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This documentation covers Review Board 1.6. You can see the latest Review Board documentation or all other versions.


Review Board supports talking to multiple source code repositories of various types. A single Review Board server can be configured with nearly an unlimited number of repositories, making it useful in large projects and companies as well as small. These are managed in the Administration UI through either the database section or the Administrator Dashboard.

A repository can be linked up with a supported hosting service. This provides a fast and easy way to configure a repository without having to figure out specific paths. See Hosting Services for more information.

Managing Repositories

Adding Repositories

In order for Review Board to talk to a source code repository, it must first know how to access it.

To add a new repository, click the Add link next to the Repositories entry in the database section or the Administrator Dashboard.

A form will appear with fields split into the following sections:

General Information

  • Name (required)

    This is the human-readable name of the repository that users will see. The name can be whatever you like and will appear on the “New Review Request” page and in the review request’s displayed information.

  • Show this repository (optional)

    Determines whether or not the repository will be show. If this is unchecked, then users won’t see the repository in Review Board or through third-party applications that talk to Review Board.

    This is most often used for hiding a repository that’s no longer in use.

Repository Hosting

This is a complete list of fields that can be shown in this section. Not all of them will actually be shown at once. The fields will depend on the selected Hosting service and Repository type.

  • Hosting service (required)

    The source code hosting service this repository will use, if any. Review Board provides a list of supported hosting services.

    See Hosting Services for more information.

  • Account (required)

    The account used for the hosting service, if one is used. Select <Link a new account> to specify a new account for the service.

  • Account username (required)

    The username for the new account, if <Link a new account> is used.

  • Account password (required)

    The password for the new account, if <Link a new account> is used and the hosting service requires a password.

Repository Information

This is a partial list of fields that can be shown in this section. The fields listed will depend on the requirements of the hosting service.

  • Repository type (required)

    This is the type of the repository. This will depend on the Hosting service selected.

  • Repository plan (required)

    The plan on the hosting service used for this repository, if needed. This may be used to specify a public vs. private repository, for example.

    This is only shown for certain hosting services.

  • Path (required)

    This is the path to the repository on the server. It must be accessible by the server running Review Board. The value depends on the repository type. See Determining Repository Information below for more information.

    This is only shown when Hosting service is set to (None - Custom Repository).

  • Mirror Path (optional)

    This is an alternate path for the repository that is used during lookups. It’s usually used when there’s separate developer and anonymous URLs for the repository, with the anonymous URL entered in Path and the developer URL entered in Mirror Path. Review Board will always use the main path when looking up files.

    This is only shown when Hosting service is set to (None - Custom Repository).

    See Determining Repository Information below for more information on the URLs.

  • Raw file URL mask (optional)

    The raw file URL mask is a path to a raw file blob on a cgit or Gitweb server with special tags that will be substituted to build a real URL to a file in the repository. This field is needed when using Review Board with a remote Git repository.

    For example:

    • cgit: http://git.gnome.org/browse/gtk+/plain/<filename>?id2=<revision>
    • Gitweb: http://git.kernel.org/?p=bluetooth/bluez-gnome.git;a=blob_plain;f=<filename>;hb=<revision>

    This is only shown when Hosting service is set to (None - Custom Repository) and Repository type is set to Git.

    See Raw File URLs below for more information.

  • Username and Password (optional)

    Some repositories will require a username and password for access, some require only a username, and some don’t require either and instead allow for anonymous access.

    Subversion repositories, for example, generally provide anonymous access, while CVS and Perforce generally require a username but not a password.

    The administrator of the repository should know what is required. This varies depending on the setup.

    This may or may not be shown depending on Hosting service and Repository type.

Bug Tracker

In most projects, there’s a bug tracker associated with the repository or project, and review requests will often reference bugs.

Review Board will automatically link any bugs to the bug tracker associated with the repository if this field is provided.

  • Use hosting service’s bug tracker (optional)

    If checked, and if the selected Hosting service has a built-in bug tracker, then that bug tracker will be used for this repository.

