Merge tag 'v2.14.1'
[git/git.git] / Documentation / git-format-patch.txt
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1git-format-patch(1)
2===================
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3
4NAME
5----
7bd7f280 6git-format-patch - Prepare patches for e-mail submission
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7
8
9SYNOPSIS
10--------
353ce815 11[verse]
50710ce4 12'git format-patch' [-k] [(-o|--output-directory) <dir> | --stdout]
f693b7e9 13 [--no-thread | --thread[=<style>]]
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14 [(--attach|--inline)[=<boundary>] | --no-attach]
15 [-s | --signoff]
6622d9c7 16 [--signature=<signature> | --no-signature]
7022650f 17 [--signature-file=<file>]
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18 [-n | --numbered | -N | --no-numbered]
19 [--start-number <n>] [--numbered-files]
20 [--in-reply-to=Message-Id] [--suffix=.<sfx>]
21 [--ignore-if-in-upstream]
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22 [--rfc] [--subject-prefix=Subject-Prefix]
23 [(--reroll-count|-v) <n>]
ae6c098f 24 [--to=<email>] [--cc=<email>]
2a4c2607 25 [--[no-]cover-letter] [--quiet] [--notes[=<ref>]]
50710ce4 26 [<common diff options>]
8a1d076e 27 [ <since> | <revision range> ]
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28
29DESCRIPTION
30-----------
2052d146 31
8a1d076e 32Prepare each commit with its patch in
2052d146 33one file per commit, formatted to resemble UNIX mailbox format.
2052d146 34The output of this command is convenient for e-mail submission or
0b444cdb 35for use with 'git am'.
35ef3a4c 36
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37There are two ways to specify which commits to operate on.
38
391. A single commit, <since>, specifies that the commits leading
40 to the tip of the current branch that are not in the history
41 that leads to the <since> to be output.
42
432. Generic <revision range> expression (see "SPECIFYING
9d83e382 44 REVISIONS" section in linkgit:gitrevisions[7]) means the
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45 commits in the specified range.
46
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47The first rule takes precedence in the case of a single <commit>. To
48apply the second rule, i.e., format everything since the beginning of
dce5ef14 49history up until <commit>, use the '\--root' option: `git format-patch
6cf378f0 50--root <commit>`. If you want to format only <commit> itself, you
dce5ef14 51can do this with `git format-patch -1 <commit>`.
8a1d076e 52
e6ff0f42 53By default, each output file is numbered sequentially from 1, and uses the
2052d146 54first line of the commit message (massaged for pathname safety) as
dce5ef14 55the filename. With the `--numbered-files` option, the output file names
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56will only be numbers, without the first line of the commit appended.
57The names of the output files are printed to standard
dce5ef14 58output, unless the `--stdout` option is specified.
66f04f38 59
dce5ef14 60If `-o` is specified, output files are created in <dir>. Otherwise
bc6bf2d7 61they are created in the current working directory. The default path
ae9f6311 62can be set with the `format.outputDirectory` configuration option.
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63The `-o` option takes precedence over `format.outputDirectory`.
64To store patches in the current working directory even when
65`format.outputDirectory` points elsewhere, use `-o .`.
35ef3a4c 66
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67By default, the subject of a single patch is "[PATCH] " followed by
68the concatenation of lines from the commit message up to the first blank
69line (see the DISCUSSION section of linkgit:git-commit[1]).
70
71When multiple patches are output, the subject prefix will instead be
72"[PATCH n/m] ". To force 1/1 to be added for a single patch, use `-n`.
73To omit patch numbers from the subject, use `-N`.
35ef3a4c 74
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75If given `--thread`, `git-format-patch` will generate `In-Reply-To` and
76`References` headers to make the second and subsequent patch mails appear
77as replies to the first mail; this also generates a `Message-Id` header to
cc35de84 78reference.
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79
80OPTIONS
81-------
c1a95fa6 82:git-format-patch: 1
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83include::diff-options.txt[]
84
ed5f07a6 85-<n>::
2c642ed8 86 Prepare patches from the topmost <n> commits.
ed5f07a6 87
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88-o <dir>::
89--output-directory <dir>::
35ef3a4c 90 Use <dir> to store the resulting files, instead of the
efd02016 91 current working directory.
