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Set up Dependabot with Private Packagist

Dependabot informs you about vulnerabilities in the dependencies that you use in your repository and can automatically raise pull requests to keep your dependencies up-to-date.

This guide explains how to configure and set up Dependabot if you want to use it with Private Packagist.

Enable Dependabot in GitHub

Start in your GitHub repository and go to “Settings”. In the “Security” section of the sidebar go to “Code security and analysis”, where you can enable Dependabot. In this process, you will create a dependabot.yaml as shown as below. Follow this guide on GitHub for the complete steps to enable Dependabot.

enable dependabot

When you click on configure, the dependabot.yaml will be created for you in the .github folder.


A minimal Dependabot config file would look like this:

version: 2
  - package-ecosystem: "composer"
    directory: "/"
      - private_packagist
      interval: "weekly"
    type: composer-repository
    url: https://repo.packagist.com/acme/
    username: token
    password: ${{secrets.PRIVATE_PACKAGIST_AUTH_TOKEN}}

Replace the Composer URL https://repo.packagist.com/acme/ with your organization's Composer URL on packagist.com. The example URL is for the organization named acme.

To grant Dependabot access to the packages on Private Packagist, you need to provide the secret PRIVATE_PACKAGIST_AUTH_TOKEN to your GitHub repository. In Settings, under the section “Security,” there is a “Secrets and Variables” page for Dependabot.

Dependabot Secrets

Now, on Private Packagist, create an authentication token with update access under “Settings” and “Authentication Tokens”. Copy the secret token into the GitHub form.


To check if Dependabot is able to access your packages, navigate to “Insights” on your GitHub repository, then “Dependency Graph” and then activate the tab “Dependabot”.

Dependabot Insights

There is a link “Recent update jobs”, that will show the last jobs from Dependabot and logs. The last job should be green now.

Dependabot Jobs

Make sure that:

  • the secret name matches the one that you referenced in dependabot.yaml
  • the Private Packagist authentication token is still valid and has not expired.
  • the names under updates[x].registries are matching a key for credentials in registries on the top level of the dependabot.yaml.

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