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dpatch-edit-patch - maintain dpatch patches for a Debian source package


dpatch-edit-patch [options] command dpatchname [basepatch]


This manual documents the dpatch-edit-patch command which maintains dpatch patches for a
dpatch-using Debian source package.

dpatch-edit-patch will copy the full tree to a temporary directory for working.


dpatch is deprecated, please switch to the `3.0 (quilt)' Debian source package format
instead. See http://wiki.debian.org/Projects/DebSrc3.0#FAQ for a short guide on how to do


dpatch-edit-patch takes two forms of arguments; options and commands. Currently, the only
command that exists is “patch”, which allows you to create/edit dpatches. When no command
is given, “patch” is assumed.

patch This command requires one mandatory argument, and accepts one optional argument
under certain circumstances. The mandatory argument is dpatchname. This refers to
a dpatch, as it would be listed in debian/patches/00list. It is not necessary for
dpatchname to exist prior to running dpatch-edit-patch patch dpatchname.

When dpatchname exists, dpatch-edit-patch will set up a working source tree, apply
all dpatches listed in debian/patches/00list up to and including dpatchname, and
spawn an interactive shell for the developer. The developer then edits files in
this working tree. When the developer is done, they exit the shell.
dpatch-edit-patch then updates dpatchname to reflect the changes made. Should the
developer wish to abort the process from the interactive shell, they need only
cause the shell to exit with an exit value of 230. Typically, this is done by
exiting the shell with the command exit 230.

Would the developer wish to see the patch one's currently works on without exiting
the subshell, two environment variables are exported into the subshell to help with
this: DPEP_SHELL_REFDIR, which is set to the reference directory's full name, and
DPEP_SHELL_WORKDIR, which is set to the subshell's working directory.

These two can be used to - for example - generate a diff between the reference
version and the current tree:


When dpatchname does not exist, dpatch-edit-patch will assume that a new dpatch should be
created. As with the above scenario, dpatch-edit-patch first creates a working source
tree. If the optional argument basepatch is supplied, all dpatches in
debian/patches/00list up to and including basepatch will be applied to the working tree.
If basepatch is not supplied, no dpatches are applied to the working tree. When then
developer exits the shell, dpatch-edit-patch will create dpatchname. If
debian/patches/00template does not exist, a hardcoded dpatch header and shell snippet will
be used. If it exists and is not executable, it will be copied verbatim as the header and
shell snippet.

Its first parameter is the base filename of the to-be-updated or to-be-created dpatch
(useful for adding titles to the dpatch header). Its second parameter will be the
description of the new patch.

For the following options, command-line arguments take precedence over environment
variables, which take precedence over configuration variables. Configuration variables are
read from debian/patches/00dpatch.conf and ~/.dpatch.conf.

-s, --sourcedir=value
Directory containing unpacked Debian source package. Configuration variable
conf_sourcedir (settable only in ~/.dpatch.conf), environment variable
DPEP_SOURCEDIR. Defaults to the current working directory.

-o, --outdir=value
Directory where the updated or newly-created dpatch will be placed. Configuration
variable conf_outdir (~/.dpatch.conf), environment variable DPEP_OUTDIR. Defaults
to ./debian/patches/

-c, --clean
Indicate to dpatch-edit-patch that the current work directory can safely be
cleaned. If not given, dpatch-edit-patch tries to preserve partial or complete
builds by first copying the current work directory to a reference directory before
invoking debian/rules clean on the reference directory. If given, the current
directory is cleaned and then taken as a reference directory. Use this option if
your source package is pretty large and no significant work is destroyed by
cleaning. Configuration variable conf_clean (~/.dpatch.conf), Environment variable

-b, --debianonly[=path]
Indicate to dpatch-edit-patch that the current work directory only contains a
debian subdirectory and that an upstream tarball is to be unpacked in the reference
directory before copying the current work directory there. The optional argument is
the path to the upstream tarball - including the tarball name. If no value is
given, dpatch-edit-patch will use the hook script pointed to by conf_getorigtargz
(~/.dpatch.conf) or DPEP_GETORIGTARGZ to obtain the upstream tarball. The hook
script should take one argument: the destination directory where the fetched
archive shall be put. Configuration variables: conf_debianonly
(debian/patches/00dpatch.conf) and conf_origtargz (~/.dpatch.conf), Environment

-P, --origtargzpath=path
When -b is in use, specify the path where upstream tarballs should be looked for.
path is a colon-separated list of directories. Configuration variables:
conf_origtargzpath (~/.dpatch.conf), Environment Variables DPEP_ORIGTARGZPATH.

-r, --rootcmd=value
Command used to gain root privileges used to clean DPEP_SOURCEDIR. Configuration
variable conf_rootcmd, environment variable DPEP_ROOTCMD. Defaults to fakeroot, if
installed. If none of the above are specified, and fakeroot is not installed,
dpatch-edit-patch will abort. The dpatch authors strongly recommend the use of
fakeroot for this purpose.

-d, --description=value
Description used for a newly-created patch. Configuration variable conf_newdesc
(~/.dpatch.conf), environment variable DPEP_NEWDESC, defaults to “No description.”

-k, --keeptemp=value
Boolean value, either 0 or 1. Configuration variable conf_keeptemp
(~/.dpatch.conf), environment variable DPEP_KEEPTEMP. When set to 1, temporary
working tree is not deleted when dpatch-edit-patch is done.

-t, --tmpdir=value
Temporary directory within which dpatch-edit-patch will create the working source
tree. Configuration variable conf_tmpdir (~/.dpatch.conf), environment variable
DPEP_TMPDIR. Should none of the above be set, dpatch-edit-patch will first attempt
to use the environment variable TMPDIR, and will fall back to /tmp.

-p, --stampdir=value
The directory dpatch has used for creating patch stamps. Used for checking if
patch to be edited is already applied to the working tree. Configuration variable
conf_stampdir (~/.dpatch.conf), environment variable DPEP_STAMPDIR. Should none of
the above be set, dpatch-edit-patch will fall back to debian/patched

-e, --exclude=valuelist
Space-separated list of file- and directory names that dpatch-edit-patch will
exclude from being copied and diffed. Configuration variable conf_exclude
(~/.dpatch.conf), environment variable DPEP_EXCLUDE. Defaults to "CVS .svn .git
.arch .hg _darcs .bzr", which might cause you trouble if you use files named like
that in your package.

-O, --diffopts=valuelist
Extra options to directly pass to diff as-is. Configuration variable conf_diffopts
(~/.dpatch.conf), environment variable DPEP_DIFF_OPTIONS. It is empty by default.

-l, --shell=shell
Tell dpatch-edit-patch which shell to invoke. Configuration variable conf_shell
(~/.dpatch.conf), environment variable DPEP_SHELL, defaulting to $SHELL and the
user's default shell.

-n, --notimestamp
Tell dpatch-edit-patch to remove timestamps from the diffs it generates. Can also
be set in debian/patches/00options, with the DPEP_OMIT_TIMESTAMPS variable.

-0, --add2list
add the new patch to 00list file.

-a, --applyall
apply all available patches.


Create a new patch to be applied after an existing patch.
To create a new patch, to be applied after an existing patch 90_ctrlkeyfix:

$ dpatch-edit-patch patch 95_newupstreamfix 90_ctrlkeyfix
dpatch-edit-patch: * debian/patches/95_newupstreamfix.dpatch does not exist, it will be created as a new dpatch.
dpatch-edit-patch: * Cleaning /home/david/temp/sopwith-1.6.0
dpatch-edit-patch: * Applying patches
dpatch-edit-patch: ** Applying patch 90_ctrlkeyfix ... applied cleanly.
dpatch-edit-patch: * Copying /home/david/temp/sopwith-1.6.0 to work directory.
$ editor files
$ exit 0
dpatch-edit-patch: * Creating new patch debian/patches/95_newupstreamfix.dpatch
dpatch-edit-patch: Warning: debian/patches/00template does not exist, using hardcoded default.
dpatch-edit-patch: debian/patches/95_newupstreamfix.dpatch created.

Create a new patch not depending on existing patches
To create a new patch, intended to be applied before any other patches (or a new patch
which doesn't require other patches to be applied first):

$ dpatch-edit-patch 10_debianstrings
dpatch-edit-patch: * debian/patches/10_debianstrings.dpatch does not exist, it will be created as a new dpatch.
dpatch-edit-patch: * Cleaning /home/david/temp/sopwith-1.6.0
dpatch-edit-patch: Warning: * No base-patch supplied, not applying any patches.
dpatch-edit-patch: * Copying /home/david/temp/sopwith-1.6.0 to work directory.
$ editor files
$ exit 0
dpatch-edit-patch: * Creating new patch debian/patches/10_debianstrings.dpatch
dpatch-edit-patch: Warning: debian/patches/00template does not exist, using hardcoded default.
dpatch-edit-patch: debian/patches/10_debianstrings.dpatch created.

Edit an existing patch:
$ dpatch-edit-patch 10_debianstrings
dpatch-edit-patch: * debian/patches/10_debianstrings.dpatch exists, this patch will be updated.
dpatch-edit-patch: * Cleaning /home/david/temp/sopwith-1.6.0
dpatch-edit-patch: * Applying patches
dpatch-edit-patch: * Copying /home/david/temp/sopwith-1.6.0 to work directory.
dpatch-edit-patch: * Applying current 10_debianstrings for editing.
$ editor files
$ exit 0
dpatch-edit-patch: Updating patch debian/patches/10_debianstrings.dpatch
dpatch-edit-patch: @DPATCH@ tag found, preserving dpatch header.
dpatch-edit-patch: debian/patches/10_debianstrings.dpatch updated.


dpatch-edit-patch uses the DEBFULLNAME environment variable as the author's name. If it is
unset, the author name will be left blank.

dpatch-edit-patch determines the author's email address for new patches using the
following algorithm:
1) Should the DEBEMAIL environment variable exist, it is always used.
2) If the EMAIL environment variable exists, it will be used when DEBEMAIL does not exist.
3) Should neither of the first two attempts succeed, the email will be constructed using
the login name of the user running dpatch-edit-patch combined with the output of hostname

When dpatch-edit-patch sets up a reference or a working directory, it dereferences all
symlinks in the source. That allows relative links to continue working, and allows changes
only to a single file and not to the linked file and the link target. If you use
dpatch-edit-patch on source trees that have symbolic links, you might end up with a patch
that is unapplyable to the original tree.

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