Recent Posts


Magento 2: Merchant Beta Quickstart


Frustrated by Magento? Then you’ll love Commerce Bug, the must have debugging extension for anyone using Magento. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned pro, Commerce Bug will save you and your team hours everyday. Grab a copy and start working with Magento instead of against it.

Updated for Magento 2! No Frills Magento Layout is the only Magento front end book you'll ever need. Get your copy today!

The following steps are, as of October 22, 2015, the quickest way to get a working version of Magento 2 up and running without checking out the source from GitHub. The following will install the merchant beta – which is a stable, mostly feature complete version of Magento 2. There have been changes to the Magento 2 source since this beta, but the merchant beta is the best way to get a taste of what Magento 2 is like, and how its programmatic systems work.

Once you’ve tried Magento 2 like this, you can try checking out the entire source tree from GitHub and installing Magento 2 using the stable master branch. Once you’ve done that, you can switch over to the develop branch if you’re ready and able to handle the chaos of a company shipping a major release while simultaneously detaching itself from the corporate mothership.

Also – we’re assuming you can get a system with PHP, MySQL, and composer up and running yourself.

Also also, thanks to James Cowie, Jakub Winkler, Alan Kent, and Eugene Tulika for the background information.

Git-less Magento Install via Composer

The quick version is

Run the following command to create a new Magento 2 project

composer create-project --stability="alpha" magento/project-community-edition

Then, change into your new project directory and run the following command

cd project-community-edition
composer require magento/sample-data:1.0.0-beta

Then, make the following folders web server writable via your favorite means (the following may not be suitable for your environment)

chmod 777 var/
chmod 777 pub/media/downloadable/

Then, configure a website with the project-community-edition folder as your document root (not project-community-edition/pub).

Finally, using the website you just configured, run through the installer at

Don’t forget to check the sample data box if you want the sample data!


The next sections are completely optional, and more for the old programmers who like to know what’s going on behind the scenes.

Installing the Project, Composer Repositories

When you create a new project with the following.

composer create-project --stability="alpha" magento/project-community-edition

The magento/project-community-edition package is a packagist hosted package that points to this Magento owned GitHub project. This composer package

  1. Adds the second composer repository into the project

  2. Requires the magento/product-community-edition package (from to the project.

It’s this second package, magento/product-community-edition, that contains all of Magento 2’s sub-packages. Give the following a try

composer info magento/product-community-edition
//list of packages snipped

The composer repository may be going away when the Magento Connect Marketplace opens for business – but for now it’s how they’re promoting the merchant beta, so it should stick around.

Beyond the Magento specific stuff – this is a nice example of how to have your own composer repository, but still allow folks to install a package without needing to worry about configuring your repository.

Sample Data

The next two commands

cd project-community-edition
composer require magento/sample-data:1.0.0-beta

download the sample data package, also hosted on

$ composer info magento/sample-data
name     : magento/sample-data
descrip. : 
keywords : 
versions : * 1.0.0-beta, 0.74.0-beta16, 0.74.0-beta15, 0.74.0-beta14, 0.74.0-beta13, 0.74.0-beta12, 0.74.0-beta11, 0.74.0-beta10, 0.74.0-beta9, 0.74.0-beta8, 0.74.0-beta7, 0.74.0-beta6, 0.74.0-beta5, 0.74.0-beta4, 0.74.0-beta3, 0.74.0-beta2, 0.74.0-beta1, 0.42.0-beta11, 0.42.0-beta10, 0.42.0-beta7, 0.42.0-beta6, 0.42.0-beta5, 0.42.0-beta2, 0.42.0-beta1, 0.1.0-alpha108
type     : metapackage
source   : []  
dist     : [zip] 
names    : magento/sample-data

magento/module-sample-data self.version
magento/sample-data-media ~0.42.0-beta2

Writable Folders

The first chmod

chmod 777 var/

takes care of the var folder – the installer won’t run without this.

The next chmod command

chmod 777 pub/media/downloadable/

takes care of a folder that the sample data installer needs write permissions, and that’s currently missing from Magento 2’s readiness check.

Setup Wizard

The setup wizard

is Magento 2’s GUI installer, and is a separate web application from the framework itself. It lives off the root folder (not pub/), which is why your document root needs to be set here.

Copyright © Alana Storm 1975 – 2023 All Rights Reserved

Originally Posted: 23rd October 2015

email hidden; JavaScript is required