Git 2.7
[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]
7952ea66 22 [--subject-prefix=Subject-Prefix] [(--reroll-count|-v) <n>]
ae6c098f 23 [--to=<email>] [--cc=<email>]
2a4c2607 24 [--[no-]cover-letter] [--quiet] [--notes[=<ref>]]
50710ce4 25 [<common diff options>]
8a1d076e 26 [ <since> | <revision range> ]
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27
28DESCRIPTION
29-----------
2052d146 30
8a1d076e 31Prepare each commit with its patch in
2052d146 32one file per commit, formatted to resemble UNIX mailbox format.
2052d146 33The output of this command is convenient for e-mail submission or
0b444cdb 34for use with 'git am'.
35ef3a4c 35
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36There are two ways to specify which commits to operate on.
37
381. A single commit, <since>, specifies that the commits leading
39 to the tip of the current branch that are not in the history
40 that leads to the <since> to be output.
41
422. Generic <revision range> expression (see "SPECIFYING
9d83e382 43 REVISIONS" section in linkgit:gitrevisions[7]) means the
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44 commits in the specified range.
45
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46The first rule takes precedence in the case of a single <commit>. To
47apply the second rule, i.e., format everything since the beginning of
dce5ef14 48history up until <commit>, use the '\--root' option: `git format-patch
6cf378f0 49--root <commit>`. If you want to format only <commit> itself, you
dce5ef14 50can do this with `git format-patch -1 <commit>`.
8a1d076e 51
e6ff0f42 52By default, each output file is numbered sequentially from 1, and uses the
2052d146 53first line of the commit message (massaged for pathname safety) as
dce5ef14 54the filename. With the `--numbered-files` option, the output file names
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55will only be numbers, without the first line of the commit appended.
56The names of the output files are printed to standard
dce5ef14 57output, unless the `--stdout` option is specified.
66f04f38 58
dce5ef14 59If `-o` is specified, output files are created in <dir>. Otherwise
2052d146 60they are created in the current working directory.
35ef3a4c 61
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62By default, the subject of a single patch is "[PATCH] " followed by
63the concatenation of lines from the commit message up to the first blank
64line (see the DISCUSSION section of linkgit:git-commit[1]).
65
66When multiple patches are output, the subject prefix will instead be
67"[PATCH n/m] ". To force 1/1 to be added for a single patch, use `-n`.
68To omit patch numbers from the subject, use `-N`.
35ef3a4c 69
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70If given `--thread`, `git-format-patch` will generate `In-Reply-To` and
71`References` headers to make the second and subsequent patch mails appear
72as replies to the first mail; this also generates a `Message-Id` header to
cc35de84 73reference.
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74
75OPTIONS
76-------
c1a95fa6 77:git-format-patch: 1
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78include::diff-options.txt[]
79
ed5f07a6 80-<n>::
2c642ed8 81 Prepare patches from the topmost <n> commits.
ed5f07a6 82
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83-o <dir>::
84--output-directory <dir>::
35ef3a4c 85 Use <dir> to store the resulting files, instead of the
efd02016 86 current working directory.
35ef3a4c 87
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88-n::
89--numbered::
a567fdcb 90 Name output in '[PATCH n/m]' format, even with a single patch.
35ef3a4c 91
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92-N::
93--no-numbered::
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94 Name output in '[PATCH]' format.
95
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96--start-number <n>::
97 Start numbering the patches at <n> instead of 1.
98
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99--numbered-files::
100 Output file names will be a simple number sequence
101 without the default first line of the commit appended.
e6ff0f42 102
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103-k::
104--keep-subject::
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105 Do not strip/add '[PATCH]' from the first line of the
106 commit log message.
107
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108-s::
109--signoff::
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110 Add `Signed-off-by:` line to the commit message, using
111 the committer identity of yourself.
112
54ba6013 113--stdout::
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114 Print all commits to the standard output in mbox format,
115 instead of creating a file for each one.
7fc9d69f 116
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117--attach[=<boundary>]::
118 Create multipart/mixed attachment, the first part of
119 which is the commit message and the patch itself in the
dce5ef14 120 second part, with `Content-Disposition: attachment`.
c112f689 121
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122--no-attach::
123 Disable the creation of an attachment, overriding the
124 configuration setting.
