|File: [cvs.NetBSD.org] / src / usr.bin / patch / patch.1 (download)
Revision 1.21, Mon Jul 3 21:34:20 2017 UTC (3 years, 1 month ago) by wiz
CVS Tags: phil-wifi-base, phil-wifi-20200421, phil-wifi-20200411, phil-wifi-20200406, phil-wifi-20191119, phil-wifi-20190609, phil-wifi, pgoyette-compat-merge-20190127, pgoyette-compat-base, pgoyette-compat-20190127, pgoyette-compat-20190118, pgoyette-compat-1226, pgoyette-compat-1126, pgoyette-compat-1020, pgoyette-compat-0930, pgoyette-compat-0906, pgoyette-compat-0728, pgoyette-compat-0625, pgoyette-compat-0521, pgoyette-compat-0502, pgoyette-compat-0422, pgoyette-compat-0415, pgoyette-compat-0407, pgoyette-compat-0330, pgoyette-compat-0322, pgoyette-compat-0315, pgoyette-compat, perseant-stdc-iso10646-base, perseant-stdc-iso10646, netbsd-9-base, netbsd-9-0-RELEASE, netbsd-9-0-RC2, netbsd-9-0-RC1, netbsd-9, is-mlppp-base, is-mlppp, HEAD
Changes since 1.20: +2 -2
Remove workaround for ancient HTML generation code.
.\" $OpenBSD: patch.1,v 1.22 2008/06/06 20:44:00 jmc Exp $
.\" $DragonFly: src/usr.bin/patch/patch.1,v 1.10 2008/08/18 19:15:55 joerg Exp $
.\" $NetBSD: patch.1,v 1.21 2017/07/03 21:34:20 wiz Exp $
.\" Copyright 1986, Larry Wall
.\" Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
.\" modification, are permitted provided that the following condition
.\" is met:
.\" 1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
.\" notice, this condition and the following disclaimer.
.\" THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR AND CONTRIBUTORS ``AS IS'' AND
.\" ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE
.\" IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE
.\" ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE
.\" FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL
.\" DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS
.\" OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION)
.\" HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT
.\" LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY
.\" OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF
.\" SUCH DAMAGE.
.Dd November 7, 2015
.Dt PATCH 1
.Nd apply a diff file to an original
.Op Fl bCcEeflNnRstuv
.Op Fl B Ar backup-prefix
.Op Fl D Ar symbol
.Op Fl d Ar directory
.Op Fl F Ar max-fuzz
.Op Fl i Ar patchfile
.Op Fl o Ar out-file
.Op Fl p Ar strip-count
.Op Fl r Ar rej-name
.Op Fl V Cm t | nil | never | none
.Op Fl x Ar number
.Op Fl z Ar backup-ext
.Op Fl Fl posix
.Op Ar origfile Op Ar patchfile
.Pf \*(Lt Ar patchfile
will take a patch file containing any of the four forms of difference
listing produced by the
.Xr diff 1
program and apply those differences to an original file,
producing a patched version.
is omitted, or is a hyphen, the patch will be read from the standard input.
will attempt to determine the type of the diff listing, unless over-ruled by a
.Fl c ,
.Fl e ,
.Fl n ,
Context diffs (old-style, new-style, and unified) and
normal diffs are applied directly by the
program itself, whereas ed diffs are simply fed to the
.Xr ed 1
editor via a pipe.
contains more than one patch,
will try to apply each of them as if they came from separate patch files.
This means, among other things, that it is assumed that the name of the file
to patch must be determined for each diff listing, and that the garbage before
each diff listing will be examined for interesting things such as file names
and revision level (see the section on
.Sx Filename Determination
The options are as follows:
.Bl -tag -width Ds
.It Fl B Ar backup-prefix , Fl Fl prefix Ar backup-prefix
Causes the next argument to be interpreted as a prefix to the backup file
If this argument is specified, any argument to
will be ignored.
.It Fl b , Fl Fl backup
Save a backup copy of the file before it is modified.
By default the original file is saved with a backup extension of
unless the file already has a numbered backup, in which case a numbered
backup is made.
