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Using quilt with Debian source packages

Situation: you have downloaded a Debian source package which uses quilt and want to fix a bug and then submit a patch to the maintainers.

Using .quiltrc configuration file

Place a .quiltrc configuration file in your home directory with the following lines.


Environment variables

Alternatively, you can add these lines to .bashrc. Otherwise, run them in your shell or terminal before using quilt

export QUILT_PATCHES=debian/patches
export QUILT_REFRESH_ARGS="-p ab --no-timestamps --no-index"

Basic quilt tasks: Making a new patch

The source code unpacked by apt-get source does not have patches applied.

First step: apply existing patches to the source

quilt push -a

to "push" all existing patches onto the source tree (when you build a package, this is done by the build scripts)

Creating a new patch

quilt new myPatch.diff # this is the patch name

quilt add README # Where 'README' is the name of file you want to modify. You have to do that for all files you modify before you change them; one quilt patch can change multiple files

Now make changes to the source

Now, make you changes to the files added to the patch: edit it, or replace it with an already modified file stored in a different directory.

Updating a patch with changes made to its files

quilt refresh #you can do this as often as you like

Finish your editing

quilt pop -a #this un-applies all patches so that the source returns to the downloaded condition

Basic quilt tasks: Editing an existing patch

quilt supports multiple patches, but you are only ever change one of them.

This is the patch last pushed.

To edit an existing patch, start by pushing it

quilt push myPatch.diff

Now edit it, and when ready

quilt refresh myPatch.diff   #note: command line completion may save you some typing

quilt pop -a