Third Party Testing


Gerrit has an event stream which can be subscribed to, using this it is possible to test commits against testing systems beyond those supplied by OpenStack’s Jenkins setup. It is also possible for these systems to feed information back into Gerrit and they can also leave non-gating votes on Gerrit review requests.

An example of one such system is Smokestack. Smokestack reads the Gerrit event stream and runs its own tests on the commits. If one of the tests fails it will publish information and links to the failure on the review in Gerrit.

You can view a list of current 3rd party testing accounts and the relevant contact information for each account in the Gerrit group for 3rd party testing (you must be signed in to Gerrit to view this page). All accounts must have a wikipage entry on this page. Details are below under Requirements.


  • Until a third party testing system operates in a stable fashion, third party tests can comment on patches but not vote on them.

    • A system can also be set up to only do ‘+1’ reviews and leave all the ‘-1’s to be manually confirmed.
  • A third-party system may only leave one comment per patch set (unless it is retriggered).

  • The maintainers are responsible for re-triggering tests when their third party testing system breaks.

  • Support recheck to request re-running a test.

    • Support the following syntaxes: recheck.
    • Recheck means recheck everything. A single recheck comment should re-trigger all testing systems.
  • Publish contact information for the maintainers.

    • Follow the instructions on the ThirdPartySystems wiki page to add your system. When complete, there should be a page dedicated to your system with a URL like:
    • All comments from your CI system must contain a link to the wiki page for your CI system.
    • Maintainers are encouraged to be in IRC regularly to make it faster to contact them.
  • Include a public link to all test artifacts to make debugging failed tests easier (using a dns name over a hardcoded ip is recommended). This should include:

    • Environment details
      • This must include a utc timestamp of the test run
    • Test configuration
      • Skipped tests
      • logs should include a trace of the commands used
    • OpenStack logs
    • Tempest logs (including testr_results.html.gz)
      • logs must be browsable; logs requiring download, installation or login to access are not acceptable


    All test artifacts must be retained for one month.

Reading the Event Stream

It is possible to use ssh to connect to on port 29418 with your ssh key if you have a normal reviewer account in Gerrit.

This will give you a real-time JSON stream of events happening inside Gerrit. For example:

$ ssh -p 29418 gerrit stream-events

Will give a stream with an output like this (line breaks and indentation added in this document for readability, the real JSON will be all one line per event):

  {"project":"openstack/keystone","branch":"stable/essex","topic":"bug/969088","id":"I18ae38af62b4c2b2423e20e436611fc30f844ae1","number":"7385","subject":"Make import_nova_auth only create roles which don\u0027t already exist","owner":
    {"name":"Chuck Short","email":"","username":"zulcss"},"url":""},
      {"name":"Chuck Short","email":"","username":"zulcss"},
    {"name":"Mark McLoughlin","email":"","username":"markmc"},
    [{"type":"CRVW","description":"Code Review","value":"2"},{"type":"APRV","description":"Approved","value":"0"}],
"comment":"Hmm, I actually thought this was in Essex already.\n\nIt\u0027s a pretty annoying little issue for folks migrating for nova auth. Fix is small and pretty safe. Good choice for backporting"}

For most purposes you will want to trigger on patchset-created for when a new patchset has been uploaded.

Further documentation on how to use the events stream can be found in Gerrit’s stream event documentation page.

Posting Result To Gerrit

External testing systems can give non-gating votes to Gerrit by means of a -1/+1 verify vote. OpenStack Jenkins has extra permissions to give a +2/-2 verify vote which is gating. Comments should also be provided to explain what kind of test failed. We do also ask that the comments contain public links to the failure so that the developer can see what caused the failure.

An example of how to post this is as follows:

$ ssh -p 29418 gerrit review -m '"Test failed on MegaTestSystem <>"' --verified=-1 c0ff33

In this example c0ff33 is the commit ID for the review. You can set the verified to either -1 or +1 depending on whether or not it passed the tests.

Further documentation on the review command in Gerrit can be found in the Gerrit review documentation page.

We do suggest cautious testing of these systems and have a development Gerrit setup to test on if required. In SmokeStack’s case all failures are manually reviewed before getting pushed to OpenStack, while this may not scale it is advisable during the initial testing of the setup.

There are several triggers that gerrit will match to alter the formatting of comments. The raw regular expressions can be seen in gerrit.pp. For example, to have your test results formatted in the same manner as the upstream Jenkins results, use a template for each result matching:

* test-name-no-spaces : [SUCCESS|FAILURE] some comment about the test

Requesting a Service Account

In order to post comments as a Third Party CI System and eventually verify your build status on Gerrit patches, you will need a dedicated Gerrit system account. This account is created by a member of the OpenStack Infrastructure team, you are unable to create this account yourself. This account has no access via the GUI to modify settings.

You will need to subscribe to two mailing lists third-party-announce to be aware if your system is disabled and third-party-requests to request your dedicated third party gerrit account.

When submitting your request to the third-party-requests mailing list, the following information is necessary:

1. The public SSH key described above (if using OpenSSH, this would be the full contents of the account’s ~/.ssh/ file after running ‘ssh-keygen’). You can attach it to the email or include a hyperlink to where you’ve published it so it can be retrieved. This is a non-sensitive piece of data, and it’s safe for it to be publicly visible.

2. Your company/organization name or acronym. If you don’t have a company name please identify this in your email, we will need to find an equivalent.

  1. What you are verifying: this could be a product, driver or application.

The Jenkins Gerrit Trigger Plugin Way

There is a Gerrit Trigger plugin for Jenkins which automates all of the processes described in this document. So if your testing system is Jenkins based you can use it to simplify things. You will still need an account to do this as described in the Requesting a Service Account section above.

The Gerrit Trigger plugin for Jenkins can be found on the Jenkins repository. You can install it using the Advanced tab in the Jenkins Plugin Manager.

Once installed Jenkins will have a new Gerrit Trigger option in the Manage Jenkins menu. This should be given the following options:

Frontend URL:
SSH Port: 29418
Username: (the Gerrit user)
SSH Key File: (path to the user SSH key)

Started: 0
Successful: 1
Failed: -1
Unstable: 0

Code Review
Started: 0
Successful: 0
Failed: 0
Unstable: 0

(under Advanced Button):

Stated: (blank)
Successful: gerrit approve <CHANGE>,<PATCHSET> --message 'Build Successful <BUILDS_STATS>' --verified <VERIFIED> --code-review <CODE_REVIEW>
Failed: gerrit approve <CHANGE>,<PATCHSET> --message 'Build Failed <BUILDS_STATS>' --verified <VERIFIED> --code-review <CODE_REVIEW>
Unstable: gerrit approve <CHANGE>,<PATCHSET> --message 'Build Unstable <BUILDS_STATS>' --verified <VERIFIED> --code-review <CODE_REVIEW>

Note that it is useful to include something in the messages about what testing system is supplying these messages.

When creating jobs in Jenkins you will have the option to add triggers. You should configure as follows:

Trigger on Patchset Uploaded: ticked
(the rest unticked)

Type: Plain
Pattern: openstack/project-name (where project-name is the name of the project)
  Type: Path
  Pattern: **

This job will now automatically trigger when a new patchset is uploaded and will report the results to Gerrit automatically.

Testing your CI setup

You can use the openstack-dev/sandbox project to test your external CI infrastructure with OpenStack’s Gerrit. By using the sandbox project you can test your CI system without affecting regular OpenStack reviews.

Once you confirm your CI system works as you expect, change your configuration of the gerrit trigger plugin or zuul to subscribe to gerrit events from your target project.

Permissions on your Third Party System

When your CI account is created it will be in the Third-Party CI Gerrit group. The permissions on this group allow for commenting and voting on the openstack-dev/sandbox repo as well as commenting without voting on other repos in gerrit.

The OpenStack Infrastructure team disables mis-behaving third-party ci accounts at its discretion. This documentation endeavours to outline specific circumstances that may lead to an account being disabled. There have been times when third-party ci systems behave in ways we didn’t envision and therefore were unable to document prior to the event. If your third-party ci system has been disabled, check the archives of the third-party-announce mailing list to which you hopefully are subscribed. The email that notifies this list that your account has been disabled will include instructions for getting your system re-enabled. You are also welcome to join us in the #openstack-infra irc channel on freenode to discuss your situation.

In order to get your Third Pary CI account to have voting permissions on repos in gerrit in addition to openstack-dev/sandbox you have a greater chance of success if you follow these steps:

  • Set up your system and test it according to “Testing your CI setup” outlined above (this will create a history of activity associated with your account which will be evaluated when you apply for voting permissions).

  • Post comments, that adhere to the “Requirements” listed above, that demonstrate the format for your system communication to the repos you want your system to test.

  • Once your Third Party Account has a history on gerrit so that others can evaluate your format for comments, and the stability of your voting pattern (in the sandbox repo):

    • send an email to the openstack-dev mailing list nominating your system for voting permissions

      • use tags [Infra][Nova] for the Nova program, please replace [Nova] with [Program], where [Program] is the name of the program your CI account will test
    • present your account history

    • address any questions and concerns with your system

  • If the members of the program you want voting permissions from agree your system should be able to vote, the ptl or a core-reviewer from the program communicates this decision to the OpenStack Infrastructure team who will move your Third Party CI System to the Voting Third-Party CI Gerrit group.