Doc notes: Include the format-patch --notes option
[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]
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17 [-n | --numbered | -N | --no-numbered]
18 [--start-number <n>] [--numbered-files]
19 [--in-reply-to=Message-Id] [--suffix=.<sfx>]
20 [--ignore-if-in-upstream]
21 [--subject-prefix=Subject-Prefix]
ae6c098f 22 [--to=<email>] [--cc=<email>]
e422c0cf 23 [--cover-letter] [--quiet] [--notes[=<ref>]]
50710ce4 24 [<common diff options>]
8a1d076e 25 [ <since> | <revision range> ]
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26
27DESCRIPTION
28-----------
2052d146 29
8a1d076e 30Prepare each commit with its patch in
2052d146 31one file per commit, formatted to resemble UNIX mailbox format.
2052d146 32The output of this command is convenient for e-mail submission or
0b444cdb 33for use with 'git am'.
35ef3a4c 34
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35There are two ways to specify which commits to operate on.
36
371. A single commit, <since>, specifies that the commits leading
38 to the tip of the current branch that are not in the history
39 that leads to the <since> to be output.
40
412. Generic <revision range> expression (see "SPECIFYING
9d83e382 42 REVISIONS" section in linkgit:gitrevisions[7]) means the
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43 commits in the specified range.
44
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45The first rule takes precedence in the case of a single <commit>. To
46apply the second rule, i.e., format everything since the beginning of
dce5ef14 47history up until <commit>, use the '\--root' option: `git format-patch
6cf378f0 48--root <commit>`. If you want to format only <commit> itself, you
dce5ef14 49can do this with `git format-patch -1 <commit>`.
8a1d076e 50
e6ff0f42 51By default, each output file is numbered sequentially from 1, and uses the
2052d146 52first line of the commit message (massaged for pathname safety) as
dce5ef14 53the filename. With the `--numbered-files` option, the output file names
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54will only be numbers, without the first line of the commit appended.
55The names of the output files are printed to standard
dce5ef14 56output, unless the `--stdout` option is specified.
66f04f38 57
dce5ef14 58If `-o` is specified, output files are created in <dir>. Otherwise
2052d146 59they are created in the current working directory.
35ef3a4c 60
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61By default, the subject of a single patch is "[PATCH] " followed by
62the concatenation of lines from the commit message up to the first blank
63line (see the DISCUSSION section of linkgit:git-commit[1]).
64
65When multiple patches are output, the subject prefix will instead be
66"[PATCH n/m] ". To force 1/1 to be added for a single patch, use `-n`.
67To omit patch numbers from the subject, use `-N`.
35ef3a4c 68
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69If given `--thread`, `git-format-patch` will generate `In-Reply-To` and
70`References` headers to make the second and subsequent patch mails appear
71as replies to the first mail; this also generates a `Message-Id` header to
cc35de84 72reference.
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73
74OPTIONS
75-------
c1a95fa6 76:git-format-patch: 1
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77include::diff-options.txt[]
78
ed5f07a6 79-<n>::
2c642ed8 80 Prepare patches from the topmost <n> commits.
ed5f07a6 81
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82-o <dir>::
83--output-directory <dir>::
35ef3a4c 84 Use <dir> to store the resulting files, instead of the
efd02016 85 current working directory.
35ef3a4c 86
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87-n::
88--numbered::
a567fdcb 89 Name output in '[PATCH n/m]' format, even with a single patch.
35ef3a4c 90
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91-N::
92--no-numbered::
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93 Name output in '[PATCH]' format.
94
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95--start-number <n>::
96 Start numbering the patches at <n> instead of 1.
97
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98--numbered-files::
99 Output file names will be a simple number sequence
100 without the default first line of the commit appended.
e6ff0f42 101
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102-k::
103--keep-subject::
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104 Do not strip/add '[PATCH]' from the first line of the
105 commit log message.
106
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107-s::
108--signoff::
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109 Add `Signed-off-by:` line to the commit message, using
110 the committer identity of yourself.
111
54ba6013 112--stdout::
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113 Print all commits to the standard output in mbox format,
114 instead of creating a file for each one.
7fc9d69f 115
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116--attach[=<boundary>]::
117 Create multipart/mixed attachment, the first part of
118 which is the commit message and the patch itself in the
dce5ef14 119 second part, with `Content-Disposition: attachment`.
c112f689 120
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121--no-attach::
122 Disable the creation of an attachment, overriding the
123 configuration setting.
124
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125--inline[=<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: inline`.
a15a44ef 129
30984ed2 130--thread[=<style>]::
f693b7e9 131--no-thread::
dce5ef14 132 Controls addition of `In-Reply-To` and `References` headers to
f693b7e9 133 make the second and subsequent mails appear as replies to the
dce5ef14 134 first. Also controls generation of the `Message-Id` header to
f693b7e9 135 reference.
