Further merging in preparation for 1.7.12.1
[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]
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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>]
b781cfaf 23 [--cover-letter] [--quiet]
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] First Line" and
62the subject when multiple patches are output is "[PATCH n/m] First
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63Line". To force 1/1 to be added for a single patch, use `-n`. To omit
64patch numbers from the subject, use `-N`.
35ef3a4c 65
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66If given `--thread`, `git-format-patch` will generate `In-Reply-To` and
67`References` headers to make the second and subsequent patch mails appear
68as replies to the first mail; this also generates a `Message-Id` header to
cc35de84 69reference.
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70
71OPTIONS
72-------
c1a95fa6 73:git-format-patch: 1
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74include::diff-options.txt[]
75
ed5f07a6 76-<n>::
2c642ed8 77 Prepare patches from the topmost <n> commits.
ed5f07a6 78
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79-o <dir>::
80--output-directory <dir>::
35ef3a4c 81 Use <dir> to store the resulting files, instead of the
efd02016 82 current working directory.
35ef3a4c 83
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84-n::
85--numbered::
a567fdcb 86 Name output in '[PATCH n/m]' format, even with a single patch.
35ef3a4c 87
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88-N::
89--no-numbered::
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90 Name output in '[PATCH]' format.
91
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92--start-number <n>::
93 Start numbering the patches at <n> instead of 1.
94
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95--numbered-files::
96 Output file names will be a simple number sequence
97 without the default first line of the commit appended.
e6ff0f42 98
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99-k::
100--keep-subject::
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101 Do not strip/add '[PATCH]' from the first line of the
102 commit log message.
103
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104-s::
105--signoff::
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106 Add `Signed-off-by:` line to the commit message, using
107 the committer identity of yourself.
108
54ba6013 109--stdout::
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110 Print all commits to the standard output in mbox format,
111 instead of creating a file for each one.
7fc9d69f 112
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113--attach[=<boundary>]::
114 Create multipart/mixed attachment, the first part of
115 which is the commit message and the patch itself in the
dce5ef14 116 second part, with `Content-Disposition: attachment`.
c112f689 117
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118--no-attach::
119 Disable the creation of an attachment, overriding the
120 configuration setting.
121
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122--inline[=<boundary>]::
123 Create multipart/mixed attachment, the first part of
124 which is the commit message and the patch itself in the
dce5ef14 125 second part, with `Content-Disposition: inline`.
a15a44ef 126
30984ed2 127--thread[=<style>]::
f693b7e9 128--no-thread::
dce5ef14 129 Controls addition of `In-Reply-To` and `References` headers to
f693b7e9 130 make the second and subsequent mails appear as replies to the
dce5ef14 131 first. Also controls generation of the `Message-Id` header to
f693b7e9 132 reference.
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133+
134The optional <style> argument can be either `shallow` or `deep`.
fd1ff306 135'shallow' threading makes every mail a reply to the head of the
30984ed2 136series, where the head is chosen from the cover letter, the
6cf378f0 137`--in-reply-to`, and the first patch mail, in this order. 'deep'
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138threading makes every mail a reply to the previous one.
139+
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140The default is `--no-thread`, unless the 'format.thread' configuration
141is set. If `--thread` is specified without a style, it defaults to the
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142style specified by 'format.thread' if any, or else `shallow`.
143+
144Beware that the default for 'git send-email' is to thread emails
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145itself. If you want `git format-patch` to take care of threading, you
146will want to ensure that threading is disabled for `git send-email`.
28ffb898 147
da56645d 148--in-reply-to=Message-Id::
dce5ef14 149 Make the first mail (or all the mails with `--no-thread`) appear as a
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150 reply to the given Message-Id, which avoids breaking threads to
151 provide a new patch series.
152
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153--ignore-if-in-upstream::
154 Do not include a patch that matches a commit in
155 <until>..<since>. This will examine all patches reachable
156 from <since> but not from <until> and compare them with the
157 patches being generated, and any patch that matches is
158 ignored.
159
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160--subject-prefix=<Subject-Prefix>::
161 Instead of the standard '[PATCH]' prefix in the subject
162 line, instead use '[<Subject-Prefix>]'. This
163 allows for useful naming of a patch series, and can be
dce5ef14 164 combined with the `--numbered` option.
