StGit is a command-line application that provides functionality similar to Quilt (i.e. pushing/popping patches to/from a stack), but using Git instead of diff and patch. StGit stores its patches in a Git repository as normal Git commits, and provides a number of commands to manipulate them in various ways.

This tutorial assumes you are already familiar with the basics of Git (for example, branches, commits, and conflicts). For more information on Git, see git(1) or the Git home page.


For a full list of StGit commands:

$ stg help

For quick help on individual subcommands:

$ stg help <cmd>

For more extensive help on a subcommand:

$ man stg-<cmd>

(The documentation is also available in HTML format.)

Getting started

StGit is not a stand-alone program — it operates on a Git repository that you have already created, using git init or git clone. So get one of those; if you don’t have one at hand, try for example

$ git clone
$ cd stgit

Before you can create StGit patches, you have to run stg init:

$ stg init

This initializes the StGit metadata for the current branch. (So if you want to have StGit patches in another branch too, you need to run stg init again in that branch.)

As a shortcut, stg clone will run git clone followed by stg init for you.

Creating a patch

Now we’re ready to create our first patch:

$ stg new my-first-patch

This will create a patch called my-first-patch, and open an editor to let you edit the patch’s commit message. (If you don’t give a name on the command line, StGit will make one up based on the first line of the commit message.) This patch is empty, as stg show will tell you:

$ stg show

But it won’t stay that way for long! Open one of the files in your favorite text editor, change something, and save. You now have some local changes in your tree:

$ stg status
M stgit/

Then refresh the patch:

$ stg refresh

And voilĂ  — the patch is no longer empty:

$ stg show
commit 3de32068c600d40d8af2a9cf1f1c762570ae9610
Author: Audrey U. Thor <>
Date:   Sat Oct 4 16:10:54 2008 +0200
Tell the world that I've made a patch
diff --git a/stgit/ b/stgit/
index e324179..6398958 100644
--- a/stgit/
+++ b/stgit/
@@ -171,6 +171,7 @@ def _main():
     sys.exit(ret or utils.STGIT_SUCCESS)
 def main():
+    print 'My first patch!'

(I’m assuming you’re already familiar with unified diff patches like this from Git, but it’s really quite simple; in this example, I’ve added the print 'My first patch!' line to the file stgit/, at around line 171.)

Since the patch is also a regular Git commit, you can also look at it with regular Git tools such as linkman:gitk[].

Creating another patch

We want to make another improvement, so let’s create a new patch for it:

$ echo 'Audrey U. Thor' > AUTHORS
$ stg new credit --message 'Give me some credit'
$ stg refresh

Note that we can give the commit message on the command line, and that it doesn’t matter whether we run stg new before or after we edit the files.

So now we have two patches:

$ stg series --description
+ my-first-patch # This is my first patch
> credit         # Give me some credit

stg series lists the patches from bottom to top; + means that a patch is applied, and > that it is the current, or topmost, patch.

If we want to make further changes to the topmost patch, we just edit the files and run stg refresh. But what if we wanted to change my-first-patch? The simplest way is to pop the credit patch, so that my-first-patch becomes topmost again:

$ stg pop credit
Checking for changes in the working directory ... done
Popping patch "credit" ... done
Now at patch "my-first-patch"
$ stg series --description
> my-first-patch # This is my first patch
- credit         # Give me some credit

stg series now shows that my-first-patch is topmost again, which means that stg refresh will update it with any changes we make.

The minus sign says that credit is unapplied — this means that it’s been temporarily put aside. If you look at the AUTHORS file, you’ll see that our change to it is gone; and tools such as linkman:gitk[] will not show it, because it’s been edited out of the Git history. But it’s just one stg push command away from being restored:

$ stg push credit
Checking for changes in the working directory ... done
Fast-forwarded patch "credit"
Now at patch "credit"
You can omit the patch name argument to stg push and stg pop. If you do, you will push the next unapplied patch, and pop the topmost patch, respectively.
There are at least two more ways to update a non-topmost patch. One is to use stg refresh with the --patch flag, the other to create a new patch for the update and then merge it into the other patch with stg squash.