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136+
137The optional <style> argument can be either `shallow` or `deep`.
fd1ff306 138'shallow' threading makes every mail a reply to the head of the
30984ed2 139series, where the head is chosen from the cover letter, the
6cf378f0 140`--in-reply-to`, and the first patch mail, in this order. 'deep'
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141threading makes every mail a reply to the previous one.
142+
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143The default is `--no-thread`, unless the 'format.thread' configuration
144is set. If `--thread` is specified without a style, it defaults to the
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145style specified by 'format.thread' if any, or else `shallow`.
146+
147Beware that the default for 'git send-email' is to thread emails
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148itself. If you want `git format-patch` to take care of threading, you
149will want to ensure that threading is disabled for `git send-email`.
28ffb898 150
da56645d 151--in-reply-to=Message-Id::
dce5ef14 152 Make the first mail (or all the mails with `--no-thread`) appear as a
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153 reply to the given Message-Id, which avoids breaking threads to
154 provide a new patch series.
155
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156--ignore-if-in-upstream::
157 Do not include a patch that matches a commit in
158 <until>..<since>. This will examine all patches reachable
159 from <since> but not from <until> and compare them with the
160 patches being generated, and any patch that matches is
161 ignored.
162
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163--subject-prefix=<Subject-Prefix>::
164 Instead of the standard '[PATCH]' prefix in the subject
165 line, instead use '[<Subject-Prefix>]'. This
166 allows for useful naming of a patch series, and can be
dce5ef14 167 combined with the `--numbered` option.
2d9e4a47 168
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169--to=<email>::
170 Add a `To:` header to the email headers. This is in addition
171 to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
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172 The negated form `--no-to` discards all `To:` headers added so
173 far (from config or command line).
ae6c098f 174
736cc67d 175--cc=<email>::
dce5ef14 176 Add a `Cc:` header to the email headers. This is in addition
736cc67d 177 to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
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178 The negated form `--no-cc` discards all `Cc:` headers added so
179 far (from config or command line).
736cc67d 180
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181--add-header=<header>::
182 Add an arbitrary header to the email headers. This is in addition
183 to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
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184 For example, `--add-header="Organization: git-foo"`.
185 The negated form `--no-add-header` discards *all* (`To:`,
186 `Cc:`, and custom) headers added so far from config or command
187 line.
d7d9c2d0 188
a5a27c79 189--cover-letter::
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190 In addition to the patches, generate a cover letter file
191 containing the shortlog and the overall diffstat. You can
192 fill in a description in the file before sending it out.
a5a27c79 193
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194--notes[=<ref>]::
195 Append the notes (see linkgit:git-notes[1]) for the commit
196 after the three-dash line.
197+
198The expected use case of this is to write supporting explanation for
199the commit that does not belong to the commit log message proper
200when (or after) you create the commit, and include it in your patch
201submission. But if you can plan ahead and write it down, there may
202not be a good reason not to write it in your commit message, and if
203you can't, you can always edit the output of format-patch before
204sending it out, so the practical value of this option is somewhat
205dubious, unless your workflow is broken.
206
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207--[no]-signature=<signature>::
208 Add a signature to each message produced. Per RFC 3676 the signature
209 is separated from the body by a line with '-- ' on it. If the
210 signature option is omitted the signature defaults to the git version
211 number.
212
03eeaeae 213--suffix=.<sfx>::
917a8f89 214 Instead of using `.patch` as the suffix for generated
02783075 215 filenames, use specified suffix. A common alternative is
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216 `--suffix=.txt`. Leaving this empty will remove the `.patch`
217 suffix.
03eeaeae 218+
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219Note that the leading character does not have to be a dot; for example,
220you can use `--suffix=-patch` to get `0001-description-of-my-change-patch`.
03eeaeae 221
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222--quiet::
223 Do not print the names of the generated files to standard output.
224
37c22a4b 225--no-binary::
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226 Do not output contents of changes in binary files, instead
227 display a notice that those files changed. Patches generated
228 using this option cannot be applied properly, but they are
229 still useful for code review.
37c22a4b 230
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231--root::
232 Treat the revision argument as a <revision range>, even if it
233 is just a single commit (that would normally be treated as a
234 <since>). Note that root commits included in the specified
235 range are always formatted as creation patches, independently
236 of this flag.
237
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238CONFIGURATION
239-------------
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240You can specify extra mail header lines to be added to each message,
241defaults for the subject prefix and file suffix, number patches when
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242outputting more than one patch, add "To" or "Cc:" headers, configure
243attachments, and sign off patches with configuration variables.
