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A tool to work with public-inbox and patch archives

Project description

This is a helper utility to work with patches made available via a public-inbox archive like It is written to make it easier to participate in a patch-based workflows, like those used in the Linux kernel development.

The name “b4” was chosen for ease of typing and because B-4 was the precursor to Lore and Data in the Star Trek universe.

See for online documentation.


To install the latest released version with pip:

python3 -m pip install b4

Or to install the latest master (warning, maybe broken!):

python3 -m pip install git+


If you previously installed from pypi:

python3 -m pip install --upgrade b4

Or to get the latest stuff from git:

python3 -m pip install --upgrade git+

Running from the checkout dir

If you want to run from the checkout dir without installing the python package, you can use the included wrapper. You can set it as an alias in your .bash_profile:

alias b4="$HOME/path/to/b4/"

Setting up a symlink should also be possible. Remember to run the following commands after the initial clone:

git submodule update --init
python3 -m pip install -r requirements.txt


For support or with any other questions, please email, or browse the list archive at

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