    If unchecked, a bug tracker can be specified below.

  • Type (optional)

    The value of the field should be the path of a ticket, except with %s substituted for the ticket name.

    For example:
    • Bugzilla: http://bugzilla.example.com/show_bug.cgi?id=%s
    • Google Code: http://code.google.com/p/myproject/issues/detail?id=%s
    • Trac: http://trac.example.com/ticket/%s

    If you don’t use a bug tracker with projects in this repository, this field can be left blank.

Access Control

New in version 1.6.

Repository access can be limited to certain users and review groups. See Access Control for more information on how this works.

  • Publicly accessible

    If checked, all users will be able to access review requests and files on this repository. Otherwise, they’ll only be accessible to users or groups that are granted access below.

    By default, this is checked.

  • Users with access (optional)

    If the repository is not publicly accessible, only users listed here will have access to the repository and review requests on it.

    Hold down Control (on the PC) or Command (on the Mac) to select more than one.

  • Review groups with access (optional)

    If the repository is not publicly accessible, only users on the invite-only review groups listed here will have access to the repository and review requests on it.

    Hold down Control (on the PC) or Command (on the Mac) to select more than one.

Advanced Settings

  • Encoding (optional)

    In some cases there’s confusion as to the proper encoding to expect from files in a repository. You can set this to the proper encoding type (such as utf-8) if you need to, but generally you don’t want to touch this field if things are working fine. You can leave this blank.

When done, click Save to create the repository entry.

Editing Repositories

In the event that you need to change the information on a repository (for example, if the repository path or the bug tracker URL has changed), you can edit your repository information by clicking Repositories in the Administrator Dashboard or Database section of the Administration UI.

See Adding Repositories for a description of each field.

When done, click Save to save your changes.

Deleting Repositories

To delete a repository, follow the instructions in Editing Repositories to find the repository you want to get rid of. Then click Delete at the bottom of the page.


Deleting a repository will delete any and all review requests, reviews, diffs, or other data associated with it. You should never delete a repository that has been previously used, unless the server is really dead and gone with no replacement (in which case review requests won’t be able to grab the diff information anyway).

Hosting Services

Review Board can be easily configured to work with different hosting services. This is a convenient method for specifying the repository paths and other information necessary to talk to the particular repository.

By changing the Hosting service field, the list of repository types (Subversion, Git, etc.) will be limited to the list that the hosting service supports. The list of fields you need to fill out will also change.

As of Review Board 1.6, the following hosting services are supported:

More may be added in future releases based on demand.

If you’re using a custom code repository, whether hosted on a private server or on some other hosting provider, you can set Hosting service to (None - Custom Repository) and fill out the information manually. This is equivalent to configuring a repository in Review Board 1.0.x.

If you have a repository with a hosting service from a version of Review Board prior to 1.6.7, you will need to set your hosting service again, as the mechanism for storing and linking hosting services has changed.

Linking Accounts

When configuring a hosting service, an account must be linked. For some hosting services, linking an account will first authenticate against the hosting service and store a token as part of the account.

Some hosting services will require a password as part of the linking process. The password will not be stored, just used to initially link the account.

SSH-Backed Repositories

Many types of repository setups can only be accessed through a working SSH connection. This requires a public/private key setup, where the repository to be accessible by a Review Board server providing a pre-approved SSH key.

Review Board can generate an SSH key to be used with repositories. An existing SSH key can also be uploaded. Once a key is stored in Review Board, the accompanying public key can be assigned to the server.

See the SSH Settings documentation on how to configure an SSH key.

Configuring the SSH key access on the repository or on the server hosting the repository is not covered here. There are plenty of resources on granting access via SSH keys.

Determining Repository Information

The Path field for a repository is very dependent on the type of repository you’re configuring. This section provides some help for determining which value to use.


Review Board works with local ClearCase dynamic views, by utilizing version-extended paths to access specific file revisions.

The Path field should point to the particular VOB, which must be an absolute path starting with a drive letter on Windows or a mount point on Unix/Linux.

