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Comparing and Merging Files with GNU diff and patch
by David MacKenzie, Paul Eggert, and Richard Stallman
Paperback (6"x9"), 120 pages
ISBN 0954161750
RRP £12.95 ($19.95)

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15 Invoking patch

Normally patch is invoked like this:

patch <patchfile

The full format for invoking patch is:

patch options... [origfile [patchfile]]

You can also specify where to read the patch from with the -i patchfile or --input=patchfile option. If you do not specify patchfile, or if patchfile is ‘-’, patch reads the patch (that is, the diff output) from the standard input.

If you do not specify an input file on the command line, patch tries to intuit from the leading text (any text in the patch that comes before the diff output) which file to edit. See section 10.6 Multiple Patches in a File.

By default, patch replaces the original input file with the patched version, possibly after renaming the original file into a backup file (see section 10.9 Backup File Names, for a description of how patch names backup files). You can also specify where to put the output with the -o file or --output=file option; however, do not use this option if file is one of the input files.

ISBN 0954161750Comparing and Merging Files with GNU diff and patchSee the print edition