Gerrit Code Review comes with a REST like API available over HTTP. The API is suitable for automated tools to build upon, as well as supporting some ad-hoc scripting use cases.



Access Right related REST endpoints


Account related REST endpoints


Change related REST endpoints


Config related REST endpoints


Group related REST endpoints


Plugin related REST endpoints


Project related REST endpoints


Documentation related REST endpoints

Protocol Details


By default all REST endpoints assume anonymous access and filter results to correspond to what anonymous users can read (which may be nothing at all).

Users (and programs) can authenticate with HTTP passwords by prefixing the endpoint URL with /a/. For example to authenticate to /projects/, request the URL /a/projects/. Gerrit will use HTTP basic authentication with the HTTP password from the user’s account settings page. This form of authentication bypasses the need for XSRF tokens.

An authorization cookie may be presented in the request URL inside the access_token query parameter. XSRF tokens are not required when a valid access_token is used in the URL.


Cross-site scripting may be supported if the administrator has configured site.allowOriginRegex.

Approved web applications running from an allowed origin can rely on CORS preflight to authorize requests requiring cookie based authentication, or mutations (POST, PUT, DELETE). Mutations require a valid XSRF token in the X-Gerrit-Auth request header.

Alternatively applications can use access_token in the URL (see above) to authorize requests. Mutations sent as POST with a request content type of text/plain can skip CORS preflight. Gerrit accepts additional query parameters $m to override the correct method (PUT, POST, DELETE) and $ct to specify the actual content type, such as application/json; charset=UTF-8. Example:

    POST /changes/42/topic?$m=PUT&$ct=application/json%3B%20charset%3DUTF-8&access_token=secret HTTP/1.1
	Content-Type: text/plain
	Content-Length: 23

	{"topic": "new-topic"}


Clients can request PUT to create a new resource and not overwrite an existing one by adding If-None-Match: * to the request HTTP headers. If the named resource already exists the server will respond with HTTP 412 Precondition Failed.

Backwards Compatibility

The REST API is regularly extended (e.g. addition of new REST endpoints or new fields in existing JSON entities). Callers of the REST API must be able to deal with this (e.g. ignore unknown fields in the REST responses). Incompatible changes (e.g. removal of REST endpoints, altering/removal of existing fields in JSON entities) are avoided if possible, but can happen in rare cases. If they happen, they are announced in the release notes.

Output Format

JSON responses are encoded using UTF-8 and use content type application/json.

By default most APIs return pretty-printed JSON, which uses extra whitespace to make the output more readable for humans.

Compact JSON can be requested by setting the pp=0 query parameter, or by setting the Accept HTTP request header to include application/json:

  GET /projects/ HTTP/1.0
  Accept: application/json

Producing (and parsing) the non-pretty compact format is more efficient, so tools should request it whenever possible.

To prevent against Cross Site Script Inclusion (XSSI) attacks, the JSON response body starts with a magic prefix line that must be stripped before feeding the rest of the response body to a JSON parser:

  [ ... valid JSON ... ]

Responses will be gzip compressed by the server if the HTTP Accept-Encoding request header is set to gzip. This may save on network transfer time for larger responses.

Input Format

Unknown JSON parameters will simply be ignored by Gerrit without causing an exception. This also applies to case-sensitive parameters, such as map keys.


Timestamps are given in UTC and have the format "'yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss.fffffffff'" where "'ffffffffff'" represents nanoseconds.


All IDs that appear in the URL of a REST call (e.g. project name, group name) must be URL encoded.

Response Codes

The Gerrit REST endpoints use HTTP status codes as described in the HTTP specification.

In most cases, the response body of an error response will be a plaintext, human-readable error message.

Here are examples that show how HTTP status codes are used in the context of the Gerrit REST API.

400 Bad Request

“400 Bad Request” is returned if the request is not understood by the server due to malformed syntax.

E.g. “400 Bad Request” is returned if JSON input is expected but the 'Content-Type' of the request is not 'application/json' or the request body doesn’t contain valid JSON.

“400 Bad Request” is also returned if required input fields are not set or if options are set which cannot be used together.

403 Forbidden

“403 Forbidden” is returned if the operation is not allowed because the calling user does not have sufficient permissions.

E.g. some REST endpoints require that the calling user has certain global capabilities assigned.

