Ape downloads and caches dependencies in the .ape/packages folder. There are three sub-folders in .ape/packages for dependencies:

  1. projects/ - contains the raw project files for each dependency in subsequent /<name>/<version-id> directories (where <name> refers to the path-ified full-name of the dependency, e.g. "OpenZeppelin_openzeppelin-contracts", and <version-id> refers to the version or branch of the package). This location is where local project compilation looks for additional sources from import statements.

  2. manifests/ - much like your local projects’ .build/__local__.json, this is where dependencies cache their manifests. When you compile a dependency, the contract types are stored in the dependency manifest’s JSON file.

  3. api/ - for caching the API data placed in dependencies: config or ape pm install commands, allowing dependency usage and management from anywhere in the file system.


You can install dependencies that don’t compile out-of-the-box. Sometimes, dependencies are only collections of source files not meant to compile on their own but instead be used in projects via import statements. You can change the settings of a dependency using config_override: to compile dependencies after installed, if needed, and the api/ cache always refers to the latest used during installation or compilation.

Types of Dependencies

There are few dependency types that come with Ape. The following section highlights how to use each of them and what their differences are.


You can use dependencies from GitHub. For example, a common dependency for Solidity projects is Open Zeppelin. To use Open Zeppelin version 4.4.2 in your Ape Solidity project, add the following to your ape-config.yaml file:

  - name: OpenZeppelin
    github: OpenZeppelin/openzeppelin-contracts
    version: 4.4.2

Then, follow the guide below about remappings to use the dependency.


An important WARNING about the version: key for GitHub dependencies: The version: config first attempts to use an official GitHub release, but if the release is not found, it will check the release tags.

If you know the version is not available as an official release, bypass the original check by using the ref: key. The ref: key is also used for installing branches.

For example, to install a version available as a git tag, do the following:

  - name: Uniswap
    github: Uniswap/v3-core
    ref: v1.0.0

The ref: config installs the code from that reference; the version: config uses the official GitHub release API, and then only if that fails will it check the git references. Often times, the v prefix is required when using tags. However, if cloning the tag fails, ape will retry with a v prefix. Bypass the original failing attempt by including a v in your dependency config.


You can use dependencies to PyPI by using the python: keyed dependency type.

   - python: snekmate
       contracts_folder: .


You can use already-downloaded projects as dependencies by referencing them as local dependencies.

  - name: MyDependency
    local: local/path/to/MyDependency

This is helpful when:

  • Working on multiple packages at once.

  • When there is not a suitable DependencyAPI implementation available for downloading your dependency.

  • Testing the framework.

You can also reference local project manifests and use those as dependencies. To do this, use a local value pointing to the manifest file, like this:

  - name: MyDependency
    local: ./my-dependency.json
    version: 1.0.0


You can use dependencies from NPM. This is generally not recommended. However, sometimes it is the only way to use a dependency.

To use a dependency from NPM, you must have already run npm install and that package must be present in your local node_modules folder. Then, add the following to your config so that Ape can find the dependency:

  - name: MyDependency
    npm: "@myorg/mydependency"
    version: v1.3.0

Package Management CLI

You can also install and / or compile dependencies using the pm CLI.


To list information about installed dependencies, run:

ape pm list

You should see information like:

openzeppelin  4.9.3    -


To install all dependencies in your project, run:

ape pm install

If the dependencies are already cached and you want to re-install them, use the --force flag:

ape pm install --force

To install a dependency that is not in your config, you can specify it directly along with --name and --version:

ape pm install gh:OpenZeppelin/openzeppelin-contracts --name openzeppelin --version "4.6.0"


The gh: prefix is used because this dependency is from GitHub. For npm dependencies, you use an npm: prefix. For local dependencies, you give it a path to the local dependency. --version is not required when using a local dependency.

