Keeping your actions up to date with GitHub Dependabot

You can use GitHub Dependabot to keep the actions you use updated to the latest versions.

In this article

Note: GitHub Dependabot version updates are currently in beta and subject to change. To use the beta feature, check in a configuration file to tell GitHub Dependabot which dependencies to maintain for you. For details, see "Enabling and disabling version updates."

About GitHub Dependabot version updates for actions

Actions are often updated with bug fixes and new features to make automated processes more reliable, faster, and safer. When you enable GitHub Dependabot version updates for GitHub Actions, GitHub Dependabot will help ensure that references to actions in a repository's workflow.yml file are kept up to date. For each action in the file, Dependabot checks the action's reference (typically a version number or commit identifier associated with the action) against the latest version. If a more recent version of the action is available, Dependabot will send you a pull request that updates the reference in the workflow file to the latest version. For more information about GitHub Dependabot version updates, see "About GitHub Dependabot version updates." For more information about configuring workflows for GitHub Actions, see "Configuring a workflow."

Enabling GitHub Dependabot version updates for actions

  1. Create a dependabot.yml configuration file. If you have already enabled GitHub Dependabot version updates for other ecosystems or package managers, simply open the existing dependabot.yml file.
  2. Specify "github-actions" as a package-ecosystem to monitor.
  3. Set the directory to "/" to check for workflow files in .github/workflows.
  4. Set a schedule.interval to specify how often to check for new versions.
  5. Check the dependabot.yml configuration file in to the .github directory of the repository. If you have edited an existing file, save your changes.

You can also enable GitHub Dependabot version updates on forks. For more information, see "Enabling and disabling version updates."

Example dependabot.yml file for GitHub Actions

The example dependabot.yml file below configures version updates for GitHub Actions. The directory must be set to "/" to check for workflow files in .github/workflows. The schedule.interval is set to "daily". After this file has been checked in or updated, GitHub Dependabot checks for new versions of your actions. Dependabot will raise pull requests for version updates for any outdated actions that it finds. After the initial version updates, Dependabot will continue to check for outdated versions of actions once a day.

# Set update schedule for GitHub Actions

version: 2

  - package-ecosystem: "github-actions"
    directory: "/"
      # Check for updates to GitHub Actions every weekday
      interval: "daily"

Configuring GitHub Dependabot version updates for actions

When enabling GitHub Dependabot version updates for actions, you must specify values for package-ecosystem, directory, and schedule.interval. There are many more optional properties that you can set to further customize your version updates. For more information, see "Configuration options for dependency updates."

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