Self-Hosting Renovate

Installing Renovate OSS CLI

npmjs

$ npm install -g renovate

Renovate does not embed npm, pnpm and yarn as its own dependencies. If you want to use these package managers to update your lockfiles, you must ensure that the correct versions are already installed globally.

$ npm install -g yarn pnpm

The same goes for any other third party binary tool like gradle or poetry - you need to make sure they are installed and the appropriate version before running Renovate.

Docker

Renovate is available for Docker via an automated build renovate/renovate. It builds latest based on the master branch and all semver tags are published too. For example, all the following are valid tags:

$ docker run --rm renovate/renovate
$ docker run --rm renovate/renovate:24.53.0
$ docker run --rm renovate/renovate:24.53
$ docker run --rm renovate/renovate:24

Do not use the example tags listed above, as they will be out-of-date. Go to renovate/renovate tags to grab the latest tagged release from Renovate.

If you want to configure Renovate using a config.js file then map it to /usr/src/app/config.js using Docker volumes. For example:

$ docker run --rm -v "/path/to/your/config.js:/usr/src/app/config.js" renovate/renovate

Kubernetes

Renovate's official Docker image is compatible with Kubernetes. The following is an example manifest of running Renovate against a GitHub Enterprise server. First the Kubernetes manifest:

apiVersion: batch/v1beta1
kind: CronJob
metadata:
  name: renovate
spec:
  schedule: '@hourly'
  concurrencyPolicy: Forbid
  jobTemplate:
    spec:
      template:
        spec:
          containers:
            - name: renovate
              # Update this to the latest available and then enable Renovate on
              # the manifest
              image: renovate/renovate:24.53.0
              args:
                - user/repo
              # Environment Variables
              envFrom:
                - secretRef:
                    name: renovate-env
          restartPolicy: Never

And also this accompanying secret.yaml:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
metadata:
  name: renovate-env
type: Opaque
stringData:
  GITHUB_COM_TOKEN: 'any-personal-user-token-for-github-com-for-fetching-changelogs'
  # You can set RENOVATE_AUTODISCOVER to true to run Renovate on all repos you have push access to
  RENOVATE_AUTODISCOVER: 'false'
  RENOVATE_ENDPOINT: 'https://github.company.com/api/v3'
  RENOVATE_GIT_AUTHOR: 'Renovate Bot <bot@renovateapp.com>'
  RENOVATE_PLATFORM: 'github'
  RENOVATE_TOKEN: 'your-github-enterprise-renovate-user-token'

A config.js file can be added to the manifest using a ConfigMap as shown in the following example (using a "dry run" in github.com):

---
 apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
metadata:
  name: renovate-config
data:
  config.json: |-
    {
      "repositories": ["orgname/repo","username/repo"],
      "dryRun" : "true"
    }

---
apiVersion: batch/v1beta1
kind: CronJob
metadata:
  name: renovate-bot
spec:
  schedule: '@hourly'
  concurrencyPolicy: Forbid
  jobTemplate:
    spec:
      template:
        spec:
          containers:
            - image: renovate/renovate:24.53.0
              name: renovate-bot
              env: # For illustration purposes, please use secrets.
                - name: RENOVATE_PLATFORM
                  value: 'github'
                - name: RENOVATE_TOKEN
                  value: 'some-token'
                - name: RENOVATE_AUTODISCOVER
                  value: 'false'
                - name: RENOVATE_BASE_DIR
                  value: '/tmp/renovate/'
                - name: RENOVATE_CONFIG_FILE
                  value: '/opt/renovate/config.json'
              volumeMounts:
                - name: config-volume
                  mountPath: /opt/renovate/
                - name: work-volume
                  mountPath: /tmp/renovate/
          restartPolicy: Never
          volumes:
            - name: config-volume
              configMap:
                name: renovate-config
            - name: work-volume
              emptyDir: {}

CircleCI

If you are using CircleCI, you can use the third-party daniel-shuy/renovate orb to run a self-hosted instance of Renovate on CircleCI.

By default, the orb looks for the self-hosted configuration file in the project root, but you can specify another path to the configuration file with the config_file_path parameter.

Secrets should be configured using environment variables (eg. RENOVATE_TOKEN, GITHUB_COM_TOKEN).

Configure environment variables in CircleCI Project Settings. To share environment variables across projects, use CircleCI Contexts.

The following example runs Renovate hourly, and looks for the self-hosted configuration file at renovate-config.js:

version: '2.1'
orbs:
  renovate: daniel-shuy/renovate@2.1.1
workflows:
  renovate:
    jobs:
      - renovate/self-hosted:
          config_file_path: renovate-config.js
    nightly:
      triggers:
        - schedule:
            cron: 0 * * * *
            filters:
              branches:
                only:
                  - master

GitLab CI/CD pipeline

For GitLab pipelines we recommend you use the renovate-runner project on GitLab. We've prepared some pipeline templates to run Renovate on pipeline schedules in an easy way. You can also find the configuration steps there.