125
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126--inline[=<boundary>]::
127 Create multipart/mixed attachment, the first part of
128 which is the commit message and the patch itself in the
dce5ef14 129 second part, with `Content-Disposition: inline`.
a15a44ef 130
30984ed2 131--thread[=<style>]::
f693b7e9 132--no-thread::
dce5ef14 133 Controls addition of `In-Reply-To` and `References` headers to
f693b7e9 134 make the second and subsequent mails appear as replies to the
dce5ef14 135 first. Also controls generation of the `Message-Id` header to
f693b7e9 136 reference.
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137+
138The optional <style> argument can be either `shallow` or `deep`.
fd1ff306 139'shallow' threading makes every mail a reply to the head of the
30984ed2 140series, where the head is chosen from the cover letter, the
6cf378f0 141`--in-reply-to`, and the first patch mail, in this order. 'deep'
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142threading makes every mail a reply to the previous one.
143+
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144The default is `--no-thread`, unless the 'format.thread' configuration
145is set. If `--thread` is specified without a style, it defaults to the
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146style specified by 'format.thread' if any, or else `shallow`.
147+
148Beware that the default for 'git send-email' is to thread emails
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149itself. If you want `git format-patch` to take care of threading, you
150will want to ensure that threading is disabled for `git send-email`.
28ffb898 151
da56645d 152--in-reply-to=Message-Id::
dce5ef14 153 Make the first mail (or all the mails with `--no-thread`) appear as a
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154 reply to the given Message-Id, which avoids breaking threads to
155 provide a new patch series.
156
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157--ignore-if-in-upstream::
158 Do not include a patch that matches a commit in
159 <until>..<since>. This will examine all patches reachable
160 from <since> but not from <until> and compare them with the
161 patches being generated, and any patch that matches is
162 ignored.
163
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164--subject-prefix=<Subject-Prefix>::
165 Instead of the standard '[PATCH]' prefix in the subject
166 line, instead use '[<Subject-Prefix>]'. This
167 allows for useful naming of a patch series, and can be
dce5ef14 168 combined with the `--numbered` option.
2d9e4a47 169
7952ea66 170-v <n>::
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171--reroll-count=<n>::
172 Mark the series as the <n>-th iteration of the topic. The
d614f075 173 output filenames have `v<n>` prepended to them, and the
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174 subject prefix ("PATCH" by default, but configurable via the
175 `--subject-prefix` option) has ` v<n>` appended to it. E.g.
176 `--reroll-count=4` may produce `v4-0001-add-makefile.patch`
177 file that has "Subject: [PATCH v4 1/20] Add makefile" in it.
178
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179--to=<email>::
180 Add a `To:` header to the email headers. This is in addition
181 to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
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182 The negated form `--no-to` discards all `To:` headers added so
183 far (from config or command line).
ae6c098f 184
736cc67d 185--cc=<email>::
dce5ef14 186 Add a `Cc:` header to the email headers. This is in addition
736cc67d 187 to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
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188 The negated form `--no-cc` discards all `Cc:` headers added so
189 far (from config or command line).
736cc67d 190
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191--from::
192--from=<ident>::
193 Use `ident` in the `From:` header of each commit email. If the
194 author ident of the commit is not textually identical to the
195 provided `ident`, place a `From:` header in the body of the
196 message with the original author. If no `ident` is given, use
197 the committer ident.
198+
199Note that this option is only useful if you are actually sending the
200emails and want to identify yourself as the sender, but retain the
201original author (and `git am` will correctly pick up the in-body
202header). Note also that `git send-email` already handles this
203transformation for you, and this option should not be used if you are
204feeding the result to `git send-email`.
205
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206--add-header=<header>::
207 Add an arbitrary header to the email headers. This is in addition
208 to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
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209 For example, `--add-header="Organization: git-foo"`.
