In order to make a commit be invariant (excluding ID) over
a format-patch and subsequent am cycle, one needs to use
the '--keep-non-patch' so that commits like:

        [PATCH] [i386] fix foo bar arch/x86/mm

only lose the [PATCH] and not the [i386] part.  Since it
is a common desire (e.g. linux kernel stable trees) to have
the subjects remain invariant during a backport, there is
a genuine need for making this the default behaviour from
a config file, versus specifying it in scripts and on the
command line each time.

Signed-off-by: Paul Gortmaker <>

for additional background; stable maintainers using it etc.

 Documentation/config.txt               | 9 +++++++++
 Documentation/git-am.txt               | 4 ++++
 contrib/completion/git-completion.bash | 1 +                              | 8 ++++++++
 4 files changed, 22 insertions(+)

diff --git a/Documentation/config.txt b/Documentation/config.txt
index a95e5a4..47aded5 100644
--- a/Documentation/config.txt
+++ b/Documentation/config.txt
@@ -655,6 +655,15 @@ am.keepcr::
        by giving '--no-keep-cr' from the command line.
        See linkgit:git-am[1], linkgit:git-mailsplit[1].
+       Normally git-mailinfo strips from the Subject line, all leading
+       strings bracketed with [ and ] pairs.  If this setting is true,
+       git-am will call git-mailinfo with the parameter '-b' so that only
+       the pairs whose bracketed string contains the word "PATCH" are
+       stripped.  Can be overridden by giving ' '--no-keep-non-patch'
+       from the command line.
+       See linkgit:git-am[1], linkgit:git-mailinfo[1].
        When set to 'change', tells 'git apply' to ignore changes in
        whitespace, in the same way as the '--ignore-space-change'
diff --git a/Documentation/git-am.txt b/Documentation/git-am.txt
index 19d57a8..790efdb 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-am.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-am.txt
@@ -41,7 +41,11 @@ OPTIONS
        Pass `-k` flag to 'git mailinfo' (see linkgit:git-mailinfo[1]).
        Pass `-b` flag to 'git mailinfo' (see linkgit:git-mailinfo[1]).
+       The `am.keepnonpatch` configuration variable can be used to specify
+       the default behaviour.  The `--no-keep-non-patch` is useful to
+       override any `am.keepnonpatch` setting.
diff --git a/contrib/completion/git-completion.bash 
index ffedce7..04339df 100644
--- a/contrib/completion/git-completion.bash
+++ b/contrib/completion/git-completion.bash
@@ -1758,6 +1758,7 @@ _git_config ()
+               am.keepnonpatch
diff --git a/ b/
index c02e62d..9f6adbf 100755
--- a/
+++ b/
@@ -16,6 +16,7 @@ s,signoff       add a Signed-off-by line to the commit message
 u,utf8          recode into utf8 (default)
 k,keep          pass -k flag to git-mailinfo
 keep-non-patch  pass -b flag to git-mailinfo
+no-keep-non-patch do not pass -b flag to git-mailsplit, independent of 
 keep-cr         pass --keep-cr flag to git-mailsplit for mbox format
 no-keep-cr      do not pass --keep-cr flag to git-mailsplit independent of 
 c,scissors      strip everything before a scissors line
@@ -381,6 +382,11 @@ then
+if test "$(git config --bool --get am.keepnonpatch)" = true
+    keep=b
 while test $# != 0
        case "$1" in
@@ -402,6 +408,8 @@ do
                keep=t ;;
                keep=b ;;
+       --no-keep-non-patch)
+               keep= ;;
                scissors=t ;;

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