96ce6d26 244
917a8f89 245------------
96ce6d26 246[format]
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247 headers = "Organization: git-foo\n"
248 subjectprefix = CHANGE
249 suffix = .txt
250 numbered = auto
ae6c098f 251 to = <email>
fe8928e6 252 cc = <email>
0db5260b 253 attach [ = mime-boundary-string ]
1d1876e9 254 signoff = true
917a8f89 255------------
03eeaeae 256
96ce6d26 257
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258DISCUSSION
259----------
260
261The patch produced by 'git format-patch' is in UNIX mailbox format,
262with a fixed "magic" time stamp to indicate that the file is output
263from format-patch rather than a real mailbox, like so:
264
265------------
266From 8f72bad1baf19a53459661343e21d6491c3908d3 Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
267From: Tony Luck <tony.luck@intel.com>
268Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2010 11:42:54 -0700
269Subject: [PATCH] =?UTF-8?q?[IA64]=20Put=20ia64=20config=20files=20on=20the=20?=
270 =?UTF-8?q?Uwe=20Kleine-K=C3=B6nig=20diet?=
271MIME-Version: 1.0
272Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
273Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
274
275arch/arm config files were slimmed down using a python script
276(See commit c2330e286f68f1c408b4aa6515ba49d57f05beae comment)
277
278Do the same for ia64 so we can have sleek & trim looking
279...
280------------
281
282Typically it will be placed in a MUA's drafts folder, edited to add
283timely commentary that should not go in the changelog after the three
284dashes, and then sent as a message whose body, in our example, starts
285with "arch/arm config files were...". On the receiving end, readers
286can save interesting patches in a UNIX mailbox and apply them with
287linkgit:git-am[1].
288
289When a patch is part of an ongoing discussion, the patch generated by
290'git format-patch' can be tweaked to take advantage of the 'git am
291--scissors' feature. After your response to the discussion comes a
292line that consists solely of "`-- >8 --`" (scissors and perforation),
293followed by the patch with unnecessary header fields removed:
294
295------------
296...
297> So we should do such-and-such.
298
299Makes sense to me. How about this patch?
300
301-- >8 --
302Subject: [IA64] Put ia64 config files on the Uwe Kleine-König diet
303
304arch/arm config files were slimmed down using a python script
305...
306------------
307
308When sending a patch this way, most often you are sending your own
309patch, so in addition to the "`From $SHA1 $magic_timestamp`" marker you
310should omit `From:` and `Date:` lines from the patch file. The patch
311title is likely to be different from the subject of the discussion the
312patch is in response to, so it is likely that you would want to keep
313the Subject: line, like the example above.
314
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315Checking for patch corruption
316~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
317Many mailers if not set up properly will corrupt whitespace. Here are
318two common types of corruption:
319
320* Empty context lines that do not have _any_ whitespace.
321
322* Non-empty context lines that have one extra whitespace at the
323 beginning.
324
325One way to test if your MUA is set up correctly is:
326
327* Send the patch to yourself, exactly the way you would, except
328 with To: and Cc: lines that do not contain the list and
329 maintainer address.
330
331* Save that patch to a file in UNIX mailbox format. Call it a.patch,
332 say.
333
334* Apply it:
335
336 $ git fetch <project> master:test-apply
337 $ git checkout test-apply
338 $ git reset --hard
339 $ git am a.patch
340
341If it does not apply correctly, there can be various reasons.
342
343* The patch itself does not apply cleanly. That is _bad_ but
344 does not have much to do with your MUA. You might want to rebase
345 the patch with linkgit:git-rebase[1] before regenerating it in
346 this case.
347
348* The MUA corrupted your patch; "am" would complain that
349 the patch does not apply. Look in the .git/rebase-apply/ subdirectory and
350 see what 'patch' file contains and check for the common
351 corruption patterns mentioned above.
352
353* While at it, check the 'info' and 'final-commit' files as well.
354 If what is in 'final-commit' is not exactly what you would want to
355 see in the commit log message, it is very likely that the
356 receiver would end up hand editing the log message when applying
357 your patch. Things like "Hi, this is my first patch.\n" in the
358 patch e-mail should come after the three-dash line that signals
359 the end of the commit message.
360
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361MUA-SPECIFIC HINTS
362------------------
363Here are some hints on how to successfully submit patches inline using
364various mailers.
365
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366GMail
367~~~~~
368GMail does not have any way to turn off line wrapping in the web
369interface, so it will mangle any emails that you send. You can however
370use "git send-email" and send your patches through the GMail SMTP server, or
371use any IMAP email client to connect to the google IMAP server and forward
372the emails through that.
373
374For hints on using 'git send-email' to send your patches through the
375GMail SMTP server, see the EXAMPLE section of linkgit:git-send-email[1].
376
377For hints on submission using the IMAP interface, see the EXAMPLE
378section of linkgit:git-imap-send[1].
379
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380Thunderbird
381~~~~~~~~~~~
382By default, Thunderbird will both wrap emails as well as flag
383them as being 'format=flowed', both of which will make the
384resulting email unusable by git.
