks current cursor position and current pen. It also supports drawing to a separate map buffer if applicable (see map() below for details).

  • Painter{ ..., pen = ..., key_pen = ... }

    In addition to ViewRect arguments, Painter accepts a suggestion of the initial value for the main pen, and the keybinding pen. They default to COLOR_GREY and COLOR_LIGHTGREEN otherwise.

    There are also some convenience functions that wrap this constructor:

    • Painter.new(rect,pen)

    • Painter.new_view(view_rect,pen)

    • Painter.new_xy(x1,y1,x2,y2,pen)

    • Painter.new_wh(x1,y1,width,height,pen)

  • painter:isValidPos()

    Checks if the current cursor position is within the clip area.

  • painter:viewport(x,y,w,h)

    Like the superclass method, but returns a Painter object.

  • painter:cursor()

    Returns the current cursor x,y in screen coordinates.

  • painter:cursorX()

    Returns just the current x cursor coordinate

  • painter:cursorY()

    Returns just the current y cursor coordinate

  • painter:seek(x,y)

    Sets the current cursor position, and returns self. Either of the arguments may be nil to keep the current value.

  • painter:advance(dx,dy)

    Adds the given offsets to the cursor position, and returns self. Either of the arguments may be nil to keep the current value.

  • painter:newline([dx])

    Advances the cursor to the start of the next line plus the given x offset, and returns self.

  • painter:pen(...)

    Sets the current pen to dfhack.pen.parse(old_pen,...), and returns self.

  • painter:color(fg[,bold[,bg]])

    Sets the specified colors of the current pen and returns self.

  • painter:key_pen(...)

    Sets the current keybinding pen to dfhack.pen.parse(old_pen,...), and returns self.

  • painter:map(to_map)

    Enables or disables drawing to a separate map buffer. to_map is a boolean that will be passed as the map parameter to any dfhack.screen functions that accept it. Note that only third-party plugins like TWBT currently implement a separate map buffer; if none are enabled, this function has no effect (but should still be used to ensure proper support for such plugins). Returns self.

  • painter:clear()

    Fills the whole clip rectangle with CLEAR_PEN, and returns self.

  • painter:fill(x1,y1,x2,y2[,...]) or painter:fill(rect[,...])

    Fills the specified local coordinate rectangle with dfhack.pen.parse(cur_pen,...), and returns self.

  • painter:char([char[, ...]])

    Paints one character using char and dfhack.pen.parse(cur_pen,...); returns self. The char argument, if not nil, is used to override the ch property of the pen.

  • painter:tile([char, tile[, ...]])

    Like char() above, but also allows overriding the tile property on ad-hoc basis.

  • painter:string(text[, ...])

    Paints the string with dfhack.pen.parse(cur_pen,...); returns self.

  • painter:key(keycode[, ...])

    Paints the description of the keycode using dfhack.pen.parse(cur_key_pen,...); returns self.

  • painter:key_string(keycode, text, ...)

    A convenience wrapper around both key() and string() that prints both the specified keycode description and text, separated by :. Any extra arguments are passed directly to string(). Returns self.

Unless specified otherwise above, all Painter methods return self, in order to allow chaining them like this:


View class

This class is the common abstract base of both the stand-alone screens and common widgets to be used inside them. It defines the basic layout, rendering and event handling framework.

The class defines the following attributes:


Specifies that the view should be painted. This can be a boolean or a function that returns a boolean.


Specifies that the view should receive events, if also visible. This can be a boolean or a function that returns a boolean.


Specifies an identifier to easily identify the view among subviews. This is reserved for use by script writers and should not be set by library widgets for their internal subviews.


Called when the view gains keyboard focus; see setFocus() below.


Called when the view loses keyboard focus.

It also always has the following fields:


Contains a table of all subviews. The sequence part of the table is used for iteration. In addition, subviews are also indexed under their view_id, if any; see addviews() below.


A reference to the parent view. This field is nil until the view is added as a subview to another view with addviews().


The list of widgets in a hierarchy. This table is unique and empty when a view is initialized, but is replaced by a shared table when the view is added to a parent via addviews(). If a view in the focus group has keyboard focus, that widget can be accessed via focus_group.cur.


A boolean indicating whether the view currently has keyboard focus.

These fields are computed by the layout process:


The ViewRect representing the client area of the parent view.


The mkdims rect of the outer frame in parent-local coordinates.


The ViewRect representing the body part of the View’s own frame.

The class has the following methods:

  • view:addviews(list)

    Adds the views in the list to the subviews sequence. If any of the views in the list have view_id attributes that don’t conflict with existing keys in subviews, also stores them under the string keys. Finally, copies any non-conflicting string keys from the subviews tables of the listed views.

    Thus, doing something like this:

            view_id = 'panel',
            subviews = {
                Label{ view_id = 'label' }

    Would make the label accessible as both self.subviews.label and self.subviews.panel.subviews.label.

  • view:getWindowSize()

    Returns the dimensions of the frame_body rectangle.

  • view:getMousePos([view_rect])

    Returns the mouse x,y in coordinates local to the given ViewRect (or frame_body if no ViewRect is passed) if it is within its clip area, or nothing otherwise.

  • view:getMouseFramePos()

    Returns the mouse x,y in coordinates local to frame_rect if it is within its clip area, or nothing otherwise.

  • view:updateLayout([parent_rect])

    Recomputes layout of the view and its subviews. If no argument is given, re-uses the previous parent rect. The process goes as follows:

    1. Calls preUpdateLayout(parent_rect) via invoke_before.

    2. Uses computeFrame(parent_rect) to compute the desired frame.

    3. Calls postComputeFrame(frame_body) via invoke_after.

    4. Calls updateSubviewLayout(frame_body) to update children.

    5. Calls postUpdateLayout(frame_body) via invoke_after.

  • view:computeFrame(parent_rect) (for overriding)

    Called by updateLayout in order to compute the frame rectangle(s). Should return the mkdims rectangle for the outer frame, and optionally also for the body frame. If only one rectangle is returned, it is used for both frames, and the margin becomes zero.

  • view:updateSubviewLayout(frame_body)

    Calls updateLayout on all children.

  • view:render(painter)

    Given the parent’s painter, renders the view via the following process:

    1. Calls onRenderFrame(painter, frame_rect) to paint the outer frame.

    2. Creates a new painter using the frame_body rect.

    3. Calls onRenderBody(new_painter) to paint the client area.

    4. Calls renderSubviews(new_painter) to paint visible children.

  • view:renderSubviews(painter)

    Calls render on all visible subviews in the order they appear in the subviews sequence.

  • view:onRenderFrame(painter, rect) (for overriding)

    Called by render to paint the outer frame; by default does nothing.

  • view:onRenderBody(painter) (for overriding)

    Called by render to paint the client area; by default does nothing.

  • view:onInput(keys) (for overriding)

    Override this to handle events. By default directly calls inputToSubviews. Return a true value from this method to signal that the event has been handled and should not be passed on to more views.

  • view:inputToSubviews(keys)

    Calls onInput on all visible active subviews, iterating the subviews sequence in reverse order, so that topmost subviews get events first. Returns true if any of the subviews handled the event. If a subview within the view’s focus_group has focus and it and all of its ancestors are active and visible, that subview is offered the chance to handle the input before any other subviews.

  • view:getPreferredFocusState()

    Returns false by default, but should be overridden by subclasses that may want to take keyboard focus (if it is unclaimed) when they are added to a parent view with addviews().

  • view:setFocus(focus)

    Sets the keyboard focus to the view if focus is true, or relinquishes keyboard focus if focus is false. Views that newly acquire keyboard focus will trigger the on_focus callback, and views that lose keyboard focus will trigger the on_unfocus callback. While a view has focus, all keyboard input is sent to that view before any of its siblings or parents. Keyboard input is propagated as normal (see inputToSubviews() above) if there is no view with focus or if the view with focus returns false from its onInput() function.

Screen class

This is a View subclass intended for use as a stand-alone modal dialog or screen. It adds the following methods:

  • screen:isShown()

    Returns true if the screen is currently in the game engine’s display stack.

  • screen:isDismissed()

    Returns true if the screen is dismissed.

  • screen:isActive()

    Returns true if the screen is shown and not dismissed.

  • screen:invalidate()

    Requests a repaint. Note that currently using it is not necessary, because repaints are constantly requested automatically, due to issues with native screens happening otherwise.

  • screen:renderParent()

    Asks the parent native screen to render itself, or clears the screen if impossible.

  • screen:sendInputToParent(...)

    Uses simulateInput to send keypresses to the native parent screen.

