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git-format-patch - Prepare patches for e-mail submission
'git format-patch' [-k] [-o <dir> | --stdout] [--thread]
[--attach[=<boundary>] | --inline[=<boundary>]]
[-s | --signoff] [<common diff options>]
[-n | --numbered | -N | --no-numbered]
[--start-number <n>] [--numbered-files]
[--in-reply-to=Message-Id] [--suffix=.<sfx>]
[ <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:git-rev-parse[1]) means the
commits in the specified range.
A single commit, when interpreted as a <revision range>
expression, means "everything that leads to that commit", but
if you write 'git format-patch <commit>', the previous rule
applies to that command line and you do not get "everything
since the beginning of the time". If you want to format
everything since project inception to one commit, say "git
format-patch \--root <commit>" to make it clear that it is the
latter case. If you want to format a single commit, 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
Limits the number of patches to prepare.
-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.
Mutually exclusive with the --stdout option.
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".
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".
Add In-Reply-To and References headers to make the second and
subsequent mails appear as replies to the first. Also generates
the Message-Id header to reference.
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 "Cc:" header to the email headers. This is in addition
to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
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.
Instead of using `.patch` as the suffix for generated
filenames, use specified suffix. A common alternative is
Note that you would need to include the leading dot `.` if you
want a filename like `0001-description-of-my-change.patch`, and
the first letter does not have to be a dot. Leaving it empty would
not add any suffix.
Don't output contents of changes in binary files, just take note
that they differ. Note that this disable the patch to be properly
applied. By default the contents of changes in those files are
encoded in the patch.
You can specify extra mail header lines to be added to each message
in the repository configuration, new defaults for the subject prefix
and file suffix, and number patches when outputting more than one.
headers = "Organization: git-foo\n"
subjectprefix = CHANGE
suffix = .txt
numbered = auto
cc = <email>
* 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 it.
Note that the "patch" program does not 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