I am completely new to Magento and am having some trouble moving around in the files. I installed the Magento 2.1.7 CE with sample data.

We had a company migrate all products and information from a Shopify store. Now I need to update the design. From what I gathered I need to create a new folder in the app/design/frontend files.

I am not able to create or upload anything. It says I do not have the correct permissions or there is an error. Everything in that folder is set to 777. What am I doing wrong.

I also have seen a lot about running CMD through ssh. I am not able to do any of that either. I get an error about not being able to open the input file. Please help or provide direction. I am using cuteftp for file uploads and the site is on a shared vps server.

1 Answer 1


There is a lot to unpack in that question, but I'll try to provide a few hints:

First off, to properly run a Magento 2 store, you will want to get ssh access to your server. It will not be possible to smoothly manage a store if you are still uploading files via FTP. Most hosts provide ssh access to the server. If they don't, you may need to find a new host for Magento. DigitalOcean has good tutorials about using ssh, like this one.

Second, if you are using FTP, I assume you are not using Git for version control? You should really use Git, if you aren't. And if you are, once you have ssh access, you can use Git to directly pull your Magento files on to the server. Much nicer. And use composer to install Magento's dependencies too if you can - it's nicer than installing the files from archives.

Third, Magento theme development is kind of involved, and you will hate life if you are trying to test things entirely on a remote web server (even with ssh and git). You should install Magento locally, either using WAMP/MAMP, the Magento DevBox docker container, or a Vagrant VM like Magestead. It will be much faster than uploading files to your server all the time.

Fourth, if the permissions are really 777 (which they should NOT be, for security) you should be able to do everything. The output of the ls -lah command in your Magento root folder will be helpful - but you'll need ssh access to run console commands like that.

Good luck! You'll really love not using FTP once you learn ssh and git!

  • I am very new to this. I am still comfortable with FTP so going that route for now. I dont have a ton to do and can just hopefully edit the LUMA theme to fit my needs. I have been trying to create a custom theme and use the luma theme as my parent. I have finally been able to add a new folder in the /app/design/frontend/company/vendor and created all the files necessary. However, when I go to content>configuration and pick the store view to add my theme. It is not showing... What am I doing wrong Jun 27, 2017 at 23:10
  • I also am using putty to login into the server to run php bin/magento setup:upgrade. I read that a few places to fix my issue but I keep getting the error Could not open input file: bin/magento . If I try doing cd bin and doing php magento setup:upgrade I get Could not open input file: magento Jun 27, 2017 at 23:31
  • You may need to set bin/magento to be executable, so it will run as a program. Check the permissions with the ls -lah command. You may need to run this command to make it executable, chmod u+x bin/magento as explained here: devdocs.magento.com/guides/v2.1/install-gde/prereq/…
    – thaddeusmt
    Jun 28, 2017 at 18:09

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