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Gerrit Code Review - Uploading Changes
Gerrit supports three methods of uploading changes:
* Use `repo upload`, to create changes for review
* Use `git push`, to create changes for review
* Use `git push`, and bypass code review
All three methods rely on authentication, which must first be configured
by the uploading user.
Gerrit supports two methods of authenticating the uploading user. SSH
public key, and HTTP/HTTPS.
On Gerrit installations that do not support SSH authentication, the
user must authenticate via HTTP/HTTPS.
When link:config-gerrit.html#auth.gitBasicAuth[gitBasicAuth] is enabled,
the user is authenticated using standard BasicAuth and credentials validated
using the same authentication method configured for the Gerrit Web UI.
When gitBasicAuth is not configured, the user's HTTP credentials can be
accessed within Gerrit by going to `Settings`, and then accessing the `HTTP
Password` tab.
For Gerrit installations where an link:config-gerrit.html#auth.httpPasswordUrl[HTTP password URL]
is configured, the password can be obtained by clicking on `Obtain Password`
and then following the site-specific instructions. On sites where this URL is
not configured, the password can be obtained by clicking on `Generate Password`.
Each user uploading changes to Gerrit must configure one or more SSH
public keys. The per-user SSH key list can be accessed over the web
within Gerrit by `Settings`, and then accessing the `SSH Public Keys`
To register a new SSH key for use with Gerrit, paste the contents of
your `` or `` file into the text box and click
the add button. Gerrit only understands SSH version 2 public keys.
Keys may be supplied in either the OpenSSH format (key starts with
`ssh-rsa` or `ssh-dss`) or the RFC 4716 format (file starts with
`---- BEGIN SSH2 PUBLIC KEY ----`).
Typically SSH keys are stored in your home directory, under `~/.ssh`.
If you don't have any keys yet, you can create a new one and protect
it with a passphrase:
ssh-keygen -t rsa
Then copy the content of the public key file onto your clipboard,
and paste it into Gerrit's web interface:
cat ~/.ssh/
Users who frequently upload changes will also want to consider
starting an `ssh-agent`, and adding their private key to the list
managed by the agent, to reduce the frequency of entering the
key's passphrase. Consult `man ssh-agent`, or your SSH client's
documentation, for more details on configuration of the agent
process and how to add the private key.
Testing Connections
To verify your SSH key is working correctly, try using an SSH client
to connect to Gerrit's SSHD port. By default Gerrit runs on
port 29418, using the same hostname as the web server:
$ ssh -p 29418 sshusername@hostname
**** Welcome to Gerrit Code Review ****
Hi John Doe, you have successfully connected over SSH.
Unfortunately, interactive shells are disabled.
To clone a hosted Git repository, use:
git clone ssh://sshusername@hostname:29418/REPOSITORY_NAME.git
Connection to hostname closed.
In the command above, `sshusername` was configured as `Username` on
the `Profile` tab of the `Settings` screen. If it is not set,
propose a name and use `Select Username` to select the name.
To determine the port number Gerrit is running on, visit the special
information URL `http://'hostname'/ssh_info`, and copy the port
number from the second field:
$ curl http://hostname/ssh_info
hostname 29418
If you are developing an automated tool to perform uploads to Gerrit,
let the user supply the hostname or the web address for Gerrit,
and obtain the port number on the fly from the `/ssh_info` URL.
The returned output from this URL is always `'hostname' SP 'port'`,
or `NOT_AVAILABLE` if the SSHD server is not currently running.
git push
Create Changes
To create new changes for review, simply push to the project's
magical `refs/for/'branch'` ref using any Git client tool:
git push ssh://sshusername@hostname:29418/projectname HEAD:refs/for/branch
E.g. `john.doe` can use git push to upload new changes for the
`experimental` branch of project `kernel/common`, hosted at the
`` Gerrit server:
git push ssh:// HEAD:refs/for/experimental
Each new commit uploaded by the `git push` client will be
converted into a change record on the server. The remote ref
`refs/for/experimental` is not actually created by Gerrit, even
though the client's status messages may say otherwise.
Other users (e.g. project owners) who have configured Gerrit to
notify them of new changes will be automatically sent an email
message when the push is completed.
To include a short tag associated with all of the changes in the
same group, such as the local topic branch name, append it after
the destination branch name. In this example the short topic tag
'driver/i42' will be saved on each change this push creates or
git push ssh:// HEAD:refs/for/experimental%topic=driver/i42
If you are frequently uploading changes to the same Gerrit server,
consider adding an SSH host block in `~/.ssh/config` to remember
your username, hostname and port number. This permits the use of
shorter URLs on the command line, such as:
$ cat ~/.ssh/config
Host tr
Port 29418
User john.doe
$ git push tr:kernel/common HEAD:refs/for/experimental
Specific reviewers can be requested and/or additional 'carbon
copies' of the notification message may be sent by including these
as options in the reference
git push tr:kernel/common HEAD:refs/for/,
The `r='email'` and `cc='email'` options may be specified as many
times as necessary to cover all interested parties. Gerrit will
automatically avoid sending duplicate email notifications, such as
if one of the specified reviewers or CC addresses had also requested
to receive all new change notifications.
If you are frequently sending changes to the same parties and/or
branches, consider adding a custom remote block to your project's
`.git/config` file:
$ cat .git/config
[remote "exp"]
url = tr:kernel/common
push = HEAD:refs/for/,
$ git push exp
Replace Changes
To add an additional patch set to a change, ensure Change-Id
lines were created in the original commit messages, and just use
`git push URL HEAD:refs/for/...` as <<push_create,described above>>.
Gerrit Code Review will automatically match the commits back to
their original changes by taking advantage of the Change-Id lines.
If Change-Id lines are not present in the commit messages, consider
amending the message and copying the line from the change's page
on the web, and then using `git push` as described above.
If Change-Id lines are not available, then the user must use the
manual mapping technique described below.
For more about Change-Ids, see link:user-changeid.html[Change-Id Lines].
Manual Replacement Mapping
.Deprecation Warning
The remainder of this section describes a manual method of replacing
changes by matching each commit name to an existing change number.
End-users should instead prefer to use Change-Id lines in their
commit messages, as the process is then fully automated by Gerrit
during normal uploads.
See above for the preferred technique of replacing changes.
To add an additional patch set to a change, replacing it with an
updated version of the same logical modification, send the new
commit to the change's ref. For example, to add the commit whose
SHA-1 starts with `c0ffee` as a new patch set for change number
`1979`, use the push refspec `c0ffee:refs/changes/1979` as below:
git push ssh://sshusername@hostname:29418/projectname c0ffee:refs/changes/1979
This form can be combined together with `refs/for/'branchname'`
(above) to simultaneously create new changes and replace changes
during one network transaction.
For example, consider the following sequence of events:
$ git commit -m A ; # create 3 commits
$ git commit -m B
$ git commit -m C
$ git push ... HEAD:refs/for/master ; # upload for review
... A is 1500 ...
... B is 1501 ...
... C is 1502 ...
$ git rebase -i HEAD~3 ; # edit "A", insert D before B
; # now series is A'-D-B'-C'
$ git push ...
HEAD~0:refs/changes/1502 ; # upload replacements
At the final step during the push Gerrit will attach A' as a new
patch set on change 1500; B' as a new patch set on change 1501; C'
as a new patch set on 1502; and D will be created as a new change.
Ensuring D is created as a new change requires passing the refspec
`HEAD:refs/for/branchname`, otherwise Gerrit will ignore D and
won't do anything with it. For this reason it is a good idea to
always include the create change refspec when uploading replacements.
Bypass Review
Changes (and annotated tags) can be pushed directly into a
repository, bypassing the review process. This is primarily useful
for a project owner to create new branches, create annotated tags
for releases, or to force-update a branch whose history needed to
be rewritten.
Gerrit restricts direct pushes that bypass review to:
* `refs/heads/*`: any branch can be updated, created, deleted,
or rewritten by the pusher.
* `refs/tags/*`: annotated tag objects pointing to any other type
of Git object can be created.
To push branches, the proper access rights must be configured first.
Here follows a few examples of how to configure this in Gerrit:
* Update: Any existing branch can be fast-forwarded to a new commit.
This is the safest mode as commits cannot be discarded. Creation
of new branches is rejected. Can be configured with
link:access-control.html#category_push_direct['Push'] access.