  • screen:show([parent])

    Adds the screen to the display stack with the given screen as the parent; if parent is not specified, places this one one topmost. Before calling dfhack.screen.show, calls self:onAboutToShow(parent). Note that onAboutToShow() can dismiss active screens, and therefore change the potential parent. If parent is not specified, this function will re-detect the current topmost window after self:onAboutToShow(parent) returns. This function returns self as a convenience so you can write such code as local view = MyScreen{params=val}:show().

  • screen:onAboutToShow(parent) (for overriding)

    Called when dfhack.screen.show is about to be called.

  • screen:onShow()

    Called by dfhack.screen.show once the screen is successfully shown.

  • screen:dismiss()

    Dismisses the screen. A dismissed screen does not receive any more events or paint requests, but may remain in the display stack for a short time until the game removes it.

  • screen:onDismiss() (for overriding)

    Called by dfhack.screen.dismiss().

  • screen:onDestroy() (for overriding)

    Called by the native code when the screen is fully destroyed and removed from the display stack. Place code that absolutely must be called whenever the screen is removed by any means here.

  • screen:onResize, screen:onRender

    Defined as callbacks for native code.

ZScreen class

A screen subclass that allows multi-layer interactivity. For example, a DFHack GUI tool implemented as a ZScreen can allow the player to interact with the underlying map, or even other DFHack ZScreen windows! That is, even when the DFHack tool window is visible, players will be able to use vanilla designation tools, select units, and scan/drag the map around.

At most one ZScreen can have input focus at a time. That ZScreen’s widgets will have a chance to handle the input before anything else. If unhandled, the input skips all unfocused ZScreens under that ZScreen and is passed directly to the first non-ZScreen viewscreen. There are class attributes that can be set to control what kind of unhandled input is passed to the lower layers.

If multiple ZScreens are visible and the player scrolls or left/right clicks on a visible element of a non-focused ZScreen, that ZScreen will be given focus. This allows multiple DFHack GUI tools to be usable at the same time. If the mouse is clicked away from the ZScreen widgets, that ZScreen loses focus. If no ZScreen has focus, all input is passed directly through to the first underlying non-ZScreen viewscreen.

For a ZScreen with keyboard focus, if Esc or the right mouse button is pressed, and the ZScreen widgets don’t otherwise handle them, then the ZScreen is dismissed.

All this behavior is implemented in ZScreen:onInput(), which subclasses must not override. Instead, ZScreen subclasses should delegate all input processing to subviews. Consider using a Window class widget subview as your top level input processor.

When rendering, the parent viewscreen is automatically rendered first, so subclasses do not have to call self:renderParent(). Calls to logic() (a world “tick” when playing the game) are also passed through, so the game progresses normally and can be paused/unpaused as normal by the player. Note that passing logic() calls through to the underlying map is required for allowing the player to drag the map with the mouse. ZScreen subclasses can set attributes that control whether the game is paused when the ZScreen is shown and whether the game is forced to continue being paused while the ZScreen is shown. If pausing is forced, child Window widgets will show a force-pause indicator to show which tool is forcing the pausing.

ZScreen provides the following functions:

  • zscreen:raise()

    Raises the ZScreen to the top of the viewscreen stack, gives it keyboard focus, and returns a reference to self. A common pattern is to check if a tool dialog is already active when the tool command is run and raise the existing dialog if it exists or show a new dialog if it doesn’t. See the sample code below for an example.

  • zscreen:isMouseOver()

    The default implementation iterates over the direct subviews of the ZScreen subclass (which usually only includes a single Window subview) and sees if getMouseFramePos() returns a position for any of them. Subclasses can override this function if that logic is not appropriate.

  • zscreen:hasFocus()

    Whether the ZScreen has keyboard focus. Subclasses will generally not need to check this because they can assume if they are getting input, then they have focus.

ZScreen subclasses can set the following attributes:

  • defocusable (default: true)

    Whether the ZScreen loses keyboard focus when the player clicks on an area of the screen other than the tool window. If the player clicks on a different ZScreen window, focus still transfers to that other ZScreen.

  • initial_pause (default: DEFAULT_INITIAL_PAUSE or not pass_mouse_clicks)

    Whether to pause the game when the ZScreen is shown. If not explicitly set, this attribute will be true if the system-wide DEFAULT_INITIAL_PAUSE is true (which is its default value) or if the pass_mouse_clicks attribute is false (see below). It depends on pass_mouse_clicks because if the player normally pauses/unpauses the game with the mouse, they will not be able to pause the game like they usually do while the ZScreen has focus. DEFAULT_INITIAL_PAUSE can be customized permanently via gui/control-panel or set for the session by running a command like:

    :lua require('gui.widgets').DEFAULT_INITIAL_PAUSE = false
  • force_pause (default: false)

    Whether to ensure the game stays paused while the ZScreen is shown, regardless of whether it has input focus.

  • pass_pause (default: true)

    Whether to pass the pause key to the lower viewscreens if it is not handled by this ZScreen.

  • pass_movement_keys (default: false)

    Whether to pass the map movement keys to the lower viewscreens if they are not handled by this ZScreen.

  • pass_mouse_clicks (default: true)

    Whether to pass mouse clicks to the lower viewscreens if they are not handled by this ZScreen.

Here is an example skeleton for a ZScreen tool window:

local gui = require('gui')
local widgets = require('gui.widgets')

MyWindow = defclass(MyWindow, widgets.Window)
MyWindow.ATTRS {
    frame_title='My Window',
    frame={w=50, h=45},
    resizable=true, -- if resizing makes sense for your dialog
    resize_min={w=50, h=20}, -- try to allow users to shrink your windows

function MyWindow:init()
      -- add subview widgets here

-- implement if you need to handle custom input
function MyWindow:onInput(keys)
    return MyWindow.super.onInput(self, keys)

MyScreen = defclass(MyScreen, gui.ZScreen)
MyScreen.ATTRS {
    -- set pause and passthrough attributes as appropriate
    -- (but most tools can use the defaults)

function MyScreen:init()

function MyScreen:onDismiss()
    view = nil

view = view and view:raise() or MyScreen{}:show()

ZScreenModal class

A ZScreen convenience subclass that sets the attributes to something appropriate for modal dialogs. The game is force paused, and no input is passed through to the underlying viewscreens.

FramedScreen class

A Screen subclass that paints a visible frame around its body. Most dialogs should inherit from this class.

A framed screen has the following attributes:


A table that defines a set of pens to draw various parts of the frame.


A string to display in the middle of the top of the frame.


Desired width of the client area. If nil, the screen will occupy the whole width.


Likewise, for height.


The gap between the frame and the client area. Defaults to 0.


The pen to fill in the frame with. Defaults to CLEAR_PEN.

There are the following predefined frame style tables:


    A frame suitable for a draggable, optionally resizable window.


    A frame suitable for a static (non-draggable, non-resizable) panel.


    A frame suitable for overlay widget panels.


    A frame suitable for floating tooltip panels that need the DFHack signature.


    A frame suitable for a non-draggable panel meant to capture the user’s focus, like an important notification, confirmation dialog or error message.


    A frame suitable for light interior accent elements. This frame does not have a visible DFHack signature on it, so it must not be used as the most external frame for a DFHack-owned UI.


    A copy of FRAME_MEDIUM that lacks the DFHack signature. Suitable for panels that are part of a larger widget cluster. Must not be used as the most external frame for a DFHack-owned UI.


This module implements some basic widgets based on the View infrastructure.

Widget class

Base of all the widgets. Inherits from View and has the following attributes:

  • frame = {...}

    Specifies the constraints on the outer frame of the widget. If omitted, the widget will occupy the whole parent rectangle.

    The frame is specified as a table with the following possible fields:


    gap between the left edges of the frame and the parent.


    gap between the top edges of the frame and the parent.


    gap between the right edges of the frame and the parent.


    gap between the bottom edges of the frame and the parent.


    maximum width of the frame.


    maximum height of the frame.


    X alignment of the frame.


    Y alignment of the frame.

    First the l,t,r,b fields restrict the available area for placing the frame. If w and h are not specified or larger than the computed area, it becomes the frame. Otherwise the smaller frame is placed within the are based on the xalign/yalign fields. If the align hints are omitted, they are assumed to be 0, 1, or 0.5 based on which of the l/r/t/b fields are set.

  • frame_inset = {...}

    Specifies the gap between the outer frame, and the client area. The attribute may be a simple integer value to specify a uniform inset, or a table with the following fields:


    left margin.


    top margin.


    right margin.


    bottom margin.


    left/right margin, if l and/or r are omitted.


    top/bottom margin, if t and/or b are omitted.

