patch takes comparison output produced by
diff and applies
the differences to a copy of the original file, producing a patched
patch, you can distribute just the changes to a
set of files instead of distributing the entire file set; your
correspondents can apply
patch to update their copy of the files
with your changes.
patch automatically determines the diff
format, skips any leading or trailing headers, and uses the headers to
determine which file to patch. This lets your correspondents feed a
mail message containing a difference listing directly to
patch detects and warns about common problems like forward
patches. It saves any patches that it could not apply. It can also maintain a
patchlevel.h file to ensure that your correspondents apply
diffs in the proper order.
patch accepts a series of diffs in its standard input, usually
separated by headers that specify which file to patch. It applies
diff hunks (see Hunks) one by one. If a hunk does not
exactly match the original file,
patch uses heuristics to try to
patch the file as well as it can. If no approximate match can be found,
patch rejects the hunk and skips to the next hunk.
normally replaces each file f with its new version, putting reject
hunks (if any) into ‘f.rej’.
patch, for detailed information on the options to
patch Input Format
patch and the POSIX Standard
patch and Traditional