2d9e4a47 165
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166--to=<email>::
167 Add a `To:` header to the email headers. This is in addition
168 to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
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169 The negated form `--no-to` discards all `To:` headers added so
170 far (from config or command line).
ae6c098f 171
736cc67d 172--cc=<email>::
dce5ef14 173 Add a `Cc:` header to the email headers. This is in addition
736cc67d 174 to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
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175 The negated form `--no-cc` discards all `Cc:` headers added so
176 far (from config or command line).
736cc67d 177
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178--add-header=<header>::
179 Add an arbitrary header to the email headers. This is in addition
180 to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.
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181 For example, `--add-header="Organization: git-foo"`.
182 The negated form `--no-add-header` discards *all* (`To:`,
183 `Cc:`, and custom) headers added so far from config or command
184 line.
d7d9c2d0 185
a5a27c79 186--cover-letter::
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187 In addition to the patches, generate a cover letter file
188 containing the shortlog and the overall diffstat. You can
189 fill in a description in the file before sending it out.
a5a27c79 190
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191--[no]-signature=<signature>::
192 Add a signature to each message produced. Per RFC 3676 the signature
193 is separated from the body by a line with '-- ' on it. If the
194 signature option is omitted the signature defaults to the git version
195 number.
196
03eeaeae 197--suffix=.<sfx>::
917a8f89 198 Instead of using `.patch` as the suffix for generated
02783075 199 filenames, use specified suffix. A common alternative is
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200 `--suffix=.txt`. Leaving this empty will remove the `.patch`
201 suffix.
03eeaeae 202+
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203Note that the leading character does not have to be a dot; for example,
204you can use `--suffix=-patch` to get `0001-description-of-my-change-patch`.
03eeaeae 205
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206--quiet::
207 Do not print the names of the generated files to standard output.
208
37c22a4b 209--no-binary::
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210 Do not output contents of changes in binary files, instead
211 display a notice that those files changed. Patches generated
212 using this option cannot be applied properly, but they are
213 still useful for code review.
37c22a4b 214
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215--root::
216 Treat the revision argument as a <revision range>, even if it
217 is just a single commit (that would normally be treated as a
218 <since>). Note that root commits included in the specified
219 range are always formatted as creation patches, independently
220 of this flag.
221
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222CONFIGURATION
223-------------
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224You can specify extra mail header lines to be added to each message,
225defaults for the subject prefix and file suffix, number patches when
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226outputting more than one patch, add "To" or "Cc:" headers, configure
227attachments, and sign off patches with configuration variables.
96ce6d26 228
917a8f89 229------------
96ce6d26 230[format]
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231 headers = "Organization: git-foo\n"
232 subjectprefix = CHANGE
233 suffix = .txt
234 numbered = auto
ae6c098f 235 to = <email>
fe8928e6 236 cc = <email>
0db5260b 237 attach [ = mime-boundary-string ]
1d1876e9 238 signoff = true
917a8f89 239------------
03eeaeae 240
96ce6d26 241
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242DISCUSSION
243----------
244
245The patch produced by 'git format-patch' is in UNIX mailbox format,
246with a fixed "magic" time stamp to indicate that the file is output
247from format-patch rather than a real mailbox, like so:
248
249------------
250From 8f72bad1baf19a53459661343e21d6491c3908d3 Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
251From: Tony Luck <tony.luck@intel.com>
252Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2010 11:42:54 -0700
253Subject: [PATCH] =?UTF-8?q?[IA64]=20Put=20ia64=20config=20files=20on=20the=20?=
254 =?UTF-8?q?Uwe=20Kleine-K=C3=B6nig=20diet?=
255MIME-Version: 1.0
256Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
257Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
258
259arch/arm config files were slimmed down using a python script
260(See commit c2330e286f68f1c408b4aa6515ba49d57f05beae comment)
261
262Do the same for ia64 so we can have sleek & trim looking
263...