    Omitted fields are interpreted as having the value of 0.

  • frame_background = pen

    The pen to fill the outer frame with. Defaults to no fill.

Panel class

Inherits from Widget, and intended for framing and/or grouping subviews. Though this can be used for your “main window”, see the Window class below for a more conveniently configured Panel subclass.

Has attributes:

  • subviews = {}

    Used to initialize the subview list in the constructor.

  • on_render = function(painter)

    Called from onRenderBody.

  • on_layout = function(frame_body)

    Called from postComputeFrame.

  • draggable = bool (default: false)

  • drag_anchors = {} (default: {title=true, frame=false/true, body=true})

  • drag_bound = 'frame' or 'body' (default: 'frame')

  • on_drag_begin = function() (default: nil)

  • on_drag_end = function(success, new_frame) (default: nil)

    If draggable is set to true, then the above attributes come into play when the panel is dragged around the screen, either with the mouse or the keyboard. drag_anchors sets which parts of the panel can be clicked on with the left mouse button to start dragging. The frame is a drag anchor by default only if resizable (below) is false. drag_bound configures whether the frame of the panel (if any) can be dragged outside the containing parent’s boundary. The body will never be draggable outside of the parent, but you can allow the frame to cross the boundary by setting drag_bound to 'body'. The boolean passed to the on_drag_end callback will be true if the drag was “successful” (i.e. not canceled) and false otherwise. Dragging can be canceled by right clicking while dragging with the mouse, hitting Esc (while dragging with the mouse or keyboard), or by calling Panel:setKeyboaredDragEnabled(false) (while dragging with the keyboard). If it is more convenient to do so, you can choose to override the panel:onDragBegin and/or the panel:onDragEnd methods instead of setting the on_drag_begin and/or on_drag_end attributes.

  • resizable = bool (default: false)

  • resize_anchors = {} (default: {t=false, l=true, r=true, b=true}

  • resize_min = {} (default: w and h from the frame, or {w=5, h=5})

  • on_resize_begin = function() (default: nil)

  • on_resize_end = function(success, new_frame) (default: nil)

    If resizable is set to true, then the player can click the mouse on any edge specified in resize_anchors and drag the border to resize the window. If two adjacent edges are enabled as anchors, then the tile where they meet can be used to resize both edges at the same time. The minimum dimensions specified in resize_min (or inherited from frame are respected when resizing. The panel is also prevented from resizing beyond the boundaries of its parent. When the player clicks on a valid anchor, on_resize_begin() is called. The boolean passed to the on_resize_end callback will be true if the drag was “successful” (i.e. not canceled) and false otherwise. Dragging can be canceled by right clicking while resizing with the mouse, hitting Esc (while resizing with the mouse or keyboard), or by calling Panel:setKeyboardResizeEnabled(false) (while resizing with the keyboard). If it is more convenient to do so, you can choose to override the panel:onResizeBegin and/or the panel:onResizeEnd methods instead of setting the on_resize_begin and/or on_resize_end attributes.

  • autoarrange_subviews = bool (default: false)

  • autoarrange_gap = int (default: 0)

    If autoarrange_subviews is set to true, the Panel will automatically handle subview layout. Subviews are laid out vertically according to their current height, with autoarrange_gap empty lines between subviews. This allows you to have widgets dynamically change height or become visible/hidden and you don’t have to worry about recalculating subview positions.

  • frame_style, frame_title (default: nil)

    If defined, a frame will be drawn around the panel and subviews will be inset by 1. The attributes are identical to what is defined in the FramedScreen class. When using the predefined frame styles in the gui module, remember to require the gui module and prefix the identifier with gui., e.g. gui.GREY_LINE_FRAME.

Has functions:

  • panel:setKeyboardDragEnabled(bool)

    If called with true and the panel is not already in keyboard drag mode, then any current drag or resize operations are halted where they are (not canceled), the panel siezes input focus (see View class above for information on the DFHack focus subsystem), and further keyboard cursor keys move the window as if it were being dragged. Shift-cursor keys move by larger amounts. Hit Enter to commit the new window position or Esc to cancel. If dragging is canceled, then the window is moved back to its original position.

  • panel:setKeyboardResizeEnabled(bool)

    If called with true and the panel is not already in keyboard resize mode, then any current drag or resize operations are halted where they are (not canceled), the panel siezes input focus (see View class above for information on the DFHack focus subsystem), and further keyboard cursor keys resize the window as if it were being dragged from the lower right corner. If neither the bottom or right edge is a valid anchor, an appropriate corner will be chosen. Shift-cursor keys move by larger amounts. Hit Enter to commit the new window size or Esc to cancel. If resizing is canceled, then the window size from before the resize operation is restored.

  • panel:onDragBegin()

  • panel:onDragEnd(success, new_frame)

  • panel:onResizeBegin()

  • panel:onResizeEnd(success, new_frame)

The default implementations of these methods call the associated attribute (if set). You can override them in a subclass if that is more convenient than setting the attributes.

Double clicking:

If the panel is resizable and the user double-clicks on the top edge (the frame title, if the panel has a frame), then the panel will jump to its maximum size. If the panel has already been maximized in this fashion, then it will jump to its minimum size. Both jumps respect the resizable edges defined by the resize_anchors attribute.

The time duration that a double click can span is defined by the global variable DOUBLE_CLICK_MS. The default value is 500 and can be changed by the end user with a command like:

:lua require('gui.widgets').DOUBLE_CLICK_MS=1000

Window class

Subclass of Panel; sets Panel attributes to useful defaults for a top-level framed, draggable window.

ResizingPanel class

Subclass of Panel; automatically adjusts its own frame height and width to the minimum required to show its subviews. Pairs nicely with a parent Panel that has autoarrange_subviews enabled.

It has the following attributes:


Sets self.frame.h from the positions and height of its subviews (default is true).


Sets self.frame.w from the positions and width of its subviews (default is false).

Pages class

Subclass of Panel; keeps exactly one child visible.

  • Pages{ ..., selected = ... }

    Specifies which child to select initially; defaults to the first one.

  • pages:getSelected()

    Returns the selected index, child.

  • pages:setSelected(index)

    Selects the specified child, hiding the previous selected one. It is permitted to use the subview object, or its view_id as index.

Divider class

Subclass of Widget; implements a divider line that can optionally connect to existing frames via T-junction edges. A Divider instance is required to have a frame that is either 1 unit tall or 1 unit wide.

Divider widgets should be a sibling with the framed Panel that they are dividing, and they should be added to the common parent widget after the Panel so that the Divider can overwrite the Panel frame with the appropriate T-junction graphic. If the Divider will not have T-junction edges, then it could potentially be a child of the Panel since the Divider won’t need to overwrite the Panel’s frame.

If two Divider widgets are set to cross, then you must have a third 1x1 Divider widget for the crossing tile so the other two Dividers can be seamlessly connected.


  • frame_style

    The gui FRAME instance to use for the graphical tiles. Defaults to gui.FRAME_THIN.

  • interior

    Whether the edge T-junction tiles should connect to interior lines (e.g. the vertical or horizontal segment of another Divider instance) or the exterior border of a Panel frame. Defaults to false, meaning exterior T-junctions will be chosen.

  • frame_style_t

  • frame_style_b

  • frame_style_l

  • frame_style_r

    Overrides for the frame style for specific T-junctions. Note that there are not currently any frame styles that allow borders of different weights to be seamlessly connected. If set to false, then the indicated edge will end in a straight segment instead of a T-junction.

  • interior_t

  • interior_b

  • interior_l

  • interior_r

    Overrides for the interior/exterior specification for specific T-junctions.

EditField class

Subclass of Widget; implements a simple edit field.



The optional text label displayed before the editable text.


The current contents of the field.


The pen to draw the text with.


Input validation callback; used as on_char(new_char,text). If it returns false, the character is ignored.


Change notification callback; used as on_change(new_text,old_text).


Enter key callback; if set the field will handle the key and call on_submit(text).


If specified, the field is disabled until this key is pressed. Must be given as a string.


If specified, will be used to customize how the activation key is displayed. See token.key_sep in the Label documentation below.


Whether the EditField should prevent input from propagating to other widgets while it has focus. You can set this to true, for example, if you don’t want a List widget to react to arrow keys while the user is editing.


If specified, must be a list of key names that the edit field should ignore. This is useful if you have plain string characters that you want to use as hotkeys (like +).