For self-hosted GitLab clone/import the renovate-runner project to your instance.

Configuration

Self-hosted Renovate can be configured using any of the following (or a combination):

  • A config.js file (can also be named config.json, but you can't have both at the same time)
  • CLI parameters
  • Environment parameters

Note that some Renovate configuration options are only available for self-hosting, and so can only be configured using one of the above methods. These are described in the Self-hosted Configuration doc.

Authentication

Regardless of platform, you need to select a user account for renovate to assume the identity of, and generate a Personal Access Token. It is recommended to be @renovate-bot if you are using a self-hosted server with free choice of usernames. It is also recommended that you configure config.gitAuthor with the same identity as your Renovate user, e.g. like "gitAuthor": "Renovate Bot <renovate@whitesourcesoftware.com>".

GitHub Enterprise

First, create a personal access token for the bot account (select "repo" permissions). Configure it either as token in your config.js file, or in environment variable RENOVATE_TOKEN, or via CLI --token=.

GitLab CE/EE

First, create a personal access token for the bot account (select read_user, api and write_repository scopes). Configure it either as token in your config.js file, or in environment variable RENOVATE_TOKEN, or via CLI --token=. Don't forget to configure platform=gitlab somewhere in config.

Bitbucket Cloud

First, create an AppPassword for the bot account. Configure it as password in your config.js file, or in environment variable RENOVATE_PASSWORD, or via CLI --password=. Also be sure to configure the username for your bot account too. Don't forget to configure platform=bitbucket somewhere in config.

Bitbucket Server

Create a Personal Access Token for your bot account. Configure it as password in your config.js file, or in environment variable RENOVATE_PASSWORD, or via CLI --password=. Also configure the username for your bot account too, if you decided not to name it @renovate-bot. Don't forget to configure platform=bitbucket-server somewhere in config.

Azure DevOps

First, create a personal access token for the bot account. Configure it either as token in your config.js file, or in environment variable RENOVATE_TOKEN, or via CLI --token=. Don't forget to configure platform=azure somewhere in config.

Gitea

First, create a access token for your bot account. Configure it as token in your config.js file, or in environment variable RENOVATE_TOKEN, or via CLI --token=. Don't forget to configure platform=gitea somewhere in config.

GitHub.com token for release notes

If you are running on any platform except github.com, it's important to also configure the environment variable GITHUB_COM_TOKEN containing a personal access token for github.com. This account can actually be any account on GitHub, and needs only read-only access. It's used when fetching release notes for repositories in order to increase the hourly API limit. It's also OK to configure the same as a host rule instead, if you prefer that.

Note: If you're using Renovate in a project where dependencies are loaded from github.com (such as Go modules hosted on GitHub) it is highly recommended to add a token as you will run in the rate limit from the github.com API, which will lead to Renovate closing and reopening PRs because it could not get reliable info on updated dependencies.

File/directory usage

By default, Renovate stores all files in the renovate/ subdirectory of the operating system's temporary directory, e.g. /tmp/renovate/.

Repository data is copied or cloned into unique subdirectories under repos/, e.g. /tmp/renovate/repos/github/owner1/repo-a/.

Renovate's own cache, as well as the caches(s) for npm, Yarn, Composer etc, is stored in /tmp/renovate/cache.

To use another directory as the base directory, instead of tmp/renovate:

  • Configure a value for baseDir in config.js
  • Use an environment variable RENOVATE_BASE_DIR
  • Use the CLI to pass a base directory: --base-dir=

If you want to override the cache location then configure a value for cacheDir instead.

Usage

The following example uses the Renovate CLI tool, which can be installed by running npm i -g renovate.

If running your own Renovate bot then you will need a user account that Renovate will run as. It's recommended to use a dedicated account for the bot, e.g. name it renovate-bot if on your own instance. Create and save a Personal Access Token for this account.

Create a Renovate config file, e.g. here is an example:

module.exports = {
  endpoint: 'https://self-hosted.gitlab/api/v4/',
  token: '**gitlab_token**',
  platform: 'gitlab',
  onboardingConfig: {
    extends: ['config:base'],
  },
  repositories: ['username/repo', 'orgname/repo'],
};

Here change the logFile and repositories to something appropriate. Also replace gitlab-token value with the one created during the previous step.

If running against GitHub Enterprise, change the above gitlab values to the equivalent GitHub ones.

