DEP3 Patch Tag



DEP3 is a Debian proposal to set embedded information in patches. It’ll help us to get information while reviewing patches; about the patch itself, author(s), origin, upstream related stuff, etc.

This information is used by some tools like Debian’s Patch Tracking System to display it.

The official site and information resource:

DEP3 Tag requires some key fields, but not all of them are normally needed (all depends of the patch itself, the bug status and, somebody told me, the project size). Also, we must follow some rules in those key fields.

I’ll show you a simple dep3 tag patch, and I’ll explain the used fields. But first, let’s explain the patch and bug status:

  • There’s a Launchpad Bug report with a patch
  • There’s an upstream bug report with it’s respective patch
  • We will use the upstream patch

So, keep in mind that in an after post, we’ll patch the above bug report package. But this is just a DEP3 Tag patch example:

From: Ronny Cardona (Rcart) <>
Description: Updated use of deprecated sha module to hashlib.

Here starts the diff code

From (or Author): The patch author
Description: A non-so long Description of what the patch does, ending with a dot, and using dot to split two paragraph. We can use the Subject field for a briefer description.
Origin: This patch it’s from upstream, so, i must explicitly signalize from where I’ve found it.
Bug-Debian: Like the bug it’s reported in upstream, here should be the Debian bug report address. Otherwise, (using Bug-Ubuntu) should be LP bug report address (a little bit doubtful about this, please confirm it in the website).

This tag must be placed in the patch head, and these are some rules that must be follow:


  • Description

field must end with a dot (.)

  • If the patch is not yours, you must specify where comes from, in the Origin tag
  • If it’s possible, put a shorter address
  • There must be an empty new line between the patch tag and the diff code



So, with these little indications added to our patches, we can distribute them as Debian suggests.

Related links:


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