Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to Greenkeeper’s FAQ. Since you’re here, we’ll assume that you’re having trouble with something, and we’re sorry things didnt work out smoothly for you. Hopefully the FAQ will help. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, there’s also the documentation page, and if that doesn’t help, you can contact us directly.

Greenkeeper isn’t creating the Inital Pull Request

The first thing to note: the Initial Pull Request can take up to 30 minutes to arrive. It’s usually much faster, but the time it takes depends on the complexity of your tests and the state of your CI service. If nothing happens after 30 minutes, something probably went wrong.

Basic troubleshooting: make sure you’ve completed the installation correctly. Then please read the requirements Greenkeeper has for each repo. If you’ve missed one or more and fixed them, please reset the repo and check if it works now.

Here are all known possible causes and their fixes:

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Greenkeeper is creating branches and immediately deleting them again

This is intentional. Greenkeeper creates the branches so your CI can run on them, and if the dependency updates are within your specified ranges and not breaking your tests, there’s no need to keep the branch around. Also, there’s no point in bothering you with issues or a PR, since everything still works as you intended.

You’ll only receive pull requests when an in-range dependency breaks your build, or when a dependency updates outside your specified range. Read up on how Greenkeeper works step-by-step for a more detailed explanation.

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I would like to get pull requests for every dependency update

If you pin your dependencies to a specific version, you will see an update for every new version that is released for that dependency. You’ll get a PR per dependency, with an issue per update.

Pin your versions like this, with one specific version number instead of a range (no caret, tilde, comparisons or ranges):

{ "dependencies": { "lodash": "4.0.0" } }

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I downgraded a dependency to see whether Greenkeeper works, but nothing happens

That’s actually by design: In the Initial Pull Request, Greenkeeper updates all your depencies to the latest version. You make sure all tests pass, and merge the PR. If any of your dependencies updates past this point, Greenkeeper will run your tests against the update. If you now downgrade a dependency in your package.json, say from ^1.5.0 (latest) to ^1.2.0, nothing actually changes: when your CI runs, it will install 1.5.0 either way. The same is true if your users run npm install on your package. So there’s actually no point in Greenkeeper doing anything: the outcome wouldn’t change.

Greenkeeper works when it runs your tests when a dependency updates, all it really cares about is whether your tests pass with the latest versions of your dependencies, not whether all dependencies in your package.json are actually set to their latest versions.

If you want to be explicitly notified of every update for a dependency, you can pin it.

If you downgrade to a pin (say, from ^1.5.0 (latest) to 1.2.0 (notice the absence of a caret, this is not a range, but a specific version), Greenkeeper also won’t immediately spring into action to bump this up back to 1.5.0 (latest) because that would counteract what it sees as a purposeful human decision. It will however still let you know when a newer version is released.

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I got a broken pull request (corrupted branch), and now I can’t git pull anymore

If this is what the changed files tab in a Greenkeeper PR looks like, you’ve probably got this issue

This sometimes happens when GitHub garbage collects things we still need. It’s less severe than it looks, and the fix is simple: delete the offending branch. Greenkeeper will recover and try again. We’re aware of the issue and are working to find a way to prevent it.

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Can I enable Greenkeeper on a different branch?

At this point, there is no configuration setting for the branch, but Greenkeeper picks the default branch that is set up on GitHub as the source for Pull Requests, so that’s a place where you can change it.

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Can collaborators enable Greenkeeper too?

Greenkeeper creates branches on your repository to send you PRs, and we need push access to the repository. On top of that we need to create webhooks so we can keep your `package.json` content in sync, which requires admin access.

So no, unfortunately being a collaborator currently isn’t sufficient.

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Can I pay for a whole year instead of by month?

Not yet, sorry. We’re interested in this too, though.

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