range-diff: relieve callers of low-level configuration burden
[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>]]
126facf8 26 [--interdiff=<previous>]
738e88a2 27 [--progress]
50710ce4 28 [<common diff options>]
8a1d076e 29 [ <since> | <revision range> ]
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30
31DESCRIPTION
32-----------
2052d146 33
8a1d076e 34Prepare each commit with its patch in
2052d146 35one file per commit, formatted to resemble UNIX mailbox format.
2052d146 36The output of this command is convenient for e-mail submission or
0b444cdb 37for use with 'git am'.
35ef3a4c 38
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39There are two ways to specify which commits to operate on.
40
411. A single commit, <since>, specifies that the commits leading
42 to the tip of the current branch that are not in the history
43 that leads to the <since> to be output.
44
452. Generic <revision range> expression (see "SPECIFYING
9d83e382 46 REVISIONS" section in linkgit:gitrevisions[7]) means the
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47 commits in the specified range.
48
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49The first rule takes precedence in the case of a single <commit>. To
50apply the second rule, i.e., format everything since the beginning of
9e9f132f 51history up until <commit>, use the `--root` option: `git format-patch
6cf378f0 52--root <commit>`. If you want to format only <commit> itself, you
dce5ef14 53can do this with `git format-patch -1 <commit>`.
8a1d076e 54
e6ff0f42 55By default, each output file is numbered sequentially from 1, and uses the
2052d146 56first line of the commit message (massaged for pathname safety) as
dce5ef14 57the filename. With the `--numbered-files` option, the output file names
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58will only be numbers, without the first line of the commit appended.
59The names of the output files are printed to standard
dce5ef14 60output, unless the `--stdout` option is specified.
66f04f38 61
dce5ef14 62If `-o` is specified, output files are created in <dir>. Otherwise
bc6bf2d7 63they are created in the current working directory. The default path
ae9f6311 64can be set with the `format.outputDirectory` configuration option.
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65The `-o` option takes precedence over `format.outputDirectory`.
66To store patches in the current working directory even when
67`format.outputDirectory` points elsewhere, use `-o .`.
35ef3a4c 68
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69By default, the subject of a single patch is "[PATCH] " followed by
70the concatenation of lines from the commit message up to the first blank
71line (see the DISCUSSION section of linkgit:git-commit[1]).
72
73When multiple patches are output, the subject prefix will instead be
74"[PATCH n/m] ". To force 1/1 to be added for a single patch, use `-n`.
75To omit patch numbers from the subject, use `-N`.
35ef3a4c 76
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77If given `--thread`, `git-format-patch` will generate `In-Reply-To` and
78`References` headers to make the second and subsequent patch mails appear
79as replies to the first mail; this also generates a `Message-Id` header to
cc35de84 80reference.
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81
82OPTIONS
83-------
c1a95fa6 84:git-format-patch: 1
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85include::diff-options.txt[]
86
ed5f07a6 87-<n>::
2c642ed8 88 Prepare patches from the topmost <n> commits.
ed5f07a6 89
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90-o <dir>::
91--output-directory <dir>::
35ef3a4c 92 Use <dir> to store the resulting files, instead of the
efd02016 93 current working directory.
35ef3a4c 94
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95-n::
96--numbered::
a567fdcb 97 Name output in '[PATCH n/m]' format, even with a single patch.
35ef3a4c 98
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99-N::
100--no-numbered::
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101 Name output in '[PATCH]' format.
102
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103--start-number <n>::
104 Start numbering the patches at <n> instead of 1.
105
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106--numbered-files::
107 Output file names will be a simple number sequence
108 without the default first line of the commit appended.
e6ff0f42 109
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110-k::
111--keep-subject::
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112 Do not strip/add '[PATCH]' from the first line of the
113 commit log message.
114
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115-s::
116--signoff::
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117 Add `Signed-off-by:` line to the commit message, using
118 the committer identity of yourself.
b2c150d3 119 See the signoff option in linkgit:git-commit[1] for more information.
