Skip to main content

Install Medusa with create-medusa-app

In this document, you’ll learn how to use create-medusa-app to create a Medusa project with the three main components of Medusa.


Medusa is composed of three different components: the headless backend, the storefront, and the admin dashboard.

Medusa provides the necessary tools and resources to set up the three components separately. This ensures that developers have full freedom to choose their tech stack, as they can choose any framework for the storefront and admin dashboard.

However, if you’re interested in using Medusa’s starters for the three components, you can make use of the create-medusa-app command instead of creating each separately.

When you run the create-medusa-app command, you’ll install a Medusa backend, a Medusa admin, and optionally a storefront at the same time.

If you instead want to quickly install and setup only a Medusa backend, follow this quickstart guide.



Medusa supports Node versions 14 and 16. You can check which version of Node you have by running the following command:

node -v

You can install Node from the official website.


Git is required for this setup. You can find instructions on how to install it from the Set up your dev environment documentation.

How to Create a Medusa Project

A Medusa project is composed of the backend, storefront, and admin.

In your terminal, run the following command:

npx create-medusa-app

Project Directory Name

You’ll then be asked to enter the name of the directory you want the project to be installed in. You can either leave the default value my-medusa-store or enter a new name.

Choose Medusa Backend Starter

Next, you’ll be asked to choose the Medusa backend starter. The Medusa Backend is created from a starter template. By default, it is created from the medusa-starter-default template.

You can either pick the default Medusa backend starter, the Contentful starter or enter a starter URL by choosing Other:

? Which Medusa starter would you like to install? …
❯ medusa-starter-default

The backend will be installed under the backend directory under the project directory. An SQLite database will be created inside that directory as well with demo data seeded into it.

Choose Storefront Starter

After choosing the Medusa starter, you’ll be asked to choose the storefront starter. You can choose one of the starters in the list included or choose None to skip installing a storefront:

? Which storefront starter would you like to install?
❯ Gatsby Starter
Next.js Starter (Next.js) (Gatsby)
Gatsby Starter (Simple)

If you choose an option other than None, a storefront will be installed under the storefront directory.

Learn more about the Next.js starter storefront.

Dependency Installation

After choosing the above starters, the installation of each component will begin along with its dependencies. Once the installation is done, you’ll see instructions related to how to start each component.

Your project is ready. The available commands are:

Medusa API
cd my-medusa-store/backend
yarn start

cd my-medusa-store/admin
yarn start

cd my-medusa-store/storefront
yarn develop # for Gatsby storefront
yarn dev # for Next.js storefront

The commands will differ based on your choices in previous prompts.

Project Directory Structure

Inside the root project directory which was specified at the beginning of the installation process you’ll find the following directory structure:

/storefront // Medusa storefront starter
/backend // Medusa backend
/admin // Medusa admin

What’s Next