git-format-patch - Prepare patches for e-mail submission


   git format-patch [-k] [(-o|--output-directory) <dir> | --stdout]
                      [--no-thread | --thread[=<style>]]
                      [(--attach|--inline)[=<boundary>] | --no-attach]
                      [-s | --signoff]
                      [--signature=<signature> | --no-signature]
                      [-n | --numbered | -N | --no-numbered]
                      [--start-number <n>] [--numbered-files]
                      [--in-reply-to=Message-Id] [--suffix=.<sfx>]
                      [--subject-prefix=Subject-Prefix] [(--reroll-count|-v) <n>]
                      [--to=<email>] [--cc=<email>]
                      [--[no-]cover-letter] [--quiet] [--notes[=<ref>]]
                      [<common diff options>]
                      [ <since> | <revision range> ]


   Prepare each commit with its patch in one file per commit, formatted to
   resemble UNIX mailbox format. The output of this command is convenient
   for e-mail submission or for use with git am.

   There are two ways to specify which commits to operate on.

    1. A single commit, <since>, specifies that the commits leading to the
       tip of the current branch that are not in the history that leads to
       the <since> to be output.

    2. Generic <revision range> expression (see "SPECIFYING REVISIONS"
       section in gitrevisions(7)) means the commits in the specified

   The first rule takes precedence in the case of a single <commit>. To
   apply the second rule, i.e., format everything since the beginning of
   history up until <commit>, use the --root option: git format-patch
   --root <commit>. If you want to format only <commit> itself, you can do
   this with git format-patch -1 <commit>.

   By default, each output file is numbered sequentially from 1, and uses
   the first line of the commit message (massaged for pathname safety) as
   the filename. With the --numbered-files option, the output file names
   will only be numbers, without the first line of the commit appended.
   The names of the output files are printed to standard output, unless
   the --stdout option is specified.

   If -o is specified, output files are created in <dir>. Otherwise they
   are created in the current working directory. The default path can be
   set with the format.outputDirectory configuration option. The -o option
   takes precedence over format.outputDirectory. To store patches in the
   current working directory even when format.outputDirectory points
   elsewhere, use -o ..

   By default, the subject of a single patch is "[PATCH] " followed by the
   concatenation of lines from the commit message up to the first blank
   line (see the DISCUSSION section of git-commit(1)).

   When multiple patches are output, the subject prefix will instead be
   "[PATCH n/m] ". To force 1/1 to be added for a single patch, use -n. To
   omit patch numbers from the subject, use -N.

   If given --thread, git-format-patch will generate In-Reply-To and
   References headers to make the second and subsequent patch mails appear
   as replies to the first mail; this also generates a Message-Id header
   to reference.


   -p, --no-stat
       Generate plain patches without any diffstats.

   -U<n>, --unified=<n>
       Generate diffs with <n> lines of context instead of the usual

   --compaction-heuristic, --no-compaction-heuristic
       These are to help debugging and tuning an experimental heuristic
       (which is off by default) that shifts the hunk boundary in an
       attempt to make the resulting patch easier to read.

       Spend extra time to make sure the smallest possible diff is

       Generate a diff using the "patience diff" algorithm.

       Generate a diff using the "histogram diff" algorithm.

       Choose a diff algorithm. The variants are as follows:

       default, myers
           The basic greedy diff algorithm. Currently, this is the

           Spend extra time to make sure the smallest possible diff is

           Use "patience diff" algorithm when generating patches.

           This algorithm extends the patience algorithm to "support
           low-occurrence common elements".

       For instance, if you configured diff.algorithm variable to a
       non-default value and want to use the default one, then you have to
       use --diff-algorithm=default option.

       Generate a diffstat. By default, as much space as necessary will be
       used for the filename part, and the rest for the graph part.
       Maximum width defaults to terminal width, or 80 columns if not
       connected to a terminal, and can be overridden by <width>. The
       width of the filename part can be limited by giving another width
       <name-width> after a comma. The width of the graph part can be
       limited by using --stat-graph-width=<width> (affects all commands
       generating a stat graph) or by setting diff.statGraphWidth=<width>
       (does not affect git format-patch). By giving a third parameter
       <count>, you can limit the output to the first <count> lines,
       followed by ...  if there are more.

       These parameters can also be set individually with
       --stat-width=<width>, --stat-name-width=<name-width> and

       Similar to --stat, but shows number of added and deleted lines in
       decimal notation and pathname without abbreviation, to make it more
       machine friendly. For binary files, outputs two - instead of saying
       0 0.

