Q: How do I apply patches from email?

A: You can use git am on raw email contents, either from a file saved by or piped from an email client. In mutt, for example, when you are viewing a patch, you can apply it to the tree in ~/ovs by issuing the command |cd ~/ovs && git am. If you are an OVS committer, you might want to add -s to sign off on the patch as part of applying it. If you do this often, then you can make the keystrokes ,a shorthand for it by adding the following line to your .muttrc:

macro index,pager ,a “<pipe-message>cd ~/ovs && git am -s” “apply patch”

git am has a problem with some email messages from the ovs-dev list for which the mailing list manager edits the From: address, replacing it by the list’s own address. The mailing list manager must do this for messages whose sender’s email domain has DMARC configured, because receivers will otherwise discard these messages when they do not come directly from the sender’s email domain. This editing makes the patches look like they come from the mailing list instead of the author. To work around this problem, one can use the following wrapper script for git am:

#! /bin/sh
cat >$tmp
if grep '^From:.*via dev.*' "$tmp" >/dev/null 2>&1; then
   sed '/^From:.*via dev.*/d
        s/^[Rr]eply-[tT]o:/From:/' $tmp
   cat "$tmp"
fi | git am "$@"
rm "$tmp"

Another way to apply emailed patches is to use the pwclient program, which can obtain patches from patchwork and apply them directly. Download pwclient at You probably want to set up a .pwclientrc that looks something like this:



After you install pwclient, you can apply a patch from patchwork with pwclient git-am #, where # is the patch’s number. (This fails with certain patches that contain form-feeds, due to a limitation of the protocol underlying pwclient.)

Another way to apply patches directly from patchwork which supports applying patch series is to use the git-pw program. It can be obtained with pip install git-pw. Alternative installation instructions and general documentation can be found at You need to use your ovn patchwork login or create one at The following can then be set on the command line with git config or through a .gitconfig like this:


Patch series can be listed with git-pw series list and applied with git-pw series apply #, where # is the series number. Individual patches can be applied with git-pw patch apply #, where # is the patch number.