stg man page

stg — Manage stacks of patches using the Git content tracker


stg [--version | --help]
stg [--help <command> | <command> --help]
stg <command> [COMMAND Options] [ARGS]


StGit (Stacked Git) is an application that provides a convenient way to maintain a patch stack on top of a Git branch:

Typical uses

Tracking branch
Tracking changes from a remote branch, while maintaining local modifications against that branch, possibly with the intent of sending some patches upstream. You can modify your patch stack as much as you want, and when your patches are finally accepted upstream, the permanent recorded Git history will contain just the final sequence of patches, and not the messy sequence of edits that produced them.

Commands of interest in this workflow are e.g. rebase and mail.

Development branch
Even if you have no "upstream" to send patches to, you can use StGit as a convenient way to modify the recent history of a Git branch. For example, instead of first committing change A, then change B, and then A2 to fix A because it wasn’t quite right, you could incorporate the fix directly into A. This way of working results in a much more readable Git history than if you had immortalized every misstep you made on your way to the right solution.

Commands of interest in this workflow are e.g. uncommit, which can be used to move the patch stack base downwards — i.e., turn Git commits into StGit patches after the fact — and commit, its inverse.

For more information, see the tutorial.

Specifying patches

Many StGit commands take references to StGit patches as arguments. Patches in the stack are identified with short names, each of which must be unique in the stack.

Patches in the current branch are simply referred to by their name. Some commands allow you to specify a patch in another branch of the repository; this is done by prefixing the patch name with the branch name and a colon (e.g. otherbranch:thatpatch).

Specifying commits

Some StGit commands take Git commits as arguments. StGit accepts all commit expressions that Git does; and in addition, a patch name (optionally prefixed by a branch name and a colon) is allowed in this context. The usual Git modifiers ^ and ~ are also allowed; e.g., abranch:apatch~2 is the grandparent of the commit that is the patch apatch on branch abranch.

Instead of a patch name, you can say {base} to refer to the stack base (the commit just below the bottommost patch); so, abranch:{base} is the base of the stack in branch abranch.

If you need to pass a given StGit reference to a Git command, stg-id(1) will convert it to a Git commit id for you.


The following generic option flags are available. Additional options are available for (and documented with) the different subcommands.

Prints the StGit version, as well as version of other components used, such as Git and Python.
Prints the synopsis and a list of all subcommands. If an StGit subcommand is given, prints the synposis for that subcommand.

Stgit Commands

We divide StGit commands in thematic groups, according to the primary type of object they create or change.

Here is a short description of each command. A more detailed description is available in individual command manpages. Those manpages are named stg-<command>(1).

Repository commands

Make a local clone of a remote repository
Print the git hash value of a StGit reference

Stack (branch) commands

Branch operations: switch, list, create, rename, delete, …
Delete the empty patches in the series
Permanently store the applied patches into the stack base
Push patches to the top, even if applied
Push or pop patches to the given one
Hide a patch in the series
Initialise the current branch for use with StGIT
Display the patch changelog
Print the name of the next patch
Show the applied patches modifying a file
Pop one or more patches from the stack
Print the name of the previous patch
Push the stack changes to a merge-friendly branch
Pull changes from a remote repository
Push one or more patches onto the stack
Move the stack base to another point in history
Undo the last undo operation
Fix StGit metadata if branch was modified with git commands
Reset the patch stack to an earlier state
Print the patch series
Send patches deeper down the stack
Squash two or more patches into one
Print the name of the top patch
Turn regular git commits into StGit patches
Undo the last operation
Unhide a hidden patch

Patch commands

Delete patches
Edit a patch description or diff
Export patches to a directory
Show the files modified by a patch (or the current patch)
Integrate a GNU diff patch into the current patch
Import a GNU diff file as a new patch
Send a patch or series of patches by e-mail
Create a new, empty patch
Import a patch from a different branch or a commit object
Generate a new commit for the current patch
Rename a patch
Show the commit corresponding to a patch
Synchronise patches with a branch or a series

Index/worktree commands

Show the tree diff

Configuration Mechanism

StGit uses the same configuration mechanism as Git. See git(7) for more details.


A number of StGit commands make use of template files to provide useful default texts to be edited by the user. These <name>.tmpl template files are searched in the following directories:

  1. $GITDIR/ (in practice, the .git/ directory in your repository)
  2. $HOME/.stgit/templates/
  3. /usr/share/stgit/templates/

Referenced By

stg-branch(1), stg-clean(1), stg-clone(1), stg-commit(1), stg-delete(1), stg-diff(1), stg-edit(1), stg-export(1), stg-files(1), stg-float(1), stg-fold(1), stg-goto(1), stg-hide(1), stg-id(1), stg-import(1), stg-init(1), stg-log(1), stg-mail(1), stg-new(1), stg-next(1), stg-patches(1), stg-pick(1), stg-pop(1), stg-prev(1), stg-publish(1), stg-pull(1), stg-push(1), stg-rebase(1), stg-redo(1), stg-refresh(1), stg-rename(1), stg-repair(1), stg-reset(1), stg-series(1), stg-show(1), stg-sink(1), stg-squash(1), stg-sync(1), stg-top(1), stg-uncommit(1), stg-undo(1), stg-unhide(1).

Explore man page connections for stg(1).