210 The negated form `--no-add-header` discards *all* (`To:`,
211 `Cc:`, and custom) headers added so far from config or command
212 line.
d7d9c2d0 213
2a4c2607 214--[no-]cover-letter::
f4912391 215 In addition to the patches, generate a cover letter file
561d2b79 216 containing the branch description, shortlog and the overall diffstat. You can
f4912391 217 fill in a description in the file before sending it out.
a5a27c79 218
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219--notes[=<ref>]::
220 Append the notes (see linkgit:git-notes[1]) for the commit
221 after the three-dash line.
222+
223The expected use case of this is to write supporting explanation for
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224the commit that does not belong to the commit log message proper,
225and include it with the patch submission. While one can simply write
226these explanations after `format-patch` has run but before sending,
2de9b711 227keeping them as Git notes allows them to be maintained between versions
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228of the patch series (but see the discussion of the `notes.rewrite`
229configuration options in linkgit:git-notes[1] to use this workflow).
e422c0cf 230
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231--[no]-signature=<signature>::
232 Add a signature to each message produced. Per RFC 3676 the signature
233 is separated from the body by a line with '-- ' on it. If the
2de9b711 234 signature option is omitted the signature defaults to the Git version
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235 number.
236
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237--signature-file=<file>::
238 Works just like --signature except the signature is read from a file.
239
03eeaeae 240--suffix=.<sfx>::
917a8f89 241 Instead of using `.patch` as the suffix for generated
02783075 242 filenames, use specified suffix. A common alternative is
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243 `--suffix=.txt`. Leaving this empty will remove the `.patch`
244 suffix.
03eeaeae 245+
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246Note that the leading character does not have to be a dot; for example,
247you can use `--suffix=-patch` to get `0001-description-of-my-change-patch`.
03eeaeae 248
b7df098c 249-q::
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250--quiet::
251 Do not print the names of the generated files to standard output.
252
37c22a4b 253--no-binary::
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254 Do not output contents of changes in binary files, instead
255 display a notice that those files changed. Patches generated
256 using this option cannot be applied properly, but they are
257 still useful for code review.
37c22a4b 258
3a30aa17 259--zero-commit::
260 Output an all-zero hash in each patch's From header instead
261 of the hash of the commit.
262
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263--root::
264 Treat the revision argument as a <revision range>, even if it
265 is just a single commit (that would normally be treated as a
266 <since>). Note that root commits included in the specified
267 range are always formatted as creation patches, independently
268 of this flag.
269
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270CONFIGURATION
271-------------
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272You can specify extra mail header lines to be added to each message,
273defaults for the subject prefix and file suffix, number patches when
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274outputting more than one patch, add "To" or "Cc:" headers, configure
275attachments, and sign off patches with configuration variables.
96ce6d26 276
917a8f89 277------------
96ce6d26 278[format]
7f9d77f2 279 headers = "Organization: git-foo\n"
da0005b8 280 subjectPrefix = CHANGE
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281 suffix = .txt
282 numbered = auto
ae6c098f 283 to = <email>
fe8928e6 284 cc = <email>
0db5260b 285 attach [ = mime-boundary-string ]
da0005b8 286 signOff = true
2a4c2607 287 coverletter = auto
917a8f89 288------------
03eeaeae 289
96ce6d26 290
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291DISCUSSION
292----------
293
294The patch produced by 'git format-patch' is in UNIX mailbox format,
295with a fixed "magic" time stamp to indicate that the file is output
296from format-patch rather than a real mailbox, like so:
297
298------------
299From 8f72bad1baf19a53459661343e21d6491c3908d3 Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
300From: Tony Luck <tony.luck@intel.com>
301Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2010 11:42:54 -0700
302Subject: [PATCH] =?UTF-8?q?[IA64]=20Put=20ia64=20config=20files=20on=20the=20?=
303 =?UTF-8?q?Uwe=20Kleine-K=C3=B6nig=20diet?=
304MIME-Version: 1.0
305Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
306Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
307
308arch/arm config files were slimmed down using a python script
309(See commit c2330e286f68f1c408b4aa6515ba49d57f05beae comment)
310
311Do the same for ia64 so we can have sleek & trim looking
312...
313------------
314
315Typically it will be placed in a MUA's drafts folder, edited to add
316timely commentary that should not go in the changelog after the three
317dashes, and then sent as a message whose body, in our example, starts
318with "arch/arm config files were...". On the receiving end, readers
319can save interesting patches in a UNIX mailbox and apply them with
320linkgit:git-am[1].
