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git-format-patch - Prepare patches for e-mail submission
'git format-patch' [-k] [(-o|--output-directory) <dir> | --stdout]
[--no-thread | --thread[=<style>]]
[(--attach|--inline)[=<boundary>] | --no-attach]
[-s | --signoff]
[--signature=<signature> | --no-signature]
[-n | --numbered | -N | --no-numbered]
[--start-number <n>] [--numbered-files]
[--in-reply-to=Message-Id] [--suffix=.<sfx>]
[--to=<email>] [--cc=<email>]
[<common diff options>]
[ <since> | <revision range> ]
Prepare each commit with its patch in
one file per commit, formatted to resemble UNIX mailbox format.
The output of this command is convenient for e-mail submission or
for use with 'git am'.
There are two ways to specify which commits to operate on.
1. A single commit, <since>, specifies that the commits leading
to the tip of the current branch that are not in the history
that leads to the <since> to be output.
2. Generic <revision range> expression (see "SPECIFYING
REVISIONS" section in linkgit:gitrevisions[7]) means the
commits in the specified range.
The first rule takes precedence in the case of a single <commit>. To
apply the second rule, i.e., format everything since the beginning of
history up until <commit>, use the '\--root' option: `git format-patch
\--root <commit>`. If you want to format only <commit> itself, you
can do this with `git format-patch -1 <commit>`.
By default, each output file is numbered sequentially from 1, and uses the
first line of the commit message (massaged for pathname safety) as
the filename. With the `--numbered-files` option, the output file names
will only be numbers, without the first line of the commit appended.
The names of the output files are printed to standard
output, unless the `--stdout` option is specified.
If `-o` is specified, output files are created in <dir>. Otherwise
they are created in the current working directory.
By default, the subject of a single patch is "[PATCH] First Line" and
the subject when multiple patches are output is "[PATCH n/m] First
Line". To force 1/1 to be added for a single patch, use `-n`. To omit
patch numbers from the subject, use `-N`.
If given `--thread`, `git-format-patch` will generate `In-Reply-To` and
`References` headers to make the second and subsequent patch mails appear
as replies to the first mail; this also generates a `Message-Id` header to
:git-format-patch: 1
Prepare patches from the topmost <n> commits.
-o <dir>::
--output-directory <dir>::
Use <dir> to store the resulting files, instead of the
current working directory.
Name output in '[PATCH n/m]' format, even with a single patch.
Name output in '[PATCH]' format.
--start-number <n>::
Start numbering the patches at <n> instead of 1.
Output file names will be a simple number sequence
without the default first line of the commit appended.
Do not strip/add '[PATCH]' from the first line of the
commit log message.
Add `Signed-off-by:` line to the commit message, using
the committer identity of yourself.
Print all commits to the standard output in mbox format,
instead of creating a file for each one.
Create multipart/mixed attachment, the first part of
which is the commit message and the patch itself in the
second part, with `Content-Disposition: attachment`.
Disable the creation of an attachment, overriding the
configuration setting.
Create multipart/mixed attachment, the first part of
which is the commit message and the patch itself in the
second part, with `Content-Disposition: inline`.
Controls addition of `In-Reply-To` and `References` headers to
make the second and subsequent mails appear as replies to the
first. Also controls generation of the `Message-Id` header to
The optional <style> argument can be either `shallow` or `deep`.
'shallow' threading makes every mail a reply to the head of the
series, where the head is chosen from the cover letter, the
`\--in-reply-to`, and the first patch mail, in this order. 'deep'
threading makes every mail a reply to the previous one.
The default is `--no-thread`, unless the 'format.thread' configuration
is set. If `--thread` is specified without a style, it defaults to the
style specified by 'format.thread' if any, or else `shallow`.
Beware that the default for 'git send-email' is to thread emails
itself. If you want `git format-patch` to take care of threading, you
will want to ensure that threading is disabled for `git send-email`.
Make the first mail (or all the mails with `--no-thread`) appear as a
reply to the given Message-Id, which avoids breaking threads to
provide a new patch series.
Do not include a patch that matches a commit in
<until>..<since>. This will examine all patches reachable
from <since> but not from <until> and compare them with the
patches being generated, and any patch that matches is
Instead of the standard '[PATCH]' prefix in the subject
line, instead use '[<Subject-Prefix>]'. This
allows for useful naming of a patch series, and can be
combined with the `--numbered` option.
Add a `To:` header to the email headers. This is in addition
to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
Add a `Cc:` header to the email headers. This is in addition
to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
Add an arbitrary header to the email headers. This is in addition
to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
For example, `--add-header="Organization: git-foo"`
In addition to the patches, generate a cover letter file
containing the shortlog and the overall diffstat. You can
fill in a description in the file before sending it out.
Add a signature to each message produced. Per RFC 3676 the signature
is separated from the body by a line with '-- ' on it. If the
signature option is omitted the signature defaults to the git version
Instead of using `.patch` as the suffix for generated
filenames, use specified suffix. A common alternative is
`--suffix=.txt`. Leaving this empty will remove the `.patch`
Note that the leading character does not have to be a dot; for example,
you can use `--suffix=-patch` to get `0001-description-of-my-change-patch`.
Do not output contents of changes in binary files, instead
display a notice that those files changed. Patches generated
using this option cannot be applied properly, but they are
still useful for code review.
Treat the revision argument as a <revision range>, even if it
is just a single commit (that would normally be treated as a
<since>). Note that root commits included in the specified
range are always formatted as creation patches, independently
of this flag.
You can specify extra mail header lines to be added to each message,
defaults for the subject prefix and file suffix, number patches when
outputting more than one patch, add "To" or "Cc:" headers, configure
attachments, and sign off patches with configuration variables.
headers = "Organization: git-foo\n"
subjectprefix = CHANGE
suffix = .txt
numbered = auto
to = <email>
cc = <email>
attach [ = mime-boundary-string ]
signoff = true
* Extract commits between revisions R1 and R2, and apply them on top of
the current branch using 'git am' to cherry-pick them:
$ git format-patch -k --stdout R1..R2 | git am -3 -k
* Extract all commits which are in the current branch but not in the
origin branch:
$ git format-patch origin
For each commit a separate file is created in the current directory.
* Extract all commits that lead to 'origin' since the inception of the
$ git format-patch --root origin
* The same as the previous one:
$ git format-patch -M -B origin
Additionally, it detects and handles renames and complete rewrites
intelligently to produce a renaming patch. A renaming patch reduces
the amount of text output, and generally makes it easier to review.
Note that non-git "patch" programs won't understand renaming patches, so
use it only when you know the recipient uses git to apply your patch.
* Extract three topmost commits from the current branch and format them
as e-mailable patches:
$ git format-patch -3
linkgit:git-am[1], linkgit:git-send-email[1]
Written by Junio C Hamano <>
Documentation by Junio C Hamano and the git-list <>.
Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite