I'm using Ubuntu with Magento 2.2 installed locally for development.

I'm updating my LESS, but it's just not compiling for some reason.

I have all caching turned off in Cache Management, and I run magento setup:static-content:deploy -f after any LESS modifications, but it's still not compiling and showing my changes. I just changed a css padding value from 10 to 11 to test, and it's still set to 10.

I also have caching turned off in my browser, too. And I've ran rm -rf var/view_processed then static content deploy, but that didn't work either.

Also, My Workflow Type is set to Server side less compilation, and the local install of Magento 2 is set to Developer Mode.

So I'm at a loss for what to do to get my LESS to compile into CSS. It's just not doing it for some reason.

Any ideas?

Thank you.

2 Answers 2


Did you delete the compiled file in the pub/static folder first? You should delete those css files (the styles-m.css and the styles-l.css), clear the var/view_preprocessed folder and then run compile.

In some cases, the files in the pub will create sym links to the source file. When that is a the case, you don't have to delete it first, so check the pub folder to see the state of those files (this is a setting in the app/etc/di.xml but it a whole other question to configure this).

If nothing is working after that, you should check the file you are working on itself. You should be editing the:


And then if nothing is working check the file permission for the pub and var folders. While working in development, i run these folder with open permission sudo chmod -R 777 pub/ var/. But note that when you push live, if you are moving these directories directly, these permission might be too open (i push code with git so i don't have to worry about generated file and directories).

  • 1
    Isn't that what magento setup:static-content:deploy -f is supposed to do? Clear out that pub/static stuff? Or am I wrong?
    – James
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 16:29
  • As far as i have tested, Magento doesn't clear any file with that command. Those commands are hard to understand since the M2 implementation is a bit convoluted, but when you deploy, if the file is there in the pub folder, compile will skip that file all together.
    – circlesix
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 16:40
  • 2
    Gotcha. Using the info you gave me, this command worked: rm magento2/pub/static/frontend/vendor/default/en_US/css/styles-m.css && rm magento2/pub/static/frontend/vendor/default/en_US/css/styles-l.css && rm -rf var/view_processed && magento setup:static-content:deploy -f thank you!
    – James
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 16:45
  • sweet! setting up grunt will help you out a lot here. there are some good sources around, but till then, glad this works for ya.
    – circlesix
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 16:55

This should work:

rm -rf var/view_preprocessed
rm -rf pub/static/frontend

You don't have to run setup:static-content:deploy if you are in developer mode.

It's possible that the user created the files in pub/static was different than your webserver user, so the webserver user can't change them.

  • Work by removing the content but takes too much time in loading after that.
    – AbdulBasit
    Commented Jan 17, 2021 at 18:42

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