321
322When a patch is part of an ongoing discussion, the patch generated by
323'git format-patch' can be tweaked to take advantage of the 'git am
324--scissors' feature. After your response to the discussion comes a
325line that consists solely of "`-- >8 --`" (scissors and perforation),
326followed by the patch with unnecessary header fields removed:
327
328------------
329...
330> So we should do such-and-such.
331
332Makes sense to me. How about this patch?
333
334-- >8 --
335Subject: [IA64] Put ia64 config files on the Uwe Kleine-König diet
336
337arch/arm config files were slimmed down using a python script
338...
339------------
340
341When sending a patch this way, most often you are sending your own
342patch, so in addition to the "`From $SHA1 $magic_timestamp`" marker you
343should omit `From:` and `Date:` lines from the patch file. The patch
344title is likely to be different from the subject of the discussion the
345patch is in response to, so it is likely that you would want to keep
346the Subject: line, like the example above.
347
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348Checking for patch corruption
349~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
350Many mailers if not set up properly will corrupt whitespace. Here are
351two common types of corruption:
352
353* Empty context lines that do not have _any_ whitespace.
354
355* Non-empty context lines that have one extra whitespace at the
356 beginning.
357
358One way to test if your MUA is set up correctly is:
359
360* Send the patch to yourself, exactly the way you would, except
361 with To: and Cc: lines that do not contain the list and
362 maintainer address.
363
364* Save that patch to a file in UNIX mailbox format. Call it a.patch,
365 say.
366
367* Apply it:
368
369 $ git fetch <project> master:test-apply
370 $ git checkout test-apply
371 $ git reset --hard
372 $ git am a.patch
373
374If it does not apply correctly, there can be various reasons.
375
376* The patch itself does not apply cleanly. That is _bad_ but
377 does not have much to do with your MUA. You might want to rebase
378 the patch with linkgit:git-rebase[1] before regenerating it in
379 this case.
380
381* The MUA corrupted your patch; "am" would complain that
382 the patch does not apply. Look in the .git/rebase-apply/ subdirectory and
383 see what 'patch' file contains and check for the common
384 corruption patterns mentioned above.
385
386* While at it, check the 'info' and 'final-commit' files as well.
387 If what is in 'final-commit' is not exactly what you would want to
388 see in the commit log message, it is very likely that the
389 receiver would end up hand editing the log message when applying
390 your patch. Things like "Hi, this is my first patch.\n" in the
391 patch e-mail should come after the three-dash line that signals
392 the end of the commit message.
393
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394MUA-SPECIFIC HINTS
395------------------
396Here are some hints on how to successfully submit patches inline using
397various mailers.
398
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399GMail
400~~~~~
401GMail does not have any way to turn off line wrapping in the web
402interface, so it will mangle any emails that you send. You can however
403use "git send-email" and send your patches through the GMail SMTP server, or
404use any IMAP email client to connect to the google IMAP server and forward
405the emails through that.
406
407For hints on using 'git send-email' to send your patches through the
408GMail SMTP server, see the EXAMPLE section of linkgit:git-send-email[1].
409
410For hints on submission using the IMAP interface, see the EXAMPLE
411section of linkgit:git-imap-send[1].
412
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413Thunderbird
414~~~~~~~~~~~
415By default, Thunderbird will both wrap emails as well as flag
416them as being 'format=flowed', both of which will make the
2de9b711 417resulting email unusable by Git.
dc53151f 418
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419There are three different approaches: use an add-on to turn off line wraps,
420configure Thunderbird to not mangle patches, or use
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421an external editor to keep Thunderbird from mangling the patches.
422
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423Approach #1 (add-on)
424^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
425
426Install the Toggle Word Wrap add-on that is available from
427https://addons.mozilla.org/thunderbird/addon/toggle-word-wrap/
428It adds a menu entry "Enable Word Wrap" in the composer's "Options" menu
429that you can tick off. Now you can compose the message as you otherwise do
430(cut + paste, 'git format-patch' | 'git imap-send', etc), but you have to
431insert line breaks manually in any text that you type.
