Featured image of post Configure Renovate to update preview versions of NuGet packages

Configure Renovate to update preview versions of NuGet packages

Renovate doesn't update preview versions of NuGet packages by default, and your apps might be at risk of using outdated dependencies.

By default, Renovate ignores preview versions of dependencies. For NuGet, a preview version is a package whose version contains a semantic suffix such as -alpha, -beta, -rc. There are some well-known NuGet packages that are only available in preview versions. For example, Aspire.Hosting will likely remain in preview until the release of .NET 9, StyleCop.Analyzers has been in beta for already 5 years, while OpenTelemetry.Instrumentation.GrpcNetClient and Azure.AI.OpenAI have never had a stable version.

Yet, these packages might be used today in production in your applications and services, and it is just as important to keep them updated as the other stable packages. To allow Renovate to update these packages, you must use the configuration property ignoreUnstable:

  "$schema": "https://docs.renovatebot.com/renovate-schema.json",
  "extends": [
  "enabledManagers": [
  "packageRules": [
      "matchManagers": ["nuget"],
      "matchPackageNames": ["Aspire.Hosting"],
      "description": ".NET Aspire is currently only available in preview",
      "ignoreUnstable": true // HERE

In this example, we have a .NET Aspire host project for which we wish to keep the Aspire.Hosting dependency up to date. Here is the content of the csproj file:

<Project Sdk="Microsoft.NET.Sdk">

    <PackageReference Include="Aspire.Hosting" Version="8.0.0-preview.2.23619.3" />

When running Renovate locally, it is capable of finding a newer version of Aspire.Hosting, 8.0.0-preview.5.24201.12, which was released on the day I write these lines:

DEBUG: packageFiles with updates (repository=local)
       "config": {
         "nuget": [
             "deps": [
                 "datasource": "nuget",
                 "depType": "nuget",
                 "depName": "Aspire.Hosting",
                 "currentValue": "8.0.0-preview.2.23619.3",
                 "updates": [
                     "bucket": "non-major",
                     "newVersion": "8.0.0-preview.5.24201.12",
                     "newValue": "8.0.0-preview.5.24201.12",
                     "releaseTimestamp": "2024-04-09T14:50:53.883Z",
                     "newMajor": 8,
                     "newMinor": 0,
                     "updateType": "patch",
                     "branchName": "renovate/aspire.hosting-8.x"
                 "packageName": "Aspire.Hosting",
                 "versioning": "nuget",
                 "warnings": [],
                 "sourceUrl": "https://github.com/dotnet/aspire",
                 "registryUrl": "https://api.nuget.org/v3/index.json",
                 "currentVersion": "8.0.0-preview.2.23619.3",
                 "isSingleVersion": true,
                 "fixedVersion": "8.0.0-preview.2.23619.3"
             "packageFile": "MyProject.csproj"

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