An EditField will only read and process text input if it has keyboard focus. It will automatically acquire keyboard focus when it is added as a subview to a parent that has not already granted keyboard focus to another widget. If you have more than one EditField on a screen, you can select which has focus by calling setFocus(true) on the field object.

If an activation key is specified, the EditField will manage its own focus. It will start in the unfocused state, and pressing the activation key will acquire keyboard focus. Pressing the Enter key will release keyboard focus and then call the on_submit callback. Pressing the Escape key (or r-clicking with the mouse) will also release keyboard focus, but first it will restore the text that was displayed before the EditField gained focus and then call the on_change callback.

The EditField cursor can be moved to where you want to insert/remove text. You can click where you want the cursor to move or you can use any of the following keyboard hotkeys:

  • Left/Right arrow: move the cursor one character to the left or right.

  • Ctrl-B/Ctrl-F: move the cursor one word back or forward.

  • Ctrl-A/Ctrl-E: move the cursor to the beginning/end of the text.

The widget also supports integration with the system clipboard:

  • Ctrl-C: copy current text to the system clipboard

  • Ctrl-X: copy current text to the system clipboard and clear text in widget

  • Ctrl-V: paste text from the system clipboard (text is converted to cp437)

The EditField class also provides the following functions:

  • editfield:setCursor([cursor_pos])

    Sets the text insert cursor to the specified position. If cursor_pos is not specified or is past the end of the current text string, the cursor will be set to the end of the current input (that is, #editfield.text + 1).

  • editfield:setText(text[, cursor_pos])

    Sets the input text string and, optionally, the cursor position. If the cursor position is not specified, it sets it to the end of the string.

  • editfield:insert(text)

    Inserts the given text at the current cursor position.

Scrollbar class

This Widget subclass implements mouse-interactive scrollbars whose bar sizes represent the amount of content currently visible in an associated display widget (like a Label class or a List class). They are styled like scrollbars used in vanilla DF.

Scrollbars have the following attributes:


A callback called when the scrollbar is scrolled. If the scrollbar is clicked, the callback will be called with one of the following string parameters: “up_large”, “down_large”, “up_small”, or “down_small”. If the scrollbar is dragged, the callback will be called with the value that top_elem should be set to on the next call to update() (see below).

The Scrollbar widget implements the following methods:

  • scrollbar:update(top_elem, elems_per_page, num_elems)

    Updates the info about the widget that the scrollbar is paired with. The top_elem param is the (one-based) index of the first visible element. The elems_per_page param is the maximum number of elements that can be shown at one time. The num_elems param is the total number of elements that the paried widget can scroll through. If elems_per_page or num_elems is not specified, the most recently specified value for these parameters is used. The scrollbar will adjust its scrollbar size and position according to the values passed to this function.

Clicking on the arrows at the top or the bottom of a scrollbar will scroll an associated widget by a small amount. Clicking on the unfilled portion of the scrollbar above or below the filled area will scroll by a larger amount in that direction. The amount of scrolling done in each case in determined by the associated widget, and after scrolling is complete, the associated widget must call scrollbar:update() with updated new display info.

If the mouse wheel is scrolled while the mouse is over the Scrollbar widget’s parent view, then the parent is scrolled accordingly. Holding Shift while scrolling will result in faster movement.

You can click and drag the scrollbar to scroll to a specific spot, or you can click and hold on the end arrows or in the unfilled portion of the scrollbar to scroll multiple times, just like in a normal browser scrollbar. The speed of scroll events when the mouse button is held down is controlled by two global variables:


The delay before the second scroll event.


The delay between further scroll events.

The defaults are 300 and 20, respectively, but they can be overridden by the user in their dfhack-config/init/dfhack.init file, for example:

:lua require('gui.widgets').SCROLL_DELAY_MS = 100

Label class

This Widget subclass implements flowing semi-static text.

It has the following attributes:


Specifies the pen for active text.


Specifies the pen for disabled text.


Specifies the pen for text hovered over by the mouse, if a click handler is registered. By default, this will invert the foreground and background colors.


Boolean or a callback; if true, the label is disabled.


Boolean or a callback; if false, the label is disabled.


Sets self.frame.h from the text height.


Sets self.frame.w from the text width.


A callback called when the label is clicked (optional)


A callback called when the label is right-clicked (optional)


Specifies which keys the label should react to as a table. The table should map keys to the number of lines to scroll as positive or negative integers or one of the keywords supported by the scroll method. The default is up/down arrows scrolling by one line and page up/down scrolling by one page.

text_pen, text_dpen, and text_hpen can either be a pen or a function that dynamically returns a pen.

The text itself is represented as a complex structure, and passed to the object via the text argument of the constructor, or via the setText method, as one of:

  • A simple string, possibly containing newlines.

  • A sequence of tokens.

Every token in the sequence in turn may be either a string, possibly containing newlines, or a table with the following possible fields:

  • token.text = ...

    Specifies the main text content of a token, and may be a string, or a callback returning a string.

  • token.gap = ...

    Specifies the number of character positions to advance on the line before rendering the token.

  • token.tile, token.htile

    Specifies a pen or texture index (or a function that returns a pen or texture index) to paint as one tile before the main part of the token. If htile is specified, that is used instead of tile when the Label is hovered over with the mouse.

  • token.width = ...

    If specified either as a value or a callback, the text (or tile) field is padded or truncated to the specified number.

  • token.pad_char = '?'

    If specified together with width, the padding area is filled with this character instead of just being skipped over.

  • token.key = '...'

    Specifies the keycode associated with the token. The string description of the key binding is added to the text content of the token.

  • token.key_sep = '...'

    Specifies the separator to place between the keybinding label produced by token.key, and the main text of the token. If the separator starts with ‘()’, the token is formatted as text..' ('..binding..sep:sub(2). Otherwise it is simply binding..sep..text.

  • token.enabled, token.disabled

    Same as the attributes of the label itself, but applies only to the token.

  • token.pen, token.dpen, token.hpen

    Specify the pen, disabled pen, and hover pen to be used for the token’s text. The fields may be either the pen itself, or a callback that returns it.

  • token.on_activate

    If this field is not nil, and token.key is set, the token will actually respond to that key binding unless disabled, and call this callback. Eventually this may be extended with mouse click support.

  • token.id

    Specifies a unique identifier for the token.

  • token.line, token.x1, token.x2

    Reserved for internal use.

The Label widget implements the following methods:

  • label:setText(new_text)

    Replaces the text currently contained in the widget.

  • label:itemById(id)

    Finds a token by its id field.

  • label:getTextHeight()

    Computes the height of the text.

  • label:getTextWidth()

    Computes the width of the text.

  • label:scroll(nlines)

    This method takes the number of lines to scroll as positive or negative integers or one of the following keywords: +page, -page, +halfpage, -halfpage, home, or end. It returns the number of lines that were actually scrolled (negative for scrolling up).

  • label:shouldHover()

    This method returns whether or not this widget should show a hover effect, generally you want to return true if there is some type of mouse handler present. For example, for a HotKeyLabel:

    function HotkeyLabel:shouldHover()
        -- When on_activate is set, text should also hover on mouseover
        return HotkeyLabel.super.shouldHover(self) or self.on_activate

WrappedLabel class

This Label subclass represents text that you want to be able to dynamically wrap. This frees you from having to pre-split long strings into multiple lines in the Label text list.

It has the following attributes:


The string (or a table of strings or a function that returns a string or a table of strings) to display. The text will be autowrapped to the width of the widget, though any existing newlines will be kept.


The number of spaces to indent the text from the left margin. The default is 0.

The displayed text is refreshed and rewrapped whenever the widget bounds change. To force a refresh (to pick up changes in the string that text_to_wrap returns, for example), all updateLayout() on this widget or on a widget that contains this widget.

TooltipLabel class

This WrappedLabel subclass represents text that you want to be able to dynamically hide, like help text in a tooltip.

It has the following attributes:


Boolean or a callback; if true, the widget is visible.

The text_pen attribute of the Label class is overridden with a default of COLOR_GREY and the indent attribute of the WrappedLabel class is overridden with a default of 2.

The text of the tooltip can be passed in the inherited text_to_wrap attribute so it can be autowrapped, or in the basic text attribute if no wrapping is required.

HotkeyLabel class

This Label subclass is a convenience class for formatting text that responds to a hotkey or mouse click.

It has the following attributes:


The hotkey keycode to display, e.g. 'CUSTOM_A'.


If specified, will be used to customize how the activation key is displayed. See token.key_sep in the Label documentation.


The string (or a function that returns a string) to display after the hotkey.


