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patch creates a backup file if the patch does not
exactly match the original input file, because in that case the
original data might not be recovered if you undo the patch with
`patch -R' (see section 10.3.2 Applying Reversed Patches). However, when conforming
patch does not create backup files by
default. See section 10.12
patch and the POSIX Standard.
The `-b' or `--backup' option causes
make a backup file regardless of whether the patch matches the
original input. The `--backup-if-mismatch' option causes
patch to create backup files for mismatches files; this is
the default when not conforming to POSIX. The
`--no-backup-if-mismatch' option causes
patch to not
create backup files, even for mismatched patches; this is the default
when conforming to POSIX.
When backing up a file that does not exist, an empty, unreadable backup file is created as a placeholder to represent the nonexistent file.
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