Renovate bot - keep your repos up to date

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It's been years that I have moved over to Gitlab for my personal projects. I still use Github at work and lately I am being intrigued by Github Actions (which kind of came late to the party, but then again it's a really nice feature, much needed).

So while on Gitlab, I was wondering what is there for me (free account) in terms of functionality similar to dependabot. I have a bunch of repos, mainly java public and private projects and I would love to have regular merge requests so that I keep some of these dependencies up to date! It seems that GitlabCI has a similar feature but is not fully available to people that use the free-tier _ account. After some googling, I discovered (late to the party) RenovateBot! A free to use alternative to depenadbot (or similar bots). I have already integrated _ to 3 of my repos, and it works like a charm.

All you have to do is login/register and on your Gitlab repo - invite (add as Developer) the @renovate-bot, and you are done. After an hour or so, you will receive the first M.R so that the bot can add some very basic configuration and scan your project (detect your build system etc). After that the merge requests are non-stop (assuming that updates are happening). You can monitor the bot activity through the Renovate Dashboard which can be found here. Highly recommended and of course thank you Whitesource for providing this service!