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Simple Patch Policy


This policy is designed to help prevent situations where simple patches are posted to bugzilla, but end up rotting there because the maintainer is unresponsive. The goal is to accelerate and facilitate to application of small but important patches to the distribution. For situations where the package is out of date or severely broken, the non-responsive maintainer policy should be followed.

This policy is designed in particular to avoid situations where casual users and packagers who encounter a bug and decide to help out by submitting a fix, end up seeing their patch rotting away. For people who often submit small fixes to packages across the distribution, applying for proven packager status is the better approach.

Typical examples of simple patches

  • FTBFS issues (preferably with upstream commit if not a packaging issue)
  • Problems with Requires/Provides and directory ownership
  • Incorrect compilation flags (must be well-reasoned)
  • Small fixes for individual critical issues (crashes, incorrect behaviour) as well as other other runtime issues (i.e. caused by changes to another distribution component). Unless these patches are really trivial and well-reasoned, an upstream commit is mandatory.
  • Distribution integration issues (i.e. bad desktop files).

Examples of non-simple patches

  • Version upgrades
  • Non-trivial changes for API/ABI issues
  • Changes to provided subpackages and package names
  • Feature requests
  • Anything that requires specific knowledge of the package in question


First, file a bug against the component in question with the proposed patch. If after one week there was no reply from a maintainer, start the simple patch process:

  • Prepare complete patches, for each affected branch, which apply cleanly against the current tree of the Fedora package. These patches must also include all the necessary updates to the spec file (release bump, changelog entry). Make the patch as small and un-invasive as possible (i.e. no spec cleanups!). Create the patches with git format-patch and justify the patch in the commit message. The message must contain references to the upstream commits if any such exist. Remember to reference the bug in the commit message and in the spec changelog.
  • Do scratch builds of the patched package for every affected branch.
  • Block the SIMPLE_PATCHES tracking bug, and add a comment with the following contents:
Simple Patch Request
Submitter=<FAS id>
  • A proven packager will review and apply the patch, or reject it with an explanation.


Any user may file a simple patch request for rawhide, even those who are not in the packagers group, as long as they have signed up for a Fedora account and signed the CLA. For stable releases, only approved packagers may file simple patch requests.

Note for proven packagers

A script to process most of the simple patch request automatically can be found here