Gerrit supports automatic site initialization on server startup when Gerrit runs in a servlet container. Both creation of a new site and upgrade of an existing site are supported. By default, all packaged plugins will be installed when Gerrit is deployed in a servlet container and the location of the Gerrit distribution can be determined at runtime. It is also possible to install only a subset of packaged plugins or not install any plugin.

This feature may be useful for such setups where Gerrit administrators don’t have direct access to the database and the file system of the server where Gerrit should be deployed and, therefore, cannot perform the init from their local machine prior to deploying Gerrit on such a server. It may also make deployment and testing in a local servlet container faster to setup as the init step could be skipped.

Gerrit Configuration

The site initialization will be performed only if the gerrit.init system property exists (the value of the property is not used, only the existence of the property matters).

If the gerrit.site_path system property is defined then the init is run for that site. The database connectivity, in that case, is defined in the etc/gerrit.config.

If gerrit.site_path is not defined then Gerrit will try to find an existing site by looking into the system_config table in the database defined via the jdbc/ReviewDb JNDI property. If the system_config table exists then the site_path from that table is used for the initialization. The database connectivity is defined by the jdbc/ReviewDb JNDI property.

Finally, if neither the gerrit.site_path property nor the system_config table exists, the gerrit.init_path system property, if defined, will be used to determine the site path. The database connectivity, also for this case, is defined by the jdbc/ReviewDb JNDI property.

Defining the jdbc/ReviewDb JNDI property for an H2 database under the path defined by either gerrit.site_path or gerrit.init_path will cause an incomplete auto initialization and Gerrit will fail to start. Opening a connection to such database will create a subfolder under the site path folder (in order to create the H2 database) and Gerrit will not any more consider that site path to be new and, because of that, skip some required initialization steps (for example, Lucene index creation). In order to auto initialize Gerrit with an embedded H2 database use the gerrit.site_path to define the location of the review site and don’t define a JNDI resource with a URL under that path.

If the gerrit.install_plugins property is not defined then all packaged plugins will be installed. If it is defined then it is parsed as a comma separated list of plugin names to install. If the value is an empty string then no plugin will be installed.

Example 1

Prepare Tomcat so that a site is initialized at a given path using the H2 database (if the site doesn’t exist yet) or using whatever database is defined in etc/gerrit.config of that site:

  $ export CATALINA_OPTS='-Dgerrit.init -Dgerrit.site_path=/path/to/site'
  $ start

Example 2

Prepare Tomcat so that an existing site with the path defined in the system_config table is initialized (upgraded) on Gerrit startup. The assumption is that the jdbc/ReviewDb JNDI property is defined in Tomcat:

  $ export CATALINA_OPTS='-Dgerrit.init'
  $ start

Example 3

Assuming the database schema doesn’t exist in the database defined via the jdbc/ReviewDb JNDI property, initialize a new site using that database and a given path:

  $ export CATALINA_OPTS='-Dgerrit.init -Dgerrit.init_path=/path/to/site'
  $ start