This document is meant primarily for Gerrit maintainers who have been given approval and submit status to the Gerrit projects. Additionally, maintainers should be given owner status to the Gerrit web site.

To make a Gerrit release involves a great deal of complex tasks and it is easy to miss a step so this document should hopefully serve as both a how to for those new to the process and as a checklist for those already familiar with these tasks.

Gerrit Release Type

Here are some guidelines on release approaches depending on the type of release you want to make (stable-fix, stable, rc0, rc1…​).


A stable release is generally built from the master branch and may need to undergo some stabilization before releasing the final release.

  • Propose the release with any plans/objectives to the mailing list

  • Create a Gerrit rc0

  • If needed create a Gerrit rc1

You may let in a few features to this release
  • If needed create a Gerrit rc2

There should be no new features in this release, only bug fixes
  • Finally create the stable release (no rc)


stable-fix releases should likely only contain bug fixes and doc updates.

  • Propose the release with any plans/objectives to the mailing list

  • This type of release does not need any RCs, release when the objectives are met


security-fix releases should only contain bug fixes for security issues.

For security issues it is important that they are only announced after fixed versions for all relevant releases have been published. Because of this, security-fix releases can’t be prepared in the public gerrit project.

security-fix releases are prepared in the gerrit-security-fixes project which is only readable by the Gerrit Maintainers. Only after a security-fix release has been published will the commits/tags made in the gerrit-security-fixes project be taken over into the public gerrit project.

Create the Actual Release

To create a Gerrit release the following steps have to be done:

Update Versions and Create Release Tag

Before doing the release build, the GERRIT_VERSION in the version.bzl file must be updated, e.g. change it from 2.5-SNAPSHOT to 2.5.

In addition the version must be updated in a number of pom.xml files.

To do this run the ./tools/ script and provide the new version as parameter, e.g.:

  ./tools/ 2.5

Commit the changes and create a signed release tag on the new commit:

  git tag -s -m "v2.5" v2.5

Tag the plugins:

  git submodule foreach git tag -s -m "v2.5" v2.5

Build Gerrit

  • Build the Gerrit WAR, API JARs and documentation

      bazel build release Documentation:searchfree
      ./tools/maven/ install
  • Sanity check WAR

  • Test the new Gerrit version

  • Verify plugin versions

    Verify the versions:

      java -jar bazel-bin/release.war init --list-plugins

Publish the Gerrit Release

Publish the Gerrit artifacts to Maven Central

  • Make sure you have done the configuration for deploying to Maven Central

  • Make sure that the version is updated in the version.bzl file and in the pom.xml files as described in the Update Versions and Create Release Tag section.

  • Push the WAR to Maven Central:

      ./tools/maven/ war_deploy
  • Push the plugin artifacts to Maven Central:

      ./tools/maven/ deploy
  • To where the artifacts are uploaded depends on the GERRIT_VERSION in the version.bzl file:

  • Verify the staging repository

    • Go to the Sonatype Nexus Server and sign in with your Sonatype credentials.

    • Click on 'Build Promotion' in the left navigation bar under 'Staging Repositories' and find the comgooglegerrit-XXXX staging repository.

    • Verify its content

      While the staging repository is open you can upload further content and also replace uploaded artifacts. If something is wrong with the staging repository you can drop it by selecting it and clicking on Drop.

    • Run Sonatype validations on the staging repository

      Select the staging repository and click on Close. This runs the Sonatype validations on the staging repository. The repository will only be closed if everything is OK. A closed repository cannot be modified anymore, but you may still drop it if you find any issues.

    • Test closed staging repository

      Once a repository is closed you can find the URL to it in the Summary section, e.g.

      Use this URL for further testing of the artifacts in this repository, e.g. to try building a plugin against the plugin API in this repository update the version in the pom.xml and configure the repository:

  • Release the staging repository

    How to release a staging repository is described in the Sonatype OSS Maven Repository Usage Guide.

    Releasing artifacts to Maven Central cannot be undone!
  • [optional]: View download statistics

    • Sign in to the Sonatype Nexus Server.

    • Click on 'Views/Repositories' in the left navigation bar under 'Central Statistics'.

    • Select as Project.

Publish the Gerrit WAR to the Google Cloud Storage

Push the Stable Branch

  • Create the stable branch stable-2.5 in the gerrit project via the Gerrit Web UI or by push.

  • Push the commits done on stable-2.5 to refs/for/stable-2.5 and get them merged

Push the Release Tag

Push the new Release Tag:

  git push gerrit-review tag v2.5

Push the new Release Tag on the plugins:

  git submodule foreach git push gerrit-review tag v2.5

Upload the Documentation

  • Extract the documentation files from the zip file generated from bazel build searchfree: bazel-bin/Documentation/

  • Upload the files manually via web browser to the appropriate folder in the gerrit-documentation storage bucket.

Finalize the Release Notes

Upload a change on the homepage project to:

  • Remove 'In Development' caveat from the relevant section.

  • Add links to the released documentation and the .war file, and make the latest version bold.

Upload a change on the homepage project to change the version numbers to the new version.

Update the Issues

Update the issues by hand. There is no script for this.

Our current process is an issue should be updated to say Status = Submitted, FixedIn-2.5 once the change is submitted, but before the release.

After the release is actually made, you can search in Google Code for Status=Submitted FixedIn=2.5 and then batch update these changes to say Status=Released. Make sure the pulldown says All Issues because Status=Submitted is considered a closed issue.

Announce on Mailing List

Send an email to the mailing list to announce the release. The content of the announcement email is generated with the which automatically includes all the necessary links, hash values, and wraps the text in a PGP signature.

For details refer to the documentation in the script’s header, and/or the help text:

 ./tools/ --help

Increase Gerrit Version for Current Development

All new development that is done in the master branch will be included in the next Gerrit release. The Gerrit version should be set to the snapshot version for the next release.

Use the version tool to set the version in the version.bzl file:

 ./tools/ 2.6-SNAPSHOT

Verify that the changes made by the tool are sane, then commit them, push the change for review on the master branch, and get it merged.

Merge stable into master

After every release, stable should be merged to master to ensure that none of the changes/fixes ever get lost.

  git config merge.summary true
  git checkout master
  git reset --hard origin/master
  git branch -f stable origin/stable
  git merge stable

Bazlets is used by gerrit plugins to simplify build process. To allow the new released version to be used by gerrit plugins, gerrit_api.bzl must reference the new version. Upload a change to bazlets repository with api version upgrade.