       Output only the last line of the --stat format containing total
       number of modified files, as well as number of added and deleted

       Output the distribution of relative amount of changes for each
       sub-directory. The behavior of --dirstat can be customized by
       passing it a comma separated list of parameters. The defaults are
       controlled by the diff.dirstat configuration variable (see git-
       config(1)). The following parameters are available:

           Compute the dirstat numbers by counting the lines that have
           been removed from the source, or added to the destination. This
           ignores the amount of pure code movements within a file. In
           other words, rearranging lines in a file is not counted as much
           as other changes. This is the default behavior when no
           parameter is given.

           Compute the dirstat numbers by doing the regular line-based
           diff analysis, and summing the removed/added line counts. (For
           binary files, count 64-byte chunks instead, since binary files
           have no natural concept of lines). This is a more expensive
           --dirstat behavior than the changes behavior, but it does count
           rearranged lines within a file as much as other changes. The
           resulting output is consistent with what you get from the other
           --*stat options.

           Compute the dirstat numbers by counting the number of files
           changed. Each changed file counts equally in the dirstat
           analysis. This is the computationally cheapest --dirstat
           behavior, since it does not have to look at the file contents
           at all.

           Count changes in a child directory for the parent directory as
           well. Note that when using cumulative, the sum of the
           percentages reported may exceed 100%. The default
           (non-cumulative) behavior can be specified with the
           noncumulative parameter.

           An integer parameter specifies a cut-off percent (3% by
           default). Directories contributing less than this percentage of
           the changes are not shown in the output.

       Example: The following will count changed files, while ignoring
       directories with less than 10% of the total amount of changed
       files, and accumulating child directory counts in the parent
       directories: --dirstat=files,10,cumulative.

       Output a condensed summary of extended header information such as
       creations, renames and mode changes.

       Turn off rename detection, even when the configuration file gives
       the default to do so.

       Instead of the first handful of characters, show the full pre- and
       post-image blob object names on the "index" line when generating
       patch format output.

       In addition to --full-index, output a binary diff that can be
       applied with git-apply.

       Instead of showing the full 40-byte hexadecimal object name in
       diff-raw format output and diff-tree header lines, show only a
       partial prefix. This is independent of the --full-index option
       above, which controls the diff-patch output format. Non default
       number of digits can be specified with --abbrev=<n>.

   -B[<n>][/<m>], --break-rewrites[=[<n>][/<m>]]
       Break complete rewrite changes into pairs of delete and create.
       This serves two purposes:

       It affects the way a change that amounts to a total rewrite of a
       file not as a series of deletion and insertion mixed together with
       a very few lines that happen to match textually as the context, but
       as a single deletion of everything old followed by a single
       insertion of everything new, and the number m controls this aspect
       of the -B option (defaults to 60%).  -B/70% specifies that less
       than 30% of the original should remain in the result for Git to
       consider it a total rewrite (i.e. otherwise the resulting patch
       will be a series of deletion and insertion mixed together with
       context lines).

       When used with -M, a totally-rewritten file is also considered as
       the source of a rename (usually -M only considers a file that
       disappeared as the source of a rename), and the number n controls
       this aspect of the -B option (defaults to 50%).  -B20% specifies
       that a change with addition and deletion compared to 20% or more of
       the file's size are eligible for being picked up as a possible
       source of a rename to another file.

   -M[<n>], --find-renames[=<n>]
       Detect renames. If n is specified, it is a threshold on the
       similarity index (i.e. amount of addition/deletions compared to the
       file's size). For example, -M90% means Git should consider a
       delete/add pair to be a rename if more than 90% of the file hasn't
       changed. Without a % sign, the number is to be read as a fraction,
       with a decimal point before it. I.e., -M5 becomes 0.5, and is thus
       the same as -M50%. Similarly, -M05 is the same as -M5%. To limit
       detection to exact renames, use -M100%. The default similarity
       index is 50%.

   -C[<n>], --find-copies[=<n>]
       Detect copies as well as renames. See also --find-copies-harder. If
       n is specified, it has the same meaning as for -M<n>.

       For performance reasons, by default, -C option finds copies only if
       the original file of the copy was modified in the same changeset.
       This flag makes the command inspect unmodified files as candidates
       for the source of copy. This is a very expensive operation for
       large projects, so use it with caution. Giving more than one -C
       option has the same effect.

   -D, --irreversible-delete
       Omit the preimage for deletes, i.e. print only the header but not
       the diff between the preimage and /dev/null. The resulting patch is
       not meant to be applied with patch or git apply; this is solely for
       people who want to just concentrate on reviewing the text after the
       change. In addition, the output obviously lack enough information
       to apply such a patch in reverse, even manually, hence the name of
       the option.

       When used together with -B, omit also the preimage in the deletion
       part of a delete/create pair.

       The -M and -C options require O(n^2) processing time where n is the
       number of potential rename/copy targets. This option prevents
       rename/copy detection from running if the number of rename/copy
       targets exceeds the specified number.

       Output the patch in the order specified in the <orderfile>, which
       has one shell glob pattern per line. This overrides the
       diff.orderFile configuration variable (see git-config(1)). To
       cancel diff.orderFile, use -O/dev/null.

   -a, --text
       Treat all files as text.

       Ignore changes in whitespace at EOL.

   -b, --ignore-space-change
       Ignore changes in amount of whitespace. This ignores whitespace at
       line end, and considers all other sequences of one or more
       whitespace characters to be equivalent.

   -w, --ignore-all-space
       Ignore whitespace when comparing lines. This ignores differences
       even if one line has whitespace where the other line has none.

       Ignore changes whose lines are all blank.

       Show the context between diff hunks, up to the specified number of
       lines, thereby fusing hunks that are close to each other.

   -W, --function-context
       Show whole surrounding functions of changes.

       Allow an external diff helper to be executed. If you set an
       external diff driver with gitattributes(5), you need to use this
       option with git-log(1) and friends.

       Disallow external diff drivers.

   --textconv, --no-textconv
       Allow (or disallow) external text conversion filters to be run when
       comparing binary files. See gitattributes(5) for details. Because
       textconv filters are typically a one-way conversion, the resulting
       diff is suitable for human consumption, but cannot be applied. For
       this reason, textconv filters are enabled by default only for git-
       diff(1) and git-log(1), but not for git-format-patch(1) or diff
       plumbing commands.

       Ignore changes to submodules in the diff generation. <when> can be
       either "none", "untracked", "dirty" or "all", which is the default.
       Using "none" will consider the submodule modified when it either
       contains untracked or modified files or its HEAD differs from the
       commit recorded in the superproject and can be used to override any
       settings of the ignore option in git-config(1) or gitmodules(5).
       When "untracked" is used submodules are not considered dirty when
       they only contain untracked content (but they are still scanned for
       modified content). Using "dirty" ignores all changes to the work
       tree of submodules, only changes to the commits stored in the
       superproject are shown (this was the behavior until 1.7.0). Using
       "all" hides all changes to submodules.

       Show the given source prefix instead of "a/".

       Show the given destination prefix instead of "b/".

       Do not show any source or destination prefix.

   For more detailed explanation on these common options, see also

       Prepare patches from the topmost <n> commits.

   -o <dir>, --output-directory <dir>
       Use <dir> to store the resulting files, instead of the current
       working directory.

   -n, --numbered
       Name output in [PATCH n/m] format, even with a single patch.

   -N, --no-numbered
       Name output in [PATCH] format.

   --start-number <n>
       Start numbering the patches at <n> instead of 1.

       Output file names will be a simple number sequence without the
       default first line of the commit appended.

   -k, --keep-subject
       Do not strip/add [PATCH] from the first line of the commit log

   -s, --signoff
       Add Signed-off-by: line to the commit message, using the committer
       identity of yourself. See the signoff option in git-commit(1) for
       more information.

       Print all commits to the standard output in mbox format, instead of
       creating a file for each one.

       Create multipart/mixed attachment, the first part of which is the
       commit message and the patch itself in the second part, with
       Content-Disposition: attachment.

       Disable the creation of an attachment, overriding the configuration

       Create multipart/mixed attachment, the first part of which is the
       commit message and the patch itself in the second part, with
       Content-Disposition: inline.

   --thread[=<style>], --no-thread
       Controls addition of In-Reply-To and References headers to make the
       second and subsequent mails appear as replies to the first. Also
       controls generation of the Message-Id header to reference.

       The optional <style> argument can be either shallow or deep.
       shallow threading makes every mail a reply to the head of the
       series, where the head is chosen from the cover letter, the
       --in-reply-to, and the first patch mail, in this order.  deep
       threading makes every mail a reply to the previous one.

       The default is --no-thread, unless the format.thread configuration
       is set. If --thread is specified without a style, it defaults to
       the style specified by format.thread if any, or else shallow.

       Beware that the default for git send-email is to thread emails
       itself. If you want git format-patch to take care of threading, you
       will want to ensure that threading is disabled for git send-email.

       Make the first mail (or all the mails with --no-thread) appear as a
       reply to the given Message-Id, which avoids breaking threads to
       provide a new patch series.

       Do not include a patch that matches a commit in <until>..<since>.
       This will examine all patches reachable from <since> but not from
       <until> and compare them with the patches being generated, and any
       patch that matches is ignored.

       Instead of the standard [PATCH] prefix in the subject line, instead
       use [<Subject-Prefix>]. This allows for useful naming of a patch
       series, and can be combined with the --numbered option.

   -v <n>, --reroll-count=<n>
       Mark the series as the <n>-th iteration of the topic. The output
       filenames have v<n> prepended to them, and the subject prefix
       ("PATCH" by default, but configurable via the --subject-prefix
       option) has ` v<n>` appended to it. E.g.  --reroll-count=4 may
       produce v4-0001-add-makefile.patch file that has "Subject: [PATCH
       v4 1/20] Add makefile" in it.

       Add a To: header to the email headers. This is in addition to any
       configured headers, and may be used multiple times. The negated
       form --no-to discards all To: headers added so far (from config or
       command line).

       Add a Cc: header to the email headers. This is in addition to any
       configured headers, and may be used multiple times. The negated
       form --no-cc discards all Cc: headers added so far (from config or
       command line).

   --from, --from=<ident>
       Use ident in the From: header of each commit email. If the author
       ident of the commit is not textually identical to the provided
       ident, place a From: header in the body of the message with the
       original author. If no ident is given, use the committer ident.

       Note that this option is only useful if you are actually sending
       the emails and want to identify yourself as the sender, but retain
       the original author (and git am will correctly pick up the in-body
       header). Note also that git send-email already handles this
       transformation for you, and this option should not be used if you
       are feeding the result to git send-email.

       Add an arbitrary header to the email headers. This is in addition
       to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times. For
       example, --add-header="Organization: git-foo". The negated form
       --no-add-header discards all (To:, Cc:, and custom) headers added
       so far from config or command line.

       In addition to the patches, generate a cover letter file containing
       the branch description, shortlog and the overall diffstat. You can
       fill in a description in the file before sending it out.

       Append the notes (see git-notes(1)) for the commit after the
       three-dash line.

       The expected use case of this is to write supporting explanation
       for the commit that does not belong to the commit log message
       proper, and include it with the patch submission. While one can
       simply write these explanations after format-patch has run but
       before sending, keeping them as Git notes allows them to be
       maintained between versions of the patch series (but see the
       discussion of the notes.rewrite configuration options in git-
       notes(1) to use this workflow).

       Add a signature to each message produced. Per RFC 3676 the
       signature is separated from the body by a line with '-- ' on it. If
       the signature option is omitted the signature defaults to the Git
       version number.

       Works just like --signature except the signature is read from a

       Instead of using .patch as the suffix for generated filenames, use
       specified suffix. A common alternative is --suffix=.txt. Leaving
       this empty will remove the .patch suffix.

       Note that the leading character does not have to be a dot; for
       example, you can use --suffix=-patch to get

   -q, --quiet
       Do not print the names of the generated files to standard output.

       Do not output contents of changes in binary files, instead display
       a notice that those files changed. Patches generated using this
       option cannot be applied properly, but they are still useful for
       code review.

       Output an all-zero hash in each patch's From header instead of the
       hash of the commit.

       Record the base tree information to identify the state the patch
       series applies to. See the BASE TREE INFORMATION section below for

       Treat the revision argument as a <revision range>, even if it is
       just a single commit (that would normally be treated as a <since>).
       Note that root commits included in the specified range are always
       formatted as creation patches, independently of this flag.