This is equivalent to specifying
.Qo Fl V Cm existing Qc .
This option is currently the default, unless
.It Fl C , Fl Fl check
Checks that the patch would apply cleanly, but does not modify anything.
.It Fl c , Fl Fl context
to interpret the patch file as a context diff.
.It Fl D Ar symbol , Fl Fl ifdef Ar symbol
to use the
construct to mark changes.
The argument following will be used as the differentiating symbol.
Note that, unlike the C compiler, there must be a space between the
and the argument.
.It Fl d Ar directory , Fl Fl directory Ar directory
to interpret the next argument as a directory,
and change the working directory to it before doing anything else.
.It Fl E , Fl Fl remove-empty-files
to remove output files that are empty after the patches have been applied.
This option is useful when applying patches that create or remove files.
.It Fl e , Fl Fl ed
to interpret the patch file as an
.Xr ed 1
.It Fl F Ar max-fuzz , Fl Fl fuzz Ar max-fuzz
Sets the maximum fuzz factor.
This option only applies to context diffs, and causes
to ignore up to that many lines in looking for places to install a hunk.
Note that a larger fuzz factor 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 context in the context diff, ordinarily 3.
.It Fl f , Fl Fl force
to assume that the user knows exactly what he or she is doing, and to not
ask any questions.
It assumes the following:
skip patches for which a file to patch can't be found;
patch files even though they have the wrong version for the
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
.It Fl i Ar patchfile , Fl Fl input Ar patchfile
Causes the next argument to be interpreted as the input file name
(i.e., a patchfile).
This option may be specified multiple times.
.It Fl l , Fl Fl ignore-whitespace
Causes the pattern matching to be done loosely, in case the tabs and
spaces have been munged in your input file.
Any sequence of whitespace in the pattern line will match any sequence
in the input file.
Normal characters must still match exactly.
Each line of the context must still match a line in the input file.
.It Fl N , Fl Fl forward
to ignore patches that it thinks are reversed or already applied.
.Fl R .
.It Fl n , Fl Fl normal
to interpret the patch file as a normal diff.
.It Fl o Ar out-file , Fl Fl output Ar out-file
Causes the next argument to be interpreted as the output file name.
.It Fl p Ar strip-count , Fl Fl strip Ar strip-count
Sets the pathname strip count,
which controls how pathnames 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.
The strip count specifies how many slashes are to be stripped from
the front of the pathname.
(Any intervening directory names also go away.)
For example, supposing the file name in the patch file was
.Pa /u/howard/src/blurfl/blurfl.c :
.Fl p Ns Ar 0
gives the entire pathname unmodified.
.Fl p Ns Ar 1
.D1 Pa u/howard/src/blurfl/blurfl.c
without the leading slash.
.Fl p Ns Ar 4
.D1 Pa blurfl/blurfl.c
at all just gives you
.Pa blurfl.c ,
unless all of the directories in the leading path
.Pq Pa u/howard/src/blurfl
exist and that path is relative,
in which case you get the entire pathname unmodified.
Whatever you end up with is looked for either in the current directory,
or the directory specified by the
.It Fl R , Fl Fl reverse
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
will attempt to swap each hunk around before applying it.
Rejects will come out in the swapped format.
option will not work with ed diff scripts because there is too little
information to reconstruct the reverse operation.
If the first hunk of a patch fails,
will reverse the hunk to see if it can be applied that way.
If it can, you will be asked if you want to have the
If it can't, the patch will continue 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 will match
Luckily, most patches add or change lines rather than delete them, so most
reversed normal diffs will begin with a delete, which will fail, triggering
.It Fl r Ar rej-name , Fl Fl reject-file Ar rej-name
Causes the next argument to be interpreted as the reject file name.
.It Fl s , Fl Fl quiet , Fl Fl silent
do its work silently, unless an error occurs.
.It Fl t , Fl Fl batch
.Fl f ,
in that it suppresses questions, but makes some different assumptions:
skip patches for which a file to patch can't be found (the same as
.Fl f ) ;
skip patches for which the file has the wrong version for the
line in the patch;
and assume that patches are reversed if they look like they are.
