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3.4 Patching

In the preparation of the port, files that have been added or changed can be picked up with a recursive diff for later feeding to patch. Each set of patches you wish to apply should be collected into a file named patch-* where * denotes the sequence in which the patches will be applied -- these are done in alphabetical order, thus aa first, ab second and so on. If you wish, you can use names that indicate the pathnames of the files that are patched, such as patch-Imakefile or patch-src-config.h. These files should be stored in PATCHDIR, from where they will be automatically applied. All patches should be relative to WRKSRC (generally the directory your port's tarball unpacks itself into, that being where the build is done). To make fixes and upgrades easier, you should avoid having more than one patch fix the same file (e.g., patch-aa and patch-ab both changing WRKSRC/foobar.c).

Do not put RCS strings in patches. CVS will mangle them when we put the files into the ports tree, and when we check them out again, they will come out different and the patch will fail. RCS strings are surrounded by dollar ($) signs, and typically start with $Id or $RCS.

Using the recurse (-r) option to diff to generate patches is fine, but please take a look at the resulting patches to make sure you do not have any unnecessary junk in there. In particular, diffs between two backup files, Makefiles when the port uses Imake or GNU configure, etc., are unnecessary and should be deleted. If you had to edit configure.in and run autoconf to regenerate configure, do not take the diffs of configure (it often grows to a few thousand lines!); define USE_AUTOCONF=yes and take the diffs of configure.in.

Also, if you had to delete a file, then you can do it in the post-extract target rather than as part of the patch. Once you are happy with the resulting diff, please split it up into one source file per patch file.

For questions about the FreeBSD ports system, e-mail <ports@FreeBSD.org>.
For questions about this documentation, e-mail <doc@FreeBSD.org>.
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