Posts in DevOps

Start using GitHub Dependabot

GitHub bought a service called Dependabot a while back and is now integrating this service as a GitHub Application into the ecosystem. This allows GitHub users to automatically do dependency management and get alerted when a security-related update has been found. For a while this service was in beta but it is now enabled for all public repositories and can be enabled for private repositories as well.

Let’s start simple and create file .github/dependabot.yml in the repository with the content below will tell Dependabot to scan all your GitHub workflows daily for GitHub Actions that are defined and have a newer release available. It will also create a pull request that can be merged when approved.

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Environment variables set by systemd

Applications sometimes need environment variables to be set for triggering certain behavior like giving debug output or routing traffic via a HTTP-proxy for example. A common way is to modify the start-stop script, but with systemd on most Linux systems, like Debian and Red Hat based distributions, this can also be directly set within the unit file and you don’t have to export the variables anymore.

Let’s start with a Python script to read and print the environment variables set by the environment to see how this works. The Python script below that we run via systemd checks if environment variable VAR1 has been set and will generate different output based on that.

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