385
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386There are three different approaches: use an add-on to turn off line wraps,
387configure Thunderbird to not mangle patches, or use
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388an external editor to keep Thunderbird from mangling the patches.
389
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390Approach #1 (add-on)
391^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
392
393Install the Toggle Word Wrap add-on that is available from
394https://addons.mozilla.org/thunderbird/addon/toggle-word-wrap/
395It adds a menu entry "Enable Word Wrap" in the composer's "Options" menu
396that you can tick off. Now you can compose the message as you otherwise do
397(cut + paste, 'git format-patch' | 'git imap-send', etc), but you have to
398insert line breaks manually in any text that you type.
399
400Approach #2 (configuration)
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401^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
402Three steps:
403
4041. Configure your mail server composition as plain text:
405 Edit...Account Settings...Composition & Addressing,
406 uncheck "Compose Messages in HTML".
407
4082. Configure your general composition window to not wrap.
409+
410In Thunderbird 2:
411Edit..Preferences..Composition, wrap plain text messages at 0
412+
413In Thunderbird 3:
414Edit..Preferences..Advanced..Config Editor. Search for
415"mail.wrap_long_lines".
416Toggle it to make sure it is set to `false`.
417
4183. Disable the use of format=flowed:
419Edit..Preferences..Advanced..Config Editor. Search for
420"mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed".
421Toggle it to make sure it is set to `false`.
422
423After that is done, you should be able to compose email as you
424otherwise would (cut + paste, 'git format-patch' | 'git imap-send', etc),
425and the patches will not be mangled.
426
b8959605 427Approach #3 (external editor)
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428^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
429
430The following Thunderbird extensions are needed:
431AboutConfig from http://aboutconfig.mozdev.org/ and
432External Editor from http://globs.org/articles.php?lng=en&pg=8
433
4341. Prepare the patch as a text file using your method of choice.
435
4362. Before opening a compose window, use Edit->Account Settings to
437 uncheck the "Compose messages in HTML format" setting in the
438 "Composition & Addressing" panel of the account to be used to
439 send the patch.
440
4413. In the main Thunderbird window, 'before' you open the compose
442 window for the patch, use Tools->about:config to set the
443 following to the indicated values:
444+
445----------
446 mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed => false
447 mailnews.wraplength => 0
448----------
449
4504. Open a compose window and click the external editor icon.
451
4525. In the external editor window, read in the patch file and exit
453 the editor normally.
454
455Side note: it may be possible to do step 2 with
456about:config and the following settings but no one's tried yet.
457
458----------
459 mail.html_compose => false
460 mail.identity.default.compose_html => false
461 mail.identity.id?.compose_html => false
462----------
463
464There is a script in contrib/thunderbird-patch-inline which can help
465you include patches with Thunderbird in an easy way. To use it, do the
466steps above and then use the script as the external editor.
467
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468KMail
469~~~~~
470This should help you to submit patches inline using KMail.
471
4721. Prepare the patch as a text file.
473
4742. Click on New Mail.
475
4763. Go under "Options" in the Composer window and be sure that
477 "Word wrap" is not set.
478
4794. Use Message -> Insert file... and insert the patch.
480
4815. Back in the compose window: add whatever other text you wish to the
482 message, complete the addressing and subject fields, and press send.
483
e0d48279 484
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485EXAMPLES
486--------
487
921177f5 488* Extract commits between revisions R1 and R2, and apply them on top of
0b444cdb 489the current branch using 'git am' to cherry-pick them:
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490+
491------------
467c0197 492$ git format-patch -k --stdout R1..R2 | git am -3 -k
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493------------
494
495* Extract all commits which are in the current branch but not in the
496origin branch:
497+
498------------
499$ git format-patch origin
500------------
501+
502For each commit a separate file is created in the current directory.
503
504* Extract all commits that lead to 'origin' since the inception of the
505project:
506+
507------------
9c67c757 508$ git format-patch --root origin
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509------------
510
511* The same as the previous one:
512+
513------------
514$ git format-patch -M -B origin
515------------
516+
517Additionally, it detects and handles renames and complete rewrites
518intelligently to produce a renaming patch. A renaming patch reduces
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519the amount of text output, and generally makes it easier to review.
520Note that non-git "patch" programs won't understand renaming patches, so
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521use it only when you know the recipient uses git to apply your patch.
522
523* Extract three topmost commits from the current branch and format them
524as e-mailable patches:
525+
526------------
527$ git format-patch -3
528------------
28ffb898 529
56ae8df5 530SEE ALSO
28ffb898 531--------
5162e697 532linkgit:git-am[1], linkgit:git-send-email[1]
28ffb898 533
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534GIT
535---
9e1f0a85 536Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite