in Tutorials

DevVM Part 1 – Gerrit on Ubuntu 12.04 Server

I’m currently working on a little development VM and want to share some of my insides I gain and how I managed to get things work. The series will start with the tutorial to install Gerrit.

What is Gerrit?

Gerrit provides a powerful server to integrate a code-review process in your git-driven development process. These are the main reasons I picked gerrit:

  • Support git as versioning system – awesome
  • Integration with buildservers like jenkins to run test automatically and the CI-server is a part of the code review process
  • Great Eclipse integration with EGit

Install Gerrit

All you need is root shell access to your server and a working internet connection (surprise!)

Generate gerrit2 user

First we generate a group gerrit2 and a user gerrit2 with a home directory located at /usr/local/gerrit2

sudo addgroup gerrit2
sudo adduser --system --home /usr/local/gerrit2 --shell /bin/bash --ingroup gerrit2 gerrit2

I use my own MySQL database instead of the integrated h2 database. You have to generate a user gerrit2 too and a database called reviewdb. On the shell you can do this via

mysql --user=root -p
CREATE USER 'gerrit2'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'secret';
ALTER DATABASE reviewdb charset=latin1;
GRANT ALL ON reviewdb.* TO 'gerrit2'@'localhost';

Last thing to do as a root is to generate a default config file for gerrit. When

sudo touch /etc/default/gerritcodereview

and insert with a editor of your choice


Now we log into our gerrit2 user and install gerrit.

sudo su gerrit2
cd ~
java -jar gerrit-2.4.2.war init -d /usr/local/gerrit2

The address may have altered, so check that.

Fill out everything for your needs. The database password is your secret. Check that everything works b starting gerrit with

cd ~/bin
./ start
./ stop

When everything worked fine, you can updated your init.d to start gerrit automatically on startup. You do this by the following commands.

sudo ln -snf /usr/local/gerrit2/bin/ /etc/init.d/gerrit
sudo update-rc.d gerrit defaults

Now your gerrit sever starts each time your machine starts.


I made some errors during the installation which almost drove me crazy.

Authentication via OpenID – Register new Email

It’s great that you can access the gerrit server with OpenID. However if you have another email on your OpenID account (like *@gmail) than you have on your ssh-key (like * than you must register a new Email on your account. That does only work if your smtp-server is correctly configured.

By default gerrit uses „user@hostname“ as sender. Well for me it was „gerrit@server“ which isn’t a valid emailadress. You can configure your user in the user-section of gerrit.

      name = Your name
      email =