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           patch [options] [originalfile [patchfile]]
           but usually just
           patch -pnum <patchfile


           patch takes a patch file patchfile containing a difference listing pro-
           duced by the diff program and applies those differences to one or  more
           original  files, producing patched versions.  Normally the patched ver-
           sions are put in place of the originals.  Backups can be made; see  the
           -b  or  --backup option.  The names of the files to be patched are usu-
           ally taken from the patch file, but if there's  just  one  file  to  be
           patched it can be specified on the command line as originalfile.
           Upon startup, patch attempts to determine the type of the diff listing,
           unless overruled by a -c (--context), -e (--ed), -n (--normal),  or  -u
           (--unified)  option.  Context diffs (old-style, new-style, and unified)
           and normal diffs are applied by the  patch  program  itself,  while  ed
           diffs are simply fed to the ed(1) editor via a pipe.
           patch  tries to skip any leading garbage, apply the diff, and then skip
           any trailing garbage.  Thus you could feed an article or  message  con-
           taining  a  diff  listing  to patch, and it should work.  If the entire
           diff is indented by a consistent amount, or if a context diff  contains
           lines ending in CRLF or is encapsulated one or more times by prepending
           "- " to lines starting with "-" as specified by Internet RFC 934,  this
           is  taken  into  account.   After  removing indenting or encapsulation,
           lines beginning with # are ignored, as they are considered to  be  com-
           With context diffs, and to a lesser extent with normal diffs, patch can
           detect when the line numbers mentioned in the patch are incorrect,  and
           attempts to find the correct place to apply each hunk of the patch.  As
           a first guess, it takes the line number mentioned for the hunk, plus or
           minus  any  offset  used in applying the previous hunk.  If that is not
           the correct place, patch scans both forwards and backwards for a set of
           lines  matching the context given in the hunk.  First patch looks for a
           place where all lines of the context match.  If no such place is found,
           and  it's  a  context  diff, and the maximum fuzz factor is set to 1 or
           more, then another scan takes place ignoring the first and last line of
           context.   If  that  fails,  and the maximum fuzz factor is set to 2 or
           more, the first two and last two lines  of  context  are  ignored,  and
           another scan is made.  (The default maximum fuzz factor is 2.)
           Hunks  with  less  prefix  context  than suffix context (after applying
           fuzz) must apply at the start of the file if their  first  line  number
           is 1.  Hunks with more prefix context than suffix context (after apply-
           ing fuzz) must apply at the end of the file.
           If patch cannot find a place to install that hunk of the patch, it puts
           fied  in  the diff, you are told the offset.  A single large offset may
           indicate that a hunk was installed in the wrong place.   You  are  also
           told  if  a  fuzz  factor was used to make the match, in which case you
           should also be slightly suspicious.  If the --verbose option is  given,
           you are also told about hunks that match exactly.
           If  no  original  file origfile is specified on the command line, patch
           tries to figure out from the leading garbage what the name of the  file
           to edit is, using the following rules.
           First, patch takes an ordered list of candidate file names as follows:
            ? If the header is that of a context diff, patch takes the old and new
              file names in the header.  A name is ignored if  it  does  not  have
              enough slashes to satisfy the -pnum or --strip=num option.  The name
              /dev/null is also ignored.
            ? If there is an Index: line in the leading garbage and if either  the
              old  and  new  names  are  both  absent or if patch is conforming to
              POSIX, patch takes the name in the Index: line.
            ? For the purpose of the following rules, the candidate file names are
              considered  to  be in the order (old, new, index), regardless of the
              order that they appear in the header.
           Then patch selects a file name from the candidate list as follows:
            ? If some of the named files exist, patch selects the  first  name  if
              conforming to POSIX, and the best name otherwise.
            ? If patch is not ignoring RCS, ClearCase, Perforce, and SCCS (see the
              -g num or --get=num option), and no named files exist  but  an  RCS,
              ClearCase,  Perforce,  or  SCCS  master  is found, patch selects the
              first named file with an RCS, ClearCase, Perforce, or SCCS master.
            ? If no named files exist, no RCS, ClearCase, Perforce, or SCCS master
              was  found,  some names are given, patch is not conforming to POSIX,
              and the patch appears to create a file, patch selects the best  name
              requiring the creation of the fewest directories.
            ? If no file name results from the above heuristics, you are asked for
              the name of the file to patch, and patch selects that name.
           To determine the best of a nonempty list of  file  names,  patch  first
           takes  all the names with the fewest path name components; of those, it
           then takes all the names with the shortest basename; of those, it  then
           takes  all  the  shortest  names; finally, it takes the first remaining
           Additionally, if the leading garbage contains  a  Prereq:  line,  patch
           takes  the  first  word from the prerequisites line (normally a version
           number) and checks the original file to see if that word can be  found.
           before each diff listing contains interesting things such as file names
           and revision level, as mentioned previously.