   You can specify extra mail header lines to be added to each message,
   defaults for the subject prefix and file suffix, number patches when
   outputting more than one patch, add "To" or "Cc:" headers, configure
   attachments, and sign off patches with configuration variables.

               headers = "Organization: git-foo\n"
               subjectPrefix = CHANGE
               suffix = .txt
               numbered = auto
               to = <email>
               cc = <email>
               attach [ = mime-boundary-string ]
               signOff = true
               coverletter = auto


   The patch produced by git format-patch is in UNIX mailbox format, with
   a fixed "magic" time stamp to indicate that the file is output from
   format-patch rather than a real mailbox, like so:

       From 8f72bad1baf19a53459661343e21d6491c3908d3 Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
       From: Tony Luck <>
       Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2010 11:42:54 -0700
       Subject: [PATCH] =?UTF-8?q?[IA64]=20Put=20ia64=20config=20files=20on=20the=20?=
       MIME-Version: 1.0
       Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
       Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

       arch/arm config files were slimmed down using a python script
       (See commit c2330e286f68f1c408b4aa6515ba49d57f05beae comment)

       Do the same for ia64 so we can have sleek & trim looking

   Typically it will be placed in a MUA's drafts folder, edited to add
   timely commentary that should not go in the changelog after the three
   dashes, and then sent as a message whose body, in our example, starts
   with "arch/arm config files were...". On the receiving end, readers can
   save interesting patches in a UNIX mailbox and apply them with git-

   When a patch is part of an ongoing discussion, the patch generated by
   git format-patch can be tweaked to take advantage of the git am
   --scissors feature. After your response to the discussion comes a line
   that consists solely of "-- >8 --" (scissors and perforation), followed
   by the patch with unnecessary header fields removed:

       > So we should do such-and-such.

       Makes sense to me.  How about this patch?

       -- >8 --
       Subject: [IA64] Put ia64 config files on the Uwe Kleine-Knig diet

       arch/arm config files were slimmed down using a python script

   When sending a patch this way, most often you are sending your own
   patch, so in addition to the "From $SHA1 $magic_timestamp" marker you
   should omit From: and Date: lines from the patch file. The patch title
   is likely to be different from the subject of the discussion the patch
   is in response to, so it is likely that you would want to keep the
   Subject: line, like the example above.

   Checking for patch corruption
   Many mailers if not set up properly will corrupt whitespace. Here are
   two common types of corruption:

   *   Empty context lines that do not have any whitespace.

   *   Non-empty context lines that have one extra whitespace at the

   One way to test if your MUA is set up correctly is:

   *   Send the patch to yourself, exactly the way you would, except with
       To: and Cc: lines that do not contain the list and maintainer

   *   Save that patch to a file in UNIX mailbox format. Call it a.patch,

   *   Apply it:

           $ git fetch <project> master:test-apply
           $ git checkout test-apply
           $ git reset --hard
           $ git am a.patch

   If it does not apply correctly, there can be various reasons.

   *   The patch itself does not apply cleanly. That is bad but does not
       have much to do with your MUA. You might want to rebase the patch
       with git-rebase(1) before regenerating it in this case.

   *   The MUA corrupted your patch; "am" would complain that the patch
       does not apply. Look in the .git/rebase-apply/ subdirectory and see
       what patch file contains and check for the common corruption
       patterns mentioned above.

   *   While at it, check the info and final-commit files as well. If what
       is in final-commit is not exactly what you would want to see in the
       commit log message, it is very likely that the receiver would end
       up hand editing the log message when applying your patch. Things
       like "Hi, this is my first patch.\n" in the patch e-mail should
       come after the three-dash line that signals the end of the commit


   Here are some hints on how to successfully submit patches inline using
   various mailers.

   GMail does not have any way to turn off line wrapping in the web
   interface, so it will mangle any emails that you send. You can however
   use "git send-email" and send your patches through the GMail SMTP
   server, or use any IMAP email client to connect to the google IMAP
   server and forward the emails through that.

   For hints on using git send-email to send your patches through the
   GMail SMTP server, see the EXAMPLE section of git-send-email(1).

   For hints on submission using the IMAP interface, see the EXAMPLE
   section of git-imap-send(1).

   By default, Thunderbird will both wrap emails as well as flag them as
   being format=flowed, both of which will make the resulting email
   unusable by Git.

   There are three different approaches: use an add-on to turn off line
   wraps, configure Thunderbird to not mangle patches, or use an external
   editor to keep Thunderbird from mangling the patches.

   Approach #1 (add-on)
       Install the Toggle Word Wrap add-on that is available from It
       adds a menu entry "Enable Word Wrap" in the composer's "Options"
       menu that you can tick off. Now you can compose the message as you
       otherwise do (cut + paste, git format-patch | git imap-send, etc),
       but you have to insert line breaks manually in any text that you

   Approach #2 (configuration)
       Three steps:

        1. Configure your mail server composition as plain text:
           Edit...Account Settings...Composition & Addressing, uncheck
           "Compose Messages in HTML".

