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dbt deps Command: Usage & Examples


Welcome to this tutorial on managing dependencies in dbt using the dbt deps command. dbt is a powerful tool for transforming raw data into a format that’s useful for analysis. One of its key features is its ability to manage dependencies, ensuring that your data transformations run in the correct order. The dbt deps command is an integral part of this process.

Understanding the dbt deps Command

The dbt deps command is used to manage the dependencies of your dbt project. It pulls the most recent version of the dependencies listed in your packages.yml file from git. This ensures that your project is always using the most up-to-date versions of its dependencies.

Using the dbt deps Command

To use the dbt deps command, simply navigate to your dbt project directory in your terminal and run dbt deps. Here’s what the output might look like:

$ dbt deps

Installing fishtown-analytics/dbt_utils@0.7.1  
Installed from version 0.7.1  
Up to date!
Installing dbt-labs/codegen@0.4.0  
Installed from version 0.4.0  
Up to date!

This output tells you that dbt has installed the specified versions of the dbt_utils and codegen packages, and that these versions are up to date.

Updating Packages

If you want to update a package to a newer version, you can do so by changing the version number in your packages.yml file. For example, if you wanted to update dbt_utils to version 0.7.2, you would change your packages.yml file to look like this:

  - package: fishtown-analytics/dbt_utils    
  version: 0.7.2  

  - package: dbt-labs/codegen    
  version: 0.4.0

Then, you can run dbt deps again to install the updated version:

$ dbt deps

Installing fishtown-analytics/dbt_utils@0.7.2  
Installed from version 0.7.2  
Up to date!
Installing dbt-labs/codegen@0.4.0  
Installed from version 0.4.0  
Up to date!

Troubleshooting Common Issues

If you run into any issues while using the dbt deps command, the first thing you should do is check the error message. It will often tell you what the problem is. Common issues include not having a packages.yml file, having a syntax error in your packages.yml file, or trying to install a version of a package that doesn’t exist.


The dbt deps command is a powerful tool for managing your dbt project’s dependencies. By keeping your dependencies up to date, you can ensure that your project is always using the latest and greatest tools and techniques.


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