If specified, it is the callback that will be called whenever the hotkey is pressed or the label is clicked.

The HotkeyLabel widget implements the following methods:

  • hotkeylabel:setLabel(label)

    Updates the label without altering the hotkey text.

  • hotkeylabel:setOnActivate(on_activate)

    Updates the on_activate callback.

CycleHotkeyLabel class

This Label subclass represents a group of related options that the user can cycle through by pressing a specified hotkey or clicking on the text.

It has the following attributes:


The hotkey keycode to display, e.g. 'CUSTOM_A'.


Similar to key, but will cycle backwards (optional)


If specified, will be used to customize how the activation key is displayed. See token.key_sep in the Label documentation.


The string (or a function that returns a string) to display after the hotkey.


The number of spaces to allocate to the label (for use in aligning a column of CycleHotkeyLabel labels).


If true, then the option value will appear below the label instead of to the right of it. Defaults to false.


The size of the gap between the label text and the option value. Default is 1. If set to 0, there’ll be no gap between the strings. If label_below == true, negative values will shift the value leftwards.


A list of strings or tables of {label=string or fn, value=val[, pen=pen]}. String options use the same string for the label and value and use the default pen. The optional pen element could be a color like COLOR_RED.


The value or numeric index of the initial option.


The callback to call when the selected option changes. It is called as on_change(new_option_value, old_option_value).

The index of the currently selected option in the options list is kept in the option_idx instance variable.

The CycleHotkeyLabel widget implements the following methods:

  • cyclehotkeylabel:cycle([backwards])

    Cycles the selected option and triggers the on_change callback. If backwards is defined and is truthy, the cycle direction will be reversed

  • cyclehotkeylabel:setOption(value_or_index, call_on_change)

    Sets the current option to the option with the specified value or index. If call_on_change is set to true, then the on_change callback is triggered.

  • cyclehotkeylabel:getOptionLabel([option_idx])

    Retrieves the option label at the given index, or the label of the currently selected option if no index is given.

  • cyclehotkeylabel:getOptionValue([option_idx])

    Retrieves the option value at the given index, or the value of the currently selected option if no index is given.

  • cyclehotkeylabel:getOptionPen([option_idx])

    Retrieves the option pen at the given index, or the pen of the currently selected option if no index is given. If an option was defined as just a string, then this function will return nil for that option.

ToggleHotkeyLabel class

This is a specialized subclass of CycleHotkeyLabel that has two options: On (with a value of true) and Off (with a value of false). The On option is rendered in green.

HelpButton class

A 3x1 tile button with a question mark on it, intended to represent a help icon. Clicking on the icon will launch gui/launcher with a given command string, showing the help text for that command.

It has the following attributes:


The command to load in gui/launcher.

It also sets the frame attribute so the button appears in the upper right corner of the parent, but you can override this to your liking if you want a different position.

ConfigureButton class

A 3x1 tile button with a gear mark on it, intended to represent a configure icon. Clicking on the icon will run the given callback.

It has the following attributes:


The function on run when the icon is clicked.

BannerPanel class

This is a Panel subclass that prints a distinctive banner along the far left and right columns of the widget frame. Note that this is not a “proper” frame since it doesn’t have top or bottom borders. Subviews of this panel should inset their frames one tile from the left and right edges.

TextButton class

This is a BannerPanel subclass that wraps a HotkeyLabel with some decorators on the sides to make it look more like a button, suitable for both graphics and ASCII modes. All HotkeyLabel parameters passed to the constructor are passed through to the wrapped HotkeyLabel.

List class

The List widget implements a simple list with paging. You can click on a list item to call the on_submit callback for that item.

It has the following attributes:


Specifies the pen for deselected list entries.


Specifies the pen for entries that the mouse is hovered over. Defaults to swapping the background/foreground colors.


Specifies the pen for the selected entry.


If specified, used for the cursor when the widget is not active.


Default pen for icons.


Selection change callback; called as on_select(index,choice). This is also called with nil arguments if setChoices is called with an empty list.


Enter key or mouse click callback; if specified, the list reacts to the key/click and calls the callback as on_submit(index,choice).


Shift-click callback; if specified, the list reacts to the click and calls the callback as on_submit2(index,choice).


Mouse double click callback; if specified, the list reacts to the click and calls the callback as on_double_click(index,choice).


Shift-double click callback; if specified, the list reacts to the click and calls the callback as on_double_click2(index,choice).


Height of every row in text lines.


If not nil, the specified number of character columns are reserved to the left of the list item for the icons.


Specifies which keys the list should react to as a table.

Every list item may be specified either as a string, or as a lua table with the following fields:


Specifies the label text in the same format as the Label text.


Reserved for internal use.


Specifies a keybinding that acts as a shortcut for the specified item.


Specifies an icon string, or a pen to paint a single character. May be a callback.


When the icon is a string, used to paint it.

The list supports the following methods:

  • List{ ..., choices = ..., selected = ... }

    Same as calling setChoices after construction.

  • list:setChoices(choices[, selected])

    Replaces the list of choices, possibly also setting the currently selected index.

  • list:setSelected(selected)

    Sets the currently selected index. Returns the index after validation.

  • list:getChoices()

    Returns the list of choices.

  • list:getSelected()

    Returns the selected index, choice, or nothing if the list is empty.

  • list:getIdxUnderMouse()

    Returns the index of the list item under the mouse cursor, or nothing if the list is empty or the mouse is not over a list item.

  • list:getContentWidth()

    Returns the minimal width to draw all choices without clipping.

  • list:getContentHeight()

    Returns the minimal width to draw all choices without scrolling.

  • list:submit()

    Call the on_submit callback, as if the Enter key was handled.

  • list:submit2()

    Call the on_submit2 callback, as if the Shift-Enter key was handled.

FilteredList class

This widget combines List, EditField and Label into a combo-box like construction that allows filtering the list.

In addition to passing through all attributes supported by List, it supports:


If specified, used instead of cursor_pen for the edit field.


If true, the edit field is placed below the list instead of above.


If specified, the edit field is disabled until this key is pressed.


If specified, will be passed to the filter edit field as its ignore_keys attribute.


If specified, will be passed to the filter edit field as its on_change attribute.


If specified, will be passed to the filter edit field as its on_char attribute.


Specifies the text of the label shown when no items match the filter.

The list choices may include the following attributes:


If specified, used instead of text to match against the filter. This is required for any entries where text is not a string.

The widget implements:

  • list:setChoices(choices[, selected])

    Resets the filter, and passes through to the inner list.

  • list:getChoices()

    Returns the list of all choices.

  • list:getVisibleChoices()

    Returns the filtered list of choices.

  • list:getFilter()

    Returns the current filter string, and the filtered list of choices.

  • list:setFilter(filter[,pos])

    Sets the new filter string, filters the list, and selects the item at index pos in the unfiltered list if possible.

  • list:canSubmit()

    Checks if there are currently any choices in the filtered list.

  • list:getSelected(), list:getContentWidth(), list:getContentHeight(), list:submit()

    Same as with an ordinary list.

Filter behavior:

By default, the filter matches substrings that start at the beginning of a word (or after any punctuation). You can instead configure filters to match any substring across the full text with a command like:

:lua require('utils').FILTER_FULL_TEXT=true

TabBar class

This widget implements a set of one or more tabs to allow navigation between groups of content. Tabs automatically wrap on the width of the window and will continue rendering on the next line(s) if all tabs cannot fit on a single line.


Specifies a keybinding that can be used to switch to the next tab. Defaults to CUSTOM_CTRL_T.


Specifies a keybinding that can be used to switch to the previous tab. Defaults to CUSTOM_CTRL_Y.


A table of strings; entry representing the label text for a single tab. The order of the entries determines the order the tabs will appear in.


Callback executed when a tab is selected. It receives the selected tab index as an argument. The provided function should update the value of whichever variable your script uses to keep track of the currently selected tab.


The function used by the TabBar to determine which Tab is currently selected. The function you provide should return an integer that corresponds to the non-zero index of the currently selected Tab (i.e. whatever variable you update in your on_select callback)


A table of pens used to render active tabs. See the default implementation in widgets.lua for an example of how to construct the table. Leave unspecified to use the default pens.


A table of pens used to render inactive tabs. See the default implementation in widgets.lua for an example of how to construct the table. Leave unspecified to use the default pens.


A function used to determine which pens should be used to render a tab. Receives the index of the tab as the first argument and the TabBar widget itself as the second. The default implementation, which will handle most situations, returns self.active_tab_pens, if self.get_cur_page() == idx, otherwise returns self.inactive_tab_pens.

