combinediff Man page



combinediff – create a cumulative unified patch from two incremental


combinediff [[-p n] | [–strip-match=n]] [[-U n] | [–unified=n]] [[-d PAT] | [–drop-context=PAT]] [[-q] | [–quiet]] [[-z] | [–decompress]] [[-b] | [–ignore-space-change]] [[-B] |
[–ignore-blank-lines]] [[-i] | [–ignore-case]] [[-w] |
[–ignore-all-space]] [[–interpolate] | [–combine]] diff1

combinediff {[–help] | [–version]}


combinediff creates a unified diff that expresses the sum of two diffs.
The diff files must be listed in the order that they are to be applied.
For best results, the diffs must have at least three lines of context.

Since combinediff doesn’t have the advantage of being able to look at
the files that are to be modified, it has stricter requirements on the
input format than patch does. The output of GNU diff will be okay,
even with extensions, but if you intend to use a hand-edited patch it
might be wise to clean up the offsets and counts using recountdiff

Note, however, that the two patches must be in strict incremental
order. In other words, the second patch must be relative to the state
of the original set of files after the first patch was applied.

The diffs may be in context format. The output, however, will be in
unified format.


-p n, –strip-match=n
When comparing filenames, ignore the first n pathname components
from both patches. (This is similar to the -p option to GNU

-q, –quiet
Quieter output. Don’t emit rationale lines at the beginning of each

-U n, –unified=n
Attempt to display n lines of context (requires at least n lines of
context in both input files). (This is similar to the -U option to
GNU diff.)

-d pattern, –drop-context=PATTERN
Don’t display any context on files that match the shell wildcard
pattern. This option can be given multiple times.

Note that the interpretation of the shell wildcard pattern does not
count slash characters or periods as special (in other words, no
flags are given to fnmatch). This is so that “*/basename”-type
patterns can be given without limiting the number of pathname

-i, –ignore-case
Consider upper- and lower-case to be the same.

-w, –ignore-all-space
Ignore whitespace changes in patches.

-b, –ignore-space-change
Ignore changes in the amount of whitespace.

-B, –ignore-blank-lines
Ignore changes whose lines are all blank.

-z, –decompress
Decompress files with extensions .gz and .bz2.

Run as “interdiff”. See interdiff for more information about how
the behaviour is altered in this mode.

Run as “combinediff”. This is the default.

Display a short usage message.

Display the version number of combinediff.


The -U option is a bit erratic: it can control the amount of context
displayed for files that are modified in both patches, but not for
files that only appear in one patch (which appear with the same amount
of context in the output as in the input).




Tim Waugh
Package maintainer

patchutils 23 Jan 2009 COMBINEDIFF(1)

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