35ef3a4c 92
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93-n::
94--numbered::
a567fdcb 95 Name output in '[PATCH n/m]' format, even with a single patch.
35ef3a4c 96
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97-N::
98--no-numbered::
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99 Name output in '[PATCH]' format.
100
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101--start-number <n>::
102 Start numbering the patches at <n> instead of 1.
103
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104--numbered-files::
105 Output file names will be a simple number sequence
106 without the default first line of the commit appended.
e6ff0f42 107
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108-k::
109--keep-subject::
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110 Do not strip/add '[PATCH]' from the first line of the
111 commit log message.
112
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113-s::
114--signoff::
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115 Add `Signed-off-by:` line to the commit message, using
116 the committer identity of yourself.
b2c150d3 117 See the signoff option in linkgit:git-commit[1] for more information.
6f855371 118
54ba6013 119--stdout::
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120 Print all commits to the standard output in mbox format,
121 instead of creating a file for each one.
7fc9d69f 122
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123--attach[=<boundary>]::
124 Create multipart/mixed attachment, the first part of
125 which is the commit message and the patch itself in the
dce5ef14 126 second part, with `Content-Disposition: attachment`.
c112f689 127
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128--no-attach::
129 Disable the creation of an attachment, overriding the
130 configuration setting.
131
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132--inline[=<boundary>]::
133 Create multipart/mixed attachment, the first part of
134 which is the commit message and the patch itself in the
dce5ef14 135 second part, with `Content-Disposition: inline`.
a15a44ef 136
30984ed2 137--thread[=<style>]::
f693b7e9 138--no-thread::
dce5ef14 139 Controls addition of `In-Reply-To` and `References` headers to
f693b7e9 140 make the second and subsequent mails appear as replies to the
dce5ef14 141 first. Also controls generation of the `Message-Id` header to
f693b7e9 142 reference.
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143+
144The optional <style> argument can be either `shallow` or `deep`.
fd1ff306 145'shallow' threading makes every mail a reply to the head of the
30984ed2 146series, where the head is chosen from the cover letter, the
6cf378f0 147`--in-reply-to`, and the first patch mail, in this order. 'deep'
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148threading makes every mail a reply to the previous one.
149+
ae9f6311 150The default is `--no-thread`, unless the `format.thread` configuration
dce5ef14 151is set. If `--thread` is specified without a style, it defaults to the
ae9f6311 152style specified by `format.thread` if any, or else `shallow`.
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153+
154Beware that the default for 'git send-email' is to thread emails
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155itself. If you want `git format-patch` to take care of threading, you
156will want to ensure that threading is disabled for `git send-email`.
28ffb898 157
da56645d 158--in-reply-to=Message-Id::
dce5ef14 159 Make the first mail (or all the mails with `--no-thread`) appear as a
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160 reply to the given Message-Id, which avoids breaking threads to
161 provide a new patch series.
162
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163--ignore-if-in-upstream::
164 Do not include a patch that matches a commit in
165 <until>..<since>. This will examine all patches reachable
166 from <since> but not from <until> and compare them with the
167 patches being generated, and any patch that matches is
168 ignored.
169
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170--subject-prefix=<Subject-Prefix>::
171 Instead of the standard '[PATCH]' prefix in the subject
172 line, instead use '[<Subject-Prefix>]'. This
173 allows for useful naming of a patch series, and can be
dce5ef14 174 combined with the `--numbered` option.
2d9e4a47 175
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176--rfc::
177 Alias for `--subject-prefix="RFC PATCH"`. RFC means "Request For
178 Comments"; use this when sending an experimental patch for
179 discussion rather than application.
180
7952ea66 181-v <n>::
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182--reroll-count=<n>::
183 Mark the series as the <n>-th iteration of the topic. The
d614f075 184 output filenames have `v<n>` prepended to them, and the
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185 subject prefix ("PATCH" by default, but configurable via the
186 `--subject-prefix` option) has ` v<n>` appended to it. E.g.
