How to create patches using diff

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  1. Although diff can output in diverse formats, the easiest to read is the unified format; simply use the -u switch to generate unified output.
  3. diff -u old.php new.php > file.patch
  5. Note: the symbol > will redirect the output to the file file.patch
  6. Because patch readability is important for the review process it's best to add another switch: -p. This switch shows the function closest to the difference, making it easy to see what function changed. (alternately you can use the flag -F^function or in abbreviated form -F^f)
  8. diff -up old.php new.php > file.patch
  10. When you've modified multiple files in the source tree, use diffs ability to compare directories. Add the -r switch to instruct diff to recurse (sub)directories and add the -N switch to account for new or deleted files:
  12. diff -urNp old_directory new_directory > file.patch


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