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Gerrit2 - Uploading Changes
Gerrit supports three methods of uploading changes for review:
* 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 use SSH public key authentication, which must
first be configured by the uploading user.
SSH Authentication
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 `My` > `Settings` (or by visting
`http://'hostname'/settings`) then accessing the `SSH Keys` tab.
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
Typically your 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 use Gerrit to upload changes will also want
to consider starting a `ssh-agent`, and adding their 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 Your SSH Connection
To verify your SSH key is working correctly, try using an SSH client
to connect to Gerrit's SSHD port. By default Gerrit is running on
port 29418, using the same hostname as the web server:
$ ssh -p 29418 sshusername@hostname
gerrit: no shell available
Connection to hostname closed.
In the command above, `sshusername` is always the local part of your
preferred email address (the text before the `@` sign). The exact
value chosen by Gerrit can be confirmed by visting `My` > `Settings`,
and copying the `SSH Username` field. For example, a user who
has selected a preferred email address of ``
would be assigned `john.doe` as their SSH username. For many
users, this may also be identical to their local username.
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 isn't running.
repo upload: 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`.
git push: Create Changes
To create new changes for review, simply push into the project's
magical `refs/for/'branch'` ref using any Git client tool:
git push ssh://sshusername@hostname:29418/projectname HEAD:refs/for/branchname
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.
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 arguments to `gerrit receive-pack`:
git push --receive-pack='gerrit receive-pack' tr:kernel/common HEAD:refs/for/experimental
The `\--reviewer='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 "for-a-exp"]
url = tr:kernel/common
receivepack = gerrit receive-pack
push = HEAD:refs/for/experimental
$ git push for-a-exp
git push: Replace 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.
git push: 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. Tags cannot be updated or deleted.
To push branches, the `Push Branch` project right must be granted
to one (or more) of the user's groups. The allowed levels within
this category are:
* 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.
* Create: Implies Update, but also allows creation of a new branch
if the name does not not already designate an existing branch name.
* Delete: Implies Create and 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 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.
Gritty Details
Gerrit requires that the tuple `('username', 'public_key')`
be unique. When it gets a login request it scans all accounts
whose SSH Username matches the name requested by the client, to
see if any of them have the public key presented by the client.
What this means is, say there's "" (me) and
"" (someone else - not me). Gerrit will consider
both accounts' public keys when I login, but only binds the session
to the account whose key was presented. If multiple accounts match
the same key and same username, it denies the login.
Given that most local names will be unique across a single Gerrit
server, that means in practice most people will only be considering
their own keys. Since SSH keys (in theory) are globally unique,
even if two people have the same local name, they still can't access
each other's accounts. But, if two people both used Debian's broken
ssh-keygen and they have the same local name, they effectively lock
each other out of Gerrit until one (or both) changes their key(s)
to a more secure one.
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.