Some Sitecore Habitat Setup Issues

If you haven’t already checked out Sitecore’s Habitat Framework, you should take a look at the solution. Whether you like the Framework architecture or not, it is worth checking the solution. I see it as Sitecore Accelerator  Solution Framework and it is going to be useful for my future projects. You can start from here in Github. Fantastic Architecture discussion and Getting Started videos from Thomas Eldblom (@TEldblom).

This blog is not about introducing Habitat. I recently setup the application in my machine and faced few issues. I will discuss them because they are not mentioned in the Habitat Wiki.

Visual Studio 2015 vs Visual Studio 2013

Habitat Solution requires you to have VS 2015. If you have VS 2015 or you can install it in your machine, just do that before opening up the solution. For me, I have several reasons why I cannot install VS 2015. I did a little hack to make it work for VS 2013.

  • Open the solution file (Habitat.sln) in notepad++ and following lines
    Microsoft Visual Studio Solution File, Format Version 12.00
    # Visual Studio 14
    VisualStudioVersion = 14.0.23107.0
    MinimumVisualStudioVersion = 10.0.40219.1

    WithMicrosoft Visual Studio Solution File, Format Version 12.00
    # Visual Studio 2013
    VisualStudioVersion = 12.0.31101.0
    MinimumVisualStudioVersion = 10.0.40219.1
  • In notepad++ replace 14.0 with 12.0 in all .csproj files in the SRC folder.
  • Now you can open the solution in VS 2013. Open the file gulpfile.js file in VS 2013 IDE and replace 14.0 with 12.0 in the file. There is only one reference. This is required for the valid MSbuild path.

NuGet Package Issue

I had trouble restoring the packages. It seems the packages were created with the more recent version of NuGet. I had to get latest version of NuGet Extension for Visual Studio. After that there was no problem restoring the packages.

Gulp Issues

Habitat uses Gulp to build and publish the files. If you don’t have Gulp already installed in your machine, you have to first install Gulp . In Visual Studio open the NuGet Package Manager Console. Run following two commands.

npm install –global gulp

npm install –save-dev gulp

If you open the Task Runner window, you still may not see the tasks. Click on the refresh button. If that doesn’t work close and open the solution in Visual Studio.


I had some trouble serializing items in Unicorn Control Panel. I must say, I am very new to Unicorn and it was probably my lack of understanding.

  • The Framework Project items has to be serialized first, then the Domain Projects items and lastly Website items. Start with Habitat.Framework.Serialization.
  • Do not click on the Reserialize until you Sync first. For me it wiped out the .yml files.

That’s all the issues I faced so far. I hope it helps some of you out there. Happy coding.

About Himadri Chakrabarti

I am a solutions architect and a Sitecore MVP. I am focused on Sitecore and Ecommerce development. Opinions expressed in my blogs are my own.
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