I apologize for the frustration you are experiencing. I will work to clarify here and take the feedback you have provided to the team for their input so that we can make this experience better.
Free is no longer considered to be the starting point for Datomic. Free is only suitable for open-source projects requiring distribution. You will notice that our documentation does not include any mention of Free in the getting started section.
Instead of Free we recommend that users evaluated Datomic with Datomic Pro Starter per FAQ:
Can I evaluate Datomic Pro for free before purchasing?
Yes, you can get Datomic Pro Starter Edition to develop and release your application prior to purchasing a license.
When I click the “Download Starter” button on this page (https://www.datomic.com/get-datomic.html) it brings me to a random license key page, NOT the download page
The “Download Starter” button links to the license page so that you can ensure that you have a Datomic Pro Starter license. Datomic starter and Datomic Pro use the same bits. The only difference is in the license available to you. Starter includes one year of Datomic pro maintenance and updates and is free to use. The use is perpetual meaning that it does not expire, but after you license expiration you will no longer be able to download new updates and releases. Here is an example screenshot showing that the license says “starter”:
When I click “Downloads” at the top of this page (my.datomic.com/account) it takes me to a page for “Datomic Pro” downloads. I literally cannot find downloads for “Datomic Starter” ANYWHERE on the site at all…
Download the pro bits accessible through your now licensed and registered my.datomic.com account and follow the docs starting here:
Once you’ve downloaded Datomic, unzip it somewhere locally. Throughout the documentation, shell commands are run from the root directory of the Datomic install. Change to this directory now, e.g.:
After that, you will want to follow along through all the sections of “Getting Started” which includes: connecting, transacting schema, transacting data, querying the data, seeing historical data, a tutorial, and a setup for local dev:
If you would prefer to not use the client library you can follow our peer getting started documentation here:
I hope this helps clarify and I will take your feedback to the team so that we can improve our documentation.