(Contributor) Clone the Magento repository

Totally lost? Need a helping hand? Try our installation quick reference (tutorial) or installation roadmap (reference).

Intended audience

The audience for this topic is anyone who contributes to the Magento Open Source codebase. You should be highly technical, understand Composer and Git commands, and be able to upgrade the Magento system software and extensions using those commands. If that isn’t you, go back and choose another starting point.

If you clone the Magento 2 GitHub repository, you cannot use the Magento software in a production environment. You cannot have a live store that accepts orders and so on.


Before you continue, make sure you’ve done all of the following:

We use Composer to manage Magento components and their dependencies. Using Composer to get the Magento software metapackage provides the following advantages:

  • Reuse third-party libraries without bundling them with source code
  • Reduce extension conflicts and compatibility issues by using a component-based architecture with robust dependency management
  • Adhere to PHP-Framework Interoperability Group (FIG) standards
  • Repackage Magento Open Source with other components
  • Use the Magento software in a production environment

You must create a Composer project from our metapackage if you want to use the Magento Web Setup Wizard to upgrade the Magento software and third-party extensions.

Install Composer

First, check if Composer is already installed:

In a command prompt, enter any of the following commands:

  • composer --help
  • composer list --help

If command help displays, Composer is already installed.

If an error displays, use the following steps to install Composer.

To install Composer:

  1. Change to or create an empty directory on your Magento server.

  2. Enter the following commands:

    curl -sS https://getcomposer.org/installer | php
    mv composer.phar /usr/local/bin/composer

For additional installation options, see the Composer installation documentation.

Clone the Magento repository

This section discusses how to get current code by cloning Magento’s GitHub repository and checking out branches. You can either checkout a release branch or a development branch:

  • Release branches, like 2.x.0, are more stable. You must use a release branch with the Data Migration Tool.

  • Development branches, like 2.x-develop, contain the latest changes.

You can checkout a specific release branch after cloning the latest code.

Refer to GitHub’s documentation for instructions on cloning a repository.

Creating an authorization file

The Magento 2 GitHub repository requires you to authenticate. The composer install commands fails if you do not.

Generate Magento and Github keys

To authenticate, you will need to generate Magento authentication keys and a Github personal access token.

Create auth.json

Accessing the Magento 2 GitHub repository requires authentication. The command composer install fails without it. Requirements to authenticate include:

  1. Magento authentication keys
  2. GitHub personal access token
  3. Composer auth.json file

Create Magento authentication keys

Follow this guide to create Magento authentication keys.

Create a GitHub personal access token

The Composer auth file requires the github-oauth property, but do not create a GitHub OAuth App. Create a personal access token instead.

Follow this guide to create a GitHub personal access token.

When choosing token permissions, select all checkboxes in the repo scope. Composer auth does not require other permissions.

Create auth.json file

  1. Log in to your Magento server as the Magento file system owner.
  2. Create the auth.json file in the user’s home directory. For example, if magento_user is your Unix username, then create /home/magento_user/.composer/auth.json.

Edit auth.json file

Replace the <placeholder> values with your token and keys:

    "github-oauth": {
        "github.com": "<your GitHub personal access token>"
    "http-basic": {
        "repo.magento.com": {
            "username": "<public key>",
            "password": "<private key>"

Related topics

After completing the tasks discussed on this page, see Update installation dependencies.