This week Renovate got accepted (launched!) into GitHub’s Marketplace with paid plans available. In this post, we give some backstory, some frontstory, and how we plan to juggle open source and monetization.

But isn’t Renovate open source?

Yes! The Renovate CLI tool started as an open source script and remains sincerely open source and easily installable from npmjs or an official Docker image (renovate/renovate).

The App

Meanwhile, Renovate the App has seen great usage growth. When it first started as an app on GitHub, it could run on a free Heroku dyno. Today it’s a fleet of Docker containers running on AWS supporting concurrent repository renovation, webhooks from GitHub and npmjs, log archiving, error alarms, etc.

oprah

The app is now supporting over 5000 repositories and most days sees more than 1000 Pull Requests merged (we prefer counting merged than created, because that’s the hard part).

The Tool vs The App

We use “Renovate” fairly interchangeably between the tool and the app. You could think of Renovate the CLI tool as open source software, whereas the Renovate App is “Software as a Service”.

We were inspired to run Renovate as an App (service) early last year when someone told me that the tool was perfect for their needs but they didn’t want to run it. “Run it as a service and I’ll pay you instead”. We got service part pretty soon after that and the paying part has finally arrived too!

In case you were wondering, we run the app with Docker containers and some serverless components on AWS, but fundamentally it’s just a wrapper around the open source tool to add log archiving, alarms and some responsiveness to webhooks.

Our Marketplace Plans

Like most companies in this space, we’ll support open source repositories for free - simply select the “Open Source” plan.

open source plan

If you have private repositories on a Personal GitHub plan, then pick the “Personal Plan”. We’ve launched it at a silly $1/month which plenty of people have told me is a mistake, but we wanted to thank early users in a Kickstarter-style way with “opening specials”. The nice thing for you is that these plan prices should be grandfathered in for life by GitHub Marketplace even if one day we’re charging 10x or more the price to new signups.

If you have an Organization account on GitHub then pick the Organization Unlimited plan. Later once we raise prices to “market value” we may differentiate between small orgs and large ones needing “unlimited”, but for now there’s no point differentiating at this price.

Whatever you pay just gets added to your regular GitHub bill.

One quirk for existing users is that after your Marketplace plan selection, GitHub will prompt you to “install” Renovate on repositories again, even if you already have it installed. It seems like you can just select “Cancel” on that page and your existing list of repositories will remain from before.

GitHub Enterprise

GitHub Marketplace currently does not support plans for GitHub Enterprise users. If you are a GitHub Enterprise user who would be interested in an on-prem/self-hosted version of “the app” (e.g. in addition to the existing CLI tool: webhook support, scalable Renovate workers, safe job queueing, log archiving, etc) then please Email Us to be one of our pilot customers for a forthcoming Enterprise Edition of Renovate.

The Transition

We don’t plan to bump anybody off the service in any hurry. Some of our earliest users have been some of our biggest supporters - both in ideas and promoting us on Twitter, etc - so we want to give everyone a chance to sign up at the early prices if they want. And if you really want to support Renovate, hold off until we double those rates next month! (that is not a joke..)

You’ll begin to see some polite messages in PRs to private repos pointing to this blog post soon and receive a countdown warning when we eventually make plans for private repositories mandatory. Anyone on a paid plan will get a thank you confirmation in the footer of PRs to confirm which plan you’re on.

Thanks, and we look forward to supporting you long into the future!

Renovate on GitHub Marketplace

Rhys Arkins

Rhys Arkins, creator of Renovate