Quilt (software)

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For other uses, see Quilt (disambiguation).
For the sewing technique, see Quilting.
Developer(s) Andreas Gruenbacher, Jean Delvare
Stable release 0.63 / May 7, 2014; 5 months ago (2014-05-07)
Written in Shell script
Operating system GNU/Linux
Type Patch management
License GPLv2+
Website savannah.nongnu.org/projects/quilt

Quilt is a software utility for managing a series of changes to the source code of any computer program. Such changes are often referred to as "patches" or "patch sets", and essentially Quilt takes an arbitrary number of patches and turns them into a single patch. In doing so, quilt makes it easier for other programmers to test and evaluate the different changes before they are permanently inserted into the source code.

This type of tool is very important for distributed software development where many programmers are collaborating to test and build a single large codebase. It is heavily used, for example, by the maintainers of the Linux kernel.[1]


Quilt evolved from a set of patch-management scripts originally written by Linux kernel developer Andrew Morton,[2] and was developed by Andreas Grünbacher for maintaining Linux kernel customizations for SuSE Linux.[3] It is now being developed as a community effort, hosted at the GNU Savannah project repository and distributed as free software (its license is GNU General Public License v2 or later).

Quilt has been incorporated into dpkg,[4] Debian's package manager and is one of the standard source formats supported from the Debian "squeeze" release onwards. This source format is identified as "3.0 (quilt)" by dpkg. Quilt is also integrated into the Buildroot, which is notably used by OpenWrt.[5]

The name originated from patchwork quilt.

See also[edit]

  • The Mercurial extension mq provides similar functionality.[6]


  1. ^ "30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks: Greg Kroah-Hartman". Linux.com. 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  2. ^ Morton, Andrew (2002-10-20). "patch management scripts". 
  3. ^ Grünbacher, Andreas (2005-06-12). "How To Survive With Many Patches, or Introduction to Quilt" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  4. ^ "Accepted dpkg (source all amd64)". Lists.debian.org. 2009-11-27. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  5. ^ OpenWrt Buildroot integrates quilt
  6. ^ "MqExtension - Mercurial". Selenic.com. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 

External links[edit]