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I have a question about downloading an unstable version of a module using composer. I run composer require 'drupal/page_manager:^4.0' but I get this error message.

The requested package drupal/page_manager ~4.0 is satisfiable by drupal/page_manager[4.x-dev, 4.0.0-beta3, 4.0.0-beta2, 4.0.0-beta1] but these conflict with your requirements or minimum-stability.

I looked at the repository, and they don't seem to have a stable version. So I read that in my composer.json file I should put the following lines.

"prefer-stable" : true,
"minimum-stability": dev,

If I set these options to composer, will this affect other modules and possibly Drupal core? when I update core, could it download a development snapshot higher than the current version? If so, how do I downloading the development snapshot only for a module without affecting other modules/core?

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This is just fine, this thread describes that it is there by default.

So it is fine to set minimum-stability to dev.

The reason why you can set the minimum-stability, is because that prefer-stable, prefers stable packages over unstable.

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See prefer stable's documentation

When this is enabled, Composer will prefer more stable packages over unstable ones when finding compatible stable packages is possible. If you require a dev version or only alphas are available for a package, those will still be selected granted that the minimum-stability allows for it.

See minimum-stability's documentation

This defines the default behavior for filtering packages by stability. This defaults to stable, so if you rely on a dev package, you should specify it in your file to avoid surprises.

All versions of each package are checked for stability, and those that are less stable than the minimum-stability setting will be ignored when resolving your project dependencies. (Note that you can also specify stability requirements on a per-package basis using stability flags in the version constraints that you specify in a require block (see package links for more details).

Available options (in order of stability) are dev, alpha, beta, RC, and stable.

These will do exactly as they sound, they will prefer a stable release, if there is one that satisfies your composer requirements, otherwise they'll look to unstable releases that are at least in "dev".

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