Hands-on for newcomers: Install Habitat from scratch

Cet article en francais

It is not always easy to learn a new platform, and Sitecore can have a step learning curve. One easy way to learn is to actively install a Sitecore instance, a complete website like Habitat, and begin playing with it. I will here explain how to install the Habitat website when you are really a newcomer to Sitecore.

Hardware Requirements

  • A minimum of 4 core processor
  • 8GB RAM.

Software Requirements

You can find all the compatibilities for OS, database servers, browsers and .Net Frameworks in the Sitecore Compatibility table.

Just to test the Sitecore platform and install Habitat, you can have a Windows 10 computer with .NET Framework from 4.7.1 and MS SQL Server from version 2016 SP2

Licence Requirements

You’ll need to have a licence from Sitecore to test the Sitecore XP platform. If you don’t have one, contact your local Sitecore representative. You can take contact with me if you need help with that.

Downloads are available for certified Sitecore developers, so you’ll need a OKTA login access to be able to download anything.


For an installation on your local development environment you can use the free SQL Server Express edition. To manage your local SQL Server instance Microsoft has a separate tool called Management Studio. We need this tool to make some configuration changes. You can download it here.

Since we are going to use Web Deploy Packages later on to install the platform, we need to ensure that SQL Server allows user and logins to be contained at database level.

Start MS SQL Server Management Studio, connect to your local instance using Windows Authentication and run this script:

sp_configure 'contained database authentication', 1; GO RECONFIGURE; GO

If all went well you should receive a message like “Configuration option ‘contained database authentication’ changed from 0 to 1”


On the Sitecore Download page for Sitecore XP 9.3, download the file “Graphical setup package for XP Single”.

Install Sitecore Platform with SIA

Extract the downloaded file and execute the file “setup.exe”. Follow the instructions. If it is your first ever Sitecore installation on your computer, most of the default values shoud not be changed. Be sure to point your Sitecore licence file when asked (in Sitecore Settings page) and the correct SQL Server parameters (in Microsoft SQL Settings page). Install the optional SXA module (in Optional module page).

When the setup is complete, click on Lauch Sitecore, and you should see Sitecore’s admin login page.

Install Habitat demonstration site

If you don’t have Visual Studio 2019 installed locally, download and install MSBuild for Visual Studio 2019.

Also, install GIT if you don’t have it

Open a Powershell window as administrator. Change directory to an empty folder

Clone the code for Habitat

git clone https://github.com/Sitecore/Sitecore.HabitatHome.Platform.git

Open the file cake-config.json in an editor, and modify it so it matches your configuration

Execute the command .\build

The script published and deploys all the projects in the solution, it rebuilds also all the indexes. You can then open your Sitecore 9.3 instance in a browser. Voila !

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