HTTP PATCH support

The Sabre\DAV\PartialUpdate\Plugin provides support for the HTTP PATCH method (RFC5789). This allows you to update just a portion of a file, or append to a file.

This document can be used as a spec for other implementors. There is some DAV-specific stuff in this document, but only in relation to the OPTIONS request.

Note: This feature was added in SabreDAV 1.7.0 and 1.8.0, but has been broken until 1.7.12 and 1.8.10.

A sample request

PATCH /file.txt
Content-Length: 4
Content-Type: application/x-sabredav-partialupdate
X-Update-Range: bytes=3-6


This request updates 'file.txt', specifically the bytes 3-6 (inclusive) to ABCD.

If you just want to append to an existing file, use the following syntax:

PATCH /file.txt
Content-Length: 4
Content-Type: application/x-sabredav-partialupdate
X-Update-Range: append


The last request adds 4 bytes to the bottom of the file.

The rules

More examples

The following table illustrates most types of requests and what the end-result of them will be.

It is assumed that the input file contains 1234567890, and the request body always contains 4 dashes (----).

X-Update-Range header Result
bytes=0-3 ----567890
bytes=1-4 1----67890
bytes=0- ----567890
bytes=-4 123456----
bytes=-2 12345678----
bytes=2- 12----7890
bytes=12- 1234567890..----
append 1234567890----

Please note that in the bytes=12- example, we used dots (.) to represent what are actually NULL bytes (so 0x00). The null byte is not printable.

Status codes

The following status codes should be used:

Status code Reason
200 or 204 When the operation was successful
400 Invalid X-Update-Range header
411 Content-Length header was not provided
415 Unrecognized content-type, should be application/x-sabredav-partialupdate
416 If there was something wrong with the bytes, such as a Content-Length not matching with what was sent as the start and end bytes, or an end byte being lower than the start byte.


If you want to be compliant with SabreDAV's implementation of PATCH, you must also return 'sabredav-partialupdate' in the 'DAV:' header:

HTTP/1.1 204 No Content
DAV: 1, 2, 3, sabredav-partialupdate, extended-mkcol

This is only required if you are adding this feature to a DAV server. For non-webdav implementations such as REST services this is optional.

Using this feature in sabre/dav

To use partial updates, your file-nodes must implement the Sabre\DAV\PartialUpdate\IFile interface. This adds a new putRange() method to the interface.

A sample implementation can be found in Sabre\DAV\FSExt\File.