6f855371 120
54ba6013 121--stdout::
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122 Print all commits to the standard output in mbox format,
123 instead of creating a file for each one.
7fc9d69f 124
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125--attach[=<boundary>]::
126 Create multipart/mixed attachment, the first part of
127 which is the commit message and the patch itself in the
dce5ef14 128 second part, with `Content-Disposition: attachment`.
c112f689 129
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130--no-attach::
131 Disable the creation of an attachment, overriding the
132 configuration setting.
133
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134--inline[=<boundary>]::
135 Create multipart/mixed attachment, the first part of
136 which is the commit message and the patch itself in the
dce5ef14 137 second part, with `Content-Disposition: inline`.
a15a44ef 138
30984ed2 139--thread[=<style>]::
f693b7e9 140--no-thread::
dce5ef14 141 Controls addition of `In-Reply-To` and `References` headers to
f693b7e9 142 make the second and subsequent mails appear as replies to the
dce5ef14 143 first. Also controls generation of the `Message-Id` header to
f693b7e9 144 reference.
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145+
146The optional <style> argument can be either `shallow` or `deep`.
fd1ff306 147'shallow' threading makes every mail a reply to the head of the
30984ed2 148series, where the head is chosen from the cover letter, the
6cf378f0 149`--in-reply-to`, and the first patch mail, in this order. 'deep'
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150threading makes every mail a reply to the previous one.
151+
ae9f6311 152The default is `--no-thread`, unless the `format.thread` configuration
dce5ef14 153is set. If `--thread` is specified without a style, it defaults to the
ae9f6311 154style specified by `format.thread` if any, or else `shallow`.
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155+
156Beware that the default for 'git send-email' is to thread emails
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157itself. If you want `git format-patch` to take care of threading, you
158will want to ensure that threading is disabled for `git send-email`.
28ffb898 159
da56645d 160--in-reply-to=Message-Id::
dce5ef14 161 Make the first mail (or all the mails with `--no-thread`) appear as a
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162 reply to the given Message-Id, which avoids breaking threads to
163 provide a new patch series.
164
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165--ignore-if-in-upstream::
166 Do not include a patch that matches a commit in
167 <until>..<since>. This will examine all patches reachable
168 from <since> but not from <until> and compare them with the
169 patches being generated, and any patch that matches is
170 ignored.
171
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172--subject-prefix=<Subject-Prefix>::
173 Instead of the standard '[PATCH]' prefix in the subject
174 line, instead use '[<Subject-Prefix>]'. This
175 allows for useful naming of a patch series, and can be
dce5ef14 176 combined with the `--numbered` option.
2d9e4a47 177
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178--rfc::
179 Alias for `--subject-prefix="RFC PATCH"`. RFC means "Request For
180 Comments"; use this when sending an experimental patch for
181 discussion rather than application.
182
7952ea66 183-v <n>::
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184--reroll-count=<n>::
185 Mark the series as the <n>-th iteration of the topic. The
d614f075 186 output filenames have `v<n>` prepended to them, and the
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187 subject prefix ("PATCH" by default, but configurable via the
188 `--subject-prefix` option) has ` v<n>` appended to it. E.g.
189 `--reroll-count=4` may produce `v4-0001-add-makefile.patch`
190 file that has "Subject: [PATCH v4 1/20] Add makefile" in it.
191
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192--to=<email>::
193 Add a `To:` header to the email headers. This is in addition
194 to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
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195 The negated form `--no-to` discards all `To:` headers added so
196 far (from config or command line).
ae6c098f 197
736cc67d 198--cc=<email>::
dce5ef14 199 Add a `Cc:` header to the email headers. This is in addition
736cc67d 200 to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
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201 The negated form `--no-cc` discards all `Cc:` headers added so
202 far (from config or command line).
736cc67d 203
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204--from::
205--from=<ident>::
206 Use `ident` in the `From:` header of each commit email. If the
207 author ident of the commit is not textually identical to the
208 provided `ident`, place a `From:` header in the body of the
209 message with the original author. If no `ident` is given, use
210 the committer ident.