264------------
265
266Typically it will be placed in a MUA's drafts folder, edited to add
267timely commentary that should not go in the changelog after the three
268dashes, and then sent as a message whose body, in our example, starts
269with "arch/arm config files were...". On the receiving end, readers
270can save interesting patches in a UNIX mailbox and apply them with
271linkgit:git-am[1].
272
273When a patch is part of an ongoing discussion, the patch generated by
274'git format-patch' can be tweaked to take advantage of the 'git am
275--scissors' feature. After your response to the discussion comes a
276line that consists solely of "`-- >8 --`" (scissors and perforation),
277followed by the patch with unnecessary header fields removed:
278
279------------
280...
281> So we should do such-and-such.
282
283Makes sense to me. How about this patch?
284
285-- >8 --
286Subject: [IA64] Put ia64 config files on the Uwe Kleine-König diet
287
288arch/arm config files were slimmed down using a python script
289...
290------------
291
292When sending a patch this way, most often you are sending your own
293patch, so in addition to the "`From $SHA1 $magic_timestamp`" marker you
294should omit `From:` and `Date:` lines from the patch file. The patch
295title is likely to be different from the subject of the discussion the
296patch is in response to, so it is likely that you would want to keep
297the Subject: line, like the example above.
298
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299Checking for patch corruption
300~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
301Many mailers if not set up properly will corrupt whitespace. Here are
302two common types of corruption:
303
304* Empty context lines that do not have _any_ whitespace.
305
306* Non-empty context lines that have one extra whitespace at the
307 beginning.
308
309One way to test if your MUA is set up correctly is:
310
311* Send the patch to yourself, exactly the way you would, except
312 with To: and Cc: lines that do not contain the list and
313 maintainer address.
314
315* Save that patch to a file in UNIX mailbox format. Call it a.patch,
316 say.
317
318* Apply it:
319
320 $ git fetch <project> master:test-apply
321 $ git checkout test-apply
322 $ git reset --hard
323 $ git am a.patch
324
325If it does not apply correctly, there can be various reasons.
326
327* The patch itself does not apply cleanly. That is _bad_ but
328 does not have much to do with your MUA. You might want to rebase
329 the patch with linkgit:git-rebase[1] before regenerating it in
330 this case.
331
332* The MUA corrupted your patch; "am" would complain that
333 the patch does not apply. Look in the .git/rebase-apply/ subdirectory and
334 see what 'patch' file contains and check for the common
335 corruption patterns mentioned above.
336
337* While at it, check the 'info' and 'final-commit' files as well.
338 If what is in 'final-commit' is not exactly what you would want to
339 see in the commit log message, it is very likely that the
340 receiver would end up hand editing the log message when applying
341 your patch. Things like "Hi, this is my first patch.\n" in the
342 patch e-mail should come after the three-dash line that signals
343 the end of the commit message.
344
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345MUA-SPECIFIC HINTS
346------------------
347Here are some hints on how to successfully submit patches inline using
348various mailers.
349
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350GMail
351~~~~~
352GMail does not have any way to turn off line wrapping in the web
353interface, so it will mangle any emails that you send. You can however
354use "git send-email" and send your patches through the GMail SMTP server, or
355use any IMAP email client to connect to the google IMAP server and forward
356the emails through that.
357
358For hints on using 'git send-email' to send your patches through the
359GMail SMTP server, see the EXAMPLE section of linkgit:git-send-email[1].
360
361For hints on submission using the IMAP interface, see the EXAMPLE
362section of linkgit:git-imap-send[1].
363
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364Thunderbird
365~~~~~~~~~~~
366By default, Thunderbird will both wrap emails as well as flag
367them as being 'format=flowed', both of which will make the
368resulting email unusable by git.
369
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370There are three different approaches: use an add-on to turn off line wraps,
371configure Thunderbird to not mangle patches, or use
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372an external editor to keep Thunderbird from mangling the patches.
373
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374Approach #1 (add-on)
375^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
376
377Install the Toggle Word Wrap add-on that is available from
378https://addons.mozilla.org/thunderbird/addon/toggle-word-wrap/
379It adds a menu entry "Enable Word Wrap" in the composer's "Options" menu
380that you can tick off. Now you can compose the message as you otherwise do
381(cut + paste, 'git format-patch' | 'git imap-send', etc), but you have to
382insert line breaks manually in any text that you type.
