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changes to upstream sources/HOWTO patch

Hi Mentors,

I've noticed that some packages contain a debian/patches-dir and I'm curious
how this works. I think I need to patch one of my packages myself so I'm
looking for some documentation. The Debian policy [1] does not really help
since the part about "changes to upstream sources" is quite short.

1. http://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-source.html#s4.3

Can someone explain to me how to apply patches to upstream sources "the
right way" or point me to an appropriate document?

Kind regards


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