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Viewing and updating Dependabot alerts

If GitHub Enterprise Server discovers insecure dependencies in your project, you can view details on the Dependabot alerts tab of your repository. Then, you can update your project to resolve or dismiss the alert.

Who can use this feature?

Repository administrators, organization owners, and people with write or maintain access to a repository can view and update dependencies, as well as users and teams with explicit access.

Note: Your site administrator must set up Dependabot updates for your GitHub Enterprise Server instance before you can use this feature. For more information, see "Enabling Dependabot for your enterprise."

You may not be able to enable or disable Dependabot updates if an enterprise owner has set a policy at the enterprise level. For more information, see "Enforcing policies for code security and analysis for your enterprise."

Your repository's Dependabot alerts tab lists all open and closed Dependabot alerts and corresponding Dependabot security updates. You can filter alerts by package, ecosystem, or manifest. You can sort the list of alerts, and you can click into specific alerts for more details. You can also dismiss or reopen alerts, either one by one or by selecting multiple alerts at once. For more information, see "About Dependabot alerts."

You can enable automatic security updates for any repository that uses Dependabot alerts and the dependency graph. For more information, see "About Dependabot security updates."

About updates for vulnerable dependencies in your repository

GitHub Enterprise Server generates Dependabot alerts when we detect that the default branch of your codebase is using dependencies with known security risks. For repositories where Dependabot security updates are enabled, when GitHub Enterprise Server detects a vulnerable dependency in the default branch, Dependabot creates a pull request to fix it. The pull request will upgrade the dependency to the minimum possible secure version needed to avoid the vulnerability.

Dependabot doesn't generate Dependabot alerts for malware. For more information, see "About the GitHub Advisory database."

Each Dependabot alert has a unique numeric identifier and the Dependabot alerts tab lists an alert for every detected vulnerability. Legacy Dependabot alerts grouped vulnerabilities by dependency and generated a single alert per dependency. If you navigate to a legacy Dependabot alert, you will be redirected to a Dependabot alerts tab filtered for that package.

You can filter and sort Dependabot alerts using a variety of filters and sort options available on the user interface. For more information, see "Prioritizing Dependabot alerts" below.

You can also audit actions taken in response to Dependabot alerts. For more information, see "Auditing security alerts."

Prioritizing Dependabot alerts

GitHub helps you prioritize fixing Dependabot alerts. By default, Dependabot alerts are sorted by importance. The "Most important" sort order helps you prioritize which Dependabot alerts to focus on first. Alerts are ranked based on their potential impact, actionability, and relevance. Our prioritization calculation is constantly being improved and includes factors like CVSS score, dependency scope, and whether vulnerable function calls are found for the alert.

You can sort and filter Dependabot alerts by typing filters as key:value pairs into the search bar.

OptionDescriptionExample
ecosystemDisplays alerts for the selected ecosystemUse ecosystem:npm to show Dependabot alerts for npm
hasDisplays alerts meeting the selected filter criteriaUse has:patch to show alerts related to advisories that have a patch
isDisplays alerts based on their stateUse is:open to show open alerts
manifestDisplays alerts for the selected manifestUse manifest:webwolf/pom.xml to show alerts on the pom.xml file of the webwolf application
packageDisplays alerts for the selected packageUse package:django to show alerts for django
resolutionDisplays alerts of the selected resolution statusUse resolution:no-bandwidth to show alerts previously parked due to lack of resources or time to fix them
repoDisplays alerts based on the repository they relate to
Note that this filter is only available for security overview. For more information, see "About security overview"
Use repo:octocat-repo to show alerts in the repository called octocat-repo
scopeDisplays alerts based on the scope of the dependency they relate toUse scope:development to show alerts for dependencies that are only used during development
severityDisplays alerts based on their level of severityUse severity:high to show alerts with a severity of High
sortDisplays alerts according to the selected sort orderThe default sorting option for alerts is sort:most-important, which ranks alerts by importance
Use sort:newest to show the latest alerts reported by Dependabot

In addition to the filters available via the search bar, you can sort and filter Dependabot alerts using the dropdown menus at the top of the alert list. Alternatively, to filter by label, click a label assigned to an alert to automatically apply that filter to the alert list.

The search bar also allows for full text searching of alerts and related security advisories. You can search for part of a security advisory name or description to return the alerts in your repository that relate to that security advisory. For example, searching for yaml.load() API could execute arbitrary code will return Dependabot alerts linked to "PyYAML insecurely deserializes YAML strings leading to arbitrary code execution" as the search string appears in the advisory description.

Screenshot of the filter and sort menus in the Dependabot alerts tab.

