Is it possible to apply patch to different file name but with the same structure. The case was, I have a patch of a file with specific name and then for some inevitable reason that file got changed and duplicated into multiple files but I have to apply the patch to all of that files, besides that I'm not allowed to rename that many files into the original name first.

Here's the example: (it's just an example, actual case a bit different)


  • original file main.cpp
  • copied and duplicated into main_cli.cpp, main_tmp.cpp, and a few main_*.cpp


  • original file main.cpp
  • got modified
  • create a patch (using diff -u)
  • get a patch file main.patch

So I have to apply main.patch from local-pc to all main_*.cpp files in server-pc.

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


You can specify that the patch is to be applied to a specific file:

patch -i main.patch main_cli.cpp

Then, it's simple enough to loop over all the files:

for f in main_*.cpp; do patch -i main.patch "$f"; done


$ diff -u bar foo > patch1
$ cp bar bar2
$ patch < patch1
patching file bar
$ patch -i patch1 bar2
patching file bar2
$ diff -s foo bar2
Files foo and bar2 are identical

Note how patch -i patch1 bar2 patched bar2 even though the patch file specified bar.

  • Work like charm, you really save my day, Thank you. I know this comment was worthless and meaningless but I had to say my gratitude :) Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 5:01

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