Welcome to the definitive guide on Gerrit, the open-source code review and project management tool originally developed by Google for managing its own projects. This overview page is crafted to provide developers, project managers, and teams with a deep understanding of Gerrit's capabilities, setup, and how it facilitates collaborative software development.

Gerrit is a web-based team code collaboration tool that allows developers to review modifications in source code and manage Git repositories. Born out of a need within Google to handle large scale projects, Gerrit has evolved into an essential tool for continuous integration workflows and code review processes.

  • Code Review Management: Gerrit streamlines the code review process, offering tools to submit changes, track modifications, and integrate peer feedback.

  • Repository Hosting: It provides a Git server plugin, enabling repository management with access controls, mirroring configurations, and more.

  • Integration Capabilities: Gerrit can be integrated with Continuous Integration (CI) tools like Jenkins to automate the testing of changes before merge.

  • Inline Comments: Facilitates discussion directly on the code, enabling precise feedback and collaborative problem-solving.

  • Change Sets: Organizes submissions into 'change sets' for easier review and management, supporting a transparent development process.

  • Permission Controls: Offers fine-grained permission settings to manage who can read, submit, or review code changes.

Gerrit has had a notable impact on how teams conduct code reviews by:

  • Encouraging Early Feedback: Promotes the practice of early and frequent code reviews, crucial for identifying issues sooner.

  • Improving Code Quality: By facilitating thorough reviews, Gerrit helps maintain high standards for code quality.

  • Supporting Open Source Development: Its adoption by notable open-source projects like the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) underscores its robustness for collaborative development.

  • Installation: Details on setting up a Gerrit instance, from minimum system requirements to configuration steps.

  • Configuration: Guidance on customizing Gerrit for your project's needs, including authentication, project creation, and workflow definitions.

While Gerrit is a powerful tool, there are alternatives in the industry:

  • GitHub Pull Requests: Offers a more user-friendly interface with integrated issue tracking and social features.

  • GitLab Merge Requests: Provides a comprehensive suite of tools for the entire DevOps lifecycle, including code review.

  • Phabricator Differential: A tool similar in concept to Gerrit, offering code review features as part of a broader suite of developer tools.

Gerrit is a potent collaboration tool that balances the flexibility of Git with the necessity for peer review and controlled project management. Whether you're a solo developer, a member of a small team, or part of a large organization, understanding and utilizing Gerrit can lead to more efficient and higher quality software development. This guide serves as your starting point to leveraging Gerrit's full potential, with subsequent pages delving into more detailed aspects of its use, setup, and best practices.