187 `--reroll-count=4` may produce `v4-0001-add-makefile.patch`
188 file that has "Subject: [PATCH v4 1/20] Add makefile" in it.
189
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190--to=<email>::
191 Add a `To:` header to the email headers. This is in addition
192 to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
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193 The negated form `--no-to` discards all `To:` headers added so
194 far (from config or command line).
ae6c098f 195
736cc67d 196--cc=<email>::
dce5ef14 197 Add a `Cc:` header to the email headers. This is in addition
736cc67d 198 to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
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199 The negated form `--no-cc` discards all `Cc:` headers added so
200 far (from config or command line).
736cc67d 201
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202--from::
203--from=<ident>::
204 Use `ident` in the `From:` header of each commit email. If the
205 author ident of the commit is not textually identical to the
206 provided `ident`, place a `From:` header in the body of the
207 message with the original author. If no `ident` is given, use
208 the committer ident.
209+
210Note that this option is only useful if you are actually sending the
211emails and want to identify yourself as the sender, but retain the
212original author (and `git am` will correctly pick up the in-body
213header). Note also that `git send-email` already handles this
214transformation for you, and this option should not be used if you are
215feeding the result to `git send-email`.
216
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217--add-header=<header>::
218 Add an arbitrary header to the email headers. This is in addition
219 to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
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220 For example, `--add-header="Organization: git-foo"`.
221 The negated form `--no-add-header` discards *all* (`To:`,
222 `Cc:`, and custom) headers added so far from config or command
223 line.
d7d9c2d0 224
2a4c2607 225--[no-]cover-letter::
f4912391 226 In addition to the patches, generate a cover letter file
561d2b79 227 containing the branch description, shortlog and the overall diffstat. You can
f4912391 228 fill in a description in the file before sending it out.
a5a27c79 229
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230--notes[=<ref>]::
231 Append the notes (see linkgit:git-notes[1]) for the commit
232 after the three-dash line.
233+
234The expected use case of this is to write supporting explanation for
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235the commit that does not belong to the commit log message proper,
236and include it with the patch submission. While one can simply write
237these explanations after `format-patch` has run but before sending,
2de9b711 238keeping them as Git notes allows them to be maintained between versions
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239of the patch series (but see the discussion of the `notes.rewrite`
240configuration options in linkgit:git-notes[1] to use this workflow).
e422c0cf 241
2c7ee986 242--[no-]signature=<signature>::
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243 Add a signature to each message produced. Per RFC 3676 the signature
244 is separated from the body by a line with '-- ' on it. If the
2de9b711 245 signature option is omitted the signature defaults to the Git version
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246 number.
247
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248--signature-file=<file>::
249 Works just like --signature except the signature is read from a file.
250
03eeaeae 251--suffix=.<sfx>::
917a8f89 252 Instead of using `.patch` as the suffix for generated
02783075 253 filenames, use specified suffix. A common alternative is
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254 `--suffix=.txt`. Leaving this empty will remove the `.patch`
255 suffix.
03eeaeae 256+
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257Note that the leading character does not have to be a dot; for example,
258you can use `--suffix=-patch` to get `0001-description-of-my-change-patch`.
03eeaeae 259
b7df098c 260-q::
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261--quiet::
262 Do not print the names of the generated files to standard output.
263
37c22a4b 264--no-binary::
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265 Do not output contents of changes in binary files, instead
266 display a notice that those files changed. Patches generated
267 using this option cannot be applied properly, but they are
268 still useful for code review.
37c22a4b 269
3a30aa17 270--zero-commit::
271 Output an all-zero hash in each patch's From header instead
272 of the hash of the commit.
273
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274--base=<commit>::
275 Record the base tree information to identify the state the
276 patch series applies to. See the BASE TREE INFORMATION section
277 below for details.
278
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279--root::
280 Treat the revision argument as a <revision range>, even if it
281 is just a single commit (that would normally be treated as a
282 <since>). Note that root commits included in the specified
283 range are always formatted as creation patches, independently
284 of this flag.
