Shareable Config Presets

Renovate's "config presets" are a convenient way to distribute config for reuse across multiple repositories. It is similar in design to ESLint's shareable configs, and can be used for whole repository configs and for individual rules. They are defined using the extends array within config and may also be nested.

In short:

  • Browse Renovate's default presets to find any that are useful to you
  • Publish your own if you wish to reuse them across repositories

Shareable config presets can only be used with the JSON format, other formats are not supported.

Warning: default.json is intended for use with presets only! Warning: Do not use a renovate.json file as a preset.

Info: We've deprecated the use of a renovate.json file for presets as this can cause issues if the repository configuration uses a renovate.json file as well.

Goals of Preset Configs

The main reason for supporting preset configs is to decrease duplication. By using a preset config you:

  1. Avoid duplicating the same config across all your repositories
  2. Can use someone else's configuration and extend it

Renovate's configuration is self-documenting, because you can fill in the "description" field in all preset configs.

Implementation Approach

In order to achieve these goals, preset configs allow for a very modular approach - preset configs can be as small as a partial package rule or as large as an entire configuration, like an ESLint config.

Preset Hosting

In general, GitHub, GitLab or Gitea-based preset hosting is easier than npm because you avoid the "publish" step - simply commit preset code to the default branch and it will be picked up by Renovate the next time it runs. An additional benefit of using source code hosting is that the same token/authentication can be reused by Renovate in case you want to make your config private.

name example use preset resolves as filename
GitHub default github>abc/foo default https://github.com/abc/foo default.json
GitHub with preset name github>abc/foo:xyz xyz https://github.com/abc/foo xyz.json
GitHub with preset path github>abc/foo//path/xyz xyz https://github.com/abc/foo path/xyz.json
GitLab default gitlab>abc/foo default https://gitlab.com/abc/foo default.json
GitLab with preset name gitlab>abc/foo:xyz xyz https://gitlab.com/abc/foo xyz.json
GitLab with preset path gitlab>abc/foo//path/xyz xyz https://gitlab.com/abc/foo path/xyz.json
Gitea default gitea>abc/foo default https://gitea.com/abc/foo default.json
Gitea with preset name gitea>abc/foo:xyz xyz https://gitea.com/abc/foo xyz.json
Local default local>abc/foo default https://github.company.com/abc/foo default.json
Local with preset path local>abc/foo//path/xyz default https://github.company.com/abc/foo path/xyz.json

Note that you can't combine the path and sub-preset syntaxes (i.e. anything in the form provider>owner/repo//path/to/file:subsubpreset) is not supported. One workaround is to use distinct files instead of sub-presets.

Example configs

An example of a small rule is :preserveSemverRanges, which has the description "Preserve (but continue to upgrade) any existing semver ranges". It simply sets the configuration option rangeStrategy to replace.

An example of a full config is config:base, which is Renovate's default configuration. It mostly uses Renovate config defaults but adds a few smart customisations such as grouping monorepo packages together.

Special note: the :xyz naming convention (with : prefix) is a special shorthand for the default: presets. e.g. :xyz is equivalent to default:xyz.

How to Use Preset Configs

By default, the Renovate App's onboarding process will suggest ["config:base]". If you are self hosting you must add "onboardingConfig": { "extends": ["config:base"] } to your bot's config.

A typical onboarding renovate.json looks like this:

{
  "extends": ["config:base"]
}

Say you want to modify the default behavior, for example scheduling Renovate to process upgrades during non-office hours only. To do this you can modify the default renovate.json file like this:

{
  "extends": ["config:base", "schedule:nonOfficeHours"]
}

This makes use of the schedules: presets. You can find the Renovate team's preset configs at the "Config Presets" section of Renovate Docs.

Preset Parameters

If you browse the "default" presets, you will see some that contain parameters, e.g.:

    "labels": {
      "description": "Apply labels <code>{{arg0}}</code> and <code>{{arg1}}</code> to PRs",
      "labels": [
        "{{arg0}}",
        "{{arg1}}"
      ]
    },
    "assignee": {
      "description": "Assign PRs to <code>{{arg0}}</code>",
      "assignees": [
        "{{arg0}}"
      ]
    },

Here is how you would use these in your Renovate config:

  "extends": [
    ":labels(dependencies,devops)",
    ":assignee(rarkins)"
  ]

In short, the number of {{argx}} parameters in the definition is how many parameters you need to provide. Parameters must be strings, non-quoted, and separated by commas if there are more than one.

If you find that you are repeating config a lot, you might consider publishing one of these types of parameterised presets yourself. Or if you think your preset would be valuable for others, please contribute a PR to the Renovate repository.

