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git-format-patch - Prepare patches for e-mail submission
'git-format-patch' [-n | -k] [-o <dir> | --stdout] [--thread]
[--attach[=<boundary>] | --inline[=<boundary>]]
[-s | --signoff] [<common diff options>] [--start-number <n>]
[--in-reply-to=Message-Id] [--suffix=.<sfx>]
Prepare each commit between <since> and <until> with its patch in
one file per commit, formatted to resemble UNIX mailbox format.
If ..<until> is not specified, the head of the current working
tree is implied. For a more complete list of ways to spell
<since> and <until>, see "SPECIFYING REVISIONS" section in
The output of this command is convenient for e-mail submission or
for use with gitlink:git-am[1].
Each output file is numbered sequentially from 1, and uses the
first line of the commit message (massaged for pathname safety) as
the filename. 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.
If -n is specified, instead of "[PATCH] Subject", the first line
is formatted as "[PATCH n/m] Subject".
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
-o|--output-directory <dir>::
Use <dir> to store the resulting files, instead of the
current working directory.
Name output in '[PATCH n/m]' format.
--start-number <n>::
Start numbering the patches at <n> instead of 1.
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.
Instead of using `.patch` as the suffix for generated
filenames, use specifed 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.
You can specify extra mail header lines to be added to each
message in the repository configuration. Also you can specify
the default suffix different from the built-in one:
headers = "Organization: git-foo\n"
suffix = .txt
git-format-patch -k --stdout R1..R2 | git-am -3 -k::
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 origin::
Extract all commits which are in the current branch but
not in the origin branch. For each commit a separate file
is created in the current directory.
git-format-patch -M -B origin::
The same as the previous one. 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.
git-format-patch -3::
Extract three topmost commits from the current branch
and format them as e-mailable patches.
See Also
gitlink:git-am[1], gitlink:git-send-email[1]
Written by Junio C Hamano <>
Documentation by Junio C Hamano and the git-list <>.
Part of the gitlink:git[7] suite