Updating GitLab internal flake inputs using Renovate

In order for nix to be able to update a flake input that dosen't point to a public repository we need to provide it with an access token. Luckily nix already provides a mechanism for this, the access-token option.

At first I tried to use the CI_JOB_TOKEN that is created for every GitLab CI job, but this token is allow to access the API endpoint that nix uses when updating an inputs (namely the projects endpoints). Then I remembered that renovate requires a dedicated gitlab user account to perform it's magic and more important in this case has access to a PAT1 for this user. This PAT is pass to renovate via the RENOVATE_TOKEN CI variable.

To pass this access token to nix running in the renovate sidecar container we make use of the customEnvVariables option and secure it from renovate revieling it in it's log file with the secrets mechanism.

Putting it all together

Place this in your config.js in your renovate runner configuration repository.

  secrets: {
  customEnvVariables: {
    NIX_CONFIG: `extra-access-tokens = ${process.env.CI_SERVER_HOST}=PAT:{{ secrets.RENOVATE_TOKEN }} `,


Personal Access Token

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