285
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286CONFIGURATION
287-------------
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288You can specify extra mail header lines to be added to each message,
289defaults for the subject prefix and file suffix, number patches when
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290outputting more than one patch, add "To" or "Cc:" headers, configure
291attachments, and sign off patches with configuration variables.
96ce6d26 292
917a8f89 293------------
96ce6d26 294[format]
7f9d77f2 295 headers = "Organization: git-foo\n"
da0005b8 296 subjectPrefix = CHANGE
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297 suffix = .txt
298 numbered = auto
ae6c098f 299 to = <email>
fe8928e6 300 cc = <email>
0db5260b 301 attach [ = mime-boundary-string ]
da0005b8 302 signOff = true
2a4c2607 303 coverletter = auto
917a8f89 304------------
03eeaeae 305
96ce6d26 306
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307DISCUSSION
308----------
309
310The patch produced by 'git format-patch' is in UNIX mailbox format,
311with a fixed "magic" time stamp to indicate that the file is output
312from format-patch rather than a real mailbox, like so:
313
314------------
315From 8f72bad1baf19a53459661343e21d6491c3908d3 Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
316From: Tony Luck <tony.luck@intel.com>
317Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2010 11:42:54 -0700
318Subject: [PATCH] =?UTF-8?q?[IA64]=20Put=20ia64=20config=20files=20on=20the=20?=
319 =?UTF-8?q?Uwe=20Kleine-K=C3=B6nig=20diet?=
320MIME-Version: 1.0
321Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
322Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
323
324arch/arm config files were slimmed down using a python script
325(See commit c2330e286f68f1c408b4aa6515ba49d57f05beae comment)
326
327Do the same for ia64 so we can have sleek & trim looking
328...
329------------
330
331Typically it will be placed in a MUA's drafts folder, edited to add
332timely commentary that should not go in the changelog after the three
333dashes, and then sent as a message whose body, in our example, starts
334with "arch/arm config files were...". On the receiving end, readers
335can save interesting patches in a UNIX mailbox and apply them with
336linkgit:git-am[1].
337
338When a patch is part of an ongoing discussion, the patch generated by
339'git format-patch' can be tweaked to take advantage of the 'git am
340--scissors' feature. After your response to the discussion comes a
341line that consists solely of "`-- >8 --`" (scissors and perforation),
342followed by the patch with unnecessary header fields removed:
343
344------------
345...
346> So we should do such-and-such.
347
348Makes sense to me. How about this patch?
349
350-- >8 --
351Subject: [IA64] Put ia64 config files on the Uwe Kleine-König diet
352
353arch/arm config files were slimmed down using a python script
354...
355------------
356
357When sending a patch this way, most often you are sending your own
358patch, so in addition to the "`From $SHA1 $magic_timestamp`" marker you
359should omit `From:` and `Date:` lines from the patch file. The patch
360title is likely to be different from the subject of the discussion the
361patch is in response to, so it is likely that you would want to keep
362the Subject: line, like the example above.
363
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364Checking for patch corruption
365~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
366Many mailers if not set up properly will corrupt whitespace. Here are
367two common types of corruption:
368
369* Empty context lines that do not have _any_ whitespace.
370
371* Non-empty context lines that have one extra whitespace at the
372 beginning.
373
374One way to test if your MUA is set up correctly is:
375
376* Send the patch to yourself, exactly the way you would, except
377 with To: and Cc: lines that do not contain the list and
378 maintainer address.
379
380* Save that patch to a file in UNIX mailbox format. Call it a.patch,
381 say.
382
383* Apply it:
384
385 $ git fetch <project> master:test-apply
386 $ git checkout test-apply
387 $ git reset --hard
388 $ git am a.patch
389
390If it does not apply correctly, there can be various reasons.
391
392* The patch itself does not apply cleanly. That is _bad_ but
393 does not have much to do with your MUA. You might want to rebase
394 the patch with linkgit:git-rebase[1] before regenerating it in
395 this case.
396
397* The MUA corrupted your patch; "am" would complain that
398 the patch does not apply. Look in the .git/rebase-apply/ subdirectory and
399 see what 'patch' file contains and check for the common
400 corruption patterns mentioned above.