Supported ecosystems and manifests for dependency scope

The table below summarizes whether dependency scope is supported for various ecosystems and manifests, that is, whether Dependabot can identify if a dependency is used for development or production.

LanguageEcosystemManifest fileDependency scope supported
Dartpubpubspec.yaml
Dartpubpubspec.lock
GoGo modulesgo.modNo, defaults to runtime
JavaMavenpom.xml test maps to development, else scope defaults to runtime
JavaScriptnpmpackage.json
JavaScriptnpmpackage-lock.json
JavaScriptnpmpnpm-lock.yaml
JavaScriptyarn v1yarn.lockNo, defaults to runtime
PHPComposercomposer.json
PHPComposercomposer.lock
PythonPoetrypoetry.lock
PythonPoetrypyproject.toml
Pythonpiprequirements.txt Scope is development if the filename contains test or dev, else it is runtime
Pythonpippipfile.lock
Pythonpippipfile
RubyRubyGemsGemfile
RubyRubyGemsGemfile.lockNo, defaults to runtime
RustCargoCargo.toml
RustCargoCargo.lockNo, defaults to runtime
YAMLGitHub Actions-No, defaults to runtime
.NET (C#, F#, VB, etc.)NuGet.csproj / .vbproj .vcxproj / .fsprojNo, defaults to runtime
.NETNuGetpackages.configNo, defaults to runtime
.NETNuGet.nuspec When the tag != runtime

Alerts for packages listed as development dependencies are marked with the Development label on the Dependabot alerts page and are also available for filtering via the scope filter.

Screenshot showing the "Development" label assigned to an alert in the list of alerts. The label is highlighted with a dark orange outline.

The alert details page of alerts on development-scoped packages shows a "Tags" section containing a Development label.

Screenshot showing the "Tags" section in the alert details page. The label is highlighted with a dark orange outline.

Viewing Dependabot alerts

You can view all open and closed Dependabot alerts and corresponding Dependabot security updates in your repository's Dependabot alerts tab. You can sort and filter Dependabot alerts by selecting a filter from the dropdown menu.

To view summaries of alerts for all or a subset of repositories owned by your organization, use security overview. For more information, see "About security overview."

  1. On your GitHub Enterprise Server instance, navigate to the main page of the repository.

  2. Under the repository name, click Security. If you cannot see the "Security" tab, select the dropdown menu, and then click Security. Screenshot of a repository header showing the tabs. The "Security" tab is highlighted by a dark orange outline.

  3. In the "Vulnerability alerts" sidebar of security overview, click Dependabot. If this option is missing, it means you don't have access to security alerts and need to be given access. For more information, see "Managing security and analysis settings for your repository." Screenshot of security overview, with the "Dependabot" tab highlighted with a dark orange outline.

  4. Optionally, to filter alerts, select a filter in a dropdown menu then click the filter that you would like to apply. You can also type filters into the search bar. Alternatively, to filter by label, click a label assigned to an alert to automatically apply that filter to the alert list. For more information about filtering and sorting alerts, see "Prioritizing Dependabot alerts." Screenshot of the filter and sort menus in the Dependabot alerts tab.

  5. Click the alert that you would like to view.

  6. Optionally, to suggest an improvement to the related security advisory, on the right-hand side of the alert details page, click Suggest improvements for this advisory on the GitHub Advisory Database. For more information, see "Editing security advisories in the GitHub Advisory Database."

    Screenshot of the right sidebar of a Dependabot alert. A link, titled "Suggest improvements for this advisory on the GitHub Advisory Database", is highlighted with an orange outline.

Reviewing and fixing alerts

It’s important to ensure that all of your dependencies are clean of any security weaknesses. When Dependabot discovers vulnerabilities in your dependencies, you should assess your project’s level of exposure and determine what remediation steps to take to secure your application.

If a patched version of the dependency is available, you can generate a Dependabot pull request to update this dependency directly from a Dependabot alert. If you have Dependabot security updates enabled, the pull request may be linked in the Dependabot alert.

In cases where a patched version is not available, or you can’t update to the secure version, Dependabot shares additional information to help you determine next steps. When you click through to view a Dependabot alert, you can see the full details of the security advisory for the dependency including the affected functions. You can then check whether your code calls the impacted functions. This information can help you further assess your risk level, and determine workarounds or if you’re able to accept the risk represented by the security advisory.

Fixing vulnerable dependencies

  1. View the details for an alert. For more information, see "Viewing Dependabot alerts" (above).

  2. If you have Dependabot security updates enabled, there may be a link to a pull request that will fix the dependency. Alternatively, you can click Create Dependabot security update at the top of the alert details page to create a pull request.

    Screenshot of a Dependabot alert with the "Create Dependabot security update" button highlighted with a dark orange outline.

  3. Optionally, if you do not use Dependabot security updates, you can use the information on the page to decide which version of the dependency to upgrade to and create a pull request to update the dependency to a secure version.

  4. When you're ready to update your dependency and resolve the vulnerability, merge the pull request.

    Each pull request raised by Dependabot includes information on commands you can use to control Dependabot. For more information, see "Managing pull requests for dependency updates."

Dismissing Dependabot alerts

Tip: You can only dismiss open alerts.

If you schedule extensive work to upgrade a dependency, or decide that an alert does not need to be fixed, you can dismiss the alert. Dismissing alerts that you have already assessed makes it easier to triage new alerts as they appear.

  1. View the details for an alert. For more information, see "Viewing vulnerable dependencies" (above).

  2. Select the "Dismiss" dropdown, and click a reason for dismissing the alert. Unfixed dismissed alerts can be reopened later.

  3. Optionally, add a dismissal comment. The dismissal comment will be added to the alert timeline and can be used as justification during auditing and reporting. You can retrieve or set a comment by using the GraphQL API. The comment is contained in the dismissComment field. For more information, see "Objects" in the GraphQL API documentation.

    Screenshot of the page for a Dependabot alert, with the "Dismiss" dropdown and the option to add a dismissal comment highlighted with a dark orange outline.

  4. Click Dismiss alert.

Dismissing multiple alerts at once

  1. View the open Dependabot alerts. For more information, see "Viewing and updating Dependabot alerts".
  2. Optionally, filter the list of alerts by selecting a dropdown menu, then clicking the filter that you would like to apply. You can also type filters into the search bar.
  3. To the left of each alert title, select the alerts that you want to dismiss. Screenshot of the Dependabot alerts view. Two alerts are selected and these check boxes are highlighted with an orange outline.
  4. Optionally, at the top of the list of alerts, select all alerts on the page. Screenshot of the header section of the Dependabot alerts view. The "Select all" checkbox is highlighted with a dark orange outline.
  5. Select the "Dismiss alerts" dropdown, and click a reason for dismissing the alerts. Screenshot of a list of alerts. Below the "Dismiss alerts" button, a dropdown labeled "Select a reason to dismiss" is expanded. The dropdown contains radio buttons for various options.

Viewing and updating closed alerts

You can view all open alerts, and you can reopen alerts that have been previously dismissed. Closed alerts that have already been fixed cannot be reopened.

  1. On your GitHub Enterprise Server instance, navigate to the main page of the repository.

  2. Under the repository name, click Security. If you cannot see the "Security" tab, select the dropdown menu, and then click Security. Screenshot of a repository header showing the tabs. The "Security" tab is highlighted by a dark orange outline.

  3. In the "Vulnerability alerts" sidebar of security overview, click Dependabot. If this option is missing, it means you don't have access to security alerts and need to be given access. For more information, see "Managing security and analysis settings for your repository." Screenshot of security overview, with the "Dependabot" tab highlighted with a dark orange outline.

  4. To just view closed alerts, click Closed. Screenshot showing the list of Dependabot alerts with the "Closed" tab highlighted with a dark orange outline.

  5. Click the alert that you would like to view or update.

  6. Optionally, if the alert was dismissed and you wish to reopen it, click Reopen. Alerts that have already been fixed cannot be reopened.

    Screenshot showing a closed Dependabot alert. A button, titled "Reopen", is highlighted in a dark orange outline.

Reopening multiple alerts at once

  1. View the closed Dependabot alerts. For more information, see "Viewing and updating Dependabot alerts" (above).
  2. To the left of each alert title, select the alerts that you want to reopen by clicking the checkbox adjacent to each alert.
  3. Optionally, at the top of the list of alerts, select all closed alerts on the page. Screenshot of alerts in the "Closed" tab. The "Select all" checkbox is highlighted with a dark orange outline.
  4. Click Reopen to reopen the alerts. Alerts that have already been fixed cannot be reopened.

Reviewing the audit logs for Dependabot alerts

When a member of your organization or enterprise performs an action related to Dependabot alerts, you can review the actions in the audit log. For more information about accessing the log, see "Reviewing the audit log for your organization" and "Accessing the audit log for your enterprise."

Screenshot of the audit log showing Dependabot alerts.

Events in your audit log for Dependabot alerts include details such as who performed the action, what the action was, and when the action was performed. The event also includes a link to the alert itself. When a member of your organization dismisses an alert, the event displays the dismissal reason and comment. For information on the Dependabot alerts actions, see the repository_vulnerability_alert category in "Audit log events for your organization" and "Audit log events for your enterprise."