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Self-Hosting Renovate

Open Source vs Commercial versions

Although Renovate is now best known as a "service" via the GitHub App, that service is actually running this same open source project, so you can get the same functionality if running it yourself. The version you see here in this repository can be cloned or npm installed in seconds and give you the same core functionality as in the app.

There is also a commercially-licensed "Professional Edition" of Renovate available for GitHub Enterprise, that includes a stateful priority job queue, background scheduler and webhook listener. For details and documentation on Renovate Pro, please visit

Installing Renovate OSS


$ npm install -g renovate


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. All the following are valid:

$ docker run renovate/renovate
$ docker run renovate/renovate:13.1.1
$ docker run renovate/renovate:13.1
$ docker run renovate/renovate:13

(Please look up what the latest actual tags are though, do not use the above literally).

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


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
  name: renovate
  schedule: '@hourly'
  concurrencyPolicy: Forbid
            - name: renovate
              # Update this to the latest available and then enable Renovate on the manifest
              image: renovate/renovate:13.153.0
              # Environment Variables
                - name: RENOVATE_PLATFORM
                      key: renovate-platform
                      name: renovate-env
                - name: RENOVATE_ENDPOINT
                      key: renovate-endpoint
                      name: renovate-env
                - name: RENOVATE_TOKEN
                      key: renovate-token
                      name: renovate-env
                - name: GITHUB_COM_TOKEN
                      key: github-token
                - name: RENOVATE_AUTODISCOVER
                      key: renovate-autodiscover
                      name: renovate-env
          restartPolicy: Never

And also this accompanying secret.yaml:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
  name: renovate-env
type: Opaque
  renovate-platform: 'github'
  renovate-endpoint: ''
  renovate-token: 'your-github-enterprise-renovate-user-token'
  github-token: 'any-personal-user-token-for-github-com-for-fetching-changelogs'
  renovate-autodiscover: 'true'


You need to select a repository user for renovate to assume the identity of, and generate a Personal Access Token. It's strongly recommended that you use a dedicated "bot" account for this to avoid user confusion and to avoid the Renovate bot mistaking changes you have made or PRs you have raised for its own.

You can find instructions for GitHub here (select "repo" permissions)

You can find instructions for GitLab here.

You can find instructions for Bitbucket AppPasswords here.

Note: you should also configure a GitHub token even if your source host is GitLab or Bitbucket, because Renovate will need to perform many queries to in order to retrieve Release Notes.

You can find instructions for VSTS vsts.

This token needs to be configured via file, environment variable, or CLI. See docs/ for details. The simplest way is to expose it as GITHUB_TOKEN, GITLAB_TOKEN or VSTS_TOKEN.

For Bitbucket, you can configure BITBUCKET_USERNAME and BITBUCKET_PASSWORD, or combine them together yourself into BITBUCKET_TOKEN using the node REPL:

const btoa = str => Buffer.from(str, 'binary').toString('base64');


You must then expose either the token or username + password to your env, or provide them via the CLI. Example:

renovate --platform=bitbucket --username=rarkins --password=ABCDEFghijklmop123 rarkins/testrepo1


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',
  logFileLevel: 'warn',
  logLevel: 'info',
  logFile: '/home/user/renovate.log',
  onboarding: true,
  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:


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 GITHUB_TOKEN="**github-token**" # Delete this if using GitHub Enterprise
export GITLAB_TOKEN="**github-token**" # Delete this if using GitHub
export GITHUB_COM_TOKEN="**github-token**" # Delete this if using GitLab or

# Renovate

Note: the GitHub token in env is necessary in order to retrieve Release Notes that are hosted on Use GITHUB_COM_TOKEN if running against GitHub Enterprise or GITHUB_TOKEN if running against GitLab. i.e. remove one of the lines as applicable.

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


See deployment docs for details.