“403 Forbidden” is also returned if self is used as account ID and the REST call was done without authentication.

404 Not Found

“404 Not Found” is returned if the resource that is specified by the URL is not found or is not visible to the calling user. A resource cannot be found if the URL contains a non-existing ID or view.

405 Method Not Allowed

“405 Method Not Allowed” is returned if the resource exists but doesn’t support the operation.

E.g. some of the /groups/ endpoints are only supported for Gerrit internal groups; if they are invoked for an external group the response is “405 Method Not Allowed”.

409 Conflict

“409 Conflict” is returned if the request cannot be completed because the current state of the resource doesn’t allow the operation.

E.g. if you try to submit a change that is abandoned, this fails with “409 Conflict” because the state of the change doesn’t allow the submit operation.

“409 Conflict” is also returned if you try to create a resource but the name is already occupied by an existing resource.

412 Precondition Failed

“412 Precondition Failed” is returned if a precondition from the request header fields is not fulfilled, as described in the Preconditions section.

422 Unprocessable Entity

“422 Unprocessable Entity” is returned if the ID of a resource that is specified in the request body cannot be resolved.

429 Too Many Requests

“429 Too Many Requests” is returned if the request exhausted any set quota limits. Depending on the exhausted quota, the request may be retried with exponential backoff.

Request Tracing

For each REST endpoint tracing can be enabled by setting the trace=<trace-id> request parameter. It is recommended to use the ID of the issue that is being investigated as trace ID.

Example Request
  GET /changes/myProject~master~I8473b95934b5732ac55d26311a706c9c2bde9940/suggest_reviewers?trace=issue/123&q=J

It is also possible to omit the trace ID and get a unique trace ID generated.

Example Request
  GET /changes/myProject~master~I8473b95934b5732ac55d26311a706c9c2bde9940/suggest_reviewers?trace&q=J

Alternatively request tracing can also be enabled by setting the X-Gerrit-Trace header:

Example Request
  GET /changes/myProject~master~I8473b95934b5732ac55d26311a706c9c2bde9940/suggest_reviewers?q=J
  X-Gerrit-Trace: issue/123

Enabling tracing results in additional logs with debug information that are written to the error_log. All logs that correspond to the traced request are associated with the trace ID. The trace ID is returned with the REST response in the X-Gerrit-Trace header.

Example Response
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
  Content-Disposition: attachment
  Content-Type: application/json; charset=UTF-8
  X-Gerrit-Trace: 1533885943749-8257c498

  ... <json> ...

Given the trace ID an administrator can find the corresponding logs and investigate issues more easily.

Setting a deadline

When invoking a REST endpoint it’s possible that the client sets a deadline after which the request should be aborted. To do this the X-Gerrit-Deadline header must be set on the request. Values must be specified using standard time unit abbreviations ('ms', 'sec', 'min', etc.).

Example Request
  GET /changes/myProject~master~I8473b95934b5732ac55d26311a706c9c2bde9940/suggest_reviewers?q=J
  X-Gerrit-Deadline: 5m

Setting a deadline on the request overrides any server-side deadline that has been configured on the host.


This is only enabled when "X-Gerrit-UpdatedRef-Enabled" is set to "true" in the request header.

For each write REST request, we return X-Gerrit-UpdatedRef headers as the refs that were updated in the current request (involved in a ref transaction in the current request).

The format of those headers is PROJECT_NAME~REF_NAME\~OLD_SHA-1\~NEW_SHA-1. The project and ref names are URL-encoded, and must use %7E for '~'.

A new SHA-1 of 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000 is treated as a deleted ref. If the new SHA-1 is not 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000, the ref was either updated or created. If the old SHA-1 is 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000, the ref was created.

Example Request
  DELETE /changes/myProject~master~I8473b95934b5732ac55d26311a706c9c2bde9940
Example Response
  Content-Disposition: attachment
  Content-Type: application/json; charset=UTF-8
  X-Gerrit-UpdatedRef: myProject~refs%2Fchanges%2F01%2F1%2F1~deadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeef~0000000000000000000000000000000000000000
  X-Gerrit-UpdatedRef: myProject~refs%2Fchanges%2F01%2F1%2Fmeta~deadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeef~0000000000000000000000000000000000000000