211+
212Note that this option is only useful if you are actually sending the
213emails and want to identify yourself as the sender, but retain the
214original author (and `git am` will correctly pick up the in-body
215header). Note also that `git send-email` already handles this
216transformation for you, and this option should not be used if you are
217feeding the result to `git send-email`.
218
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219--add-header=<header>::
220 Add an arbitrary header to the email headers. This is in addition
221 to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
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222 For example, `--add-header="Organization: git-foo"`.
223 The negated form `--no-add-header` discards *all* (`To:`,
224 `Cc:`, and custom) headers added so far from config or command
225 line.
d7d9c2d0 226
2a4c2607 227--[no-]cover-letter::
f4912391 228 In addition to the patches, generate a cover letter file
561d2b79 229 containing the branch description, shortlog and the overall diffstat. You can
f4912391 230 fill in a description in the file before sending it out.
a5a27c79 231
126facf8 232--interdiff=<previous>::
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233 As a reviewer aid, insert an interdiff into the cover letter,
234 or as commentary of the lone patch of a 1-patch series, showing
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235 the differences between the previous version of the patch series and
236 the series currently being formatted. `previous` is a single revision
237 naming the tip of the previous series which shares a common base with
238 the series being formatted (for example `git format-patch
239 --cover-letter --interdiff=feature/v1 -3 feature/v2`).
240
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241--notes[=<ref>]::
242 Append the notes (see linkgit:git-notes[1]) for the commit
243 after the three-dash line.
244+
245The expected use case of this is to write supporting explanation for
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246the commit that does not belong to the commit log message proper,
247and include it with the patch submission. While one can simply write
248these explanations after `format-patch` has run but before sending,
2de9b711 249keeping them as Git notes allows them to be maintained between versions
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250of the patch series (but see the discussion of the `notes.rewrite`
251configuration options in linkgit:git-notes[1] to use this workflow).
e422c0cf 252
2c7ee986 253--[no-]signature=<signature>::
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254 Add a signature to each message produced. Per RFC 3676 the signature
255 is separated from the body by a line with '-- ' on it. If the
2de9b711 256 signature option is omitted the signature defaults to the Git version
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257 number.
258
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259--signature-file=<file>::
260 Works just like --signature except the signature is read from a file.
261
03eeaeae 262--suffix=.<sfx>::
917a8f89 263 Instead of using `.patch` as the suffix for generated
02783075 264 filenames, use specified suffix. A common alternative is
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265 `--suffix=.txt`. Leaving this empty will remove the `.patch`
266 suffix.
03eeaeae 267+
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268Note that the leading character does not have to be a dot; for example,
269you can use `--suffix=-patch` to get `0001-description-of-my-change-patch`.
03eeaeae 270
b7df098c 271-q::
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272--quiet::
273 Do not print the names of the generated files to standard output.
274
37c22a4b 275--no-binary::
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276 Do not output contents of changes in binary files, instead
277 display a notice that those files changed. Patches generated
278 using this option cannot be applied properly, but they are
279 still useful for code review.
37c22a4b 280
3a30aa17 281--zero-commit::
282 Output an all-zero hash in each patch's From header instead
283 of the hash of the commit.
284
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285--base=<commit>::
286 Record the base tree information to identify the state the
287 patch series applies to. See the BASE TREE INFORMATION section
288 below for details.
289
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290--root::
291 Treat the revision argument as a <revision range>, even if it
292 is just a single commit (that would normally be treated as a
293 <since>). Note that root commits included in the specified
294 range are always formatted as creation patches, independently
295 of this flag.
296
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297--progress::
298 Show progress reports on stderr as patches are generated.
299
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300CONFIGURATION
301-------------
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302You can specify extra mail header lines to be added to each message,
303defaults for the subject prefix and file suffix, number patches when
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304outputting more than one patch, add "To" or "Cc:" headers, configure
305attachments, and sign off patches with configuration variables.
