A data engineer's migration guide to dbt v1.0.0

The highly anticipated dbt version 1.0.0 release just came out a few days ago, and your data team may be looking to upgrade soon to try out some of the new features and enhancements. If you are in charge of said migration, you should also be interested in any potential breaking changes that may impact your project, as well as your and your team’s daily dbt workflows. If you feel this applies to you, then this migration guide is for you: I’ll be going over the new changes coming with a particular focus on avoiding risks during the version upgrade.

This guide will take a lot of information from the official migration guide, but aims to be more self-contained by offering practical migration examples and cover more potential breaking changes.

Installing dbt

Right from the get go, the way we install dbt is no longer pip install dbt, as this has been deprecated and will raise an error. From v1.0.0 onwards, to install the core dbt CLI you should run pip install dbt-core.

Before v1.0.0, installing dbt would also install all database adapters (Postgres, Snowflake, Redshift, and BigQuery). But now, after installing dbt-core, you have to install any adapters that you need by running pip install dbt-<adapter>.

This has probably brought you issues if you are running Amazon’s MWAA, as the Snowflake adapter has a Rust dependency that not all platforms may support1. This was particularly annoying since the Snowflake adapter was installed even if you were not using Snowflake! As someone who ran into these issues a lot, I’m very happy to see this change, although I would have preferred the inclusion of the adapters as extras of the main dbt-core package to simplify the installation even more.

On a minor note, support for Python 3.6 has been dropped by dbt v1.0.0, as we are approaching EOL.


Unfortunately, as of the time of writing, the official Docker images have yet to be updated with the v1.0.0 release. And the official docs state that we should wait for more information coming soon. I suspect that dbt-labs may be migrating to a new DockerHub organization given that they were still using the old fishtownanalytics (just speculating, seems plausible that they would want to clean up things for a 1.0 release).

If you rely on the Docker image for production, development, or CI/CD I recommend either holding off on the upgrade until the new images are available, or building your own using the official Dockerfile:

git clone
cd dbt-core
docker build -t dbt:1.0.0 \
    --build-arg BASE_REQUIREMENTS_SRC_PATH=docker/requirements/requirements.txt \
    --build-arg DIST_PATH=dist/ \
    --build-arg WHEEL_REQUIREMENTS_SRC_PATH=docker/requirements/requirements.txt -f docker/Dockerfile .

I’m don’t know too much about the Docker image building pipeline used by dbt-labs, as I couldn’t find any relevant GitHub actions, so I just plugged in arguments that work. You could probably write a more straight forward image:

ARG BASE_IMAGE=python:3.8-slim-bullseye


RUN apt-get update \
  && apt-get dist-upgrade -y \
  && apt-get install -y --no-install-recommends \
  git \
  ssh-client \
  software-properties-common \
  make \
  build-essential \
  ca-certificates \
  libpq-dev \
  && apt-get clean \
  && rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/* /tmp/* /var/tmp/*

RUN pip install --upgrade pip setuptools
RUN pip install dbt-core==1.0.0
WORKDIR /usr/app
VOLUME /usr/app

Just add your adapters to the highlighted line. Although keep in mind I haven’t tested this too much!


If you rely on airflow-dbt-python to run dbt operators for Airflow, support for v1.0.0 of dbt is planned for version 0.10 projected to be released before December 15th 2021.

Updates to dbt_project.yml

Significant changes have come to the configuration of your dbt_project.yml. Here is a summary table of the changes:

Configuration Node Change
source-paths Replaced with model-paths.
data-paths Replaced with seed-paths, default is now seeds.
modules-path Replaced with packages-install-path, default is now dbt_packages.
quote-columns Default is now True for all adapters except Snowflake.
test-paths Default is now tests.
analysis-paths Default is now analyses.

All these changes should be pretty straight-forward: assuming that your dbt_project.yml file in v0.21 was:

name: 'my_new_project'
version: '1.0.0'
config-version: 2

profile: 'default'

source-paths: ["models"]
analysis-paths: ["analysis"]
test-paths: ["test"]
data-paths: ["data"]
macro-paths: ["macros"]
snapshot-paths: ["snapshots"]

target-path: "target"
modules-path: "dbt_modules"
  - "target"
  - "dbt_modules"

      +materialized: view

  +quote_columns: true

Your v1.0.0 dbt_project.yml now needs attention in the following lines:

name: 'my_new_project'
version: '1.0.0'
config-version: 2

profile: 'default'

model-paths: ["models"]
analysis-paths: ["analyses"] # Only default changed
test-paths: ["tests"] # Only default changed
seed-paths: ["seeds"]
macro-paths: ["macros"]
snapshot-paths: ["snapshots"]

target-path: "target"
packages-install-path: "dbt_packages"
  - "target"
  - "dbt_packages"

      +materialized: view

  +quote_columns: true # Now default for all adapters except Snowflake

Workflow changes coming with dbt v1.0.0

This section covers changes that affect the way we invoke dbt commands, either via the CLI or using Airflow with airflow-dbt-python.

Running dbt singular and generic tests

Before v1.0.0, dbt tests came in two flavors: data and schema tests. These are now singular and generic tests. This changes the invocation of the dbt test command as --data and --schema flags are now deprecated. This means:

dbt test --data
dbt test --schema

Has become:

dbt test --select test_type:singular
dbt test --select test_type:generic

The test_type selection method still accepts data and schema for backwards compatibility:

dbt test --select test_type:data test_type:schema

But I would still recommend migrating these invocations too as backwards compatibility may be dropped in the future.

In Airflow with airflow-dbt-python

As of version 0.10, airflow-dbt-python reflects these flag changes by deprecating the data and schema attributes of DbtTestOperator in favor of singular and generic. This means:

data_tests = DbtTestOperator(
schema_tests = DbtTestOperator(
all_tests = DbtTestOperator(
    select=["test_type:data", "test_type:schema"],

Now becomes:

singular_tests = DbtTestOperator(
generic_tests = DbtTestOperator(
all_tests = DbtTestOperator(
    select=["test_type:singular", "test_type:generic"],

Deprecated macros and arguments

Some macros have been deprecated, ensure these are not in use in your models:

On the arguments side:

The dbt RPC server is no longer part of dbt-core

Eventually, the RPC is being replaced by a new dbt Server. In the meantime, you will have to install the dbt-rpc package to continue using the RPC server:

pip install dbt-rpc

Also, instead of using the dbt rpc command, you will have to call:

dbt-rpc serve

New artifact schema versions

The dbt following artifacts had their schemas updated:

This could impact any data ingestion pipelines laid in place to consume this information.

New logging for adapter plugins

All dbt logging has been migrated to a new structured event interface. If you are an adapter maintainer you will have to either set the environment variable DBT_ENABLE_LEGACY_LOGGER=True to use legacy logging or migrate to the new one. I’m not an adapter maintainer so I don’t think I can add too much to this section. Check the official README.


For the majority of dbt users the migration should be very straight-forward: you’ll have to review your dbt_project.yml, update your dbt test calls, and ensure you are using the new PyPI packages in any installation processes.

The lack of a Docker image is perhaps the only thing I would consider a blocker for this upgrade, although if you can build your own do so as the new features coming with dbt v1.0.0 seem very worth it. I’ll make sure to update this post once an official Docker image is published.

  1. The inclusion of a Rust dependency in the cryptography library was subject to a lot of debate, if you are interested, you may read more about that here: ↩︎

#python   #data-engineering   #dbt