To change the config of a dependency when installing, use the --config-override CLI option:

ape pm install gh:OpenZeppelin/openzeppelin-contracts \
  --name openzeppelin \
  --version "4.6.0" \
  --config-override '{"solidity": {"version": "0.8.12"}}'

You can also use Python to install dependencies, using **kwargs as the same fields you put in your dependencies: config:

from ape import project

   github="OpenZeppelin/openzeppelin-contracts", name="openzeppelin", version="4.4.2"


Remove previously installed packages using the uninstall command:

ape pm uninstall OpenZeppelin

If there is a single version installed, the command will remove the single version. If multiple versions are installed, pass additional arguments specifying the version(s) to be removed:

ape pm uninstall OpenZeppelin 4.5.0 4.6.0

To skip the confirmation prompts, use the --yes flag (abbreviated as -y):

ape pm uninstall OpenZeppelin all --yes


Additionally, use the all special version key to delete all versions.


Dependencies are not compiled when they are installed. Dependencies are only compiled if you need them to be. This is because often times a dependency will not compile in Ape on its own but its contract types can still be used in your project. However, when working with dependency contracts directly, they will need to be compiled. Ape compiles them as soon as you request the contracts from them, so it generally happens on the backend automatically. However, you may want to recompile the dependencies, like when using a new compiler version or settings. You can use the CLI to recompile.

ape pm compile OpenZeppelin --version 4.6.0 --force


You only need to specify a version if you have more than one version of a dependency installed. Otherwise, you just give it the name.

To compile all dependencies in your local project, run the command with no arguments while in your project:

ape pm compile

Alternatively, you can compile dependencies along with your project’s contracts by using the --include-dependencies flag in ape-compile:

ape compile --include-dependencies


The following guidelines are applicable to ALL dependency types.

Config Override

To use any extra config item for a dependency, such as configurations for compilers needed during compiling, use the config_override setting:

  - name: dependency
    github: org-name/dependency-project-name
         evm_version: paris

This is the same as if these values were in an ape-config.yaml file in the project directly.

You can also specify --config-override in the ape pm install command to try different settings more adhoc:

ape pm install --config-override '{"solidity": {"evm_version": "paris"}}'

Custom Contracts Folder

You can set the name of the dependency’s contracts folder using the config_override key, e.g.:

  - name: DappToolsERC20
    github: dapphub/erc20
    ref: dappnix
      contracts_folder: src

File Exclusions

To ignore files from a dependency project, use the exclude setting in the config_override:compile section to specify glob patterns:

  - name: dependency-project-name
    github: org-name/dependency-project-name
          - package.json    # Ignore package.json files.
          - mocks/**/*      # Ignore all files in the 'mocks' directory

Solidity Import Remapping

A common use-case for dependencies involves the Solidity plugin. By default, the ape-solidity plugin knows to look at installed dependencies for potential remapping-values and will use those when it notices you are importing them. For example, if you are using dependencies like:

  - name: OpenZeppelin
    github: OpenZeppelin/openzeppelin-contracts
    version: 4.4.2

And your source files import from openzeppelin this way:

import "@openzeppelin/contracts/token/ERC721/ERC721.sol";

Ape knows how to resolve the @openzeppelin value and find the correct source.

If you want to override this behavior or add new remappings that are not dependencies, you can add them to your ape-config.yaml under the solidity: key. For example, let’s say you have downloaded openzeppelin somewhere and do not have it installed in Ape. You can map to your local install of openzeppelin this way:

    - "@openzeppelin=path/to/openzeppelin"

Compiling Dependencies

Sometimes, you may need to access types (such as contract types) from dependencies. You can achieve this using the project manager:

from ape import accounts, project

# NOTE: This will compile the dependency
dependency_project = project.dependencies["my_dependency"]["1.0.0"]
dependency_contract = dependency_project.DependencyContractType 
my_account = accounts.load("alias")
deployed_contract = my_account.deploy(dependency_contract, "argument")

If you would like to always compile dependencies during ape compile rather than only have them get compiled upon asking for contract types, you can use the config option include_dependencies from the compile config:

  include_dependencies: true

Alternatively, use the --include-dependencies CLI flag:

ape compile --include-dependencies