The Username and Password fields should be blank.


When uploading new diffs, Review Board wlil compare the VOBs by UUID. If the UUID doesn’t match, post-review will use the VOB’s name as the repository name. Because of this, it is a good idea to name the repositories in Review Board to match the VOB names.


Review Board supports several methods of connecting to a CVS server. In particular, the following connection types can be used:

  • :ext:
  • :fork:
  • :gserver:
  • :kgserver:
  • :local:
  • :pserver:
  • :server:

If you use one of these connection types and provide it for the Path field, you won’t need to fill in the Username and Password fields.

If you use :pserver:, you can instead provide a Path of the form hostname:port/path and then specify the username and password in the appropriate fields.

Some example of valid paths include:

  • cvs.example.com/cvsroot
  • :pserver:anonymous@cvs.example.com/cvsroot
  • :pserver:myuser:mypass@cvs.example.com:1234/cvsroot
  • :local:C:\CVSROOTS\myproject

To determine the path of an existing checkout, you can go to the top-most directory of the checkout and type:

$ cat CVS/Root

You should use the contents of this file as the repository path, adjusting the username, password or path as necessary.


In order to use Git with Review Board, you’ll need either a local clone on the server, or by using raw file URLs to a web front-end to Git (cgit, Gitweb, etc.) on the Git server. Git doesn’t have a way of fetching an individual file of a given revision from a remote server without having an entire clone, so it works differently from other repository types.

Local Clone

In order to work with Review Board, a local clone needs to be kept in sync regularly. It should either have direct access to a central Git server, or it needs to be updated on every commit to the central Git server.

The Path field should be the full path of the .git directory inside this checkout. For example: /var/git/projectname/.git

The Mirror path field should contain the repository URL. Find the URL you should use from within a git checkout by running the following:

$ git remote show origin

The value shown as URL: should be entered as the mirror path. For example: git@git.example.com:projectname.git

The Username and Password fields should be blank.

Raw File URLs

New in version 1.5.

Review Board can access a remote file by talking to a cgit or gitweb server. This is done by filling out the Raw file URL mask field to tell Review Board how to access a single file based on revision.

The URL can make use of the following tags, which will be replaced before attempting to fetch the file:

  • <revision> - The full SHA1 of the file blob.
  • <filename> - The unescaped path to the file.

For cgit, this path should be in the form of:


For example:



For Gitweb:

http://servername/?p=relative path to git repo;a=blob_plain;f=<filename>;hb=<revision>

For example:



The Perforce path can be retrieved from an existing Perforce checkout by typing the following:

$ p4 info

Use the value from the Server address field.

In most setups, the Username field must be provided. This must be a user that has access to the whole repository. In some setups, this is a dedicated read-only user.

Note that Review Board will only ever use this user for read-only operations. It will never write to the repository.

Using Perforce with stunnel

New in version 1.6.

Perforce can be configured to operate with a secure stunnel setup. This is particularly important if the server running Review Board needs to talk to the Perforce server over the Internet or an otherwise easily accessible network.

To set up an stunnel connection on the Perforce server, see Perforce’s guide on Using Stunnel with Perforce.

Once the server is set up, ensure that stunnel version 3 (not 4) is installed on the server running Review Board and available in the web server’s PATH. You can then configure your repository settings so that Review Board can access the repository. To do this, just prefix your repository path with stunnel: and list the port that the stunnel server is running on. For example:


Review Board will automatically set up a local tunnel client as necessary. It will bind this to a port between 30000 and 60000 on localhost, and proxy all requests through it.


The Subversion path can be retrieved from an existing Subversion checkout by typing the following:

$ svn info

Use the value from the Repository Root field.

In most server setups, Subversion provides anonymous access, so the Username and Password fields won’t need to be filled out. However, this depends on the server setup. Some are more restricted and will require a dedicated user.

In Subversion setups where there’s a public anonymous URL and a secured developer URL (such as one using https or svn+ssh), you should put the public URL in Path field and your developer URL in the Mirror Path.