You can save this file as anything you want and then use RENOVATE_CONFIG_FILE env variable to tell Renovate where to find it.

Most people will run Renovate via cron, e.g. once per hour. Here is an example bash script that you can point cron to:

#!/bin/bash

export PATH="/home/user/.yarn/bin:/usr/bin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:$PATH"
export RENOVATE_CONFIG_FILE="/home/user/renovate-config.js"
export RENOVATE_TOKEN="**some-token**" # GitHub, GitLab, Azure DevOps
export GITHUB_COM_TOKEN="**github-token**" # Delete this if using github.com

# Renovate
renovate

Note: the GitHub.com token in env is necessary in order to retrieve Release Notes that are usually hosted on github.com. You don't need to add it if you are already running the bot against github.com, but you do need to add it if you're using GitHub Enterprise, GitLab, Azure DevOps, or Bitbucket.

You should save and test out this script manually first, and add it to cron once you've verified it.

Kubernetes for GitLab, using Git over SSH

This section describes how to use Git binary with SSH for Gitlab, to avoid API shortcomings.

You need to first create a SSH key, then add the public part to Gitlab (see this guide)

Then, you need to create the secret to add the SSH key, and the following config to your container

host gitlab.com
  HostName gitlab.com
  StrictHostKeyChecking no
  IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_rsa
  User git

To easily create the secret, you can do the following (see docs)

kubectl create secret generic ssh-key-secret --from-file=config=/path/to/config --from-file=id_rsa=/path/to/.ssh/id_rsa --from-file=id_rsa.pub=/path/to/.ssh/id_rsa.pub

It creates something like this

apiVersion: v1
data:
  config: aG9zdCBnaXRsYWIuY29tCiAgSG9zdE5hbWUgZ2l0bGFiLmNvbQogIFN0cmljdEhvc3RLZXlDaGVja2luZyBubwogIElkZW50aXR5RmlsZSB+Ly5zc2gvaWRfcnNhCiAgVXNlciBnaXQ=
  id_rsa: <base64String>
  id_rsa.pub: <base64String>
kind: Secret
metadata:
  name: ssh-key-secret
  namespace: <namespace>

Then you just need to add Git author, and mount volumes. The final configuration should look something like this:

---
apiVersion: v1
kind: Namespace
metadata:
  name: <namespace, for example renovate>

---
apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
metadata:
  name: renovate-env
  namespace: <namespace>
type: Opaque
stringData:
  GITHUB_COM_TOKEN: 'any-personal-user-token-for-github-com-for-fetching-changelogs'
  RENOVATE_AUTODISCOVER: 'false'
  RENOVATE_ENDPOINT: 'https://github.company.com/api/v3'
  RENOVATE_GIT_AUTHOR: 'Renovate Bot <bot@renovateapp.com>'
  RENOVATE_PLATFORM: 'github'
  RENOVATE_TOKEN: 'your-github-enterprise-renovate-user-token'
---
apiVersion: v1
data:
  config: aG9zdCBnaXRsYWIuY29tCiAgSG9zdE5hbWUgZ2l0bGFiLmNvbQogIFN0cmljdEhvc3RLZXlDaGVja2luZyBubwogIElkZW50aXR5RmlsZSB+Ly5zc2gvaWRfcnNhCiAgVXNlciBnaXQ=
  id_rsa: <base64String>
  id_rsa.pub: <base64String>
kind: Secret
metadata:
  name: ssh-key-secret
  namespace: <namespace>
---
apiVersion: batch/v1beta1
kind: CronJob
metadata:
  name: renovate
  namespace: <namespace>
spec:
  schedule: '@hourly'
  concurrencyPolicy: Forbid
  jobTemplate:
    spec:
      template:
        spec:
          volumes:
            - name: ssh-key-volume
              secret:
                secretName: ssh-key-secret
          containers:
            - name: renovate
              # Update this to the latest available and then enable Renovate on the manifest
              image: renovate/renovate:24.53.0
              volumeMounts:
                - name: ssh-key-volume
                  readOnly: true
                  mountPath: '/home/ubuntu/.ssh'
              args:
                - <repository>
              # Environment Variables
              envFrom:
                - secretRef:
                    name: renovate-env
          restartPolicy: Never

Logging

It's recommended to configure LOG_LEVEL=debug and LOG_FORMAT=json in environment if you are ingesting/parsing logs into another system. Debug logging is usually necessary for any debugging, while JSON format will mean that the output is parseable.

About the log level numbers

When you use LOG_LEVEL=debug and LOG_FORMAT=json, Renovate uses numbers in the level field.

The logging level output is controlled by the Bunyan logging library.

Level Meaning
10 trace
20 debug
30 info
40 warn
50 error
60 fatal