Setting Up GitHub Dependabot for New Project


We’re always on the lookout for ways to make project management smoother and more efficient. Today, we’ll be exploring how to set up GitHub Dependabot for a new project. Dependabot is a fantastic tool from GitHub that can help you maintain your project’s dependencies, by automatically opening pull requests to update them.

Step 1: Create Your .github Folder

Kickstart by creating a .github folder right at the root directory of your repository. This folder will house GitHub-specific files, including our Dependabot configuration file.

Step 2: Add Your Dependabot Configuration

Next, inside the .github folder, you need to create a file named dependabot.yml. This YAML file will contain the configuration settings for Dependabot. Here’s a template to start off with:

version: 2
  - package-ecosystem: "npm"
    directory: "/"
      interval: "daily"
      - "username1"
      - "username2"
      - "dependencies"
      - "automerge"
      - dependency-name: "react"
        versions: ["16.x.x"]

Let’s briefly discuss each of these settings:

  • package-ecosystem specifies the package manager. For a Node.js project, use “npm”.
  • directory indicates where your package files are stored. For most projects, this will simply be the root directory ("/").
  • schedule.interval sets how often Dependabot will check for updates. In this example, it checks daily.
  • reviewers lists GitHub usernames to automatically assign for reviewing version updates.
  • labels will automatically apply the listed labels to the Dependabot’s PRs.
  • ignore lets you specify certain dependencies that you do not wish Dependabot to update.

Be sure to fill out the relevant sections according to your project’s needs.

Step 3: Push Your Changes to Git

After setting up your dependabot.yml file, it’s time to push the changes to Git. You can do this using the usual git add, git commit, and git push commands.

Step 4: Voilà, You’re Done!

And just like that, you’ve set up GitHub Dependabot for your new project! This fantastic bot will now help you in maintaining your project’s dependencies.