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An automatic version checker bot.

Tired of manually updating dependency for your Docker containers, Helm charts, and Landscaper configurations?

The PR bot consumes modules from various types of artifact repositories (helm, docker, and git), determines dependencies between components in each, and automatically carries version changes down the dependency tree. It files pull requests to the relevant GitHub repositories on your behalf and notifies you if and when your CI workflow validates the changes.

Supported Repository and Module Types

The pr-bot reads module information for Docker and Helm artifacts, both in source and binary (packaged) forms. Automatic updates are supported according to this table:

Type Docker Helm Landscaper
Source Docker soon yes, values.yaml n/a
Helm n/a yes, requirements.yaml yes
Landscaper n/a n/a n/a

(support for additional module types coming soon, including Landscaper)

The pr-bot aims to support development workflows resembling the following:

  1. Source for a Docker container foo is updated and pushed to GitHub
  2. CI/CD process pushes new container to Docker Hub, updates commit status in GitHub
  3. Helm chart bar depends on container foo, and should be updated to the latest version. A pull request that updates the required version is filed.
  4. A new version of Helm chart bar is released
  5. Helm chart baz depends on the other chart bar and should be updated to use the new version. A pull request is made to apply the update.
  6. A Landscaper configuration depends on baz and should be updated to include the new version. A pull request is made to apply the update.

The pr-bot automates steps #3, #5, and #6. Ideally human interaction after step #1 should be limited to approving pull requests once CI/CD passes.


Copy config.yml.dist to config.yml and tweak as needed.

Token Setup

API Tokens

The PR bot's API uses tokens for authentication. To generate a token, the following can be used:

node -e "console.log(require('crypto').randomBytes(32).toString('hex'))"

The resulting string can be added to the tokens list in config.yml.


A new GitHub account should be created for machine use. The PR bot will use the account to host forks of your Git repositories and create pull requests to target repositories.

Create a new personal access token with the full repo permission. Then, add an entry to config.yml:

  - domain:
    token: <NEW TOKEN HERE>
    secret: <SHARED SECRET> # optional

The domain should match the domain used in git remotes, while host refers to the GitHub API host itself. A pathPrefix field can be optionally specified if the GitHub API is not on the root domain, as may be the case for GitHub Enterprise. If necessary, a proxy field can also be set to direct requests to that particular GitHub instance over some HTTP proxy.

If using the webhook handler, a secret value can be generated using the above instructions for generating a random token. This value should be provided in the "Secret" field when creating the webhook in GitHub's UI. Note that secrets are currently verified only when using Docker deployments; an alternative authentication method is used when deploying to Google Cloud Functions.


HipChat rooms can optionally be added to deliver notifications when various events occur. These are configured in the hipchat: list in config.yml.

Each entry should be a URL for a custom HipChat integration. These URLs should end in /notification?access_token=xyz. If no additional options are needed, a plain string for the URL can be specified, but a block like the following is also allowed:

proxy: http://some-proxy:8080/
default: true

If default is true, additional messages may be delivered to the room regarding various operational events for the PR bot itself. Otherwise, notifications are only sent when a repository is added with the room parameter set (where a valid room ID would be 1234 from the above example).

There is no explicit limit to the number of HipChat URLs or blocks that can be added, though only the first block with default: true will be have operational notifications delivered.


See the documentation for each deployment method:

  • Google Cloud Functions - for public cloud deployments
    • Designed to fit in free tier
  • Docker - for public cloud or on-premise deployments
    • Must be accessible to GitHub webhooks (public GitHub = public internet)

For Docker deployments, the (combined) endpoint is http://localhost:3000. For Google Cloud Functions deployments, the endpoint will vary depending on your project and deployment options; the full addresses will be printed to the console during deployment.


The API is used to manage the bot. It can be used to add and remove tracked repositories, manually trigger updates, and so on.

The API is REST-ish at best, as Google Cloud Functions doesn't expose $PATH_INFO or similar. It only listens on / and dispatches requests based on either the action field in the posted JSON body or the GitHub event header.

All API requests must be authenticated, but this has different requirements depending on context:

  • For GitHub events (where X-GitHub-Event is set) an X-Hub-Signature header is requred (info)
  • For API calls a token field is required in the JSON request body and must match a token configured in config.yml

Configure repositories via the API

API examples use HTTPie, this is the recommended method for working with the pr-bot API. The API is published at /bot. Once the function is deployed to either the emulator or a public GCF endpoint, the URL will be printed.

Due to limitations in GCF, all actions are handled via JSON blobs to in an HTTP POST. This plays well with HTTPie but is probably less than ideal for other clients (e.g. plain cURL).

Verify the API is working correctly by running:

http post http://localhost:8010/monasca-ci-testing/us-central1/bot \
    token=deadbeef \

(be sure to change your endpoint and token as necessary).

If all is well, an empty JSON array should be returned. If deploying on public GCF, you may get an error about the datastore not being initialized for the current project. Follow the URL in the error message to resolve the issue (it will try to ask you to create an entity, but the window can be closed at this step - the datastore will already be initialized).

Add a Helm repository

The pr-bot needs to track the source repository as well as the 'downstream' repository containing published artifacts.

First add the source repository:

http post http://localhost:8010/monasca-ci-testing/us-central1/bot \
    token=deadbeef \
    action=addRepository \
    type=git \
    name=my-helm-repo-git \

Then add the repository containing published helm charts:

http post http://localhost:8010/monasca-ci-testing/us-central1/bot \
    token=deadbeef \
    action=addRepository \
    type=helm \
    parent=my-helm-repo-git \

Note that repository remotes are (somewhat) lenient. For helm-typed repositories, /index.yaml is optional and will be added automatically as needed. Reverse lookups via remote should behave properly for all reasonable forms of a remote.

(If HipChat rooms are configured, notifications can be enabled by setting room=[room number] in each of the above POSTs)

Note that Helm support has some limitations:

  • The type=helm repository must have parent= set to the correct git repository
  • Updates are triggered on a page_build event from GitHub in the parent repository. In other words, this assumes your Helm repository is being published via GitHub Pages. Generic CI should be supported "soon", as long as GitHub status events are published.
  • Module names in the child must match those in the parent. That is, subdirectory names in your Helm charts' git repository must match chart names published in your Helm repository.
  • Use of public / large repositories is not currently recommended. Support cor repository subsetting is necessary for this to work well. In other words, don't add any of the official Google Helm repositories!


The state of the pr-bot can be inspected using action=listRepositories or action=getRepository name=[repository name]. All added repositories and detected modules should be shown.

Other API Actions

Note that the following all point to the REST endpoint. For

List repositories (listRepositories)

Lists all added repositories and their modules. Example:

Parameters: none

http post http://endpoint/ token=... action=listRepositories

Get repository (getRepository)

List metadata and modules for a particular repository.


  • name: the repository name

Get repository by remote (getRepositoryByRemote)

Like getRepository, but fetches based on the remote rather than the name. Remote lookups use fuzzy comparison

List dependents (listDependents)

List detected dependent modules for some module. In other words, "if I update this module, what pull requests will be made?"

Add repository (addRepository)


  • name
  • type: the named repository type
    • one of: git, helm, dockerhub
  • remote
  • parent: the name of the parent repository (optional)
    • note: required for most webhook handlers for binary push events
  • room: the HipChat room number to notify for updates (optional)

Remove repository (removeRepository)

Update repository (softUpdateRepository)


Automatic version checker bot







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