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Gertty is a console-based interface to the Gerrit Code Review system.

As compared to the web interface, the main advantages are:

  • Workflow -- the interface is designed to support a workflow similar to reading network news or mail. In particular, it is designed to deal with a large number of review requests across a large number of projects.
  • Offline Use -- Gertty syncs information about changes in subscribed projects to a local database and local git repos. All review operations are performed against that database and then synced back to Gerrit.
  • Speed -- user actions modify locally cached content and need not wait for server interaction.
  • Convenience -- because Gertty downloads all changes to local git repos, a single command instructs it to checkout a change into that repo for detailed examination or testing of larger changes.


Create a file at ~/.gertty.yaml with the following contents:

  - name: gerrit
    username: <gerrit username>
    password: <gerrit password>
    git_root: ~/git/

You can generate or retrieve your Gerrit password by navigating to Settings, then HTTP Password. Set git_root to a directory where Gertty should find or clone git repositories for your projects.

If your Gerrit uses a self-signed certificate, you can add:

verify_ssl: False

To the section.

The config file is designed to support multiple Gerrit instances, but currently, only the first one is used.

After installing the requirements (listed in requirements.txt), you should be able to simply run Gertty. You will need to start by subscribing to some projects. Use 'l' to list all of the projects and then 's' to subscribe to them.

In general, pressing the F1 key will show help text on any screen, and ESC will take you to the previous screen.

To select text (e.g., to copy to the clipboard), hold Shift while selecting the text.


Gertty is based on the following precepts which should inform changes to the program:

  • Support large numbers of review requests across large numbers of projects. Help the user prioritize those reviews.
  • Adopt a news/mailreader-like workflow in support of the above. Being able to subscribe to projects, mark reviews as "read" without reviewing, etc, are all useful concepts to support a heavy review load (they have worked extremely well in supporting people who read/write a lot of mail/news).
  • Support off-line use. Gertty should be completely usable off-line with reliable syncing between local data and Gerrit when a connection is available (just like git or mail or news).
  • Ample use of color. Unlike a web interface, a good text interface relies mostly on color and precise placement rather than whitespace and decoration to indicate to the user the purpose of a given piece of information. Gertty should degrade well to 16 colors, but more (88 or 256) may be used.
  • Keyboard navigation (with easy-to-remember commands) should be considered the primary mode of interaction. Mouse interaction should also be supported.
  • The navigation philosophy is a stack of screens, where each selection pushes a new screen onto the stack, and ESC pops the screen off. This makes sense when drilling down to a change from lists, but also supports linking from change to change (via commit messages or comments) and navigating back intuitive (it matches expectations set by the web browsers).
  • Support a wide variety of Gerrit installations. The initial development of Gertty is against the OpenStack project's Gerrit, and many of the features are intended to help its developers with their workflow, however, those features should be implemented in a generic way so that the system does not require a specific Gerrit configuration.


For information on how to contribute to gertty, please see the contents of the CONTRIBUTING.rst file.