I've tried the tutorial 1 - Building a Basic Site part 'using a different template for the home page'.
I created a new file HomePage.php and a new template HomePage.ss.
Then the dev/build procedure and the admin page let me see the error: error at line 16 of HomePage.php.
Warning: Unexpected character in input: ' in /mysite/code/HomePage.php on line 16
After adding a php close tag to HomePage.php this error was resolved.
But this is not the solution I think.
In the admin area I can change the page type to Home page and click create.