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Naming patches

Patches are named similar to sources, using a similar syntax. For example:
Patch1: telnet-client-cvs.patch
Patch2: telnetd-0.17.diff
Patch3: telnet-0.17-env.patch
Patch4: telnet-0.17-issue.patch
Patch5: telnet-0.17-sa-01-49.patch
Patch6: telnet-0.17-env-5x.patch
Patch10: telnet-0.17-pek.patch
Note that you can have Patch directives are not numbered sequentially, such as the Patch10: directive in this example. In addition, you must apply each patch manually using %patch directives.
The patch files may be individual files or compressed (with gzip) patch files.
Cross Reference
See the patch and diff online manual pages for more on patches.
Patches are important because they allow you to start with pristine sources, the source code for the original application. You can then apply patches as needed to get a working application, more clearly separating the work needed to create an RPM from the original application source code.
Cross Reference
Chapter 13, Packaging Guidelines discusses packaging guidelines and best practices. Starting from pristine sources is one of the best practices.
Similar to the sources directives, you can define a Nopatch: directive, which defines a patch that is applied to the sources, but is not included in the source RPM.