Gerrit Recommended Practices¶
This document presents some best practices to help you use Gerrit more effectively. The intent is to show how content can be submitted easily. Use the recommended practices to reduce your troubleshooting time and improve participation in the community.
Browsing the Git Tree¶
Projects --> List --> SELECT-PROJECT --> Branches.
Select the branch that interests you, click on
gitweb located on the
right-hand side. Now,
gitweb loads your selection on the Git web
interface and redirects appropriately.
Watching a Project¶
Settings, located on the top right corner. Select
Watched Projects and then add any projects that interest you.
Gerrit follows the Git commit message format. Ensure the headers are at the bottom and don’t contain blank lines between one another. The following example shows the format and content expected in a commit message:
Brief (no more than 55 chars) one line description.
Elaborate summary of the changes made referencing why (motivation), what was changed and how it was tested. Note also any changes to documentation made to remain consistent with the code changes, wrapping text at 72 chars/line.
The Gerrit server provides a precommit hook to autogenerate the Change-Id which is one time use.
Recommended reading: How to Write a Git Commit Message
Avoid Pushing Untested Work to a Gerrit Server¶
To avoid pushing untested work to Gerrit.
Check your work at least three times before pushing your change to Gerrit. Be mindful of what information you are publishing.
Keeping Track of Changes¶
- Set Gerrit to send you emails:
- Gerrit will add you to the email distribution list for a change if a developer adds you as a reviewer, or if you comment on a specific Patch Set.
- Opening a change in Gerrit’s review interface is a quick way to follow that change.
- Watch projects in the Gerrit projects section at
Gerrit, select at least New Changes, New Patch Sets, All Comments and Submitted Changes.
Always track the projects you are working on; also see the feedback/comments mailing list to learn and help others ramp up.
Topic branches are temporary branches that you push to commit a set of logically-grouped dependent commits:
To push changes from
REMOTE/master tree to Gerrit for being reviewed
as a topic in TopicName use the following command as an example:
- $ git push REMOTE HEAD:refs/for/master/TopicName
The topic will show up in the review
UI and in the
Open Changes List. Topic branches will disappear from the master
tree when its content is merged.
Creating a Cover Letter for a Topic¶
You may decide whether or not you’d like the cover letter to appear in the history.
- To make a cover letter that appears in the history, use this command:
git commit --allow-empty
Edit the commit message, this message then becomes the cover letter. The command used doesn’t change any files in the source tree.
- To make a cover letter that doesn’t appear in the history follow these steps:
- Put the empty commit at the end of your commits list so it can be ignoredwithout having to rebase.
Now add your commits
git commit ... git commit ... git commit ...
- Finally, push the commits to a topic branch. The following command is an example:
git push REMOTE HEAD:refs/for/master/TopicName
If you already have commits but you want to set a cover letter, create an empty commit for the cover letter and move the commit so it becomes the last commit on the list. Use the following command as an example:
git rebase -i HEAD~#Commits
Be careful to uncomment the commit before moving it.
#Commits is the
sum of the commits plus your new cover letter.
Finding Available Topics¶
$ ssh -p 29418 gerrit.hyperledger.org gerrit query \ status:open project:fabric branch:master \ | grep topic: | sort -u
- gerrit.hyperledger.org Is the current URL where the project is hosted.
- status Indicates the topic’s current status: open , merged, abandoned, draft, merge conflict.
- project Refers to the current name of the project, in this case fabric.
- branch The topic is searched at this branch.
- topic The name of an specific topic, leave it blank to include them all.
- sort Sorts the found topics, in this case by update (-u).
Downloading or Checking Out a Change¶
In the review UI, on the top right corner, the Download link provides a list of commands and hyperlinks to checkout or download diffs or files.
We recommend the use of the git review plugin. The steps to install git review are beyond the scope of this document. Refer to the git review documentation for the installation process.
To check out a specific change using Git, the following command usually works:
git review -d CHANGEID
If you don’t have Git-review installed, the following commands will do the same thing:
git fetch REMOTE refs/changes/NN/CHANGEIDNN/VERSION \ && git checkout FETCH_HEAD
For example, for the 4th version of change 2464, NN is the first two digits (24):
git fetch REMOTE refs/changes/24/2464/4 \ && git checkout FETCH_HEAD
Using Draft Branches¶
You can use draft branches to add specific reviewers before you
publishing your change. The Draft Branches are pushed to
The next command ensures a local branch is created:
git checkout -b BRANCHNAME
The next command pushes your change to the drafts branch under TopicName:
git push REMOTE HEAD:refs/drafts/master/TopicName
Using Sandbox Branches¶
You can create your own branches to develop features. The branches are
pushed to the
These commands ensure the branch is created in Gerrit’s server.
git checkout -b sandbox/USERNAME/BRANCHNAME git push --set-upstream REMOTE HEAD:refs/heads/sandbox/USERNAME/BRANCHNAME
Usually, the process to create content is:
- develop the code,
- break the information into small commits,
- submit changes,
- apply feedback,
The next command pushes forcibly without review:
git push REMOTE sandbox/USERNAME/BRANCHNAME
You can also push forcibly with review:
git push REMOTE HEAD:ref/for/sandbox/USERNAME/BRANCHNAME
Updating the Version of a Change¶
During the review process, you might be asked to update your change. It is possible to submit multiple versions of the same change. Each version of the change is called a patch set.
Always maintain the Change-Id that was assigned. For example, there is a list of commits, c0…c7, which were submitted as a topic branch:
git log REMOTE/master..master c0 ... c7 git push REMOTE HEAD:refs/for/master/SOMETOPIC
After you get reviewers’ feedback, there are changes in c3 and c4 that must be fixed. If the fix requires rebasing, rebasing changes the commit Ids, see the rebasing section for more information. However, you must keep the same Change-Id and push the changes again:
git push REMOTE HEAD:refs/for/master/SOMETOPIC
This new push creates a patches revision, your local history is then
cleared. However you can still access the history of your changes in
Gerrit on the
review UI section, for each change.
It is also permitted to add more commits when pushing new versions.
Rebasing is usually the last step before pushing changes to Gerrit; this allows you to make the necessary Change-Ids. The Change-Ids must be kept the same.
- squash: mixes two or more commits into a single one.
- reword: changes the commit message.
- edit: changes the commit content.
- reorder: allows you to interchange the order of the commits.
- rebase: stacks the commits on top of the master.
Rebasing During a Pull¶
Before pushing a rebase to your master, ensure that the history has a consecutive order.
For example, your
REMOTE/master has the list of commits from a0
to a4; Then, your changes c0…c7 are on top of a4; thus:
git log --oneline REMOTE/master..master a0 a1 a2 a3 a4 c0 c1 ... c7
REMOTE/master receives commits a5, a6 and a7. Pull
with a rebase as follows:
git pull --rebase REMOTE master
This pulls a5-a7 and re-apply c0-c7 on top of them:
$ git log --oneline REMOTE/master..master a0 ... a7 c0 c1 ... c7
Getting Better Logs from Git¶
Use these commands to change the configuration of Git in order to produce better logs:
git config log.abbrevCommit true
The command above sets the log to abbreviate the commits’ hash.
git config log.abbrev 5
The command above sets the abbreviation length to the last 5 characters of the hash.
git config format.pretty oneline
The command above avoids the insertion of an unnecessary line before the Author line.
To make these configuration changes specifically for the current Git
user, you must add the path option
git config --global