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GitLab CI template for Renovate

Automate your dependency updates with Renovate.


This template can be used both as a CI/CD component or using the legacy include:project syntax.

Use as a CI/CD component

Add the following to your gitlab-ci.yml:

  # include the component
  - component:

Use as a CI/CD template (legacy)

Add the following to your gitlab-ci.yml:

  # include the template
  - project: 'to-be-continuous/renovate'
    ref: '1.2.2'
    file: '/templates/gitlab-ci-renovate.yml'


The Renovate template uses some global configuration used throughout all jobs.

Input / Variable Description Default value
image / RENOVATE_IMAGE The Docker image used to run Renovate
platform / RENOVATE_PLATFORM The Platform type of repository See doc gitlab
🔒 RENOVATE_TOKEN A GitLab access token to allow Renovate crawl your projects. See doc none
🔒 GITHUB_COM_TOKEN A GitHub access token to allow Renovate fetch changelogs. See doc none

This template will help you using Renovate from a GitLab project to automate your dependency updates within your groups or projects. On the contrary to other to-be-continuous templates, this one should be used in a separate project that will be in charge of crawling all your other projects.

Upon including the template, carefuly follow Renovate's documentation to configure the bot accordingly. Pay attention to the following:

  • ~~Remember to set the platform parameter to gitlab in your configuration.~~
  • GitLab platform integration requires that you declare a RENOVATE_TOKEN variable with an access token.
  • You'll also probaly need to declare a GITHUB_COM_TOKEN variable, holding a GitHub access token (for fetching changelogs)

Dry-run implementation details

Depending on the source of a pipeline, the template will either perform your dependency updates (create/update/delete branches and MRs) or perform a dry run (to preview the behavior of Renovate with logs, without making any changes to your repositories).

The real dependency updates is triggered only when:

  • the pipeline is started from the web interface (menu Build > Pipelines, click Run pipeline),
  • or the pipeline is started from a scheduled run (menu Build > Pipeline schedules).

In any other case (regular Git commit or else) the template will perform a dry run.

⚠ Dry-run behavior is enabled/disabled with the RENOVATE_DRY_RUN environment variable. Please don't try to override it or you might break the default template implementation.