96ce6d26 306
917a8f89 307------------
96ce6d26 308[format]
7f9d77f2 309 headers = "Organization: git-foo\n"
da0005b8 310 subjectPrefix = CHANGE
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311 suffix = .txt
312 numbered = auto
ae6c098f 313 to = <email>
fe8928e6 314 cc = <email>
0db5260b 315 attach [ = mime-boundary-string ]
da0005b8 316 signOff = true
2a4c2607 317 coverletter = auto
917a8f89 318------------
03eeaeae 319
96ce6d26 320
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321DISCUSSION
322----------
323
324The patch produced by 'git format-patch' is in UNIX mailbox format,
325with a fixed "magic" time stamp to indicate that the file is output
326from format-patch rather than a real mailbox, like so:
327
328------------
329From 8f72bad1baf19a53459661343e21d6491c3908d3 Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
330From: Tony Luck <tony.luck@intel.com>
331Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2010 11:42:54 -0700
332Subject: [PATCH] =?UTF-8?q?[IA64]=20Put=20ia64=20config=20files=20on=20the=20?=
333 =?UTF-8?q?Uwe=20Kleine-K=C3=B6nig=20diet?=
334MIME-Version: 1.0
335Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
336Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
337
338arch/arm config files were slimmed down using a python script
339(See commit c2330e286f68f1c408b4aa6515ba49d57f05beae comment)
340
341Do the same for ia64 so we can have sleek & trim looking
342...
343------------
344
345Typically it will be placed in a MUA's drafts folder, edited to add
346timely commentary that should not go in the changelog after the three
347dashes, and then sent as a message whose body, in our example, starts
348with "arch/arm config files were...". On the receiving end, readers
349can save interesting patches in a UNIX mailbox and apply them with
350linkgit:git-am[1].
351
352When a patch is part of an ongoing discussion, the patch generated by
353'git format-patch' can be tweaked to take advantage of the 'git am
354--scissors' feature. After your response to the discussion comes a
355line that consists solely of "`-- >8 --`" (scissors and perforation),
356followed by the patch with unnecessary header fields removed:
357
358------------
359...
360> So we should do such-and-such.
361
362Makes sense to me. How about this patch?
363
364-- >8 --
365Subject: [IA64] Put ia64 config files on the Uwe Kleine-König diet
366
367arch/arm config files were slimmed down using a python script
368...
369------------
370
371When sending a patch this way, most often you are sending your own
372patch, so in addition to the "`From $SHA1 $magic_timestamp`" marker you
373should omit `From:` and `Date:` lines from the patch file. The patch
374title is likely to be different from the subject of the discussion the
375patch is in response to, so it is likely that you would want to keep
376the Subject: line, like the example above.
377
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378Checking for patch corruption
379~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
380Many mailers if not set up properly will corrupt whitespace. Here are
381two common types of corruption:
382
383* Empty context lines that do not have _any_ whitespace.
384
385* Non-empty context lines that have one extra whitespace at the
386 beginning.
387
388One way to test if your MUA is set up correctly is:
389
390* Send the patch to yourself, exactly the way you would, except
391 with To: and Cc: lines that do not contain the list and
392 maintainer address.
393
394* Save that patch to a file in UNIX mailbox format. Call it a.patch,
395 say.
396
397* Apply it:
398
399 $ git fetch <project> master:test-apply
400 $ git checkout test-apply
401 $ git reset --hard
402 $ git am a.patch
403
404If it does not apply correctly, there can be various reasons.
405
406* The patch itself does not apply cleanly. That is _bad_ but
407 does not have much to do with your MUA. You might want to rebase
408 the patch with linkgit:git-rebase[1] before regenerating it in
409 this case.
410
411* The MUA corrupted your patch; "am" would complain that
412 the patch does not apply. Look in the .git/rebase-apply/ subdirectory and
413 see what 'patch' file contains and check for the common
414 corruption patterns mentioned above.
415
416* While at it, check the 'info' and 'final-commit' files as well.
