Gerrit/Commit message guidelines

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The commit message plays an important role in revision control systems. They are the first thing other people will see of your commit. Quick summary:

Short subject
<blank line>
More details, wrap lines around 76 characters.

Bug: T54321



The first line of the commit message is known as the subject. It describes the change briefly and helps reviewers to see at a glance what the commit is about.

  • Use the imperative mood (e.g. "Change foo to bar"; not "Changes foo", "Changing foo", nor "Changed foo").
  • Since this is a title (not a paragraph) it should not end in a period/full stop, but should begin with a capital letter.
  • Optionally prefix it with the changed component.
  • It should be no more than 80 characters.


Use the body of the commit message to describe your change in detail.

  • Separate the body from the subject with an empty line.
  • Give an overview of why you're committing this change.
    • What the commit changes.
    • Any new design choices made.
    • Areas to focus on for recommendations or to verify correct implementation.
    • Any research you might have done.
  • Bytes are cheap, so just write!
  • Try to make your commit message understandable without external resources (e.g., instead of just giving a URL to a mailing list archive, summarize the relevant points of the discussion).
  • Wrap the body of the message so that lines are between 70 and 100 characters long.
  • Don't break URLs. If a URL is too long, give it its own line, but don't break or wrap it.


  • (For Phabricator) Add a "Bug: TNNN" keyword as the very last line (see examples below. Remember: git-review adds the Change-Id afterwards) to cross-reference a Phabricator Maniphest task/bug. This should trigger the "gerritbot" to tag the corresponding Maniphest task with #patch-for-review. Can be used multiple times.
  • Gerrit's git-review tool will automatically append the "Change-Id: INNN" keyword to new commits.
  • (For Bugzilla which has been superseded by Phabricator): A "Bug: NNNNN" keyword at the end created a cross-reference to a Bugzilla ticket.
  • (For Zuul) Add "Depends-On: Ixxx..." to the last paragraph for declaring cross-repo dependencies when your commit depends on another commit in a different repository. (Ixxx... is the gerrit ID of the other commit.)


jquery.badge: Add ability to display the number zero

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet tart cheesecake tiramisu chocolate cake
topping. Icing ice cream sweet roll. Biscuit dragée toffee wypas. 

Does not yet address bug 44441 or T176. Follows-up Id5e7cbb1.

Bug: T42
Change-Id: I88c5f819c42d9fe1468be6b2cf74413d7d6d6907

Of note[edit]

Patch set comments[edit]

Please do not add patch set-specific comments to the commit message body. Instead, enter patch set-specific comments as Gerrit patch set comments on the specific code lines or in the general patch set comment area.


Bear in mind that many interfaces use the subject to identify a commit, such as:

In all these cases the subject is rendered as plain text. Avoid using Phabricator, Bugzilla or Git references in the subject as they have no meaning in plain text. Instead mention them in the body text and/or as key-value pairs in the footer. When someone views the change in Gerrit this data is parsed (bug references, Git hashes, URLs all become linkified).


You may prefix the subject with a component indicating what area of the code is affected by this commit.

It should be one of the following:

  • Group of php classes (like "uploads", "cache", "database", "resourceloader", "maintenance", "installer", etc.; typically directories in includes/).
  • Class name (like "Title", "User", "OutputPage", etc.)
  • Module name (like "mediawiki.title", "mediawiki.user", etc.)
  • Keyword affecting multiple areas relating to the type of change (e.g. "doc", "test", "phpcs", or "build")

Auto-linking and cross-referencing[edit]

Whenever you refer to another commit, use the SHA-1 of the merged commit, or (if the change is still pending review) use the Gerrit Change-Id hash (avoid using urls). If the commit in question has not been merged yet, use the Gerrit Change-Id instead of the SHA1 because the SHA1 relates to an individual patch set (a reference that will be a dead-end once merged).


To reference a Phabricator bug or task, in the commit message mention it inline using the TNNN notation (e.g. "That fixes T169.")

To express that a commit addresses a bug, add a Bug: TNNN footer[1] at the end of the commit message. (If you're amending a commit message, insert it immediately above the Change-Id: line.)

Bug: T169

The "gerritbot" bot will automatically update the task in Phabricator about a new change set and any significant status changes (being merged, abandoned, etc.). Additionally, it automatically tags the task with #patch-for-review. This behaviour is only triggered when a change has the bug linked in the footer using the specified format. If the patch addresses two or more bugs, put each Bug: T12345 etc. reference on its own line on the bottom.

Make sure there are no blank lines at the end of the commit message. This will prevent the automatic cross-referencing functionality of Gerrit Notification Bot.

See also[edit]


  1. As with all headers/footers: Write the name with words individually capitalized, with hyphens between (e.g. Hypothetical-Header-Or-Footer). Follow the name with a colon (":"), then one space. Similar to the Git commit, HTTP and E-mail headers, adding extra blank lines above the footer would cut off the footer and wrongly include the former part in the body.