Quick Start Guide

This section describes how to quickly install Crafter CMS and start crafting your experiences. The steps listed below is intended to help the user start using Crafter CMS for development or evaluation only.


Windows support is now via Docker. If you are on a Windows operating system, please follow the guide Running Crafter CMS in a Docker Container to start using Crafter CMS.

Installing Crafter CMS from the Archive Download

Here are the steps to start using Crafter CMS for development or evaluation by installing Crafter CMS from the archive download:

  1. Download and install Java 11

    Download and install Java JDK 1.11 (either Oracle or OpenJDK).

    Make sure that you have a JAVA_HOME environment variable that points to the root of the JDK install directory. See here for more information on the JAVA_HOME environment variable

  2. Download Crafter CMS archive

    Download the Crafter CMS install archive file from http://craftercms.org/downloads

    Select crafter-cms-authoring-3.1.X.tar.gz. The .tar.gz file will install a fully functional Crafter Studio instance and a Crafter Engine in Preview Mode. Out of the box, the Studio instance uses a local directory as the repository and an embedded database, which allows a quick and easy set up for local development.

  3. Extract the Crafter CMS archive

    Extract the contents in any directory.


  4. Start Crafter CMS

    To start Crafter CMS:

    From the command line, navigate to the {Crafter-CMS-unzip-directory}/crafter/bin/ directory, and execute the startup script:



    It takes a few seconds for Crafter CMS to startup and takes longer to startup the very first time you startup Crafter CMS.

    To stop Crafter CMS:

    From the command line, navigate to the {Crafter-CMS-unzip-directory}/crafter/bin/ directory, and execute the shutdown script:


  5. Access Crafter Studio

    In your browser, go to


    • Login with the following:

      • username: admin

      • password: admin

    After logging in, you should be redirected to the Sites screen, and you’re now ready to create your first experience!

Installing Crafter CMS From Archive Built By the Gradle Environment Builder

  1. Download and install required items for creating archives

    To create the archives(*.tar.gz) for installing Crafter CMS, the following must be installed in your system:

    • Java 11

    • Git 2.x+

    • Maven 3.3.x+

    • make and GCC

    For more information on installing the required items and other prerequisites, see Installing and verifying prerequisites

  2. Clone the Crafter CMS repo from GitHub

    git clone https://github.com/craftercms/craftercms.git

  3. Build a deployable bundle

    Build a deployable bundle using the Gradle Environment Builder to generate the archives crafter-cms-authoring-3.1.X.tar.gz inside the bundle folder

    ./gradlew clone build deploy bundle

  4. Unpack the file (crafter-cms-authoring-3.1.X.tar.gz) into any directory. You may now follow the instructions listed above starting from the step to Extract the Crafter CMS archive to start using Crafter CMS

For more details on using the Gradle environment builder, please review: https://github.com/craftercms/craftercms/blob/master/README.md

Running Crafter CMS in a Docker Container

To run Crafter CMS in a Docker container using Docker Compose, make sure the following are installed in your local system:

For Windows and Mac, we recommend you give Docker Desktop at least 8GB of RAM and 4 CPUs. To do this, go to Docker Desktop’s Preferences > Resources > Advanced, and then change the resource limits.

Docker Desktop Advanced Settings
  1. Clone the Crafter CMS Docker Compose repo from GitHub

    ➜ git clone https://github.com/craftercms/docker-compose.git

  2. If you are a developer and want to use your local IDE and other tools, follow this documentation to configure your docker container to support access to your sites via local IDE.

  3. Go into the authoring folder, then start the container by running docker-compose up

    Console output when starting the container
    ➜  docker-compose git:(master) cd authoring
    ➜  authoring git:(master) docker-compose up
    Starting authoring_elasticsearch_1 ... done
    Starting authoring_deployer_1      ... done
    Starting authoring_tomcat_1        ... done
    Attaching to authoring_elasticsearch_1, authoring_deployer_1, authoring_tomcat_1
    elasticsearch_1  | OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM warning: Option UseConcMarkSweepGC was deprecated in version 9.0 and will likely be removed in a future release.
    tomcat_1         | 02-Jun-2020 14:25:53.134 INFO [main] org.apache.catalina.startup.VersionLoggerListener.log Server version name:   Apache Tomcat/8.5.54
    tomcat_1         | 02-Jun-2020 14:25:53.136 INFO [main] org.apache.catalina.startup.VersionLoggerListener.log Server built:          Apr 3 2020 14:06:10 UTC
    tomcat_1         | 02-Jun-2020 14:25:53.138 INFO [main] org.apache.catalina.startup.VersionLoggerListener.log Server version number:
    tomcat_1         | 02-Jun-2020 14:25:53.139 INFO [main] org.apache.catalina.startup.VersionLoggerListener.log OS Name:               Linux
    tomcat_1         | 02-Jun-2020 14:25:53.140 INFO [main] org.apache.catalina.startup.VersionLoggerListener.log OS Version:            4.19.76-linuxkit
    tomcat_1         | 02-Jun-2020 14:25:53.140 INFO [main] org.apache.catalina.startup.VersionLoggerListener.log Architecture:          amd64
    tomcat_1         | 02-Jun-2020 14:25:53.140 INFO [main] org.apache.catalina.startup.VersionLoggerListener.log Java Home:             /usr/local/openjdk-8/jre
    tomcat_1         | 02-Jun-2020 14:26:47.429 INFO [main] org.apache.coyote.AbstractProtocol.start Starting ProtocolHandler ["http-nio-8080"]
    tomcat_1         | 02-Jun-2020 14:26:47.448 INFO [main] org.apache.catalina.startup.Catalina.start Server startup in 54120 ms

You may now follow the instructions listed in the guide above: starting from the step Access Crafter Studio to start using Crafter CMS.

The console output when you start the container (as shown above) contains useful information that you can use to debug or monitor the status of Crafter CMS. To view more of the logs, the Docker Desktop Dashboard provides a runtime view of all your containers and applications, including logs for monitoring/debugging Crafter CMS. To access the Docker Desktop Dashboard, from the Docker menu, select Dashboard.

Open Docker Desktop Dashboard

This will open a dialog displaying the running application with a list of containers running inside the application when you expand the application

Docker Desktop Dashboard Container List

When the authoring application displayed above is selected, the application view will open and list all the containers running on the application and display a detailed logs view

Docker Desktop Dashboard

For more information on Docker Desktop Dashboard, see https://docs.docker.com/desktop/dashboard/

For more information on Crafter CMS Docker Compose, please see: https://github.com/craftercms/docker-compose.