Commit 75f8426c authored by Paul Jackson's avatar Paul Jackson Committed by Linus Torvalds
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[PATCH] Document from line in patch format

Document more details of patch format such as the "from" line
and the "---" marker line, and provide more references for
patch guidelines.

Signed-off-by: default avatarPaul Jackson <>
Signed-off-by: default avatarLinus Torvalds <>
parent d70ddac1
......@@ -301,8 +301,68 @@ now, but you can do this to mark internal company procedures or just
point out some special detail about the sign-off.
12) The canonical patch format
12) More references for submitting patches
The canonical patch subject line is:
Subject: [PATCH 001/123] [<area>:] <explanation>
The canonical patch message body contains the following:
- A "from" line specifying the patch author.
- An empty line.
- The body of the explanation, which will be copied to the
permanent changelog to describe this patch.
- The "Signed-off-by:" lines, described above, which will
also go in the changelog.
- A marker line containing simply "---".
- Any additional comments not suitable for the changelog.
- The actual patch (diff output).
The Subject line format makes it very easy to sort the emails
alphabetically by subject line - pretty much any email reader will
support that - since because the sequence number is zero-padded,
the numerical and alphabetic sort is the same.
See further details on how to phrase the "<explanation>" in the
"Subject:" line in Andrew Morton's "The perfect patch", referenced
The "from" line must be the very first line in the message body,
and has the form:
From: Original Author <>
The "from" line specifies who will be credited as the author of the
patch in the permanent changelog. If the "from" line is missing,
then the "From:" line from the email header will be used to determine
the patch author in the changelog.
The explanation body will be committed to the permanent source
changelog, so should make sense to a competent reader who has long
since forgotten the immediate details of the discussion that might
have led to this patch.
The "---" marker line serves the essential purpose of marking for patch
handling tools where the changelog message ends.
One good use for the additional comments after the "---" marker is for
a diffstat, to show what files have changed, and the number of inserted
and deleted lines per file. A diffstat is especially useful on bigger
patches. Other comments relevant only to the moment or the maintainer,
not suitable for the permanent changelog, should also go here.
See more details on the proper patch format in the following
13) More references for submitting patches
Andrew Morton, "The perfect patch" (tpp).
......@@ -310,6 +370,14 @@ Andrew Morton, "The perfect patch" (tpp).
Jeff Garzik, "Linux kernel patch submission format."
Greg KH, "How to piss off a kernel subsystem maintainer"
Kernel Documentation/CodingStyle
Linus Torvald's mail on the canonical patch format:
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