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Rover supergraph Commands

For use with Apollo Federation supergraphs

A supergraph (also called a federated ) is a graph composed of multiple subgraphs:

Supergraph (A + B + C)
Subgraph A
Subgraph B
Subgraph C

commands that interact with begin with rover supergraph. These commands primarily deal with supergraph schemas.

Fetching a supergraph schema from GraphOS

supergraph fetch

You can use Rover to fetch the of any federated Studio graph it has access to. Run the supergraph fetch command, like so:

rover supergraph fetch my-supergraph@my-variant

To fetch a 's instead, use graph fetch. Learn about different schema types.

The my-supergraph@my-variant in the example above specifies the ID of the Studio graph you're fetching from, along with which variant you're fetching.


You can omit @ and the variant name. If you do, Rover uses the default variant, named current.

Composing a supergraph schema

supergraph compose

You can use the supergraph compose command to compose a supergraph schema based on a supergraph configuration file, like so:

rover supergraph compose --config ./supergraph.yaml

You can also pass config via stdin:

cat ./supergraph.yaml | rover supergraph compose --config -

YAML configuration file

The supergraph configuration file (often referred to as supergraph.yaml) includes configuration options for each of your subgraphs. The following example file configures a supergraph with two (films and people):

federation_version: =2.3.2
file: ./films.graphql
file: ./people.graphql

In the above example, The YAML file specifies each 's public-facing URL (routing_url), along with the path to its schema (schema.file).

A single configuration file can pull from a variety of sources. For example, here's a configuration that includes subgraph schemas from three different types of sources:

federation_version: =2.3.2
# Local .graphql file
file: ./films.graphql
# Subgraph introspection
routing_url: # <- can be omitted if the same as introspection URL
introspection_headers: # Optional headers to include in introspection request
Authorization: Bearer ${env.PEOPLE_AUTH_TOKEN}
# GraphOS Studio graph ref
routing_url: http://localhost:4005 # <- can be omitted if matches existing URL in Studio
graphref: mygraph@current
subgraph: actors

Variable expansion

The supergraph.yaml file supports expansion using the same syntax as GraphOS Router.

Output format

By default, rover supergraph compose outputs a supergraph schema to stdout. You provide this artifact to @apollo/gateway or the 🦀 GraphOS Router on startup.


Your /gateway fails to start up if you provide it with a supergraph schema that it doesn't support. To ensure compatibility, we recommend that you always test your router/gateway in a CI pipeline with the supergraph schema it will ultimately use in production.

You can save the schema output to a local .graphql file like so:

# Creates prod-schema.graphql or overwrites if it already exists
rover supergraph compose --config ./supergraph.yaml --output prod-schema.graphql

For more on passing values via stdout, see Using stdout.

Federation 2 ELv2 license

The first time you use Federation 2 on a particular machine, Rover prompts you to accept the terms and conditions of the ELv2 license. On future invocations, Rover remembers that you already accepted the license and doesn't prompt you again (even if you update Rover).


CI systems wipe away any persisted Rover configuration on each run, and they can't accept the interactive ELv2 prompt. To automatically accept the prompt in CI, do any of the following:

  • Set the environment variable APOLLO_ELV2_LICENSE=accept in your CI environment.
  • Include --elv2-license accept in your rover supergraph compose command.
  • Run yes | rover supergraph compose

The ELv2-licensed supergraph plugin (built from this source) is installed to ~/.rover/bin if you installed with the curl | sh installer, and to ./node_modules/.bin/ if you installed with npm.

Setting a composition version

Whenever you run rover supergraph compose, Rover automatically downloads the composition library for the given federation version you specified either in your supergraph.yaml or via stdin.

The command supports both Federation 1 and Federation 2 composition. Federation 1 and Federation 2 use different composition algorithms, which are implemented in different libraries:


  • The federation version you specify must not exceed the highest version supported by your router. Make sure to update your router before incrementing your federation_version. For details, see this support table.
  • If you specify a Federation 1 version and any of your subgraphs uses a Federation 2 schema, composition fails.
  • Future versions of supergraph compose will fail if you don't specify an exact federation version. Include a federation version in your configuration to prevent breaking changes in future Rover versions.

Automatic updates

If you don't specify a federation_version in supergraph.yaml (which will be required in future versions), Rover determines which version to use according to the following logic:

Is the federation_version key
present in supergraph.yaml?
Does at least one subgraph schema
opt in to Federation 2?
Use the version specified
by federation_version
Use latest Federation 1
Use latest Federation 2

A "opts in" to Federation 2 by adding a special @link described in this article.

The latest federation library version is stored in this file on the main branch of the Rover repository. If you don't specify an exact federation version, new plugin versions will be delivered and sourced from this file.

This auto-update flow will cause issues if you don't update your router version prior to updating your composition pipeline. Apollo strongly recommends always specifying an exact federation_version.

Preventing auto-updates

In some cases, you might want Rover to skip updating its composition library to the latest version. For example, you might have a slow or nonexistent network connection.

In these cases, you can pass the --skip-update flag to rover supergraph compose. If you provide this flag, your supergraph.yaml file must specify a federation_version (which is recommended regardless).

Legacy Rover versions

Versions of Rover prior to v0.5.0 support only Federation 1 composition, via the @apollo/federation JavaScript package.

We recommend updating to the latest version of Rover as soon as possible. If you're still using a legacy version, see the following compatibility table regarding support for different versions of the @apollo/gateway library:

Rover versionGateway version
<= v0.2.x<= v0.38.x
>= v0.3.x>= v0.39.x
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