Debian uses a very nice tool called quilt for its package management.
On Debian/Ubuntu install it with
sudo apt install quilt
Take a look at this very nice tutorial from Shakthi Kannan: Quilt Tutorial, even it is a bit older.
To give an overview, take a look at the man page
Quilt is a tool to manage large sets of patches by keeping track of the changes each patch makes. Patches can be applied, un-ap-
plied, refreshed, etc. The key philosophical concept is that your primary output is patches.
With quilt, all work occurs within a single directory tree. Commands can be invoked from anywhere within the source tree.
Quilt manages a stack of patches. Patches are applied incrementally on top of the base tree plus all preceding patches. They can
be pushed on top of the stack (quilt push), and popped off the stack (quilt pop).
Commands are available for querying the contents of the series file (quilt series, see below), the contents of the stack (quilt applied, quilt previous, quilt top), and the patches that are not applied at a particular moment (quilt next, quilt unapplied). By default, most commands apply to the top-
most patch on the stack.
A file called
series contains a list of patch file names that defines the order in which patches are applied. Unless there are means by which series files can be generated automatically, it is usually provided along with a set of patches. In this file, each patch file name is on a separate line. Patch files are identified by path names that are relative to the patches directory;
patches may be in sub-directories below this directory. Lines in the series file that start with a hash character (#) are ignored.
When quilt adds, removes, or renames patches, it automatically updates the series file. Users of quilt can modify series files while some patches are applied, as long as the applied patches remain in their original order.
Different series files can be used to assemble patches in different ways, corresponding for example to different development branches.
Before a patch is applied (or ``pushed on the stack''), copies of all files the patch modifies are saved to the .pc/patch directory. The patch is added to the list of currently applied patches (.pc/applied-patches). Later when a patch is regenerated (quilt refresh), the backup copies in .pc/patch are compared with the current versions of the files in the source tree using GNU diff.
To sum it up you can add patches to a file called series and manage it by several ways. You can add, remove patches, and get a list of applied patches, ...