* Create: Allows creation of a new branch if the name does not
already designate an existing branch name. Needs
link:access-control.html#category_create['Create Reference']
configured. Please note that once created, this permission doesn't
grant the right to update the branch with further commits (see above
for update details).
* Delete: Implies Update, but also allows an existing
branch to be deleted. Since a force push is effectively a delete
followed by a create, but performed atomically on the server and
logged, this also permits forced push updates to branches.
To grant this access, configure
link:access-control.html#category_push_direct['Push'] with the
'Force' option ticked.
To push annotated tags, the `Push Annotated Tag` project right must
be granted to one (or more) of the user's groups. There is only
one level of access in this category.
Project owners may wish to grant themselves `Push Annotated Tag`
only at times when a new release is being prepared, and otherwise
grant nothing at all. This ensures that accidental pushes don't
make undesired changes to the public repository.
Auto-Merge during Push
Changes can be directly submitted on push. This is primarily useful
for teams that don't want to do code review but want to use Gerrit's
submit strategies to handle contention on busy branches. Using
`%submit` creates a change and submits it immediately, if the caller
has link:access-control.html#category_submit[Submit] permission on
`refs/for/<ref>` (e.g. on `refs/for/refs/heads/master`).
git push ssh:// HEAD:refs/for/master%submit
On auto-merge of a change neither labels nor submit rules are checked.
If the merge fails the change stays open, but when pushing a new patch
set the merge can be reattempted by using `%submit` again.
Selecting Merge Base
By default new changes are opened only for new unique commits
that have never before been seen by the Gerrit server. Clients
may override that behavior and force new changes to be created
by setting the merge base SHA-1 using the '%base' argument:
git push ssh:// HEAD:refs/for/master%base=$(git rev-parse origin/master)
repo upload
repo is a multiple repository management tool, most commonly
used by the Android Open Source Project. For more details, see
link:[using repo].
Create Changes
To upload changes to a project using `repo`, ensure the manifest's
review field has been configured to point to the Gerrit server.
Only the hostname or the web address needs to be given in the
manifest file. During upload `repo` will automatically determine the
correct port number by reading `http://'reviewhostname'/ssh_info`
when its invoked.
Each new commit uploaded by `repo upload` will be converted into
a change record on the server. Other users (e.g. project owners)
who have configured Gerrit to notify them of new changes will be
automatically sent an email message. Additional notifications can
be sent through command line options.
For more details on using `repo upload`, see `repo help upload`.
Replace Changes
To replace changes, ensure Change-Id lines were created in the
commit messages, and just use `repo upload`.
Gerrit Code Review will automatically match the commits back to
their original changes by taking advantage of their Change-Id lines.
If Change-Id lines are not present in the commit messages, consider
amending the message and copying the line from the change's page
on the web.
If Change-Id lines are not available, then the user must use the much
more <<manual_replacement_mapping,manual mapping technique>> offered
by using `git push` to a specific `refs/changes/change#` reference.
For more about Change-Ids, see link:user-changeid.html[Change-Id Lines].
Gritty Details
As Gerrit implements the entire SSH and Git server stack within its
own process space, Gerrit maintains complete control over how the
repository is updated, and what responses are sent to the `git push`
client invoked by the end-user, or by `repo upload`. This allows
Gerrit to provide magical refs, such as `refs/for/*` for new
change submission and `refs/changes/*` for change replacement.
When a push request is received to create a ref in one of these
namespaces Gerrit performs its own logic to update the database,
and then lies to the client about the result of the operation.
A successful result causes the client to believe that Gerrit has
created the ref, but in reality Gerrit hasn't created the ref at all.
By implementing the entire server stack, Gerrit is also able to
perform project level access control checks (to verify the end-user
is permitted to access a project) prior to advertising the available
refs, and potentially leaking information to a snooping client.
Clients cannot tell the difference between 'project not found' and
'project exists, but access is denied'.
Gerrit can also ensure users have completed a valid Contributor
Agreement prior to accepting any transferred objects, and if an
agreement is required, but not completed, it aborts the network
connection before data is sent. This ensures that project owners
can be certain any object available in their repository has been
supplied under at least one valid agreement.
Part of link:index.html[Gerrit Code Review]