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Obsolete:Contribute/Patch Format

Patch format

We have accepted several conventions and techniques that helps keeping track of patches, ACKs, and commits.

Patch format

All patches should be in a format to apply cleanly with

git am

This is produced in two steps:

1. in a git repository with your changes create a commit:

git add .
git commit

Appropriate commit message should be provided, e.g.:

Add new command compat-is-enabled

Add a new API command 'compat-is-enabled' which can be used to determine
whether Schema Compatibility plugin is configured to serve trusted domain
users and groups. The new command is not visible in IPA CLI.


Good and concise commit description is an integral part of the patch itself. Make sure that the commit message contains enough information so that the reader can understand why was the patch done and what it fixes or enhances. If the patch adresses a ticket in Trac, the last line of the commit should be the URL to that ticket.

2. create the patch using the command

git format-patch -M -C --patience --full-index -1


Format: project-username-seq[-update]-description.patch

  • project: always freeipa
  • username: your Fedora account name
  • seq: sequence number. Please, try to not skip numbers, as we will use this number to ensure all patches from a given contributor get reviewed. The sequence is per developer, so if you are submitting your first patch, it should be 0001.
  • update: if a patch requires modification and additional changes prior to submission, append a number starting at 2 and increasing by one for each update. Thus, if the above patch required additional changes, the first would be:
    and then
  • description: this is the first line of the git commit, and should be less than six words long (ideally two or three). git format-patch command will translate this line into the subject of the patch, with hyphens replacing the white space.

Example patch name: freeipa-edewata-0019-Certificate-management-for-services.patch

Ensuring correct transmission of patches

Some MTAs (perhaps mailman?) have a nasty habit of prepending a '>' character to the patch (quoting the "From <SHA>" line), messing up the format. This occurs when the attachment is 7bit clear; the sender can avoid this by sending the patch with an alternative Content-Transfer-Encoding.

To configure Thundebird:

  • In Thunderbird Preferences,
  • Go to the Advanced->General tab.
  • Select "Config Editor"
  • Search for mail.file_attach_binary and
  • Set this value to true

To configure Mutt:

  • Add set encode_from=yes to your muttrc.