git format-patch [-k] [(-o|--output-directory) <dir> | --stdout] [--thread[=<style>]] [(--attach|--inline)[=<boundary>] | --no-attach] [-s | --signoff] [-n | --numbered | -N | --no-numbered] [--start-number <n>] [--numbered-files] [--in-reply-to=Message-Id] [--suffix=.<sfx>] [--ignore-if-in-upstream] [--subject-prefix=Subject-Prefix] [--cc=<email>] [--cover-letter] [<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 git-rev-parse(1)) means the commits in the specified range.

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.

By default, the subject of a single patch is "[PATCH] First Line" and the subject when multiple patches are output is "[PATCH n/m] First Line". 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.



Generate patches without diffstat.


Generate diffs with <n> lines of context instead of the usual three. Implies "-p".


Generate the raw format.


Synonym for "-p --raw".


Generate a diff using the "patience diff" algorithm.


Generate a diffstat. You can override the default output width for 80-column terminal by "--stat=width". The width of the filename part can be controlled by giving another width to it separated by a comma.


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 lines.


Output the distribution of relative amount of changes (number of lines added or removed) for each sub-directory. Directories with changes below a cut-off percent (3% by default) are not shown. The cut-off percent can be set with "--dirstat=limit". Changes in a child directory is not counted for the parent directory, unless "--cumulative" is used.


Same as --dirstat, but counts changed files instead of lines.


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


Synonym for "-p --stat". This is the default.


NUL-line termination on output. This affects the --raw output field terminator. Also output from commands such as "git-log" will be delimited with NUL between commits.


Show only names of changed files.


Show only names and status of changed files. See the description of the --diff-filter option on what the status letters mean.


Show colored diff.


Turn off colored diff, even when the configuration file gives the default to color output.


Show colored word diff, i.e., color words which have changed. By default, words are separated by whitespace.

When a <regex> is specified, every non-overlapping match of the <regex> is considered a word. Anything between these matches is considered whitespace and ignored(!) for the purposes of finding differences. You may want to append |[^[:space:]] to your regular expression to make sure that it matches all non-whitespace characters. A match that contains a newline is silently truncated(!) at the newline.

The regex can also be set via a diff driver or configuration option, see gitattributes(1) or git-config(1). Giving it explicitly overrides any diff driver or configuration setting. Diff drivers override configuration settings.


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


Warn if changes introduce trailing whitespace or an indent that uses a space before a tab. Exits with non-zero status if problems are found. Not compatible with --exit-code.


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 "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 --full-index option above, which controls the diff-patch output format. Non default number of digits can be specified with --abbrev=<n>.


Break complete rewrite changes into pairs of delete and create.


Detect renames.


Detect copies as well as renames. See also --find-copies-harder.


Select only files that are Added (A), Copied (C), Deleted (D), Modified (M), Renamed (R), have their type (i.e. regular file, symlink, submodule, …) changed (T), are Unmerged (U), are Unknown (X), or have had their pairing Broken (B). Any combination of the filter characters may be used. When * (All-or-none) is added to the combination, all paths are selected if there is any file that matches other criteria in the comparison; if there is no file that matches other criteria, nothing is selected.


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.


-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.


Look for differences that introduce or remove an instance of <string>. Note that this is different than the string simply appearing in diff output; see the pickaxe entry in gitdiffcore(7) for more details.


When -S finds a change, show all the changes in that changeset, not just the files that contain the change in <string>.


Make the <string> not a plain string but an extended POSIX regex to match.


Output the patch in the order specified in the <orderfile>, which has one shell glob pattern per line.


Swap two inputs; that is, show differences from index or on-disk file to tree contents.


When run from a subdirectory of the project, it can be told to exclude changes outside the directory and show pathnames relative to it with this option. When you are not in a subdirectory (e.g. in a bare repository), you can name which subdirectory to make the output relative to by giving a <path> as an argument.


Treat all files as text.


Ignore changes in whitespace at EOL.


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.


Ignore whitespace when comparing lines. This ignores differences even if one line has whitespace where the other line has none.


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


Make the program exit with codes similar to diff(1). That is, it exits with 1 if there were differences and 0 means no differences.


Disable all output of the program. Implies --exit-code.


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.


Ignore changes to submodules in the diff generation.


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 gitdiffcore(7).


Limits the number of patches to prepare.

-o <dir>
--output-directory <dir>

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


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


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.


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 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 setting.


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".


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.

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. If not specified, defaults to the format.thread configuration, or shallow if that is not set.


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.


Add a "Cc:" header to the email headers. This is in addition to any configured headers, and may be used multiple times.


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"


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


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 0001-description-of-my-change-patch.


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.


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 "Cc:" headers, configure attachments, and sign off patches with configuration variables.

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



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


Written by Junio C Hamano <>


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


Part of the git(1) suite