Tab class

This widget implements a single clickable tab and is the main component of the TabBar widget. Usage of the TabBar widget does not require direct usage of Tab.


The id of the tab.


The text displayed on the tab.


Callback executed when the tab is selected.


A function that is used during Tab:onRenderBody to determine the pens that should be used for drawing. See the usage of Tab in TabBar:init() for an example. See the default value of active_tab_pens or inactive_tab_pens in TabBar for an example of how to construct pens.

RangeSlider class

This widget implements a mouse-interactable range-slider. The player can move its two handles to set minimum and maximum values to define a range, or they can drag the bar itself to move both handles at once. The parent widget owns the range values, and can control them independently (e.g. with CycleHotkeyLabels). If the range values change, the RangeSlider appearance will adjust automatically.


Used to specify the number of “notches” in the range slider, the places where handles can stop. (this should match the parents’ number of options)


The function used by the RangeSlider to get the notch index on which to display the left handle.


The function used by the RangeSlider to get the notch index on which to display the right handle.


Callback executed when moving the left handle.


Callback executed when moving the right handle.


This module contains convenience methods for accessing default DFHack graphic assets. Pass the offset in tiles (in row major position) to get a particular tile from the asset. offset 0 is the first tile.

  • tp_green_pin(offset) tileset: hack/data/art/green-pin.png

  • tp_red_pin(offset) tileset: hack/data/art/red-pin.png

  • tp_icons(offset) tileset: hack/data/art/icons.png

  • tp_on_off(offset) tileset: hack/data/art/on-off.png

  • tp_control_panel(offset) tileset: hack/data/art/control-panel.png

  • tp_border_thin(offset) tileset: hack/data/art/border-thin.png

  • tp_border_medium(offset) tileset: hack/data/art/border-medium.png

  • tp_border_bold(offset) tileset: hack/data/art/border-bold.png

  • tp_border_panel(offset) tileset: hack/data/art/border-panel.png

  • tp_border_window(offset) tileset: hack/data/art/order-window.png

Example usage:

local textures = require('gui.textures')
local first_border_texpos = textures.tp_border_thin(1)


DFHack plugins may export native functions and events to Lua contexts. These are exposed as plugins.<name> modules, which can be imported with require('plugins.<name>'). The plugins listed in this section expose functions and/or data to Lua in this way.

In addition to any native functions documented here, plugins that can be enabled (that is, plugins that support the enable/disable API) will have the following functions defined:

  • isEnabled() returns whether the plugin is enabled.

  • setEnabled(boolean) sets whether the plugin is enabled.

For plugin developers, note that a Lua file in plugins/lua is required for require() to work, even if it contains no pure-Lua functions. This file must contain mkmodule('plugins.<name>') to import any native functions defined in the plugin. See existing files in plugins/lua for examples.


Lua functions provided by the blueprint plugin to programmatically generate blueprint files:

  • dig(start, end, name)

  • build(start, end, name)

  • place(start, end, name)

  • query(start, end, name)

    start and end are tables containing positions (see xyz2pos). name is used as the basis for the generated filenames.

The names of the functions are also available as the keys of the valid_phases table.


This plugin overwrites some methods in workshop df class so that mechanical workshops are possible. Although plugin export a function it’s recommended to use lua decorated function.


registerBuilding(table) where table must contain name, as a workshop raw name, the rest are optional:


custom workshop id e.g. SOAPMAKER


this is the only mandatory field.


if true make impassable tiles impassable to liquids too


how much machine power is needed to work. Disables reactions if not supplied enough and needs_power==1


how much machine power is produced.


if produced in network < consumed stop working, default true


a table or {x=?,y=?} of connection points for machines.


a table of number (how much ticks to skip) and a function which gets called on shop update


a table of frames which can be a table of:

  1. tables of 4 numbers {tile,fore,back,bright} OR

  2. empty table (tile not modified) OR

  3. {x=<number> y=<number> + 4 numbers like in first case}, this generates full frame useful for animations that change little (1-2 tiles)


a flag if this building can be counted in room. 1 means it can, 0 means it can’t and -1 default building behaviour


a flag that automatically fills up gears and animations. It looks over the building definition for gear icons and maps them.

Animate table also might contain:


how many ticks does one frame take OR


a bool that says to try to match to mechanical system (i.e. how gears are turning)

getPower(building) returns two number - produced and consumed power if building can be modified and returns nothing otherwise

setPower(building,produced,consumed) sets current power production and consumption for a building.


Simple mechanical workshop:

  gears={x=0,y=0}, --connection point
    isMechanical=true, --animate the same conn. point as vanilla gear
    {{x=0,y=0,42,7,0,0}}, --first frame, 1 changed tile
    {{x=0,y=0,15,7,0,0}} -- second frame, same

Or with auto_gears:



Native functions provided by the buildingplan plugin:

  • bool isPlannableBuilding(df::building_type type, int16_t subtype, int32_t custom) returns whether the building type is handled by buildingplan.

  • bool isPlanModeEnabled(df::building_type type, int16_t subtype, int32_t custom) returns whether the buildingplan UI is enabled for the specified building type.

  • bool isPlannedBuilding(df::building *bld) returns whether the given building is managed by buildingplan.

  • void addPlannedBuilding(df::building *bld) suspends the building jobs and adds the building to the monitor list.

  • void doCycle() runs a check for whether buildings in the monitor list can be assigned items and unsuspended. This method runs automatically twice a game day, so you only need to call it directly if you want buildingplan to do a check right now.

  • void scheduleCycle() schedules a cycle to be run during the next non-paused game frame. Can be called multiple times while the game is paused and only one cycle will be scheduled.


Exposes some features of the C++11 random number library to Lua.

Native functions (exported to Lua)

  • GenerateEngine(seed)

    returns engine id

  • DestroyEngine(rngID)

    destroys corresponding engine

  • NewSeed(rngID, seed)

    re-seeds engine

  • rollInt(rngID, min, max)

    generates random integer

  • rollDouble(rngID, min, max)

    generates random double

  • rollNormal(rngID, avg, stddev)

    generates random normal[gaus.]

  • rollBool(rngID, chance)

    generates random boolean

  • MakeNumSequence(start, end)

    returns sequence id

  • AddToSequence(seqID, num)

    adds a number to the sequence

  • ShuffleSequence(seqID, rngID)

    shuffles the number sequence

  • NextInSequence(seqID)

    returns the next number in sequence

Lua plugin functions

  • MakeNewEngine(seed)

    returns engine id

Lua plugin classes

  • init(id, df, dist): constructor

    • id: Reference ID of engine to use in RNGenerations

    • df (optional): bool indicating whether to destroy the Engine when the crng object is garbage collected

    • dist (optional): lua number distribution to use

  • changeSeed(seed): alters engine’s seed value

  • setNumDistrib(distrib): sets the number distribution crng object should use

    • distrib: number distribution object to use in RNGenerations

  • next(): returns the next number in the distribution

  • shuffle(): effectively shuffles the number distribution

  • init(avg, stddev): constructor

  • next(id): returns next number in the distribution

    • id: engine ID to pass to native function

  • init(min, max): constructor

  • next(id): returns next number in the distribution

    • id: engine ID to pass to native function

  • init(min, max): constructor

  • next(id): returns next number in the distribution

    • id: engine ID to pass to native function

  • init(chance): constructor

  • next(id): returns next boolean in the distribution

    • id: engine ID to pass to native function

  • init(a, b): constructor

  • add(num): adds num to the end of the number sequence

  • shuffle(): shuffles the sequence of numbers

  • next(): returns next number in the sequence


The basic idea is you create a number distribution which you generate random numbers along. The C++ relies on engines keeping state information to determine the next number along the distribution. You’re welcome to try and (ab)use this knowledge for your RNG purposes.


local rng = require('plugins.cxxrandom')
local norm_dist = rng.normal_distribution(6820,116) // avg, stddev
local engID = rng.MakeNewEngine(0)
-- somewhat reminiscent of the C++ syntax

-- a bit more streamlined
local cleanup = true --delete engine on cleanup
local number_generator = rng.crng:new(engID, cleanup, norm_dist)

-- simplified

The number sequences are much simpler. They’re intended for where you need to randomly generate an index, perhaps in a loop for an array. You technically don’t need an engine to use it, if you don’t mind never shuffling.


local rng = require('plugins.cxxrandom')
local g = rng.crng:new(rng.MakeNewEngine(0), true, rng.num_sequence:new(0,table_size))
for _ = 1, table_size do


The dig-now plugin exposes the following functions to Lua:

  • dig_now_tile(pos) or dig_now_tile(x,y,z): Runs dig-now for the

    specified tile coordinate. Default options apply, as if you were running the command dig-now <pos> <pos>. See the dig-now documentation for details on default settings.


