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Subject[PATCH] Document from line in patch format
Document more details of patch format such as the "from" line
used to specify the patch author, and provide more references
for patch guidelines.

Signed-off-by: Paul Jackson <>

Index: 2.6.14-rc2-mm2/Documentation/SubmittingPatches
--- 2.6.14-rc2-mm2.orig/Documentation/SubmittingPatches
+++ 2.6.14-rc2-mm2/Documentation/SubmittingPatches
@@ -301,8 +301,47 @@ now, but you can do this to mark interna
point out some special detail about the sign-off.

+12) The canonical patch format

-12) More references for submitting patches
+The canonical patch subject line is:
+ Subject: [PATCH 001/123] [<area>:] <explanation>
+The canonical patch message body contains the following:
+ The first line of the body contains a "from" line specifying
+ the author of the patch:
+ From: Original Author <>
+ If the "from" line is missing, then the author of the patch will
+ be recorded in the source code revision history as whomever is
+ listed in the last "Signed-off-by:" line in the message when Linus
+ receives it.
+ The "from" line is followed by an empty line and then the body
+ of the explanation.
+ After the body of the explanation comes the "Signed-off-by:"
+ lines, and then a simple "---" line, and below that comes the
+ diffstat of the patch and then the patch itself. The "---" line
+ and diffstat are optional, but helpful to readers of non-trivial
+ patches.
+The Subject line format makes it very easy to sort the emails
+alphabetically by subject line - pretty much any email reader will
+support that - since because the sequence number is zero-padded,
+the numerical and alphabetic sort is the same.
+See further details on how to phrase the "<explanation>" in
+the "Subject:" line in Andrew Morton's "The perfect patch",
+referenced below.
+See more details on the proper patch format in the following
+13) More references for submitting patches

Andrew Morton, "The perfect patch" (tpp).
@@ -310,6 +349,14 @@ Andrew Morton, "The perfect patch" (tpp)
Jeff Garzik, "Linux kernel patch submission format."

+Jeff Garzik, "How to piss off a kernel subsystem maintainer"
+ <>
+Kernel Documentation/CodingStyle
+ <>
+Linus Torvald's mail on the canonical patch format:
+ <>

I won't rest till it's the best ...
Programmer, Linux Scalability
Paul Jackson <> 1.650.933.1373
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