2.7. Applying patches

It is easy to stay current with the most recent LAMMPS patch releases if you use git to track the LAMMPS development. Instructions for how to stay current are on the Download the LAMMPS source with git page.

If you prefer to download a tarball, as described on the tarball download page, you can stay current by downloading “patch files” when new patch releases are made. A link to a patch file is posted on the bug fixes and new feature page of the LAMMPS website, along with a list of changed files and details about what is in the new patch release. This page explains how to apply the patch file to your local LAMMPS directory.


You should not apply patch files to a local git checkout of LAMMPS, only to an unpacked tarball. Use git commands to update such a version of the LAMMPS source code.

Here are the steps to apply a patch file. Note that if your version of LAMMPS is several patch releases behind, you need to apply all the intervening patch files in succession to bring your version of LAMMPS up to date.

  • Download the patch file. You may have to shift-click in your browser to download the file instead of display it. Patch files have names like patch.12Dec16.

  • Put the patch file in your top-level LAMMPS directory, where the LICENSE and README files are.

  • Apply the patch by typing the following command from your top-level LAMMPS directory, where the redirected file is the name of the patch file.

    $ patch -bp1 < patch.12Dec16
  • A list of updated files print out to the screen. The -b switch creates backup files of your originals (e.g. src/force.cpp.orig), so you can manually undo the patch if something goes wrong.

  • Once you have updated your local files you need to re-build LAMMPS. If you are applying several patches successively, you only need to do the rebuild once at the end. How to do it depends on the build system you are using.

    Change to your build folder and type:

    cmake . --build

    CMake should auto-detect whether it needs to re-run the CMake configuration step and otherwise redo the build for all files that have been changed or files that depend on changed files. In case some build options have been changed or renamed, you may have to update those by running:

    cmake .

    and then rebuild.