GitHub-hosted Presets

It is also possible to host your preset config using just a regular GitHub repository and without needing to publish it to npmjs. In such cases Renovate will simply look for a default.json file in the default branch, e.g. main.

To host your preset config on GitHub:

  • Create a new repository. Normally you'd call it renovate-config but it can be named anything
  • Add configuration files to this new repo for any presets you want to share. For the default preset, default.json will be checked. For named presets, <preset-name>.json will be loaded. For example, loading preset library would load library.json. No other files are necessary.
  • In other repos, reference it in an extends array like "github>owner/name", for example:
  "extends": ["github>rarkins/renovate-config"]

From then on Renovate will use the Renovate config from the preset repo's default branch. You do not need to add it as a devDependency or add any other files to the preset repo.

GitLab-hosted Presets

It is also possible to host your preset config using just a regular GitLab repository and without needing to publish it to npmjs. In such cases Renovate will simply look for a default.json file in the default branch.

For a private GitLab repository Renovate requires at least Reporter level access.

To host your preset config on GitLab:

  • Create a new repository on GitLab. Normally you'd call it renovate-config but it can be named anything
  • Add a default.json to this new repo containing the preset config. No other files are necessary
  • In other repos, reference it in an extends array like "gitlab>owner/name", e.g. "gitlab>rarkins/renovate-config"

Gitea-hosted Presets

It is also possible to host your preset config using just a regular Gitea repository and without needing to publish it to npmjs. In such cases Renovate will simply look for a default.json file in the default branch.

To host your preset config on Gitea:

  • Create a new repository on Gitea. Normally you'd call it renovate-config but you can use any name you want
  • Add a default.json to this new repository containing the preset config. No other files are necessary
  • In other repositories, reference it in an extends array like "gitea>owner/name", e.g. "gitea>rarkins/renovate-config"

Local presets

Renovate also supports local presets, e.g. presets that are hosted on the same platform as the target repository. This is especially helpful in self-hosted scenarios where public presets cannot be used. Local presets are specified either by leaving out any prefix, e.g. owner/name, or explicitly by adding a local> prefix, e.g. local>owner/name. Renovate will determine the current platform and look up the preset from there.

Presets and Private Modules

Using your own preset config along with private npm modules can present a chicken and egg problem. You want to configure the encrypted token just once, which means in the preset. But you also probably want the preset to be private too, so how can the other repos reference it?

The answer is to host your preset using GitHub or GitLab - not npmjs - and make sure you have added the preset's repo to Renovate too. GitHub will then allow Renovate to access the preset repo whenever it is processing any other repos within the same account/org.

For a private GitLab repository Renovate requires at least Reporter level access.

Contributing to presets

Have you configured a rule that you think others might benefit from? Please consider contributing it to the Renovate repository so that it gains higher visibility and saves others from reinventing the same thing.

Organization level presets

Whenever repository onboarding happens, Renovate checks if the current user/group/org contains a default config to extend. It looks for:

  • A repository called renovate-config under the same user/group/org with a default.json file or
  • A repository named like .{{platform}} (e.g. .github) under the same user/group/org with renovate-config.json

If found, that repository's preset will be suggested as the sole extended preset, and any existing onboardingConfig config will be ignored/overridden. For example the result may be:

{
  "$schema": "https://docs.renovatebot.com/renovate-schema.json",
  "extends": ["local>myorgname/.github:renovate-config"]
}

npm-hosted presets

Using npm-hosted presets is deprecated, we recommend you do not follow these instructions and instead use a local preset.

If you manage multiple repositories using Renovate and want the same custom config across all or most of them, then you might want to consider publishing your own preset config so that you can "extend" it in every applicable repository. That way when you want to change your Renovate configuration you can make the change in one location rather than having to copy/paste it to every repository individually.

Let's say that your username on npm and elsewhere is "fastcore". In that case, you can choose between publishing your preset config package as @fastcore/renovate-config or renovate-config-fastcore. Let's assume you choose renovate-config-fastcore as the package name.

You then need to publish the renovate-config-fastcore package where the package.json contains the field renovate-config and then put your config under the field default. For example:

{
  "name": "renovate-config-fastcore",
  "version": "0.0.1",
  ...
  "renovate-config": {
    "default": {
      "extends": ["config:base", "schedule:nonOfficeHours"]
    }
  }
}

Then in each of your repositories you can add your Renovate config like:

  "extends": ["fastcore"]

Any repository including this config will then adopt the rules of the default library preset but schedule it on weeknights or weekends.

Note: if you prefer to publish using the namespace @fastcore/renovate-config then you would use the @ prefix instead:

  "extends": ["@fastcore"]