383
384Approach #2 (configuration)
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385^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
386Three steps:
387
3881. Configure your mail server composition as plain text:
389 Edit...Account Settings...Composition & Addressing,
390 uncheck "Compose Messages in HTML".
391
3922. Configure your general composition window to not wrap.
393+
394In Thunderbird 2:
395Edit..Preferences..Composition, wrap plain text messages at 0
396+
397In Thunderbird 3:
398Edit..Preferences..Advanced..Config Editor. Search for
399"mail.wrap_long_lines".
400Toggle it to make sure it is set to `false`.
401
4023. Disable the use of format=flowed:
403Edit..Preferences..Advanced..Config Editor. Search for
404"mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed".
405Toggle it to make sure it is set to `false`.
406
407After that is done, you should be able to compose email as you
408otherwise would (cut + paste, 'git format-patch' | 'git imap-send', etc),
409and the patches will not be mangled.
410
b8959605 411Approach #3 (external editor)
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412^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
413
414The following Thunderbird extensions are needed:
415AboutConfig from http://aboutconfig.mozdev.org/ and
416External Editor from http://globs.org/articles.php?lng=en&pg=8
417
4181. Prepare the patch as a text file using your method of choice.
419
4202. Before opening a compose window, use Edit->Account Settings to
421 uncheck the "Compose messages in HTML format" setting in the
422 "Composition & Addressing" panel of the account to be used to
423 send the patch.
424
4253. In the main Thunderbird window, 'before' you open the compose
426 window for the patch, use Tools->about:config to set the
427 following to the indicated values:
428+
429----------
430 mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed => false
431 mailnews.wraplength => 0
432----------
433
4344. Open a compose window and click the external editor icon.
435
4365. In the external editor window, read in the patch file and exit
437 the editor normally.
438
439Side note: it may be possible to do step 2 with
440about:config and the following settings but no one's tried yet.
441
442----------
443 mail.html_compose => false
444 mail.identity.default.compose_html => false
445 mail.identity.id?.compose_html => false
446----------
447
448There is a script in contrib/thunderbird-patch-inline which can help
449you include patches with Thunderbird in an easy way. To use it, do the
450steps above and then use the script as the external editor.
451
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452KMail
453~~~~~
454This should help you to submit patches inline using KMail.
455
4561. Prepare the patch as a text file.
457
4582. Click on New Mail.
459
4603. Go under "Options" in the Composer window and be sure that
461 "Word wrap" is not set.
462
4634. Use Message -> Insert file... and insert the patch.
464
4655. Back in the compose window: add whatever other text you wish to the
466 message, complete the addressing and subject fields, and press send.
467
e0d48279 468
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469EXAMPLES
470--------
471
921177f5 472* Extract commits between revisions R1 and R2, and apply them on top of
0b444cdb 473the current branch using 'git am' to cherry-pick them:
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474+
475------------
467c0197 476$ git format-patch -k --stdout R1..R2 | git am -3 -k
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477------------
478
479* Extract all commits which are in the current branch but not in the
480origin branch:
481+
482------------
483$ git format-patch origin
484------------
485+
486For each commit a separate file is created in the current directory.
487
488* Extract all commits that lead to 'origin' since the inception of the
489project:
490+
491------------
9c67c757 492$ git format-patch --root origin
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493------------
494
495* The same as the previous one:
496+
497------------
498$ git format-patch -M -B origin
499------------
500+
501Additionally, it detects and handles renames and complete rewrites
502intelligently to produce a renaming patch. A renaming patch reduces
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503the amount of text output, and generally makes it easier to review.
504Note that non-git "patch" programs won't understand renaming patches, so
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505use it only when you know the recipient uses git to apply your patch.
506
507* Extract three topmost commits from the current branch and format them
508as e-mailable patches:
509+
510------------
511$ git format-patch -3
512------------
28ffb898 513
56ae8df5 514SEE ALSO
28ffb898 515--------
5162e697 516linkgit:git-am[1], linkgit:git-send-email[1]
28ffb898 517
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518GIT
519---
9e1f0a85 520Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite