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Patches and Diffs

Applying a patch or diff may sound complex, but it is relativily trival. This will provide a brief introduction. There is a more detailed article at the Linux Journal web site.

The detail below assume that you have a recent diff and patch utility installed on your machine. If you do not, see:

Creating a diff

When you would like to submitting_a_patch some modifications, or changes, that you believe should be included into the mainline project, you must submit a patch. After creating a patch, you are ready to submit it to the project.

Each project has it's own coding style - which must be followed. Patches which do not meeting the coding style defined by the mainline project will be rejected without being reviewed.

Creating a diff from two files

When submitting a change that you have created, the diff utility is used. It is normally used as:

diff -Naur olddir newdir > dir.patch

this will create a patch file between the old dir and the new dir.

Creating a diff from svn checked out files

The first step in creating a diff is to ensure that the files that you want added are under version control.

rgetz@pinky:~/blackfin-trunk/uclinux-dist/linux-2.6.x> svn status
?      svn-commit.2.tmp
?      svn-commit.3.tmp
?      svn-commit.tmp
M      include/asm-blackfin/entry.h
?      arch/blackfin/kernel/.setup.c.swp
M      arch/blackfin/kernel/traps.c
M      arch/blackfin/mach-common/entry.S
M      drivers/video/fbmem.c

You should not have any files that are labeled with a ? which you want to include as part of the patch.

The status fields are:

  • A : Added
  • C : Conflicted
  • D : Deleted
  • I : Ignored
  • M : Modified
  • R : Replaced
  • X : item is unversioned, but is used by an externals definition
  • ? : item is not under version control
  • ! : item is missing (removed by non-svn command) or incomplete
  • ~ : versioned item obstructed by some item of a different kind

You can add files to version control with the svn add command. Once this is done, you can create the patch with:

rgetz@pinky:~/blackfin-trunk/uclinux-dist/linux-2.6.x> svn diff > patchname.diff

For more information about svn, see svn information.

Patching an application

patch -p0 <dir.patch
patch -p1 <dir.patch

If you want to see if a patch or diff will apply properly, use the --dry-run flag. This will print the results of applying the patches without actually changing any files.

No files will be changed, due to adding the --dry-run flag, bug we can ensure we have the correct prefix set (-pnum)

rgetz@pinky:~/blackfin-release/uClinux-dist/linux-2.6.x> patch linux-2.6.x/ -p1 --dry-run < ../bfin_patch/kgdb_patch/kgdb_bfin_linux-2.6.x.patch
patching file linux-2.6.x/
patching file arch/blackfin/Kconfig
Hunk #1 succeeded at 908 (offset 94 lines).
patching file arch/blackfin/kernel/Makefile
patching file arch/blackfin/kernel/kgdb.c
patching file arch/blackfin/kernel/kgdb_test.c
patching file drivers/net/Makefile
patching file drivers/net/kgdb_eth.c
patching file drivers/serial/Kconfig
patching file drivers/serial/Makefile
patching file drivers/serial/bfin_5xx.c
patching file drivers/serial/kgdb_bfin_uart.c
patching file include/asm-blackfin/kgdb.h
patching file include/linux/debugger.h
patching file include/linux/kgdb.h
patching file kernel/Kconfig.kgdb
patching file kernel/Makefile
patching file kernel/kgdb.c
patching file kernel/sched.c
Hunk #2 succeeded at 6867 (offset 5 lines).
patching file net/core/netpoll.c


diffstat dir.patch


rgetz@pinky:~/blackfin-release/uClinux-dist/linux-2.6.x> diffstat ../bfin_patch/kgdb_patch/kgdb_bfin_linux-2.6.x.patch
 Documentation/blackfin/kgdb_bfin.txt |  151 +++
 arch/blackfin/Kconfig                |    2
 arch/blackfin/kernel/Makefile        |    2
 arch/blackfin/kernel/kgdb.c          |  453 ++++++++++
 arch/blackfin/kernel/kgdb_test.c     |  112 ++
 drivers/net/Makefile                 |    1
 drivers/net/kgdb_eth.c               |  160 +++
 drivers/serial/Kconfig               |    2
 drivers/serial/Makefile              |    1
 drivers/serial/bfin_5xx.c            |  105 ++
 drivers/serial/kgdb_bfin_uart.c      |   92 ++
 include/asm-blackfin/kgdb.h          |  183 ++++
 include/linux/debugger.h             |   59 +
 include/linux/kgdb.h                 |  185 ++++
 kernel/Kconfig.kgdb                  |   70 +
 kernel/Makefile                      |    1
 kernel/kgdb.c                        | 1519 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 kernel/sched.c                       |    4
 net/core/netpoll.c                   |    1
 19 files changed, 3102 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)

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