This plugin exports some events to lua thus allowing to run lua functions on DF world events.

List of events

  1. onReactionCompleting(reaction,reaction_product,unit,input_items,input_reagents,output_items,call_native)

    Is called once per reaction product, before the reaction has a chance to call native code for item creation. Setting call_native.value=false cancels further processing: no items are created and onReactionComplete is not called.

  2. onReactionComplete(reaction,reaction_product,unit,input_items,input_reagents,output_items)

    Is called once per reaction product, when reaction finishes and has at least one product.

  3. onItemContaminateWound(item,unit,wound,number1,number2)

    Is called when item tries to contaminate wound (e.g. stuck in).

  4. onProjItemCheckMovement(projectile)

    Is called when projectile moves.

  5. onProjItemCheckImpact(projectile,somebool)

    Is called when projectile hits something.

  6. onProjUnitCheckMovement(projectile)

    Is called when projectile moves.

  7. onProjUnitCheckImpact(projectile,somebool)

    Is called when projectile hits something.

  8. onWorkshopFillSidebarMenu(workshop,callnative)

    Is called when viewing a workshop in ‘q’ mode, to populate reactions, useful for custom viewscreens for shops.

  9. postWorkshopFillSidebarMenu(workshop)

    Is called after calling (or not) native fillSidebarMenu(). Useful for job button tweaking (e.g. adding custom reactions)

Events from EventManager

These events are straight from EventManager module. Each of them first needs to be enabled. See functions for more info. If you register a listener before the game is loaded, be aware that no events will be triggered immediately after loading, so you might need to add another event listener for when the game first loads in some cases.

  1. onBuildingCreatedDestroyed(building_id)

    Gets called when building is created or destroyed.

  2. onConstructionCreatedDestroyed(building_id)

    Gets called when construction is created or destroyed.

  3. onJobInitiated(job)

    Gets called when job is issued.

  4. onJobCompleted(job)

    Gets called when job is finished. The job that is passed to this function is a copy. Requires a frequency of 0 in order to distinguish between workshop jobs that were canceled by the user and workshop jobs that completed successfully.

  5. onUnitDeath(unit_id)

    Gets called on unit death.

  6. onItemCreated(item_id)

    Gets called when item is created (except due to traders, migrants, invaders and spider webs).

  7. onSyndrome(unit_id,syndrome_index)

    Gets called when new syndrome appears on a unit.

  8. onInvasion(invasion_id)

    Gets called when new invasion happens.

  9. onInventoryChange(unit_id,item_id,old_equip,new_equip)

    Gets called when someone picks up an item, puts one down, or changes the way they are holding it. If an item is picked up, old_equip will be null. If an item is dropped, new_equip will be null. If an item is re-equipped in a new way, then neither will be null. You absolutely must NOT alter either old_equip or new_equip or you might break other plugins.

  10. onReport(reportId)

    Gets called when a report happens. This happens more often than you probably think, even if it doesn’t show up in the announcements.

  11. onUnitAttack(attackerId, defenderId, woundId)

    Called when a unit wounds another with a weapon. Is NOT called if blocked, dodged, deflected, or parried.

  12. onUnload()

    A convenience event in case you don’t want to register for every onStateChange event.

  13. onInteraction(attackVerb, defendVerb, attackerId, defenderId, attackReportId, defendReportId)

    Called when a unit uses an interaction on another.


  1. registerReaction(reaction_name,callback)

    Simplified way of using onReactionCompleting; the callback is function (same params as event).

  2. removeNative(shop_name)

    Removes native choice list from the building.

  3. addReactionToShop(reaction_name,shop_name)

    Add a custom reaction to the building.

  4. enableEvent(evType,frequency)

    Enable event checking for EventManager events. For event types use eventType table. Note that different types of events require different frequencies to be effective. The frequency is how many ticks EventManager will wait before checking if that type of event has happened. If multiple scripts or plugins use the same event type, the smallest frequency is the one that is used, so you might get events triggered more often than the frequency you use here.

  5. registerSidebar(shop_name,callback)

    Enable callback when sidebar for shop_name is drawn. Useful for custom workshop views e.g. using gui.dwarfmode lib. Also accepts a class instead of function as callback. Best used with gui.dwarfmode class WorkshopOverlay.


Spawn dragon breath on each item attempt to contaminate wound:

b=require "plugins.eventful"
    local flw=dfhack.maps.spawnFlow(unit.pos,6,0,0,50000)

Reaction complete example:

b=require "plugins.eventful"

  local pos=copyall(unit.pos)
  -- spawn dragonbreath after 100 ticks
  dfhack.timeout(100,"ticks",function() dfhack.maps.spawnFlow(pos,6,0,0,50000) end)
  --do not call real item creation code

Grenade example:

b=require "plugins.eventful"
  -- you can check if projectile.item e.g. has correct material

Integrated tannery:

b=require "plugins.eventful"


A way to access csocket from lua. The usage is made similar to luasocket in vanilla lua distributions. Currently only a subset of the functions exist and only tcp mode is implemented.

Socket class

This is a base class for client and server sockets. You can not create it - it’s like a virtual base class in c++.

  • socket:close()

    Closes the connection.

  • socket:setTimeout(sec,msec)

    Sets the operation timeout for this socket. It’s possible to set timeout to 0. Then it performs like a non-blocking socket.

Client class

Client is a connection socket to a server. You can get this object either from tcp:connect(address,port) or from server:accept(). It’s a subclass of socket.

  • client:receive(pattern)

    Receives data. Pattern is one of:


    read one line (default, if pattern is nil)


    read specified number of bytes


    read all available data

  • client:send(data)

    Sends data. Data is a string.

Server class

Server is a socket that is waiting for clients. You can get this object from tcp:bind(address,port).

  • server:accept()

    Accepts an incoming connection if it exists. Returns a client object representing that socket.

Tcp class

A class with all the tcp functionality.

  • tcp:bind(address,port)

    Starts listening on that port for incoming connections. Returns server object.

  • tcp:connect(address,port)

    Tries connecting to that address and port. Returns client object.


A way to ask DF to render a section of the fortress mode map. This uses a native DF rendering function so it’s highly dependent on DF settings (e.g. tileset, colors, etc.)


  • render_map_rect(x,y,z,w,h)

    returns a table with w*h*4 entries of rendered tiles. The format is the same as df.global.gps.screen (tile,foreground,bright,background).


This plugin implements the back end of the gui/pathable script. It exports a single Lua function, in hack/lua/plugins/pathable.lua:

  • paintScreen(cursor[,skip_unrevealed]): Paint each visible of the screen green or red, depending on whether it can be pathed to from the tile at cursor. If skip_unrevealed is specified and true, do not draw unrevealed tiles.


Native functions provided by the reveal plugin:

  • void unhideFlood(pos): Unhides map tiles according to visibility rules, starting from the given coordinates. This algorithm only processes adjacent hidden tiles, so it must start on a hidden tile in order to have any effect. It will not reveal hidden sections separated by already-unhidden tiles.

Example of revealing a cavern that happens to have an open tile at the specified coordinate:

unhideFlood({x=25, y=38, z=140})


The sort plugin does not export any native functions as of now. Instead, it calls Lua code to perform the actual ordering of list items.


  • bool tiletypes_setTile(pos, shape, material, special, variant) where the parameters are enum values from df.tiletype_shape, df.tiletype_material, etc. Returns whether the conversion succeeded.


Utility functions to facilitate reading .xlsx spreadsheets. It provides the following low-level API methods:

  • open_xlsx_file(filename) returns a file_handle or nil on error

  • close_xlsx_file(file_handle) closes the specified file_handle

  • list_sheets(file_handle) returns a list of strings representing sheet names

  • open_sheet(file_handle, sheet_name) returns a sheet_handle. This call always succeeds, even if the sheet doesn’t exist. Non-existent sheets will have no data, though.

  • close_sheet(sheet_handle) closes the specified sheet_handle

  • get_row(sheet_handle, max_tokens) returns a list of strings representing the contents of the cells in the next row. The max_tokens parameter is optional. If set to a number > 0, it limits the number of cells read and returned for the row.

The plugin also provides Lua class wrappers for ease of use:

  • XlsxioReader provides access to .xlsx files

  • XlsxioSheetReader provides access to sheets within .xlsx files

  • open(filepath) initializes and returns an XlsxioReader object

The XlsxioReader class has the following methods:

  • XlsxioReader:close() closes the file. Be sure to close any open child sheet handles first!