Keeping commit messages up to date

Since StGit is all about creating readable Git history (or a readable patch series, which is essentially the same thing), one thing you’ll want to pay attention to is the commit messages of your patches. stg new asks you for a commit message when you create a new patch, but as time goes by and you refresh the patch again and again, chances are that the original commit message isn’t quite correct anymore. Fortunately, editing the commit message is very easy:

$ stg edit <patch-name>

In addition to stg edit, you can also give the --edit flag to stg refresh — that way, you get to change the commit message and update the patch at the same time. Use whichever feels most natural to you.

stg edit has a --diff flag, which gives you the diff text and not just the commit message in your editor. Be aware, though, that if you change the diff so that it no longer applies, the edit will be saved to a file instead of being carried out. If you’re not comfortable editing diffs, just treat --diff as a way to get to see the diff while you edit the commit message.

If the patch changes considerably, it might even deserve a new name. stg rename is your friend there.


Normally, when you pop a patch, change something, and then later push it again, StGit sorts out everything for you automatically. For example, let’s create two patches that modify different files:

$ stg clone stgit
$ cd stgit
$ stg new first --message 'First patch'
$ echo '- Do something' >> TODO
$ stg refresh
$ stg new second --message 'Second patch'
$ echo '- Install something' >> INSTALL
$ stg refresh

then pop them both:

$ stg pop --all

and then push them in the opposite order:

$ stg push second first
$ stg series
+ second
> first

StGit had no problems reordering these patches for us, since they didn’t touch the same file. But it would have worked just fine even if they had touched the same file, as long as they didn’t change the same part of the file. But what if they did? Let’s find out.

$ stg pop
Checking for changes in the working directory ... done
Popping patch "first" ... done
Now at patch "second"
$ echo '- Do something else' >> TODO
$ stg refresh

Now, both patches add a new line at the end of TODO. So what happens when we try to have them both applied?

$ stg push
Pushing patch "first" ...
  CONFLICT (content): Merge conflict in TODO
  Error: The merge failed during "push".
         Revert the operation with "stg undo".
  stg push: 1 conflict(s)

StGit is telling us that it couldn’t figure out how to push first on top of second, now that they both modify TODO. We can take a look at the situation with stg status:

$ stg status

As we were told by stg push, the conflict is in the file TODO. (If the patch was bigger and touched multiple files, they would all be listed here; prefixed with C if they had conflicts, and M if StGit managed to automatically resolve everything in the file.)

At this point, we have two options:

  1. Undo the failed merge with stg undo. (Remember to use the --hard flag, since the unresolved conflict means the worktree is not clean.)

  2. Manually resolve the conflict (editing the file directly followed by stg add or using git mergetool.)

To resolve the conflict, open TODO in your favorite editor. It ends like this:

- numeric shortcuts for naming patches near top (eg. +1, -2)
- (config?) parameter for number of patches included by "series -s"
<<<<<<< current:TODO
- Do something else
- Do something
>>>>>>> patched:TODO

The conflict markers <<<<<<<, =======, and >>>>>>> indicate which lines were already there (current) and which were added by the patch (patched). Edit the file so that it looks like it should; in this case, we want something like this:

- numeric shortcuts for naming patches near top (eg. +1, -2)
- (config?) parameter for number of patches included by "series -s"
- Do something
- Do something else

Note that “looks like it should” includes removing the conflict markers.