.It Fl u , Fl Fl unified
to interpret the patch file as a unified context diff (a unidiff).
.It Fl V Cm t | nil | never | none , Fl Fl version-control Cm t | nil | never | none
Causes the next argument to be interpreted as a method for creating
backup file names.
The type of backups made can also be given in the
environment variables, which are overridden by this option.
option overrides this option, causing the prefix to always be used for
making backup file names.
The values of the
environment variables and the argument to the
option are like the GNU Emacs
variable; they also recognize synonyms that are more descriptive.
The valid values are (unique abbreviations are accepted):
.Bl -tag -width Ds -offset indent
.It Cm t , numbered
Always make numbered backups.
.It Cm nil , existing
Make numbered backups of files that already have them,
simple backups of the others.
.It Cm never , simple
Always make simple backups.
.It Cm none
No backups are created.
.It Fl v , Fl Fl version
to print out its revision header and patch level.
.It Fl x Ar number , Fl Fl debug Ar number
Sets internal debugging flags, and is of interest only to
.It Fl z Ar backup-ext , Fl Fl suffix Ar backup-ext
Causes the next argument to be interpreted as the backup extension, to be
used in place of
.Qq .orig .
.It Fl Fl posix
Backup files are not created unless the
option is specified.
If unspecified, the file name used is the first of the old, new and
index files that exists.
.Ss Patch Application
will try to skip any leading garbage, apply the diff,
and then skip any trailing garbage.
Thus you could feed an article or message containing a
diff listing to
and it should work.
If the entire diff is indented by a consistent amount,
this will be taken into account.
With context diffs, and to a lesser extent with normal diffs,
can detect when the line numbers mentioned in the patch are incorrect,
and will attempt 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,
will scan both forwards and backwards for a set of lines matching the context
given in the hunk.
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.
.Pq The default maximum fuzz factor is 2.
cannot find a place to install that hunk of the patch, it will put the hunk
out to a reject file, which normally is the name of the output file plus
.Qq .rej .
(Note that the rejected hunk will come out in context diff form whether the
input patch was a context diff or a normal diff.
If the input was a normal diff, many of the contexts will simply be null.)
The line numbers on the hunks in the reject file may be different than
in the patch file: they reflect the approximate location patch thinks the
failed hunks belong in the new file rather than the old one.
As each hunk is completed, you will be told whether the hunk succeeded or
failed, and which line (in the new file)
thought the hunk should go on.
If this is different from the line number specified in the diff,
you will be told the offset.
A single large offset MAY be an indication that a hunk was installed in the
You will also be told if a fuzz factor was used to make the match, in which
case you should also be slightly suspicious.
.Ss Filename Determination
If no original file is specified on the command line,
will try to figure out from the leading garbage what the name of the file
to edit is.
When checking a prospective file name, pathname components are stripped
as specified by the
option and the file's existence and writability are checked relative
to the current working directory (or the directory specified by the
If the diff is a context or unified diff,
is able to determine the old and new file names from the diff header.
For context diffs, the
file is specified in the line beginning with
file is specified in the line beginning with
.Qq --- .
For a unified diff, the
file is specified in the line beginning with
file is specified in the line beginning with
.Qq +++ .
If there is an
line in the leading garbage (regardless of the diff type),
will use the file name from that line as the
will choose the file name by performing the following steps, with the first
is operating in strict
mode, the first of the
.Dq old ,
file names that exist is used.
will examine either the
file names or, for a non-context diff, the
file name, and choose the file name with the fewest path components,
the shortest basename, and the shortest total file name length (in that order).
If no file exists,
checks for the existence of the files in an RCS directory using the criteria
will attempt to get or check out the file.
If no suitable file was found to patch, the patch file is a context or
unified diff, and the old file was zero length, the new file name is
created and used.
If the file name still cannot be determined,
will prompt the user for the file name to use.