417 If what is in 'final-commit' is not exactly what you would want to
418 see in the commit log message, it is very likely that the
419 receiver would end up hand editing the log message when applying
420 your patch. Things like "Hi, this is my first patch.\n" in the
421 patch e-mail should come after the three-dash line that signals
422 the end of the commit message.
423
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424MUA-SPECIFIC HINTS
425------------------
426Here are some hints on how to successfully submit patches inline using
427various mailers.
428
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429GMail
430~~~~~
431GMail does not have any way to turn off line wrapping in the web
432interface, so it will mangle any emails that you send. You can however
433use "git send-email" and send your patches through the GMail SMTP server, or
434use any IMAP email client to connect to the google IMAP server and forward
435the emails through that.
436
437For hints on using 'git send-email' to send your patches through the
438GMail SMTP server, see the EXAMPLE section of linkgit:git-send-email[1].
439
440For hints on submission using the IMAP interface, see the EXAMPLE
441section of linkgit:git-imap-send[1].
442
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443Thunderbird
444~~~~~~~~~~~
445By default, Thunderbird will both wrap emails as well as flag
446them as being 'format=flowed', both of which will make the
2de9b711 447resulting email unusable by Git.
dc53151f 448
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449There are three different approaches: use an add-on to turn off line wraps,
450configure Thunderbird to not mangle patches, or use
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451an external editor to keep Thunderbird from mangling the patches.
452
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453Approach #1 (add-on)
454^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
455
456Install the Toggle Word Wrap add-on that is available from
457https://addons.mozilla.org/thunderbird/addon/toggle-word-wrap/
458It adds a menu entry "Enable Word Wrap" in the composer's "Options" menu
459that you can tick off. Now you can compose the message as you otherwise do
460(cut + paste, 'git format-patch' | 'git imap-send', etc), but you have to
461insert line breaks manually in any text that you type.
462
463Approach #2 (configuration)
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464^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
465Three steps:
466
4671. Configure your mail server composition as plain text:
468 Edit...Account Settings...Composition & Addressing,
469 uncheck "Compose Messages in HTML".
470
4712. Configure your general composition window to not wrap.
472+
473In Thunderbird 2:
474Edit..Preferences..Composition, wrap plain text messages at 0
475+
476In Thunderbird 3:
477Edit..Preferences..Advanced..Config Editor. Search for
478"mail.wrap_long_lines".
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479Toggle it to make sure it is set to `false`. Also, search for
480"mailnews.wraplength" and set the value to 0.
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481
4823. Disable the use of format=flowed:
483Edit..Preferences..Advanced..Config Editor. Search for
484"mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed".
485Toggle it to make sure it is set to `false`.
486
487After that is done, you should be able to compose email as you
488otherwise would (cut + paste, 'git format-patch' | 'git imap-send', etc),
489and the patches will not be mangled.
490
b8959605 491Approach #3 (external editor)
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492^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
493
494The following Thunderbird extensions are needed:
495AboutConfig from http://aboutconfig.mozdev.org/ and
496External Editor from http://globs.org/articles.php?lng=en&pg=8
497
4981. Prepare the patch as a text file using your method of choice.
499
5002. Before opening a compose window, use Edit->Account Settings to
501 uncheck the "Compose messages in HTML format" setting in the
502 "Composition & Addressing" panel of the account to be used to
503 send the patch.
504
5053. In the main Thunderbird window, 'before' you open the compose
506 window for the patch, use Tools->about:config to set the
507 following to the indicated values:
508+
509----------
510 mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed => false
511 mailnews.wraplength => 0
512----------
513
5144. Open a compose window and click the external editor icon.
515
5165. In the external editor window, read in the patch file and exit
517 the editor normally.
518
519Side note: it may be possible to do step 2 with
520about:config and the following settings but no one's tried yet.
521
522----------
523 mail.html_compose => false
524 mail.identity.default.compose_html => false
525 mail.identity.id?.compose_html => false
526----------
527
528There is a script in contrib/thunderbird-patch-inline which can help
529you include patches with Thunderbird in an easy way. To use it, do the
530steps above and then use the script as the external editor.
