commit-msg - Edit commit messages to insert a Change-Id tag.


A Git hook automatically invoked by git commit, and most other commit creation tools such as git citool or git gui. The Gerrit Code Review supplied implementation of this hook is a short shell script which automatically inserts a globally unique Change-Id tag in the footer of a commit message. When present, Gerrit uses this tag to track commits across cherry-picks and rebases.

After the hook has been installed in the user’s local Git repository for a project, the hook will modify a commit message such as:

  Improve foo widget by attaching a bar.

  We want a bar, because it improves the foo by providing more
  wizbangery to the dowhatimeanery.

  Signed-off-by: A. U. Thor <>

by inserting a new `Change-Id: ` line in the footer:

  Improve foo widget by attaching a bar.

  We want a bar, because it improves the foo by providing more
  wizbangery to the dowhatimeanery.

  Change-Id: Ic8aaa0728a43936cd4c6e1ed590e01ba8f0fbf5b
  Signed-off-by: A. U. Thor <>

The hook implementation is reasonably intelligent at inserting the Change-Id line before any Signed-off-by or Acked-by lines placed at the end of the commit message by the author, but if no such lines are present then it will just insert a blank line, and add the Change-Id at the bottom of the message.

If a Change-Id line is already present in the message footer, the script will do nothing, leaving the existing Change-Id unmodified. This permits amending an existing commit, or allows the user to insert the Change-Id manually after copying it from an existing change viewed on the web.

The Change-Id will not be added if gerrit.createChangeId is set to false in the git config.


To obtain the commit-msg script use scp, wget or curl to download it to your local system from your Gerrit server.

You can use either of the below commands:

$ scp -p -P 29418 <your username>@<your Gerrit review server>:hooks/commit-msg <local path to your git>/.git/hooks/
$ curl -Lo <local path to your git>/.git/hooks/commit-msg <your Gerrit http URL>/tools/hooks/commit-msg

A specific example of this might look something like this:

Example 1. Example
$ scp -p -P 29418 ~/duhproject/.git/hooks/
$ curl -Lo ~/duhproject/.git/hooks/commit-msg

Make sure the hook file is executable:

$ chmod u+x ~/duhproject/.git/hooks/commit-msg



The hook generates unique Change-Id lines by creating a virtual commit object within the local Git repository, and obtaining the SHA-1 hash from it. Like any other Git commit, the following properties are included in the computation:

  • SHA-1 of the tree being committed

  • SHA-1 of the parent commit

  • Name, email address, timestamp of the author

  • Name, email address, timestamp of the committer

  • Proposed commit message (before Change-Id was inserted)

Because the names of the tree and parent commit, as well as the committer timestamp are included in the hash computation, the output Change-Id is sufficiently unique.