401
402* While at it, check the 'info' and 'final-commit' files as well.
403 If what is in 'final-commit' is not exactly what you would want to
404 see in the commit log message, it is very likely that the
405 receiver would end up hand editing the log message when applying
406 your patch. Things like "Hi, this is my first patch.\n" in the
407 patch e-mail should come after the three-dash line that signals
408 the end of the commit message.
409
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410MUA-SPECIFIC HINTS
411------------------
412Here are some hints on how to successfully submit patches inline using
413various mailers.
414
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415GMail
416~~~~~
417GMail does not have any way to turn off line wrapping in the web
418interface, so it will mangle any emails that you send. You can however
419use "git send-email" and send your patches through the GMail SMTP server, or
420use any IMAP email client to connect to the google IMAP server and forward
421the emails through that.
422
423For hints on using 'git send-email' to send your patches through the
424GMail SMTP server, see the EXAMPLE section of linkgit:git-send-email[1].
425
426For hints on submission using the IMAP interface, see the EXAMPLE
427section of linkgit:git-imap-send[1].
428
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429Thunderbird
430~~~~~~~~~~~
431By default, Thunderbird will both wrap emails as well as flag
432them as being 'format=flowed', both of which will make the
2de9b711 433resulting email unusable by Git.
dc53151f 434
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435There are three different approaches: use an add-on to turn off line wraps,
436configure Thunderbird to not mangle patches, or use
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437an external editor to keep Thunderbird from mangling the patches.
438
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439Approach #1 (add-on)
440^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
441
442Install the Toggle Word Wrap add-on that is available from
443https://addons.mozilla.org/thunderbird/addon/toggle-word-wrap/
444It adds a menu entry "Enable Word Wrap" in the composer's "Options" menu
445that you can tick off. Now you can compose the message as you otherwise do
446(cut + paste, 'git format-patch' | 'git imap-send', etc), but you have to
447insert line breaks manually in any text that you type.
448
449Approach #2 (configuration)
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450^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
451Three steps:
452
4531. Configure your mail server composition as plain text:
454 Edit...Account Settings...Composition & Addressing,
455 uncheck "Compose Messages in HTML".
456
4572. Configure your general composition window to not wrap.
458+
459In Thunderbird 2:
460Edit..Preferences..Composition, wrap plain text messages at 0
461+
462In Thunderbird 3:
463Edit..Preferences..Advanced..Config Editor. Search for
464"mail.wrap_long_lines".
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465Toggle it to make sure it is set to `false`. Also, search for
466"mailnews.wraplength" and set the value to 0.
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467
4683. Disable the use of format=flowed:
469Edit..Preferences..Advanced..Config Editor. Search for
470"mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed".
471Toggle it to make sure it is set to `false`.
472
473After that is done, you should be able to compose email as you
474otherwise would (cut + paste, 'git format-patch' | 'git imap-send', etc),
475and the patches will not be mangled.
476
b8959605 477Approach #3 (external editor)
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478^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
479
480The following Thunderbird extensions are needed:
481AboutConfig from http://aboutconfig.mozdev.org/ and
482External Editor from http://globs.org/articles.php?lng=en&pg=8
483
4841. Prepare the patch as a text file using your method of choice.
485
4862. Before opening a compose window, use Edit->Account Settings to
487 uncheck the "Compose messages in HTML format" setting in the
488 "Composition & Addressing" panel of the account to be used to
489 send the patch.
490
4913. In the main Thunderbird window, 'before' you open the compose
492 window for the patch, use Tools->about:config to set the
493 following to the indicated values:
494+
495----------
496 mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed => false
497 mailnews.wraplength => 0
498----------
499
5004. Open a compose window and click the external editor icon.
501
5025. In the external editor window, read in the patch file and exit
503 the editor normally.
504
505Side note: it may be possible to do step 2 with
506about:config and the following settings but no one's tried yet.
507
508----------
509 mail.html_compose => false
510 mail.identity.default.compose_html => false
511 mail.identity.id?.compose_html => false
512----------
513
514There is a script in contrib/thunderbird-patch-inline which can help
515you include patches with Thunderbird in an easy way. To use it, do the
516steps above and then use the script as the external editor.
