Gertty is a console-based client for the Gerrit code review tool. Once you start doing a lot of code reviews as part of your daily work, gertty proves to be an excellent alternative to the Gerrit web interface. For one, it can work offline so it means it’s possible to review code while on the move. It also means the interface is more reactive since everything is cached locally. Plus the fact that it’s a console tool is really appealing to programmers who spend their life in the terminal.

However, like all great tools, it needs a bit of configuration it in order to deliver its full potential. I’m going to document here a few of the settings I’m using in the context of OpenStack.

Vim key bindings

If like me you like using the vim key bindings whenever possible, then you’re in luck. Gertty ships with a vi keymap and allows you to remap most of the controls. To enable the vi bindings simply set keymap: vi in your .gertty.yaml file. However, don’t stop here or you’ll be heading for serious disappointment. The default vi keymap is rudimentary with only the four direction keys hjkl and you’ll need to redefine most of the combinations to feel at home.

Gertty supports key sequences in the form of [key1, key2] so you can easily emulate a leader key or a command like :q.

Here is the configuration I am using for reference:

  - name: vi
    cursor-down: ['j', 'down']
  - name: vi
    cursor-up: ['k', 'up']
  - name: vi
    cursor-left: ['h', 'left']
  - name: vi
    cursor-right: ['l', 'right']
  - name: vi
    cursor-page-up: ['ctrl u', 'page up']
  - name: vi
    cursor-page-down: ['ctrl d', 'page down']
  - name: vi
    cursor-max-left: ['^', 'home', 'ctrl a']
  - name: vi
    cursor-max-right: ['$', 'end', 'ctrl e']
  - name: vi
    quit: [[':', 'q'], 'ctrl q']
  - name: vi
    interactive-search: ['/']
  - name: vi
    toggle-hidden: [['t', 'h']]
  - name: vi
    toggle-star: [['t', '*']]
  - name: vi
    toggle-reviewed: [['t', 'r']]
  - name: vi
    toggle-list-reviewed: [['t', 'R']]
  - name: vi
    toggle-subscribed: [['t', 's']]
  - name: vi
    toggle-list-subscribed: [['t', 'S']]

Right now, the only thing I’m missing are the G and gg movements to go to the bottom or top of the panel. They are apparently missing from the underlying urwid library.


In the spirit of the web interface, gertty also allows you to define your own dashboards. The syntax is a bit different though, and as a consequence the official OpenStack dashboards can’t be imported directly and need to be adapted slightly. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find documentation for gertty’s query interface, so until someone finds the courage and time to write it down, the source code remains your best resource.

Here is for example what I’m using for the Kolla project:

  - name: "My changes"
    query: "owner:self status:open"
    key: "f2"
  - name: "Incoming reviews"
    query: "is:open is:reviewer"
    key: "f3"
  - name: "Kolla: Needs feedback"
    query: "project:^openstack/kolla.* status:open NOT owner:self label:Workflow>=0 NOT (label:Code-Review<=-1 or label:Code-Review>=1) age:2d"
    key: "f4"
  - name: "Kolla: Needs Approval"
    query: "project:^openstack/kolla.* status:open NOT owner:self label:Workflow>=0 (label:Verified>=1,jenkins or label:Verified>=1,zuul) label:Code-Review=2 NOT label:Code-Review<=-1"
    key: "f5"
  - name: "Kolla: No negative feedback"
    query: "project:^openstack/kolla.* status:open NOT owner:self (label:Verified>=1,jenkins or label:Verified>=1,zuul) NOT (label:Code-Review<=-1 or label:Code-Review>=1)"
    key: "f6"
  - name: "Kolla: Backports"
    query: "project:^openstack/kolla.* status:open NOT owner:self branch:stable/mitaka OR branch:stable/liberty"
    key: "f7"
  - name: "Kolla: Disagreement"
    query: "project:^openstack/kolla.* status:open (label:Verified>=1,jenkins or label:Verified>=1,zuul) label:Code-Review<=-1 label:Code-Review>=1"
    key: "f8"

Keyword replacement

The OpenStack Gerrit instance conveniently replaces the git commit message tags it understands with links to Launchpad issues or blueprints. Gertty offers that feature through keyword replacements.

Here is for instance how to mimic that behavior:

  # Match external references to bugs on Launchpad
  - match: "(?P<bug_str>(?:[Cc]loses|[Pp]artial|[Rr]elated)-[Bb]ug *: *#?(?P<bug_id>\\d+))"
      - link:
          text: "{bug_str}"
          url: "{bug_id}"
  # Match external references to blueprints on Launchpad
  - match: "(?P<bp_str>(?:[Bb]lueprint|bp) +(?P<blueprint>[\\w\\-.]+))"
      - link:
          text: "{bp_str}"
          url: "{blueprint}"

Filter job results by pipelines

That last one hasn’t yet made it to gertty. This is somewhat specific to OpenStack gerrit instance and how it works with Zuul. The above commit lets you filter the job results by pipeline and displays useful information like the date or the number of rechecks.

See what gertty looks like with the patch applied:

Gertty in action