432
433Approach #2 (configuration)
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434^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
435Three steps:
436
4371. Configure your mail server composition as plain text:
438 Edit...Account Settings...Composition & Addressing,
439 uncheck "Compose Messages in HTML".
440
4412. Configure your general composition window to not wrap.
442+
443In Thunderbird 2:
444Edit..Preferences..Composition, wrap plain text messages at 0
445+
446In Thunderbird 3:
447Edit..Preferences..Advanced..Config Editor. Search for
448"mail.wrap_long_lines".
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449Toggle it to make sure it is set to `false`. Also, search for
450"mailnews.wraplength" and set the value to 0.
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451
4523. Disable the use of format=flowed:
453Edit..Preferences..Advanced..Config Editor. Search for
454"mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed".
455Toggle it to make sure it is set to `false`.
456
457After that is done, you should be able to compose email as you
458otherwise would (cut + paste, 'git format-patch' | 'git imap-send', etc),
459and the patches will not be mangled.
460
b8959605 461Approach #3 (external editor)
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462^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
463
464The following Thunderbird extensions are needed:
465AboutConfig from http://aboutconfig.mozdev.org/ and
466External Editor from http://globs.org/articles.php?lng=en&pg=8
467
4681. Prepare the patch as a text file using your method of choice.
469
4702. Before opening a compose window, use Edit->Account Settings to
471 uncheck the "Compose messages in HTML format" setting in the
472 "Composition & Addressing" panel of the account to be used to
473 send the patch.
474
4753. In the main Thunderbird window, 'before' you open the compose
476 window for the patch, use Tools->about:config to set the
477 following to the indicated values:
478+
479----------
480 mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed => false
481 mailnews.wraplength => 0
482----------
483
4844. Open a compose window and click the external editor icon.
485
4865. In the external editor window, read in the patch file and exit
487 the editor normally.
488
489Side note: it may be possible to do step 2 with
490about:config and the following settings but no one's tried yet.
491
492----------
493 mail.html_compose => false
494 mail.identity.default.compose_html => false
495 mail.identity.id?.compose_html => false
496----------
497
498There is a script in contrib/thunderbird-patch-inline which can help
499you include patches with Thunderbird in an easy way. To use it, do the
500steps above and then use the script as the external editor.
501
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502KMail
503~~~~~
504This should help you to submit patches inline using KMail.
505
5061. Prepare the patch as a text file.
507
5082. Click on New Mail.
509
5103. Go under "Options" in the Composer window and be sure that
511 "Word wrap" is not set.
512
5134. Use Message -> Insert file... and insert the patch.
514
5155. Back in the compose window: add whatever other text you wish to the
516 message, complete the addressing and subject fields, and press send.
517
e0d48279 518
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519EXAMPLES
520--------
521
921177f5 522* Extract commits between revisions R1 and R2, and apply them on top of
0b444cdb 523the current branch using 'git am' to cherry-pick them:
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524+
525------------
467c0197 526$ git format-patch -k --stdout R1..R2 | git am -3 -k
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527------------
528
529* Extract all commits which are in the current branch but not in the
530origin branch:
531+
532------------
533$ git format-patch origin
534------------
535+
536For each commit a separate file is created in the current directory.
537
538* Extract all commits that lead to 'origin' since the inception of the
539project:
540+
541------------
9c67c757 542$ git format-patch --root origin
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543------------
544
545* The same as the previous one:
546+
547------------
548$ git format-patch -M -B origin
549------------
550+
551Additionally, it detects and handles renames and complete rewrites
552intelligently to produce a renaming patch. A renaming patch reduces
50710ce4 553the amount of text output, and generally makes it easier to review.
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554Note that non-Git "patch" programs won't understand renaming patches, so
555use it only when you know the recipient uses Git to apply your patch.
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556
557* Extract three topmost commits from the current branch and format them
558as e-mailable patches:
559+
560------------
561$ git format-patch -3
562------------
28ffb898 563
56ae8df5 564SEE ALSO
28ffb898 565--------
5162e697 566linkgit:git-am[1], linkgit:git-send-email[1]
28ffb898 567
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568GIT
569---
9e1f0a85 570Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite