Gerrit vs. Phabricator: Key Differences

Greg Foster
Greg Foster
Graphite software engineer

Gerrit is a code review and project management tool for Git repositories. It is heavily focused on the review process, with features tailored towards maintaining code quality and facilitating collaborative workflows.

  • Gerrit specializes in a rigorous code review process, using a scoring system to approve changesets before they can be merged into the codebase.
  • Gerrit is tightly integrated with Git and is primarily a tool for managing Git repositories, providing fine-grained access control and facilitating a linear history of changes.
  • Gerrit supports automated testing through integration with continuous integration systems, allowing for verification before a changeset is merged.

Phabricator is a suite of open-source tools for software development, including code review, repository hosting, and project management.

  • Phabricator offers a broader range of tools than Gerrit, including Differential for code reviews, Diffusion for repository hosting, and Maniphest for task management.
  • Phabricator supports various VCSs (Version Control Systems) and provides a more flexible workflow, accommodating a variety of development processes.
  • With Maniphest, Phabricator includes robust project and task management features, allowing teams to track issues and features alongside code changes.

When comparing Gerrit to Phabricator, there are several key areas where they differ:

  • Gerrit: Review process is focused on a linear progression of changesets, with a strong emphasis on individual commit reviews and automated testing.

  • Phabricator: Uses Differential, which supports a more conversational review process, accommodating multiple iterations and discussions around a set of changes.

  • Gerrit: Designed exclusively for Git.

  • Phabricator: Supports Git, Subversion, and Mercurial, making it more versatile for teams using multiple VCSs.

  • Gerrit: Has a more utilitarian interface focused on functionality and may have a steeper learning curve.

  • Phabricator: Offers a more user-friendly interface with a broad set of tools that are integrated into a cohesive platform.

  • Gerrit: Primarily a code review tool with some integrations for project management but does not offer native task tracking.

  • Phabricator: Provides a comprehensive project management solution with Maniphest for tasks and sprints, and Phriction for wiki documentation.

  • Gerrit: Supports plugins for extending its capabilities and can integrate with CI tools like Jenkins.

  • Phabricator: Offers a range of native applications and an API for extensions, allowing for a more extensive integration into a development ecosystem.

Gerrit and Phabricator cater to different needs within the software development lifecycle. Gerrit is a specialized tool that excels in the area of code review and repository management for Git-centric workflows. In contrast, Phabricator offers a broader, more integrated set of tools for managing the entire development process, supporting multiple VCSs, and facilitating a collaborative work environment. The choice between Gerrit and Phabricator will depend on the specific needs of the development team, their preferred workflows, and the level of integration required with other tools and processes.

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