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Managing pull requests for dependency updates

You manage pull requests raised by GitHub Dependabot in much the same way as other pull requests, but there are some extra options.

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 pull requests

GitHub Dependabot raises pull requests to update dependencies. Depending on how your repository is configured, the app may raise pull requests for version updates and/or for security updates. You manage these pull requests in the same way as any other pull request, but there are also some extra commands available. For information about enabling GitHub Dependabot dependency updates, see "Configuring GitHub Dependabot security updates" and "Enabling and disabling version updates."

When GitHub Dependabot raises a pull request, you're notified by your chosen method for the repository. Each pull request contains detailed information about the proposed change, taken from the package management system. These pull requests follow the normal checks and tests defined in your repository. In addition, where enough information is available, you'll see a compatibility score. This may also help you decide whether or not to merge the change. For information about this score, see "Configuring GitHub Dependabot security updates."

If you have many dependencies to manage, you may want to customize the configuration for each package manager so that pull requests have specific reviewers, assignees, and labels. For more information, see "Customizing dependency updates."

Viewing GitHub Dependabot pull requests

  1. On GitHub, navigate to the main page of the repository.
  2. Under your repository name, click Pull requests.
    Issues and pull requests tab selection
  3. Any pull requests for security and version updates are easy to identify.
    • The author is dependabot, the bot account used by the GitHub Dependabot App.
    • By default, they have the dependencies label.

Changing the rebase strategy for GitHub Dependabot pull requests

By default, GitHub Dependabot automatically rebases pull requests to resolve any conflicts. If you'd prefer to handle merge conflicts manually, you can disable this using the rebase-strategy option. For details, see "Configuration options for dependency updates."

Managing GitHub Dependabot pull requests with comment commands

GitHub Dependabot responds to simple commands in comments. Each pull request contains details of the commands you can use to process the pull request, for example: to merge, squash, reopen, close, or rebase the pull request. The aim is to make it as easy as possible for you to triage these automatically generated pull requests.

If you run any of the commands for ignoring dependencies or versions, GitHub Dependabot stores the preferences for the repository centrally. While this is a quick solution, for repositories with more than one contributor it is better to explicitly define the dependencies and versions to ignore in the configuration file. This makes it easy for all contributors to see why a particular dependency isn't being updated automatically. For more information, see "Configuration options for dependency updates."

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