        2. Configure your general composition window to not wrap.

           In Thunderbird 2: Edit..Preferences..Composition, wrap plain
           text messages at 0

           In Thunderbird 3: Edit..Preferences..Advanced..Config Editor.
           Search for "mail.wrap_long_lines". Toggle it to make sure it is
           set to false. Also, search for "mailnews.wraplength" and set
           the value to 0.

        3. Disable the use of format=flowed:
           Edit..Preferences..Advanced..Config Editor. Search for
           "mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed". Toggle it to make sure it is
           set to false.

       After that is done, you should be able to compose email as you
       otherwise would (cut + paste, git format-patch | git imap-send,
       etc), and the patches will not be mangled.

   Approach #3 (external editor)
       The following Thunderbird extensions are needed: AboutConfig from and External Editor from

        1. Prepare the patch as a text file using your method of choice.

        2. Before opening a compose window, use EditAccount Settings to
           uncheck the "Compose messages in HTML format" setting in the
           "Composition & Addressing" panel of the account to be used to
           send the patch.

        3. In the main Thunderbird window, before you open the compose
           window for the patch, use Toolsabout:config to set the
           following to the indicated values:

                       mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed  => false
                       mailnews.wraplength             => 0

        4. Open a compose window and click the external editor icon.

        5. In the external editor window, read in the patch file and exit
           the editor normally.

       Side note: it may be possible to do step 2 with about:config and
       the following settings but no one's tried yet.

                   mail.html_compose                       => false
                   mail.identity.default.compose_html      => false
                   => false

       There is a script in contrib/thunderbird-patch-inline which can
       help you include patches with Thunderbird in an easy way. To use
       it, do the steps above and then use the script as the external

   This should help you to submit patches inline using KMail.

    1. Prepare the patch as a text file.

    2. Click on New Mail.

    3. Go under "Options" in the Composer window and be sure that "Word
       wrap" is not set.

    4. Use Message  Insert file... and insert the patch.

    5. Back in the compose window: add whatever other text you wish to the
       message, complete the addressing and subject fields, and press


   The base tree information block is used for maintainers or third party
   testers to know the exact state the patch series applies to. It
   consists of the base commit, which is a well-known commit that is part
   of the stable part of the project history everybody else works off of,
   and zero or more prerequisite patches, which are well-known patches in
   flight that is not yet part of the base commit that need to be applied
   on top of base commit in topological order before the patches can be

   The base commit is shown as "base-commit: " followed by the 40-hex of
   the commit object name. A prerequisite patch is shown as
   "prerequisite-patch-id: " followed by the 40-hex patch id, which can be
   obtained by passing the patch through the git patch-id --stable

   Imagine that on top of the public commit P, you applied well-known
   patches X, Y and Z from somebody else, and then built your three-patch
   series A, B, C, the history would be like:


   With git format-patch --base=P -3 C (or variants thereof, e.g. with
   --cover-letter of using Z..C instead of -3 C to specify the range), the
   base tree information block is shown at the end of the first message
   the command outputs (either the first patch, or the cover letter), like

       base-commit: P
       prerequisite-patch-id: X
       prerequisite-patch-id: Y
       prerequisite-patch-id: Z

   For non-linear topology, such as

           \         /

   You can also use git format-patch --base=P -3 C to generate patches for
   A, B and C, and the identifiers for P, X, Y, Z are appended at the end
   of the first message.

   If set --base=auto in cmdline, it will track base commit automatically,
   the base commit will be the merge base of tip commit of the
   remote-tracking branch and revision-range specified in cmdline. For a
   local branch, you need to track a remote branch by git branch
   --set-upstream-to before using this option.


   *   Extract commits between revisions R1 and R2, and apply them on top
       of the current branch using git am to cherry-pick them:

           $ git format-patch -k --stdout R1..R2 | git am -3 -k

   *   Extract all commits which are in the current branch but not in the
       origin branch:

           $ git format-patch origin

       For each commit a separate file is created in the current

   *   Extract all commits that lead to origin since the inception of the

           $ git format-patch --root origin

   *   The same as the previous one:

           $ git format-patch -M -B origin

       Additionally, it detects and handles renames and complete rewrites
       intelligently to produce a renaming patch. A renaming patch reduces
       the amount of text output, and generally makes it easier to review.
       Note that non-Git "patch" programs won't understand renaming
       patches, so use it only when you know the recipient uses Git to
       apply your patch.

   *   Extract three topmost commits from the current branch and format
       them as e-mailable patches:

           $ git format-patch -3


   git-am(1), git-send-email(1)


   Part of the git(1) suite


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