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Install Medusa with create-medusa-app

In this document, you’ll learn how to use create-medusa-app to set up a Medusa backend and an optional storefront.


Medusa is a toolkit for developers to create digital commerce applications. In its simplest form, Medusa is a Node.js backend with the core API, plugins, and modules installed through npm.

create-medusa-app is a command that facilitates creating a Medusa ecosystem. It installs the Medusa backend and allows you to optionally install a Medusa storefront. The admin dashboard is installed as part of the Medusa backend.

If you only want to set up a Medusa backend, follow this quickstart guide instead.



Medusa supports Node v16+. 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 Prepare 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

Step 1: Specify 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.

Step 2: 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.

The medusa-starter-default includes the admin plugin, which allows you to access the admin dashboard. If you choose a different backend starter that doesn't have the admin plugin installed by default, you can learn how to install it through this guide.

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.

Step 3: 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?
❯ Next.js Starter (Next.js)

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.

Step 4: Wait for 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/storefront
yarn dev

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

Please note that the yarn dev command is shown by default for storefronts and is the correct command for Medusa's Next.js storefront. If you used a different storefront, you might need to check what the correct command of that storefront is.

Did you set up Medusa successfully?


If you run into any errors during the installation, please refer to this troubleshooting guide for a potential help.

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:

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

If you chose a backend starter that installs the admin plugin by default, such as the medusa-starter-default, you'll be able to use the admin through the Medusa backend as explained in the admin plugin quickstart.

What’s Next

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