517
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518KMail
519~~~~~
520This should help you to submit patches inline using KMail.
521
5221. Prepare the patch as a text file.
523
5242. Click on New Mail.
525
5263. Go under "Options" in the Composer window and be sure that
527 "Word wrap" is not set.
528
5294. Use Message -> Insert file... and insert the patch.
530
5315. Back in the compose window: add whatever other text you wish to the
532 message, complete the addressing and subject fields, and press send.
533
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534BASE TREE INFORMATION
535---------------------
536
537The base tree information block is used for maintainers or third party
538testers to know the exact state the patch series applies to. It consists
539of the 'base commit', which is a well-known commit that is part of the
540stable part of the project history everybody else works off of, and zero
541or more 'prerequisite patches', which are well-known patches in flight
542that is not yet part of the 'base commit' that need to be applied on top
543of 'base commit' in topological order before the patches can be applied.
544
545The 'base commit' is shown as "base-commit: " followed by the 40-hex of
546the commit object name. A 'prerequisite patch' is shown as
547"prerequisite-patch-id: " followed by the 40-hex 'patch id', which can
548be obtained by passing the patch through the `git patch-id --stable`
549command.
550
551Imagine that on top of the public commit P, you applied well-known
552patches X, Y and Z from somebody else, and then built your three-patch
553series A, B, C, the history would be like:
554
555................................................
556---P---X---Y---Z---A---B---C
557................................................
558
559With `git format-patch --base=P -3 C` (or variants thereof, e.g. with
7ba1ceef 560`--cover-letter` or using `Z..C` instead of `-3 C` to specify the
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561range), the base tree information block is shown at the end of the
562first message the command outputs (either the first patch, or the
563cover letter), like this:
564
565------------
566base-commit: P
567prerequisite-patch-id: X
568prerequisite-patch-id: Y
569prerequisite-patch-id: Z
570------------
571
572For non-linear topology, such as
573
574................................................
575---P---X---A---M---C
576 \ /
577 Y---Z---B
578................................................
579
580You can also use `git format-patch --base=P -3 C` to generate patches
581for A, B and C, and the identifiers for P, X, Y, Z are appended at the
582end of the first message.
e0d48279 583
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584If set `--base=auto` in cmdline, it will track base commit automatically,
585the base commit will be the merge base of tip commit of the remote-tracking
586branch and revision-range specified in cmdline.
587For a local branch, you need to track a remote branch by `git branch
588--set-upstream-to` before using this option.
589
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590EXAMPLES
591--------
592
921177f5 593* Extract commits between revisions R1 and R2, and apply them on top of
0b444cdb 594the current branch using 'git am' to cherry-pick them:
921177f5
CC
595+
596------------
467c0197 597$ git format-patch -k --stdout R1..R2 | git am -3 -k
921177f5
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598------------
599
600* Extract all commits which are in the current branch but not in the
601origin branch:
602+
603------------
604$ git format-patch origin
605------------
606+
607For each commit a separate file is created in the current directory.
608
609* Extract all commits that lead to 'origin' since the inception of the
610project:
611+
612------------
9c67c757 613$ git format-patch --root origin
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614------------
615
616* The same as the previous one:
617+
618------------
619$ git format-patch -M -B origin
620------------
621+
622Additionally, it detects and handles renames and complete rewrites
623intelligently to produce a renaming patch. A renaming patch reduces
50710ce4 624the amount of text output, and generally makes it easier to review.
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625Note that non-Git "patch" programs won't understand renaming patches, so
626use it only when you know the recipient uses Git to apply your patch.
921177f5
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627
628* Extract three topmost commits from the current branch and format them
629as e-mailable patches:
630+
631------------
632$ git format-patch -3
633------------
28ffb898 634
56ae8df5 635SEE ALSO
28ffb898 636--------
5162e697 637linkgit:git-am[1], linkgit:git-send-email[1]
28ffb898 638
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639GIT
640---
9e1f0a85 641Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite