I'm not quite understanding Step 4 of these instructions:
Step 3 has me running commands on folders in the already-unpacked magento2 folder - like `cd <your Magento install dir>` - but then Step 4 says "get the Magento software" along with methods through Composer or cloning the repository... I already downloaded "the Magento software" from the Magento 2 Github repository, unpacked it to my server, then ran commands on it from Step 3. What am I missing here? The links look like I'd be starting over, and Step 3 wouldn't work if I didn't already have "the Magento software".
Is Step 4 referring to other software? Should I skip Step 4 or do I need to still do it?
Well , we can installed magento 2 on multiple ways , so that step 4 is related to that where you need to get Magento 2 software using composer.
But as you mention , that you have already downloaded magento 2 and extract with specific directory , then you don't need to run this command to get the magento 2 software.
As it is already there so , yes you can skip it for the same.
Also make sure you have setup file permissions and ownership as mention by magento devdocs.
Hope it helps
How is it possible to run the commands in Step 3 if the Magento software has not been uploaded to the document root on the server? Step 4 is for getting the software (the files and folders) onto the server, so Step 4 should actually be far above Step 3. Or is Step 4 referring to some other software?
Well , as you have already extracted magento 2 from git.
so all the directories are there , like pub/static , var , etc. ( in step 3 - assume that magento is already installed and those directories are there)
but those directories needed write permissions/ownership , so that is what mention in step 3.
Step 4 - if you haven't install magento 2 yet - you can install it from composer . cloning the git repository , and download compressed archived from magento download page then extract it.
this is what mention in step 4 - if magento is not installed.
Hope it helps
How can you run Step 3 if Magento has not been installed yet?
If Magento is already installed, what is the need of Step 4?
Do you think maybe steps of installing Magento should be before steps of configuring its permissions?
That's why I ask if Step 4 is talking about other software than the files Step 3 runs for.
Basically step 3 is the process of pre magento installation before install magento in hosting or servere, You need to set some predefined step to run your magento successfully on server so step 3 is used before install of magento.