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WHAT-PATCH(1) General Commands Manual WHAT-PATCH(1)


what-patch - detect which patch system a Debian package uses


what-patch [options]


what-patch examines the debian/rules file to determine which patch system the Debian package is using.

what-patch should be run from the root directory of the Debian source package.


Listed below are the command line options for what-patch:

Display a help message and exit.
Enable verbose mode. This will include the listing of any files modified outside or the debian/ directory and report any additional details about the patch system if available.


what-patch was written by Kees Cook <>, Siegfried-A. Gevatter <>, and Daniel Hahler <>, among others. This manual page was written by Jonathan Patrick Davies <>.

Both are released under the GNU General Public License, version 3 or later.


The Ubuntu MOTU team has some documentation about patch systems at the Ubuntu wiki:

cdbs-edit-patch(1), dbs-edit-patch(1), dpatch-edit-patch(1)

Debian Utilities DEBIAN