This is a lightweight documentation intended to get users started with Gerrit as a code review service. For more insight on what Gerrit can do, please refer to its upstream documentation.

Gerrit short user documentation

Gerrit interface

Following are some important fields, links and buttons that you need to be aware of.


This field contains the list of reviewers for this patch. Getting into this list is as simple as posting a comment on the patch. Reviewers can be added by other parties, by default people who have committed changes that affect the files in a given patch are automatically added as reviewers. The list of approvals given by a reviewer appears near their names.

Following are the approval types:

  • Verified

    Any score in this means that the patch has been verified by compiling and running the test cases. This score is given by a specific user called Jenkins or Zuul (if Zuul is activated), by running jobs defined in the repository’s check or gate pipelines.

  • Code-Review

    As the name implies, it contains the approvals for code review. Only core-developers can attribute a score of ‘+2’.

  • Workflow

    A ‘+1’ score means that this patch is approved for merging. Only core-developers can attribute a score of ‘+1’. A ‘0’ score means that this patch is ready for review. A ‘-1’ score means that this patch is a work in progress.

Add Reviewer
This button enables you to add new reviewers.
This field lists other submitted patches that the current one depends on and that are not merged yet. These patches can belong to the same repository (same branch or not) or to other repositories (for example a change in a client library reflecting a change on the server’s API).
Patch Sets

When a patch is committed for the first time, a ‘Change-Id’ is created. For further amendments to the patch, the ‘Commit-Id’ changes but the ‘Change-Id’ will not. Gerrit groups the patches and their revisions based on this. This field lists all the revisions of the current change set and numbers them accordingly.

Each and every patch set contains the list of files and their changes. Expand any patch set by clicking the arrow near it.

Reference Version

When the review page is loaded, it expands just the last patch set, and will list down the changes that have been made on top of the parent commit (Base Version). This is the same with every patch set.

In order to get the list of changes for say, patch set 11 from patch set 10, you need to select patch set 10 from the reference version.

Changed items

When a patch set is expanded, it will list down the changed files. By clicking any file in this list will open a comparison page which will compare the changes of the selected patch set with the same file in the reference version.

Upon clicking any line, a text box would be displayed with a ‘Save’ and ‘Discard’ buttons. ‘Save’ button saves the comment and maintains it in the databases. The comments will not be displayed unless you publish them.

Abandon Change
At times, you might want to scrap an entire patch. The ‘Abandon Change’ button helps you to do that. The abandoned patches are listed separately from the ‘Open’ patch sets.
Restore Change
Any abandoned patch can be restored back using this button. The ‘Abandon Change’ and ‘Restore Change’ buttons are mutually exclusive.

This is the actual button with which reviewers signal that the patch has been reviewed. Through this, you can also publish the list of your comments on the changes, give your score and, a cover message for the review.

‘Publish’ button just publishes your review information. In addition to publishing, ‘Publish and Submit’ button also submits the change for merging. If there are enough scores to approve and if there are no conflicts seen while merging, Gerrit will rebase and merge the change on the master branch.

Approval Scoring

For any patch, the following scores are required before a patch can be merged on the master branch.

At least one ‘+1’ and no ‘-1’
At least two distinct ‘+2’ (not cumulative) and no negative scoring.
At least one ‘+1’

Setting up SSH keys

If you already have a key pair, the public key will be listed in your .ssh directory:

$ ls ~/.ssh/*.pub

In that case, you can skip to Adding public key

You can generate a SSH key pair if you don’t have one already by executing the following commands

$ ssh-keygen -t rsa -C "your_email@your.domain"
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/home/you/.ssh/id_rsa):

Then you will be prompted for an optional passphrase. Your key pair will then be generated.

Adding a public key

Click on your username in the top right corner of the Gerrit UI, then choose “Settings”. On the left you will see SSH PUBLIC KEYS. Paste your SSH Public Key (usually the key file ending with the .pub extension) into the corresponding field.