git-format-patch [-n | -k] [-o <dir> | --stdout] [--attach] [--thread] [-s | --signoff] [--diff-options] [--start-number <n>] [--in-reply-to=Message-Id] <since>[..<until>]


Prepare each commit between <since> and <until> with its patch in one file per commit, formatted to resemble UNIX mailbox format. If ..<until> is not specified, the head of the current working tree is implied.

The output of this command is convenient for e-mail submission or for use with gitlink:git-am[1].

Each output file is numbered sequentially from 1, and uses the first line of the commit message (massaged for pathname safety) as the filename. 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.

If -n is specified, instead of "[PATCH] Subject", the first line is formatted as "[PATCH n/m] Subject".

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.


-o|--output-directory <dir>

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


Name output in [PATCH n/m] format.

--start-number <n>

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


Do not strip/add [PATCH] from the first line of the commit log message.


Add Signed-off-by: line to the commit message, using the committer identity of yourself.


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


Create attachments instead of inlining patches.


Add In-Reply-To and References headers to make the second and subsequent mails appear as replies to the first. Also generates the Message-Id header to reference.


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.


You can specify extra mail header lines to be added to each message in the repository configuration as follows:

headers = "Organization: git-foo\n"


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

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 origin

Extract all commits which are in the current branch but not in the origin branch. For each commit a separate file is created in the current directory.

git-format-patch -M -B origin

The same as the previous one. 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 it. Note that the "patch" program does not understand renaming patches, so use it only when you know the recipient uses git to apply your patch.

See Also

gitlink:git-am[1], gitlink:git-send-email[1]


Written by Junio C Hamano <>


Documentation by Junio C Hamano and the git-list <>.


Part of the gitlink:git[7] suite