Automatically Linked References in Issues, Pull Requests and Commit Messages

When an issue, pull request or comment is posted, the text description is parsed in search for references. These references will be shown as links in the Issue View and, in some cases, produce certain actions.

Likewise, commit messages are parsed when they are listed, and actions are can be triggered when they are pushed to the main branch.

To prevent the creation of unintended references, there are certain rules for them to be recognized. For example, they should not be included inside code text. They should also be reasonably cleared from their surrounding text (for example, using spaces).

User, Team and Organization Mentions

When a text in the form @username is found and username matches the name of an existing user, a mention reference is created. This will be shown by changing the text into a link to said user’s profile, and possibly create a notification for the mentioned user depending on whether they have the necessary permission to access the contents.

Example:

@John, can you give this a look?

This is also valid for teams and organizations:

@Documenters, we need to plan for this.

@CoolCompanyInc, this issue concerns us all!

Teams will receive mail notifications when appropriate, but whole organizations won’t.

Commit messages do not produce user notifications.

Commits

Commits can be referenced using their SHA1 hash, or a portion of it of at least seven characters. They will be shown as a link to the corresponding commit.

Example:

This bug was introduced in e59ff077

Issues and Pull Requests

A reference to another issue or pull request can be created using the simple notation #1234, where 1234 is the number of an issue or pull request in the same repository. These references will be shown as links to the referenced content.

The effect of creating this type of reference is that a notice will be created in the referenced document, provided the creator of the reference has reading permissions on it.

Example:

This seems related to #1234

Issues and pull requests in other repositories can be referred to as well using the form owner/repository#1234:

This seems related to mike/compiler#1234

Alternatively, the !1234 notation can be used as well. Even when in Gitea a pull request is a form of issue, the #1234 form will always link to an issue; if the linked entry happens to be a pull request instead, Gitea will redirect as appropriate. With the !1234 notation, a pull request link will be created, which will be redirected to an issue if required. However, this distinction could be important if an external tracker is used, where links to issues and pull requests are not interchangeable.

Actionable References in Pull Requests and Commit Messages

Sometimes a commit or pull request may fix or bring back a problem documented in a particular issue. Gitea supports closing and reopening the referenced issues by preceding the reference with a particular keyword. Common keywords include “closes”, “fixes”, “reopens”, etc. This list can be customized by the site administrator.

Example:

This PR closes #1234

If the actionable reference is accepted, this will create a notice on the referenced issue announcing that it will be closed when the referencing PR is merged.

For an actionable reference to be accepted, at least one of the following conditions must be met:

  • The commenter has permissions to close or reopen the issue at the moment of creating the reference.
  • The reference is inside a commit message.
  • The reference is posted as part of the pull request description.

In the last case, the issue will be closed or reopened only if the merger of the pull request has permissions to do so.

Additionally, only pull requests and commit messages can create an action, and only issues can be closed or reopened this way.

The default keywords are:

  • Closing: close, closes, closed, fix, fixes, fixed, resolve, resolves, resolved
  • Reopening: reopen, reopens, reopened

External Trackers

Gitea supports the use of external issue trackers, and references to issues hosted externally can be created in pull requests. However, if the external tracker uses numbers to identify issues, they will be indistinguishable from the pull requests hosted in Gitea. To address this, Gitea allows the use of the ! marker to identify pull requests. For example:

This is issue #1234, and links to the external tracker.

This is pull request !1234, and links to a pull request in Gitea.

The ! and # can be used interchangeably for issues and pull request except for this case, where a distinction is required.

Issues and Pull Requests References Summary

This table illustrates the different kinds of cross-reference for issues and pull requests. In the examples, User1/Repo1 refers to the repository where the reference is used, while UserZ/RepoZ indicates a different repository.

Reference in User1/Repo1 Repo1 issues are external RepoZ issues are external Should render
#1234 no N/A A link to issue/pull 1234 in User1/Repo1
!1234 no N/A A link to issue/pull 1234 in User1/Repo1
#1234 yes N/A A link to external issue 1234 for User1/Repo1
!1234 yes N/A A link to PR 1234 for User1/Repo1
User1/Repo1#1234 no N/A A link to issue/pull 1234 in User1/Repo1
User1/Repo1!1234 no N/A A link to issue/pull 1234 in User1/Repo1
User1/Repo1#1234 yes N/A A link to external issue 1234 for User1/Repo1
User1/Repo1!1234 yes N/A A link to PR 1234 for User1/Repo1
UserZ/RepoZ#1234 N/A no A link to issue/pull 1234 in UserZ/RepoZ
UserZ/RepoZ!1234 N/A no A link to issue/pull 1234 in UserZ/RepoZ
UserZ/RepoZ#1234 N/A yes A link to external issue 1234 for UserZ/RepoZ
UserZ/RepoZ!1234 N/A yes A link to PR 1234 for UserZ/RepoZ
Alphanumeric issue IDs: - - -
AAA-1234 yes N/A A link to external issue AAA-1234 for User1/Repo1
!1234 yes N/A A link to PR 1234 for User1/Repo1
User1/Repo1!1234 yes N/A A link to PR 1234 for User1/Repo1
Not supported N/A yes A link to external issue AAA-1234 for UserZ/RepoZ
UserZ/RepoZ!1234 N/A yes A link to PR 1234 in UserZ/RepoZ

The last section is for repositories with external issue trackers that use alphanumeric format.

N/A: not applicable.

Note: automatic references between repositories with different types of issues (external vs. internal) are not fully supported and may render invalid links.