           -b  or  --backup
              Make backup files.  That is, when patching a file,  rename  or  copy
              the  original  instead  of removing it.  When backing up a file that
              does not exist, an empty, unreadable backup file  is  created  as  a
              placeholder to represent the nonexistent file.  See the -V or --ver-
              sion-control option for details about  how  backup  file  names  are
              Back  up  a file if the patch does not match the file exactly and if
              backups are not otherwise requested.  This  is  the  default  unless
              patch is conforming to POSIX.
              Do  not  back up a file if the patch does not match the file exactly
              and if backups are not otherwise requested.  This is the default  if
              patch is conforming to POSIX.
           -B pref  or  --prefix=pref
              Use  the  simple  method  to determine backup file names (see the -V
              method or --version-control method option), and  append  pref  to  a
              file  name  when generating its backup file name.  For example, with
              -B /junk/ the  simple  backup  file  name  for  src/patch/util.c  is
              Write  all  files  in  binary  mode,  except for standard output and
              /dev/tty.  When reading, disable the heuristic for transforming CRLF
              line  endings  into  LF line endings.  (On POSIX-conforming systems,
              reads and writes never transform line endings. On Windows, reads and
              writes  do  transform line endings by default, and patches should be
              generated by diff --binary when line endings are significant.)
           -c  or  --context
              Interpret the patch file as a ordinary context diff.
           -d dir  or  --directory=dir
              Change to the directory dir immediately, before doing anything else.
           -D define  or  --ifdef=define
              Use  the #ifdef ... #endif construct to mark changes, with define as
              the differentiating symbol.
              Print the results of applying the patches without actually  changing
              any files.
           -e  or  --ed
              file  is  to be patched; patch files even though they have the wrong
              version for the Prereq: line in the patch; and assume  that  patches
              are  not reversed even if they look like they are.  This option does
              not suppress commentary; use -s for that.
           -F num  or  --fuzz=num
              Set the maximum fuzz factor.  This option only applies to diffs that
              have  context,  and  causes patch to ignore up to that many lines in
              looking for places to install a hunk.  Note that a larger fuzz  fac-
              tor  increases  the odds of a faulty patch.  The default fuzz factor
              is 2, and it may not be set to more than the number of lines of con-
              text in the context diff, ordinarily 3.
           -g num  or  --get=num
              This  option  controls  patch's  actions when a file is under RCS or
              SCCS control, and does not exist or is  read-only  and  matches  the
              default  version, or when a file is under ClearCase or Perforce con-
              trol and does not exist.  If num is positive, patch gets (or  checks
              out)  the  file  from  the  revision  control system; if zero, patch
              ignores RCS, ClearCase, Perforce, and SCCS  and  does  not  get  the
              file;  and if negative, patch asks the user whether to get the file.
              The default value of this option  is  given  by  the  value  of  the
              PATCH_GET  environment  variable  if  it is set; if not, the default
              value is zero.
              Print a summary of options and exit.
           -i patchfile  or  --input=patchfile
              Read the patch from patchfile.  If patchfile is -, read  from  stan-
              dard input, the default.
           -l  or  --ignore-whitespace
              Match  patterns  loosely, in case tabs or spaces have been munged in
              your files.  Any sequence of one or more blanks in  the  patch  file
              matches  any  sequence in the original file, and sequences of blanks
              at the ends of lines are  ignored.   Normal  characters  must  still
              match  exactly.  Each line of the context must still match a line in
              the original file.
              Merge a patch file into the original files similar to merge(1). If a
              conflict is found, patch outputs a warning and brackets the conflict
              with <<<<<<< and >>>>>>> lines.  A typical conflict will  look  like
                  lines from the original file
                  lines from the patch
              outfile is -, send output to standard output, and send any  messages
              that would usually go to standard output to standard error.
           -pnum  or  --strip=num
              Strip  the  smallest prefix containing num leading slashes from each
              file name found in the patch file.  A sequence of one or more  adja-
              cent  slashes  is counted as a single slash.  This controls how file
              names found in the patch file are treated, in  case  you  keep  your
              files  in  a  different  directory  than the person who sent out the
              patch.  For example, supposing the file name in the patch file was
              setting -p0 gives the entire file name unmodified, -p1 gives
              without the leading slash, -p4 gives
              and not specifying -p at all just gives you blurfl.c.  Whatever  you
              end  up  with  is looked for either in the current directory, or the
              directory specified by the -d option.
              Conform more strictly to the POSIX standard, as follows.
               ? Take the first existing file from the list (old, new, index) when
                 intuiting file names from diff headers.
               ? Do not remove files that are empty after patching.
               ? Do not ask whether to get files from RCS, ClearCase, Perforce, or
               ? Require that all options precede the files in the command line.
               ? Do not backup files when there is a mismatch.
              Use style word to quote output names.  The word should be one of the
                     Output names as-is.
              shell  Quote  names  for the shell if they contain shell metacharac-
                     ters or would cause ambiguous output.
                     Quote names for the shell, even if they  would  normally  not
           -R  or  --reverse
              Assume  that  this  patch  was  created  with  the old and new files
              swapped.  (Yes, I'm afraid  that  does  happen  occasionally,  human
              nature  being  what it is.)  patch attempts to swap each hunk around
              before applying it.  Rejects come out in the swapped format.  The -R
              option  does not work with ed diff scripts because there is too lit-
              tle information to reconstruct the reverse operation.
              If the first hunk of a patch fails, patch reverses the hunk  to  see
              if it can be applied that way.  If it can, you are asked if you want
              to have the -R option set.  If it can't, the patch continues  to  be
              applied normally.  (Note: this method cannot detect a reversed patch
              if it is a normal diff and if the first command is an  append  (i.e.
              it  should  have been a delete) since appends always succeed, due to
              the fact that  a  null  context  matches  anywhere.   Luckily,  most
              patches  add  or  change  lines  rather  than  delete  them, so most
              reversed normal diffs begin with a delete, which  fails,  triggering
              the heuristic.)
              Produce reject files in the specified format (either context or uni-
              fied).  Without this option, rejected hunks come out in unified diff
              format  if the input patch was of that format, otherwise in ordinary
              context diff form.
           -s  or  --silent  or  --quiet
              Work silently, unless an error occurs.
           -t  or  --batch
              Suppress questions like -f, but  make  some  different  assumptions:
              skip  patches  whose  headers do not contain file names (the same as
              -f); skip patches for which the file has the wrong version  for  the
              Prereq:  line  in the patch; and assume that patches are reversed if
              they look like they are.
           -T  or  --set-time
              Set the modification and access times of  patched  files  from  time
              stamps given in context diff headers, assuming that the context diff
              headers use local time.  This option  is  not  recommended,  because
              patches  using  local  time cannot easily be used by people in other
              time zones, and because local time stamps are ambiguous  when  local
              clocks  move  backwards  during  daylight-saving  time  adjustments.
              Instead of using this option, generate patches with UTC and use  the
              -Z or --set-utc option instead.
           -u  or  --unified
              Interpret the patch file as a unified context diff.
           -v  or  --version
              Print out patch's revision header and patch level, and exit.
              numbered  or  t
                 Make numbered backups.  The numbered backup file name  for  F  is
                 F.~N~ where N is the version number.
              simple  or  never
                 Make  simple  backups.  The -B or --prefix, -Y or --basename-pre-
                 fix, and -z or --suffix options specify the  simple  backup  file
                 name.   If  none of these options are given, then a simple backup
                 suffix is used; it is the value of the SIMPLE_BACKUP_SUFFIX envi-
                 ronment variable if set, and is .orig otherwise.
              With  numbered  or  simple  backups,  if the backup file name is too
              long, the backup suffix ~ is used instead; if even appending ~ would
              make  the  name  too long, then ~ replaces the last character of the
              file name.
              Output extra information about the work being done.
           -x num  or  --debug=num
              Set internal debugging flags of interest only to patch patchers.
           -Y pref  or  --basename-prefix=pref
              Use the simple method to determine backup file  names  (see  the  -V
              method  or  --version-control method option), and prefix pref to the
              basename of a file name when generating its backup file  name.   For
              example,   with   -Y .del/   the   simple   backup   file  name  for
              src/patch/util.c is src/patch/.del/util.c.
           -z suffix  or  --suffix=suffix
              Use the simple method to determine backup file  names  (see  the  -V
              method  or  --version-control  method option), and use suffix as the
              suffix.   For  example,  with  -z -  the  backup   file   name   for
              src/patch/util.c is src/patch/util.c-.
           -Z  or  --set-utc
              Set  the  modification  and  access times of patched files from time
              stamps given in context diff headers, assuming that the context diff
              headers  use  Coordinated  Universal Time (UTC, often known as GMT).
              Also see the -T or --set-time option.
              The -Z or --set-utc and -T or --set-time  options  normally  refrain
              from  setting  a  file's  time  if the file's original time does not
              match the time given in the patch header, or if its contents do  not
              match  the  patch  exactly.  However, if the -f or --force option is
              given, the file time is set regardless.
              Due to the limitations of diff output format, these  options  cannot
              update the times of files whose contents have not changed.  Also, if
              you use these options, you should remove (e.g. with make clean)  all
              files that depend on the patched files, so that later invocations of
              Extension to use for simple backup file names instead of .orig.
           TMPDIR, TMP, TEMP
              Directory  to  put temporary files in; patch uses the first environ-
              ment variable in this list that  is  set.   If  none  are  set,  the
              default is system-dependent; it is normally /tmp on Unix hosts.
              Selects  version  control  style;  see  the  -v or --version-control


              temporary files
              controlling terminal; used to get answers to questions asked of  the


           diff(1), ed(1), merge(1).
           Marshall  T. Rose and Einar A. Stefferud, Proposed Standard for Message
           Encapsulation,    Internet    RFC    934     <URL:
           notes/rfc934.txt> (1985-01).


           There are several things you should bear in mind if you are going to be
           sending out patches.
           Create your  patch  systematically.   A  good  method  is  the  command
           diff -Naur old new  where old and new identify the old and new directo-
           ries.  The names old and new should not contain any slashes.  The  diff
           command's  headers  should have dates and times in Universal Time using
           traditional Unix format, so that patch recipients can  use  the  -Z  or
           --set-utc  option.  Here is an example command, using Bourne shell syn-
              LC_ALL=C TZ=UTC0 diff -Naur gcc-2.7 gcc-2.8
           Tell your recipients how to apply  the  patch  by  telling  them  which
           directory  to cd to, and which patch options to use.  The option string
           -Np1 is recommended.  Test your procedure by pretending to be a recipi-
           ent and applying your patch to a copy of the original files.
           You can save people a lot of grief by keeping a patchlevel.h file which
           is patched to increment the patch level as the first diff in the  patch
           file  you  send  out.   If you put a Prereq: line in with the patch, it
           won't let them apply patches out of order without some warning.
              --- v2.0.29/prog/README   Mon Mar 10 15:13:12 1997
              +++ prog/README   Mon Mar 17 14:58:22 1997
           because  the two file names have different numbers of slashes, and dif-
           ferent versions of patch interpret  the  file  names  differently.   To
           avoid confusion, send output that looks like this instead:
              diff -Naur v2.0.29/prog/README v2.0.30/prog/README
              --- v2.0.29/prog/README   Mon Mar 10 15:13:12 1997
              +++ v2.0.30/prog/README   Mon Mar 17 14:58:22 1997
           Avoid  sending patches that compare backup file names like README.orig,
           since this might confuse patch into patching a backup file  instead  of
           the  real  file.  Instead, send patches that compare the same base file
           names in different directories, e.g. old/README and new/README.
           Take care not to send out reversed patches, since it makes people  won-
           der whether they already applied the patch.
           Try  not to have your patch modify derived files (e.g. the file config-
           ure where there is a line configure:  in  your  makefile),
           since the recipient should be able to regenerate the derived files any-
           way.  If you must send diffs of derived files, generate the diffs using
           UTC,  have  the  recipients  apply  the  patch with the -Z or --set-utc
           option, and have them remove any unpatched files that depend on patched
           files (e.g. with make clean).
           While  you  may be able to get away with putting 582 diff listings into
           one file, it may be wiser to group related patches into separate  files
           in case something goes haywire.


           Diagnostics  generally  indicate  that  patch couldn't parse your patch
           If the --verbose option is given, the  message  Hmm...  indicates  that
           there  is unprocessed text in the patch file and that patch is attempt-
           ing to intuit whether there is a patch in that text and,  if  so,  what
           kind of patch it is.
           patch's  exit  status  is 0 if all hunks are applied successfully, 1 if
           some hunks cannot be applied or there were merge conflicts,  and  2  if
           there  is  more  serious  trouble.  When applying a set of patches in a
           loop it behooves you to check this exit status so  you  don't  apply  a
           later patch to a partially patched file.


           Context  diffs  cannot  reliably  represent the creation or deletion of
           empty files, empty directories,  or  special  files  such  as  symbolic
           links.  Nor can they represent changes to file metadata like ownership,
           permissions, or whether one file is a hard link to another.  If changes


           The POSIX standard specifies behavior that differs from patch's  tradi-
           tional  behavior.  You should be aware of these differences if you must
           interoperate with patch versions 2.1 and earlier, which do not  conform
           to POSIX.
            ? In  traditional  patch,  the -p option's operand was optional, and a
              bare -p was equivalent to  -p0.   The  -p  option  now  requires  an
              operand, and -p 0 is now equivalent to -p0.  For maximum compatibil-
              ity, use options like -p0 and -p1.
              Also, traditional patch simply counted slashes when  stripping  path
              prefixes; patch now counts pathname components.  That is, a sequence
              of one or more adjacent slashes now counts as a single  slash.   For
              maximum  portability,  avoid  sending  patches containing // in file
            ? In traditional patch, backups were enabled by default.  This  behav-
              ior is now enabled with the -b or --backup option.
              Conversely,  in POSIX patch, backups are never made, even when there
              is a mismatch.  In GNU patch, this  behavior  is  enabled  with  the
              --no-backup-if-mismatch  option,  or by conforming to POSIX with the
              --posix option or by setting the POSIXLY_CORRECT  environment  vari-
              The  -b suffix  option  of  traditional  patch  is equivalent to the
              -b -z suffix options of GNU patch.
            ? Traditional patch used a complicated (and  incompletely  documented)
              method  to  intuit the name of the file to be patched from the patch
              header.  This method did  not  conform  to  POSIX,  and  had  a  few
              gotchas.   Now patch uses a different, equally complicated (but bet-
              ter documented) method that is optionally POSIX-conforming; we  hope
              it  has  fewer  gotchas.  The two methods are compatible if the file
              names in the context diff header and the Index: line are all identi-
              cal  after  prefix-stripping.   Your patch is normally compatible if
              each header's file names all contain the same number of slashes.
            ? When traditional patch asked the user a question, it sent the  ques-
              tion  to standard error and looked for an answer from the first file
              in the following list that was a terminal: standard error,  standard
              output,  /dev/tty, and standard input.  Now patch sends questions to
              standard output and gets answers from /dev/tty.  Defaults  for  some
              answers  have been changed so that patch never goes into an infinite
              loop when using default answers.
            ? Traditional patch exited with a status value that counted the number
              of bad hunks, or with status 1 if there was real trouble.  Now patch
              exits with status 1 if some hunks failed, or with  2  if  there  was
              real trouble.
                 -r rejectfile


           Please report bugs via email to <>.
           If code has been duplicated (for instance with #ifdef OLDCODE ... #else
           ...  #endif),  patch is incapable of patching both versions, and, if it
           works at all, will likely patch the wrong one, and  tell  you  that  it
           succeeded to boot.
           If  you  apply  a  patch  you've  already applied, patch thinks it is a
           reversed patch, and offers to un-apply the patch.  This could  be  con-
           strued as a feature.
           Computing  how  to  merge a hunk is significantly harder than using the
           standard fuzzy algorithm.  Bigger hunks, more context, a bigger  offset
           from  the  original  location, and a worse match all slow the algorithm


           Copyright (C) 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988 Larry Wall.
           Copyright (C) 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993,  1994,  1995,  1996,  1997,
           1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
           Permission  is  granted  to make and distribute verbatim copies of this
           manual provided the copyright notice and  this  permission  notice  are
           preserved on all copies.
           Permission  is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of this
           manual under the conditions for verbatim  copying,  provided  that  the
           entire  resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a per-
           mission notice identical to this one.
           Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this  man-
           ual into another language, under the above conditions for modified ver-
           sions, except that this permission notice may be included  in  transla-
           tions  approved  by  the  copyright  holders instead of in the original


           Larry Wall wrote the original version of patch.   Paul  Eggert  removed
           patch's  arbitrary limits; added support for binary files, setting file
           times, and deleting files; and made it conform better to POSIX.   Other
           contributors  include  Wayne  Davison,  who  added unidiff support, and
           David MacKenzie, who added configuration and backup  support.   Andreas
           Grunbacher added support for merging.
                                          GNU                             PATCH(1)

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