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.

Commit Messages

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 50 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.


Signed-off-by: Your Name\

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

Always track the projects you are working on; also see the feedback/comments mailing list to learn and help others ramp up.

Topic branches

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.

Finding Available Topics

$ ssh -p 29418 <LFID> gerrit query \ status:open branch:master| grep topic: | sort -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 Sandbox Branches

You can create your own branches to develop features. The branches are pushed to the refs/heads/sandbox/USERNAME/BRANCHNAME location.

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:

The next command pushes forcibly without review:


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


$ 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.

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


If 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

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.