How to send a patch in a proper way?

Giorgos Keramidas keramida at
Tue Mar 30 17:08:35 UTC 2010

On Fri, 19 Mar 2010 23:20:49 +0100, Adam PAPAI <wooh at> wrote:
> Hi,
> As of today I'll try to help and create bugfix patches for usr/src and
> usr/ports.
> I've already done 2 patches and posted it to the -current list but
> don't really know what is the best way to post the patches. Who will
> "check" them? who will make the decision to use them? How should I
> send the patches? diff -u full path or relative path?
> Is there any FAQ about this issue?

The appropriate path is often a judgement call for you.  I usually send
patches that include at least *part* of the pathname, e.g. when patches
for ports are created I diff at the toplevel /usr/ports tree, so that
both the port-categogy and the port-name are visible in the patch file.

When generating patches for the /usr/src tree it is also useful to see
the relative path under /usr/src, e.g. I try to use:

    cd /usr/src
    diff -ruN bin/ls.orig bin/ls

When the pathname of the source subdirectory is trivial to infer from
the name of the utility itself you can also just diff files inside the
source of the utility itself:

    cd /usr/src/bin/ls
    diff -u ls.c.orig ls.c

You shouldn't worry too much about pathname context though.  The FreeBSD
developers will ask for more details if they cannot understand what you
are patching.  A couple of email iterations later you'll both know what
is being patched where it was patched, and so on.

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