531
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532KMail
533~~~~~
534This should help you to submit patches inline using KMail.
535
5361. Prepare the patch as a text file.
537
5382. Click on New Mail.
539
5403. Go under "Options" in the Composer window and be sure that
541 "Word wrap" is not set.
542
5434. Use Message -> Insert file... and insert the patch.
544
5455. Back in the compose window: add whatever other text you wish to the
546 message, complete the addressing and subject fields, and press send.
547
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548BASE TREE INFORMATION
549---------------------
550
551The base tree information block is used for maintainers or third party
552testers to know the exact state the patch series applies to. It consists
553of the 'base commit', which is a well-known commit that is part of the
554stable part of the project history everybody else works off of, and zero
555or more 'prerequisite patches', which are well-known patches in flight
556that is not yet part of the 'base commit' that need to be applied on top
557of 'base commit' in topological order before the patches can be applied.
558
559The 'base commit' is shown as "base-commit: " followed by the 40-hex of
560the commit object name. A 'prerequisite patch' is shown as
561"prerequisite-patch-id: " followed by the 40-hex 'patch id', which can
562be obtained by passing the patch through the `git patch-id --stable`
563command.
564
565Imagine that on top of the public commit P, you applied well-known
566patches X, Y and Z from somebody else, and then built your three-patch
567series A, B, C, the history would be like:
568
569................................................
570---P---X---Y---Z---A---B---C
571................................................
572
573With `git format-patch --base=P -3 C` (or variants thereof, e.g. with
7ba1ceef 574`--cover-letter` or using `Z..C` instead of `-3 C` to specify the
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575range), the base tree information block is shown at the end of the
576first message the command outputs (either the first patch, or the
577cover letter), like this:
578
579------------
580base-commit: P
581prerequisite-patch-id: X
582prerequisite-patch-id: Y
583prerequisite-patch-id: Z
584------------
585
586For non-linear topology, such as
587
588................................................
589---P---X---A---M---C
590 \ /
591 Y---Z---B
592................................................
593
594You can also use `git format-patch --base=P -3 C` to generate patches
595for A, B and C, and the identifiers for P, X, Y, Z are appended at the
596end of the first message.
e0d48279 597
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598If set `--base=auto` in cmdline, it will track base commit automatically,
599the base commit will be the merge base of tip commit of the remote-tracking
600branch and revision-range specified in cmdline.
601For a local branch, you need to track a remote branch by `git branch
602--set-upstream-to` before using this option.
603
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604EXAMPLES
605--------
606
921177f5 607* Extract commits between revisions R1 and R2, and apply them on top of
0b444cdb 608the current branch using 'git am' to cherry-pick them:
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609+
610------------
467c0197 611$ git format-patch -k --stdout R1..R2 | git am -3 -k
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612------------
613
614* Extract all commits which are in the current branch but not in the
615origin branch:
616+
617------------
618$ git format-patch origin
619------------
620+
621For each commit a separate file is created in the current directory.
622
623* Extract all commits that lead to 'origin' since the inception of the
624project:
625+
626------------
9c67c757 627$ git format-patch --root origin
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628------------
629
630* The same as the previous one:
631+
632------------
633$ git format-patch -M -B origin
634------------
635+
636Additionally, it detects and handles renames and complete rewrites
637intelligently to produce a renaming patch. A renaming patch reduces
50710ce4 638the amount of text output, and generally makes it easier to review.
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639Note that non-Git "patch" programs won't understand renaming patches, so
640use it only when you know the recipient uses Git to apply your patch.
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641
642* Extract three topmost commits from the current branch and format them
643as e-mailable patches:
644+
645------------
646$ git format-patch -3
647------------
28ffb898 648
56ae8df5 649SEE ALSO
28ffb898 650--------
5162e697 651linkgit:git-am[1], linkgit:git-send-email[1]
28ffb898 652
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653GIT
654---
9e1f0a85 655Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite