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 plugins.

This feature may be useful for such setups where Gerrit administrators don’t have direct access to 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 set up as the init step could be skipped.

Gerrit Configuration

In order to perform site initialization, define gerrit.site_path with the path to your site. If the site already exists, this is the only required property. If your site does not yet exist, set the gerrit.init system property to automatically initialize the site.

During initialization, 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 plugins will be installed.


Prepare Tomcat so that a site is initialized at a given path (if the site doesn’t exist yet), installing all packaged plugins.

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