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Bot comparison

This page explains the key differences between Renovate and Dependabot, to help you choose a bot. We're trying to be as objective as possible, so this is not a "versus" or anti-Dependabot page.

If you see anything wrong on this page, please let us know by creating a Discussion, or edit this page with a PR.

Table of features

Feature Renovate Dependabot
Dependency Dashboard Yes No
Grouped updates Yes, use community-provided groups, or create your own Yes, create groups manually
Upgrades common monorepo packages at once Yes No
Officially supported platforms GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, Azure, Gitea, see full list GitHub only
Supported languages List for Renovate List for Dependabot
Show changelogs Yes Yes
Compatibility score badges Four badges showing: Age, Adoption, Passing, Confidence One badge with overall compatibility score
Built-in to GitHub No, requires app or self-hosting Yes
Scheduling By default, Renovate runs as often as it is allowed to, read Renovate scheduling to learn more Yes: daily, weekly, monthly
License GNU Affero General Public License MIT License
Programming language of project TypeScript Ruby
Project pulse renovatebot/renovate monthly pulse dependabot-core monthly pulse
Contributor graph renovatebot/renovate contributor graph dependabot-core contributor graph

Hosted app

This section explains the key differences between the Mend Renovate app and the GitHub-native Dependabot.

Even if you're going to self-host a bot, read the hosted app section first, because many features and concepts are similar. Then read the self-hosted section.

Dependency Dashboard

One big feature of Renovate is the Dependency Dashboard, which is enabled by default. Read the Key concepts, Dependency Dashboard page to learn more.

Dependabot does not have a similar feature.

Grouped updates

Renovate comes with community-provided groupings of dependencies. So Renovate groups common dependencies into a single PR, out-of-the-box.

Dependabot can group dependencies into a single PR too, but you must set your own groups first.

Upgrades common monorepo packages at once

Renovate has a group:monorepos preset, that upgrades common monorepo packages in a single PR.

Dependabot does not update common monorepo packages in a single PR.

Supported platforms

Platform means the Git-hosting site or program, for example GitHub, GitLab or Azure.

Renovate works on multiple platforms, including GitHub. Read the list of Renovate platforms to learn more.

The official Dependabot program only works on GitHub. If you're an advanced user, you may use the dependabot-core repository as a base to build your own Dependabot, which you can run on other platforms.

Supported languages

Show changelogs

Feature Renovate Dependabot
Link to GitHub release Yes, to specific release tag Yes, to "releases landing page"
Link to GitHub's comparing changes UI Yes Yes
Release notes Yes Yes
Links to issues Yes Yes
Upstream CHANGELOG file No Yes
Recent commits No Yes
Link to individual commits No Yes

Compatibility score badges

Renovate shows four Merge Confidence badges in its PRs:

  • Age: The age of the package
  • Adoption: The percentage of this package's users (within Renovate) which are using this release
  • Passing: The percentage of updates which have passing tests for this package
  • Confidence: The confidence level for this update

Read the Merge Confidence badges page to learn more.

Dependabot shows one compatibility score badge in its PRs. This score tells you how many other repositories have passing CI tests for the proposed update. Read the GitHub Docs, Dependabot's compatibility scores to learn more about Dependabot's badge.

Built-in to GitHub vs app

Renovate needs app installation or self-hosting.

Dependabot is built-in to GitHub.


You can set a schedule for Renovate, per dependency, manager, or even a global schedule. Read Renovate scheduling to learn more.

Dependabot has four options that apply at a language level:


Renovate uses the GNU Affero General Public License.

Dependabot uses the MIT License.

Neither license is relevant to the end user though if consuming through an App/SaaS.

Programming language of project

Renovate uses TypeScript.

dependabot-core uses Ruby.

Self-hosting a bot

This section explains how to self-host each bot.

Self-hosting Renovate

You can self-host Renovate on all officially supported platforms.

If you decide to self-host Renovate, read the items from the Self-hosting Renovate reading list.

Available Renovate distributions:

  • npm package (CLI)
  • Docker images
  • GitHub Action
  • GitLab Runner
  • Mend Renovate On-Premises
  • Mend Remediate (commercial offering)
  • Forking Renovate app

Self-hosting Dependabot

You can self-host Dependabot on other platforms than GitHub but none are officially supported.

As a GitHub Actions workflow on GitHub

You can run Dependabot as a GitHub Actions workflow on hosted and self-hosted runners. Learn more by reading the:


If you want to customize Dependabot, or self-host on another platform, you can use dependabot-core. Quote from the dependabot-core readme:

It [dependabot-core] currently supports opening Pull Requests against repositories hosted on GitHub, Github Enterprise, Azure DevOps, GitLab, BitBucket, and AWS CodeCommit.


The Dependabot team has a community-maintained collection of scripts to start self-hosting Dependabot: dependabot-script but the repository has included a message warning that the scripts are broken since March 2023.


There's also a community-maintained Dependabot for GitLab: dependabot-gitlab/dependabot.