  • XlsxioReader:list_sheets() returns a list of strings representing sheet names

  • XlsxioReader:open_sheet(sheet_name) returns an initialized XlsxioSheetReader object

The XlsxioSheetReader class has the following methods:

  • XlsxioSheetReader:close() closes the sheet

  • XlsxioSheetReader:get_row(max_tokens) reads the next row from the sheet. If max_tokens is specified and is a positive integer, only the first max_tokens elements of the row are returned.

Here is an end-to-end example:

local xlsxreader = require('plugins.xlsxreader')

local function dump_sheet(reader, sheet_name)
    print('reading sheet: ' .. sheet_name)
    local sheet_reader = reader:open_sheet(sheet_name)
        function() sheet_reader:close() end,
            local row_cells = sheet_reader:get_row()
            while row_cells do
                row_cells = sheet_reader:get_row()

local filepath = 'path/to/some_file.xlsx'
local reader = xlsxreader.open(filepath)
    function() reader:close() end,
        for _,sheet_name in ipairs(reader:list_sheets()) do
            dump_sheet(reader, sheet_name)


Any files with the .lua extension placed into the hack/scripts folder (or any other folder in your Script paths) are automatically made available as DFHack commands. The command corresponding to a script is simply the script’s filename, relative to the scripts folder, with the extension omitted. For example:

  • dfhack-config/scripts/startup.lua is invoked as startup

  • hack/scripts/gui/teleport.lua is invoked as gui/teleport


In general, scripts should be placed in subfolders in the following situations:

  • devel: scripts that are intended exclusively for DFHack development, including examples, or scripts that are experimental and unstable

  • fix: fixes for specific DF issues

  • gui: GUI front-ends for existing tools (for example, see the relationship between teleport and gui/teleport)

  • modtools: scripts that are intended to be run exclusively as part of mods, not directly by end-users (as a rule of thumb: if someone other than a mod developer would want to run a script from the console, it should not be placed in this folder)

Scripts are read from disk when run for the first time, or if they have changed since the last time they were run.

Each script has an isolated environment where global variables set by the script are stored. Values of globals persist across script runs in the same DF session. See devel/lua-example for an example of this behavior. Note that local variables do not persist.

Arguments are passed in to the scripts via the ... built-in quasi-variable; when the script is called by the DFHack core, they are all guaranteed to be non-nil strings.

Additional data about how a script is invoked is passed to the script as a special dfhack_flags global, which is unique to each script. This table is guaranteed to exist, but individual entries may be present or absent depending on how the script was invoked. Flags that are present are described in the subsections below.

DFHack invokes the scripts in the core context; however it is possible to call them from any lua code (including from other scripts) in any context with dfhack.run_script() below.

General script API

  • dfhack.run_script(name[,args...])

    Run a Lua script in your Script paths, as if it were started from the DFHack command-line. The name argument should be the name of the script without its extension, as it would be used on the command line.


    In DFHack prompt:

    repeat -time 14 -timeUnits days -command [ workorder ShearCreature ] -name autoShearCreature

    In Lua script:

    dfhack.run_script("repeat", "-time", "14", "-timeUnits", "days", "-command", "[", "workorder", "ShearCreature", "]", "-name", "autoShearCreature")

    Note that the dfhack.run_script() function allows Lua errors to propagate to the caller.

    To run other types of commands (i.e. built-in commands or commands provided by plugins), see dfhack.run_command(). Note that this is slightly slower than dfhack.run_script() when running Lua scripts.

  • dfhack.script_help([name, [extension]])

    Returns the contents of the rendered (or embedded) DFHack documentation system for the specified script. extension defaults to “lua”, and name defaults to the name of the script where this function was called. For example, the following can be used to print the current script’s help text:

    local args = {...}
    if args[1] == 'help' then

Importing scripts

  • dfhack.reqscript(name) or reqscript(name)

    Loads a Lua script and returns its environment (i.e. a table of all global functions and variables). This is similar to the built-in require(), but searches all Script paths for the first matching name.lua file instead of searching the Lua library paths (like hack/lua/).

    Most scripts can be made to support reqscript() without significant changes (in contrast, require() requires the use of mkmodule() and some additional boilerplate). However, because scripts can have side effects when they are loaded (such as printing messages or modifying the game state), scripts that intend to support being imported must satisfy some criteria to ensure that they can be imported safely:

    1. Include the following line - reqscript() will fail if this line is not present:

      --@ module = true
    2. Include a check for dfhack_flags.module, and avoid running any code that has side-effects if this flag is true. For instance:

      -- (function definitions)
      if dfhack_flags.module then
      -- (main script code with side-effects)


      -- (function definitions)
      function main()
          -- (main script code with side-effects)
      if not dfhack_flags.module then

    Example usage:

    local addThought = reqscript('add-thought')
    addThought.addEmotionToUnit(unit, ...)

    Circular dependencies between scripts are supported, as long as the scripts have no side-effects at load time (which should already be the case per the above criteria).


    Avoid caching the table returned by reqscript() beyond storing it in a local variable as in the example above. reqscript() is fast for scripts that have previously been loaded and haven’t changed. If you retain a reference to a table returned by an old reqscript() call, this may lead to unintended behavior if the location of the script changes (e.g. if a save is loaded or unloaded, or if a script path is added in some other way).


    Mods that include custom Lua modules can write these modules to support reqscript() and distribute them as scripts in raw/scripts. Since the entire raw folder is copied into new saves, this will allow saves to be successfully transferred to other users who do not have the mod installed (as long as they have DFHack installed).

    Backwards compatibility notes

    For backwards compatibility, moduleMode is also defined if dfhack_flags.module is defined, and is set to the same value. Support for this may be removed in a future version.

  • dfhack.script_environment(name)

    Similar to reqscript() but does not enforce the check for module support. This can be used to import scripts that support being used as a module but do not declare support as described above, although it is preferred to update such scripts so that reqscript() can be used instead.

Enabling and disabling scripts

Scripts can choose to recognize the built-in enable and disable commands by including the following line near the top of their file:

--@enable = true
--@module = true

Note that enableable scripts must also be modules so their isEnabled() functions can be called from outside the script.

When the enable and disable commands are invoked, the dfhack_flags table passed to the script will have the following fields set:

  • enable: Always true if the script is being enabled or disabled

  • enable_state: true if the script is being enabled, false otherwise

If you declare a global function named isEnabled that returns a boolean indicating whether your script is enabled, then your script will be listed among the other enableable scripts and plugins when the player runs the enable command.

Example usage:

--@enable = true
--@module = true

enabled = enabled or false
function isEnabled()
    return enabled

-- (function definitions...)

if dfhack_flags.enable then
    if dfhack_flags.enable_state then
        enabled = true
        enabled = false

If the state of your script can be tied to an active savegame, then your script should hook the appropriate events to load persisted state when a savegame is loaded. For example:

local json = require('json')
local persist = require('persist-table')

local GLOBAL_KEY = 'my-script-name'
g_state = g_state or {}

dfhack.onStateChange[GLOBAL_KEY] = function(sc)
    if sc ~= SC_MAP_LOADED or df.global.gamemode ~= df.game_mode.DWARF then
    local state = json.decode(persist.GlobalTable[GLOBAL_KEY] or '')
    g_state = state or {}

The attachment to dfhack.onStateChange should appear in your script code outside of any function. DFHack will load your script as a module just before the SC_DFHACK_INITIALIZED state change event is sent, giving your code an opportunity to run and attach hooks before the game is loaded.

If an enableable script is added to a DFHack script path while DF is running, then it will miss the initial sweep that loads all the module scripts and any onStateChange handlers the script may want to register will not be registered until the script is loaded via some means, either by running it or loading it as a module. If you just added new scripts that you want to load so they can attach their onStateChange handlers, run enable without parameters or call :lua require('script-manager').reload() to scan and load all script modules.

Save init script

If a save directory contains a file called init.lua, it is automatically loaded and executed every time the save is loaded. The same applies to any files called init.d/*.lua. Every such script can define the following functions to be called by dfhack:

  • function onStateChange(op) ... end

    Automatically called from the regular onStateChange event as long as the save is still loaded. This avoids the need to install a hook into the global dfhack.onStateChange table, with associated cleanup concerns.

  • function onUnload() ... end

    Called when the save containing the script is unloaded. This function should clean up any global hooks installed by the script. Note that when this is called, the world is already completely unloaded.

Within the init script, the path to the save directory is available as SAVE_PATH.