Now that we’ve resolved the conflict, we just need to tell StGit about it:

$ stg add TODO
$ stg status

TODO is listed as being modified, not in conflict. And we know from before how to deal with modified files:

$ stg refresh

The conflict is now resolved. We can see that first now looks a little different; it no longer adds a line at the end of the file:

$ stg show
commit 8e3ae5f6fa6e9a5f831353524da5e0b91727338e
Author: Audrey U. Thor <>
Date:   Sun Oct 5 14:43:42 2008 +0200
First patch
diff --git a/TODO b/TODO
index 812d236..4ef3841 100644
--- a/TODO
+++ b/TODO
@@ -24,4 +24,5 @@ The future, when time allows or if someone else does them:
   they have scripts for moving the changes in one to the others)
 - numeric shortcuts for naming patches near top (eg. +1, -2)
 - (config?) parameter for number of patches included by "series -s"
+- Do something
 - Do something else

Workflow: Development branch

One common use of StGit is to “polish” a Git branch before you publish it for others to see. Such history falsification can often be a good thing — when you (or someone else) needs to look at what you did six months later, you are not really interested in all the false starts and the steps needed to correct them. What you want is the final solution, presented in a way that makes it easy to read and understand.

Of course, there are limits. Editing the last few days' worth of history is probably a good idea; editing the last few months' probably isn’t. A rule of thumb might be to not mess with history old enough that you don’t remember the details anymore. And rewriting history that you have published for others to see (and base their own work on) usually just makes everyone more confused, not less.

So, let’s take a concrete example. Say that you’re hacking on StGit, and have made several Git commits as your work progressed, with commit messages such as “Improve the snarfle cache”, “Remove debug printout”, “New snarfle cache test”, “Oops, spell function name correctly”, “Fix documentation error”, and “More snarfle cache”.

Now, this is the actual history, but for obvious reasons, this isn’t the kind of history you’d ideally want to find when six months from now, you try to figure out exactly where that elusive snarfle cache bug was introduced. So let’s turn this into the history we can be proud of. The first step is to make StGit patches out of all those Git commits:

$ stg uncommit --number 6
Uncommitting 6 patches ...
  Now at patch "more-snarfle-cache"
$ stg series --description
+ improve-the-snarfle-cache      # Improve the snarfle cache
+ remove-debug-printout          # Remove debug printout
+ new-snarfle-cache-test         # New snarfle cache test
+ oops-spell-function-name-corre # Oops, spell function name correctly
+ fix-documentation-error        # Fix documentation error
> more-snarfle-cache             # More snarfle cache

As you can see, stg uncommit adds StGit metadata to the last few Git commits, turning them into StGit patches so that we can do stuff with them.

With the --number flag, stg uncommit uncommits that many commits and generates names for them based on their commit messages. If you like, you can instead list the patch names you want on the command line.

At this point, there are a number of things we could do:

  • Continue developing, and take advantage of e.g. stg goto or stg refresh --patch to stick updates in the right patch to begin with.

  • Use e.g. stg float, stg sink, stg push, and stg pop to reorder patches.

  • Use stg squash to merge two or more patches into one. squash pushes and pops so that the patches to be merged are consecutive and unrelated patches aren’t in the way, then makes one big patch out of the patches to be merged, and finally pushes the other patches back.

    Of course, as always when there is pushing involved, there is the possibility of conflicts. If a push results in a conflict, the operation will be halted, and we’ll be given the option of either resolving the conflict or undoing.

Once we feel that the history is as good as it’s going to get, we can remove the StGit metadata, turning the patches back into regular Git commits again:

$ stg commit --all
stg commit can also commit specific patches (named on the command line), leaving the rest alone. This can be used to retire patches as they mature, while keeping the newer and more volatile patches as patches.

When we are completely done using StGit with the branch and it is fully committed, we can use cleanup to remove all StGit metadata from the branch or delete it completely with either:

$ stg branch --cleanup branchname
$ stg branch --delete branchname

Workflow: Tracking branch

In the Development branch workflow described above, we didn’t have to worry about other people; we’re working on our own branch, they are presumably working on theirs, and when the time comes and we’re ready to publish our branch, we’ll probably end up merging our branch with those other peoples'. That’s how Git is designed to work.

Or rather, one of the ways Git is designed to work. An alternative, popular in e.g. the Linux kernel community (for which Git was originally created), is that contributors send their patches by e-mail to a mailing list. Others read the patches, try them out, and provide feedback; often, the patch author is asked to send a new and improved version of the patches. Once the project maintainer is satisfied that the patches are good, she’ll apply them to a branch and publish it.

StGit is ideally suited for the process of creating patches, mailing them out for review, revising them, mailing them off again, and eventually getting them accepted.

Getting patches upstream

We’ve already covered how to clone a Git repository and start writing patches. As for the next step, there are two commands you might use to get patches out of StGit: stg mail and stg export. stg export will export your patches to a filesystem directory as one text file per patch, which can be useful if you are going to send the patches by something other than e-mail. Most of the time, though, stg mail is what you want.

Git comes with tools for sending commits via e-mail. Since StGit patches are Git commits, you can use the Git tools if you like them better for some reason.
For exporting single patches — as opposed to a whole bunch of them — you could also use stg show or stg diff.

Mailing a patch is as easy as this:

$ stg mail --to <patches>

You can list one or more patches, or ranges of patches. Each patch will be sent as a separate mail, with the first line of the commit message as subject line. Try mailing patches to yourself to see what the result looks like.

stg mail uses sendmail on your computer to send the mails. If you don’t have sendmail properly set up, you can instruct it to use any SMTP server with the --smtp-server flag.

There are many command-line options to control exactly how mails are sent, as well as a message template you can modify if you want. The man page has all the details; I’ll just mention two more here.

--edit-cover will open an editor and let you write an introductory message; all the patch mails will then be sent as replies to this cover message. This is usually a good idea if you send more than one patch, so that reviewers can get a quick overview of the patches you sent.

--edit-patches will let you edit each patch before it is sent. You can change anything, but note that you are only editing the outgoing mail, not the patch itself; if you want to make changes to the patch, you probably want to use the regular StGit commands to do so. What this is useful for, though, is to add notes for the patch recipients:

From: Audrey U. Thor <>
Subject: [PATCH] First line of the commit message

The rest of the commit message


Everything after the line with the three dashes and before the diff is
just a comment, and not part of the commit message. If there's
anything you want the patch recipients to see, but that shouldn't be
recorded in the history if the patch is accepted, write it here.

 stgit/ |    1 +
 1 files changed, 1 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)

diff --git a/stgit/ b/stgit/
index e324179..6398958 100644
--- a/stgit/
+++ b/stgit/
@@ -171,6 +171,7 @@ def _main():
     sys.exit(ret or utils.STGIT_SUCCESS)

 def main():
+    print 'My first patch!'

Rebasing a patch series

While you are busy writing, submitting, and revising your patch series, other people will be doing the same thing. As a result, even though you started writing your patches on top of what was the latest history at the time, your stack base will grow ever more out of date.

When you clone a repository,

$ stg clone stgit

you initially get one local branch, master. You also get a number of remote branches, one for each branch in the repository you cloned. In the case of the StGit repository, these are remotes/origin/stable, remotes/origin/master, and remotes/origin/proposed. remotes means that it’s not a local branch, just a snapshot of a branch in another repository; and origin is the default name for the first remote repository (you can set up more; see the man page for git remote).

Right after cloning, master and remotes/origin/master point at the same commit. When you start writing patches, master will advance, and always point at the current topmost patch, but remotes/origin/master will stay the same because it represents the master branch in the repository you cloned from — your upstream repository.

Unless you are the only one working on the project, however, the upstream repository will not stay the same forever. New commits will be added to its branches; to update your clone, run

$ git remote update

This will update all your remote branches, but won’t touch your local branches. To get the latest changes into your local master branch, use stg rebase:

$ stg rebase remotes/origin/master

This command will do three things:

  1. Pop all patches, so that your local branch (master, in this example) points at the stack base. This is the same commit that remotes/origin/master pointed at at the time you started writing your patches.

  2. Set the stack base to the given commit (the current, updated value of remotes/origin/master).

  3. Push the patches that were popped in the first step.

The end result is that your patches are now applied on top of the latest version of remotes/origin/master.

The primary reason for rebasing is to reduce the amount of conflicts between your work and others'. If one of your patches changes the same part of the same file as a patch someone else has written, you will get a conflict when you run stg rebase the next time after the other person’s patch has been accepted upstream. It is almost always less work to rebase often and resolve these one at a time, rather than a whole lot at once. After all, you have to rebase eventually; if you mail out patches that are based on an outdated branch, everyone who tries to apply them has to resolve the conflicts instead. There are more effective ways to get popular.

When your patches are accepted

If and when some or all of your patches are accepted upstream, you update and rebase just like usual — but be sure to use the --merged flag to stg rebase:

$ git remote update
$ stg rebase --merged remotes/origin/master

This flag makes the rebase operation better at detecting that your patches have been merged, at some cost in performance.

The patches that had been merged will still be present in your patch stack after the rebase, but they will be empty, since the change they added is now already present in the stack base. Run stg clean to get rid of such empty patches if you don’t want them hanging around:

$ stg clean

Importing patches

While you are busy producing patches, there’s hopefully someone — the maintainer — at the other end who recieves them and applies them to her Git tree, which is then published for all (or parts of) the world to see.

It’s perfectly fine for this person to not have the foggiest idea what StGit is. In that case, she’ll probably apply your patches with something like git am, and everything will just work, exactly as if you’d used Git to send those patches. But she might be an StGit user too, in which case she might use stg import.

There are basically four kinds if stuff you can import with stg import:

  1. A patch in a file.

  2. Several files containing one patch each, and a series file listing those other files in the correct order.

  3. An e-mail containing a single patch.

  4. A mailbox file (in standard Unix mbox format) containing multiple e-mails with one patch in each.

Importing a plain patch

Importing a plain patch, such as produced by e.g. GNU diff, git diff, git show, stg diff, or stg show, is very easy. Just say:

$ stg import my-patch

and you’ll have a new patch at the top of your stack.

If you don’t give a file name on the command line, stg import will read the patch from its standard input — in other words, you can pipe a patch to it directly from the command that produces it.

By default, the new patch’s name will be taken from the file name, and its commit message and author info will be taken from the beginning of the patch, if they are there. However, there are command line switches to override all of these things; see the man page for details.

Importing several patches at once

Some programs — among them stg export — will create a bunch of files with one patch in each, and a series file (often called series) listing the other files in the correct order. Give --series and the name of the series file to stg import, and it will import all the patches for you, in the correct order.

Importing a patch from an e-mail

Importing a patch from an e-mail is simple too:

$ stg import --mail my-mail

The e-mail should be in standard Git mail format (which is what e.g. stg mail produces) — that is, with the patch in-line in the mail, not attached. The authorship info is taken from the mail headers, and the commit message is read from the Subject: line and the mail body.

If you don’t give a file name, the mail will be read from the standard input. This means that, if your mail reader supports it, you can pipe a mail directly to stg import --mail and the patch will be applied.

Importing a mailbox full of patches

Finally, in case importing one patch at a time is too much work, stg import also accepts an entire Unix mbox-format mailbox, either on the command line or on its standard input; just use the --mbox flag. Each mail should contain one patch, and is imported just like with --mail.

Mailboxes full of patches are produced by e.g. stg mail with the --mbox flag, but most mail readers can produce them too, meaning that you can copy all the patch mails you want to apply to a separate mailbox, and then import them all in one go.

Other stuff that needs to be placed somewhere



undo, redo, log, reset

Interoperating with Git

  • git commit + repair

  • git reset HEAD~n + repair

  • don’t do git rebase or git merge, because it won’t work

Patch stuff


This section needs revising. I’ve only fixed the formatting. Most of it should go under "Workflow: Tracking branch"

As mentioned in the introduction, StGit stores modifications to your working tree in the form of Git commits. This means if you want to apply your changes to a tree not managed by Git, or send your changes to someone else in e-mail, you need to convert your StGit patches into normal textual diffs that can be applied with the GNU patch command. stg diff is a powerful way to generate and view textual diffs of patches managed by StGit.