Additionally, if the leading garbage contains a
.Qq Prereq:\ \&
will take the first word from the prerequisites line (normally a version
number) and check the input file to see if that word can be found.
will ask for confirmation before proceeding.
The upshot of all this is that you should be able to say, while in a news
interface, the following:
.Dl | patch -d /usr/src/local/blurfl
and patch a file in the blurfl directory directly from the article containing
.Ss Backup Files
By default, the patched version is put in place of the original, with
the original file backed up to the same name with the extension
.Qq .orig ,
or as specified by the
.Fl B ,
.Fl V ,
The extension used for making backup files may also be specified in the
environment variable, which is overridden by the options above.
If the backup file is a symbolic or hard link to the original file,
creates a new backup file name by changing the first lowercase letter
in the last component of the file's name into uppercase.
If there are no more lowercase letters in the name,
it removes the first character from the name.
It repeats this process until it comes up with a
backup file that does not already exist or is not linked to the original file.
You may also specify where you want the output to go with the
option; if that file already exists, it is backed up first.
.Ss Notes For Patch Senders
There are several things you should bear in mind if you are going to
be sending out patches:
First, you can save people a lot of grief by keeping a
file which is patched to increment the patch level as the first diff in the
patch file you send out.
If you put a
line in with the patch, it won't let them apply
patches out of order without some warning.
Second, make sure you've specified the file names right, either in a
context diff header, or with an
If you are patching something in a subdirectory, be sure to tell the patch
user to specify a
option as needed.
Third, you can create a file by sending out a diff that compares a
null file to the file you want to create.
This will only work if the file you want to create doesn't exist already in
the target directory.
Fourth, take care not to send out reversed patches, since it makes people wonder
whether they already applied the patch.
Fifth, while you may be able to get away with putting 582 diff listings into
one file, it is probably wiser to group related patches into separate files in
case something goes haywire.
.Bl -tag -width "PATCH_VERSION_CONTROL" -compact
.It Ev POSIXLY_CORRECT
behaves as if the
.Fl Fl posix
option has been specified.
.It Ev SIMPLE_BACKUP_SUFFIX
Extension to use for backup file names instead of
.Qq .orig .
.It Ev TMPDIR
Directory to put temporary files in; default is
.Pa /tmp .
.It Ev PATCH_VERSION_CONTROL
Selects when numbered backup files are made.
.It Ev VERSION_CONTROL
.Ev PATCH_VERSION_CONTROL .
.Bl -tag -width "$TMPDIR/patch*" -compact
.It Pa $TMPDIR/patch*
.It Pa /dev/tty
used to read input when
prompts the user
Too many to list here, but generally indicative that
couldn't parse your patch file.
indicates that there is unprocessed text in the patch file and that
is attempting to intuit whether there is a patch in that text and, if so,
what kind of patch it is.
utility exits with one of the following values:
.Bl -tag -width Ds -compact -offset indent
One or more lines were written to a reject file.
An error occurred.
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.
.Sh SEE ALSO
.Xr diff 1
utility is compliant with the
(except as detailed above for the
though the presence of
itself is optional.
.Op Fl CEfstuvBFVxz
.Op Fl -posix
are extensions to that specification.
.An Larry Wall
with many other contributors.
cannot tell if the line numbers are off in an ed script, and can only detect
bad line numbers in a normal diff when it finds a
A context diff using fuzz factor 3 may have the same problem.
Until a suitable interactive interface is added, you should probably do
a context diff in these cases to see if the changes made sense.
Of course, compiling without errors is a pretty good indication that the patch
worked, but not always.
usually produces the correct results, even when it has to do a lot of
However, the results are guaranteed to be correct only when the patch is
applied to exactly the same version of the file that the patch was
Could be smarter about partial matches, excessively deviant offsets and
swapped code, but that would take an extra pass.
Check patch mode
.Pq Fl C
will fail if you try to check several patches in succession that build on
code would have to be restructured to keep temporary files around so that it
can handle this situation.
If code has been duplicated (for instance with #ifdef OLDCODE ... #else ...
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,
will think it is a reversed patch, and offer to un-apply the patch.
This could be construed as a feature.