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Pull fixes from the upstream

One of the common tasks of being a downstream maintainer is to pull fixes from the upstream codebase. This usually happens when a problem is discovered downstream which is already resolved in the upstream code. There are two scenarios how to obtain the upstream code:

  1. The fix is not released yet by the upstream - this implies pulling the fix from the main development upstream branch.
  2. If the fix is already released, one can either update to that upstream release or only pull commits with the fix. Please consult Fedora Update Policy if you are unsure how to proceed.

Adding changes

Since your source-git repository shares git history with upstream, you can easily cherry-pick commits which you want to have in the downstream and Packit is then able to turn those commits into patch files with the ability to configure the whole process.

As an example, let's try to do this with systemd, in the example below we'd be using The remote mimics how fedpkg fork works.

$ git remote -v
origin (push)
ttomecek (push)
upstream (push)

We have 3 remotes in the repo:

  1. origin — the official source-git repo where the downstream maintenance happens
  2. ttomecek — a fork of the source-git repo
  3. upstream — the official upstream repository

With this setup, we can fetch ref from the upstream remote, cherry-pick commits of our choice, push them to the fork ttomecek and open a merge request against the repository referenced as the origin remote.

Controlling the patch process

Packit recognizes that the upstream commits are meant to be downstream patches:

  1. Packit generates patch files from the commits via git format-patch.
  2. It also adds them into the spec file as new PatchXYZ entries.

If that doesn't work for you, you can tailor the patch process. The main downside is that with the default process you cannot name the patch file nor control where exactly should Packit place the Patch123: 123.patch line in the spec file. There is a way though how you can have more control over the process. You can add Git-trailers to the end of a commit message which Packit will then read and take into account:

  • Patch-name — name of the patch (e.g. Patch-name: my-fancy.patch)
  • Patch-id — numerical ID used in the patch-tag when adding the patch to the spec-file

See Controlling patch generation for detailed description of all trailers.

Example of a commit in a source-git repo:

Author:     Packit <packit>
AuthorDate: Wed Aug 19 11:55:14 2020 +0000
Commit: Packit <packit>
CommitDate: Wed Aug 19 11:55:14 2020 +0000

add workaround for gcc7 on ppc64le temporary before it's fixed in gcc

Patch-name: drpm-0.3.0-workaround-ppc64le-gcc.patch
Patch-id: 100
src/CMakeLists.txt | 2 +-
test/CMakeLists.txt | 12 +-----------
2 files changed, 2 insertions(+), 12 deletions(-)

And this is how a corresponding spec file looks (shortened for brevity)

Name:           drpm
Version: 0.4.1
Release: 2.g959639c5%{?dist}
Source: %{url}/releases/download/%{version}/%{name}-%{version}.tar.bz2

# add workaround for gcc7 on ppc64le temporary before it's fixed in gcc
Patch100: drpm-0.3.0-workaround-ppc64le-gcc.patch

%autosetup -p1