To view a diff of the topmost patch:

$ stg diff -r /

Observe that this does not show any changes in the working directory that have not been saved by a refresh. To view just the changes you’ve made since the last refresh, use:

$ stg diff -r /top

If you want to see the changes made by the patch combined with any unsaved changes in the working directory, try:

$ stg diff -r /bottom

You can also show the changes to any patch in your stack with:

$ stg diff -r <patch>/

Use this command to view all the changes in your stack up through the current patch:

$ stg diff -r base

stg diff supports a number of other features that are very useful. Be sure to take a look at the help information for this command. To convert your StGit patches into patch files:

$ stg export [--range=[<patch1>[:<patch2>]]] [<dir-name>]

stg export supports options to automatically number the patches (-n) or add the .diff extension (-d). If you don’t tell export where to put the patches, it will create directory named patch-<branchname> in your current directory, and store the patches there. To e-mail a patch or range of patches:

$ stg mail [--to=...] (--all | --range=[<patch1>[:<patch2>]] | <patch>)

stg mail has a lot of options, so read the output of stg mail -h for more information.

You can also import an existing GNU diff patch file as a new StGit patch with a single command. stg import will automatically parse through the patch file and extract a patch description. Use:

$ stg import [<file>]

This is the equivalent of

$ stg new
$ patch -i <file>
$ stg refresh -e

Sometimes the patch file won’t apply cleanly. In that case, stg import will leave you with an empty StGit patch, to which you then apply the patch file by hand using "patch -i" and your favorite editor.

To merge a GNU diff file (defaulting to the standard input) into the topmost patch:

$ stg fold [<file>]

This command supports a --threeway option which applies the patch onto the bottom of the topmost one and performs a three-way merge.



This section needs revising. I’ve only fixed the formatting.

stg export and stg mail use templates for generating the patch files or e-mails. The default templates are installed under <prefix>/share/stgit/templates/ and, combined with the extra options available for these commands, should be enough for most users. The template format uses the standard Python string formatting rules. The variables available are listed in the the manual pages for each command. stg mail can also send an initial cover e-mail for which there is no default template. The <prefix>/share/stgit/examples/firstmail.tmpl file can be used as an example. A default description for new patches can be defined in the .git/ patchdescr.tmpl file. This is useful for things like signed-off-by lines.


StGit comes with an Emacs mode, stgit-mode, supporting Emacs versions 22 and later.

To start using it, add the stgit/contrib directory to your Emacs load-path and run (require 'stgit). For example, you can add the following to your .emacs file:

(add-to-list 'load-path "/path/to/stgit/contrib")
(require 'stgit)

Start stgit-mode using M-x stgit and select the directory where the source code you want to use StGit on can be found. If StGit has not been initialized in this directory yet, you will need to run M-x stgit-init before you continue.

The stgit-mode buffer (usually named *stgit*) has the following layout:

Branch: name-of-branch

+ The first applied patch
+ Another applied patch
> The topmost patch
    <no files>
  Work Tree
    <no files>
- An unapplied patch
- Another unapplied patch

The above means that the active branch name is name-of-branch and it contains five patches, three of which are applied. The git index and working tree contain no (modified) files.

Basic Commands

To get help, press h. This opens a new buffer which lists all commands supported in stgit-mode. Also, if you have the menu bar enabled (toggled using M-x menu-bar-mode), a new menu entry called StGit will appear, from which you can run several StGit commands. As the menu should be self-explanatory, the rest of this tutorial will focus on available keyboard commands.

Move the point (cursor) between lines using C-p and C-n, or between patches using p and n.

You can undo and redo StGit commands using C-/ and C-c C-/, respectively.

Creating New Patches

If you want to create a new patch, first make some changes that should go into it. As you save a file which is Git-controlled, it will appear as a modification in the Work Tree section:

  Work Tree
    Modified       foo.txt

To create a new patch based on the changes in the index or, if it contains no changes, the working tree, press c. This opens a new buffer where you can enter the patch description. When you are done, press C-c C-c. Your new patch will now show up in the *stgit* buffer, and the working tree will no longer contain any modifications:

+ The topmost patch
> First line of your new description
    <no files>
  Work Tree
    <no files>

As you make additional changes in your files, and want to include them in the topmost patch, press r, which runs stg refresh. If you want to add the changes to a patch which is not topmost, move the point to the line of that patch and press C-u r.

Inspecting Patches

To see what a particular patch contains, you can move the point (cursor) to the line of that patch, and press RET (Enter). This will "expand" the patch and show which files it changes:

+ My patch
    Modified       foo.txt
    Deleted        bar.c

You can press =, which will show the diff of that patch or file in a new buffer. With a prefix argument (C-u =), the diff will not show changes in whitespace.

To visit (open) a modified file in another Emacs window, press o on that line. RET will visit it in the current window.

Changing the Patch Series

You can push and pop patches using > (pushes the topmost unapplied patch onto the stack) and < (pops the topmost applied patch off the stack).

By moving the point to a particular patch and pressing P (S-p) you either (if it already was applied) pop that patch off the stack, or (if it was unapplied) push it onto the stack.

You can move patches by first marking one or more using m. Then, move the point to where in the series you want these patches to move, and press M. Use DEL or u to remove a mark.

You can also combine (squash) two or more patches by marking them and pressing S (S-s). This will open a new buffer where you can edit the patch description of the new, combined, patch. When done, press C-c C-c, and the topmost of the marked patches will be replaced in the stack by one combined patch.

You can delete a patch by moving to its line and pressing D. If you press C-u D, the contents of the patch will be spilled to the index.

To edit the description of a patch, press e. This opens the patch description in a new buffer. Press C-c C-c when you are done editing the patch.

These operations may result in merge conflicts; more about that later.

Patch Names

By default, the patch description is shown but not the patch names. You can toggle showing the names using t n. To rename a patch, press C-c C-r.

Showing Committed Patches

Sometimes it is convenient to be able to investigate already committed patches. Toggle showing these using t h. With a prefix argument, you can set how many to show; e.g., 7 t h will show seven already committed patches.

Using the Index and Working Tree

You can move a changed file between the index and the working tree using i. This is useful if your working tree contains a number of changes and you want to create or refresh a patch using only some of the changed files. Once you have the correct set of files in the index, use c to create or r to refresh patches using only the files in the index.

If you want to revert a change in either the index or the working tree, move the point to that line and press U. If you press U on the Index or Work Tree lines, all the changes in the index or working tree will be reverted.


You can switch to another branch by pressing B. If you type the name of a branch that does not exist, you will be asked whether to create one. The new branch will be based off the current HEAD.

Use C-c C-b to rebase the current branch. It will default to rebasing to the git config setting for branch.branch.stgit.parentbranch.

Merge Conflicts

If an operation resulted in a merge conflict, the files with conflicts will show as Unmerged in the *stgit* buffer.

To handle the conflicts, you can undo the operation that caused the conflict using C-u C-/. Note the C-u prefix, which will tell the undo operation to continue despite the index or working tree containing changes.

If you instead want to resovle the changes, you must first edit the files with conflicts to make sure they are in the correct state. Once you have done this, press R on the line of that file, which will remove the Unmerged flag. Once all conflicts have been resolved, you can continue working as normal, for example by refreshing the patch that had the conflict.

To investigate the reason of conflicts, you can use the d b, d o, and d t commands to, respectively, show the diffs against the merge base, our branch, or their branch. d c shows a combined diff. See linkman:git-diff[1] for more information about these commands.

A more powerful tool to resolve conflicts is the Emacs smerge-mode. To start using it to resolve a conflict, press d m. It is outside the scope of this tutorial to explain how to use it, but press q to leave smerge-mode.