GitLab compared to other tools

Index

Bias

Since GitLab fans wrote most of the text here there is a pro-GitLab bias. Nonetheless we try hard to ensure the comparisons are fair and factual. Please also add things that are great in other products but missing in GitLab. If you find something that is invalid, biased, missing, or out of date in the comparisons, please open a merge request for this website to correct it. As with all the pages on this website you can find where this page lives in the repository via the link in the footer.

Open-Core

GitLab is an open-core product whereas GitHub and BitBucket are closed-source products. The GitLab Community Edition is fully open-source, and the Enterprise Edition is closed-source.

GitLab CE vs. GitLab EE

To learn more about how GitLab Community Edition compares to GitLab Enterprise Edition, take a look at the comparison table on our features page.

GitLab vs. GitHub

Faster from Idea to Production

GitLab has a different approach to code development and deployment compared with GitHub. GitLab focuses on delivering a holistic solution that will see developers from idea to production seamlessly and on a single platform. You can read more about our vision.

Multiple authentication Levels

Set permissions according to people's role, rather than either read or write access to a repository. Don't share the source code with people that only need access to the issue tracker.

See the various authentication levels

Attachments in issues

In GitLab you can attach any file to any issue or comment.

Innersourcing

Internal projects in GitLab allow you to promote innersourcing of your internal repositories.

Find out more about innersourcing

Work-in-Progress Protection

Simply add 'WIP' to the title of a merge request to prevent anyone from merging it. This gives you all the code review power of merge requests, while protecting unfinished work.

WIP Merge documentation

Large open source projects

GitLab is meant to be the best place for any software project. The team behind GitLab is addressing issues that maintainers and contributors to large open source projects are facing, to make it easier to do both.

Making GitLab better for large open source projects

Powerful Issue Tracker

Quickly set the status, assignee or milestone for multiple issues at the same time or easily filter them on any properties. See milestones and issues across projects.

Due date

In GitLab, you can set a due date for individual issues. This is very convenient if you have small tasks with a specific deadline.

Move issues between projects

You can move issues between projects in GitLab. All links, history and comments will be copied and the original issue will reference the newly moved issue. This makes working with multiple issue trackers much easier.

Group-level milestones

View all the issues for the milestone you’re currently working on across multiple projects.

Example milestone for GitLab 8.2 (need to be logged in)

Create new branches from Issues

In GitLab, you can quickly create a new branch from an issue on the issue tracker. It will include the issue number and title automatically, making it easy to track which branch belongs to which issue.

See how in our documentation

Search through Commits

GitLab not only allows you to search through code, but also searches through your commit messages.

Don't take our word for it.

agilob contributed a great article about why you should choose GitLab for your next open source project.

Drag and drop tasks

You can change the order of tasks in markdown on GitHub. GitLab does not have this ability, but is considering implementing it.

See the GitLab issue to implement this

Assign multiple people to an issue / MR

GitHub allows you to assign multiple people to an issue or pull request.

GitLab doesn't allow you to do this, but allows for approvals in merge requests, which offsets this there. For issues, GitLab does not have an equivalent feature, but a feature request has been submitted for this.

GitLab issue to implement multiple assignees

Allow edits from upstream maintainers in branch

In GitHub, when a user opens a pull request from a fork, they are given the option that allows the upstream repository contributors to collaborate with them on their new branch.

GitLab allows you to restrict pushes very carefully, but does not have this option.

GitLab issue to implement the same feature

Cycle Analytics

GitLab provides a dashboard that lets teams measure the time it takes to go from an idea to production. GitLab can provide this data because it has all the tools built-in: from the idea, to the CI, to code review, to deploy to production.

Feature Highlight: Cycle Analytics

Prevent committing secrets in the repositories

GitLab provides a way to avoid committing sensitive files to your repositories automatically.

Documentation on push rules

GitLab EE vs. GitHub Enterprise

Cost

GitLab has the most competitive pricing model in the market and a fraction of the cost of our competition. Our remote-first philosophy allow us to pass on the cost savings to our clients.

All features mentioned in GitLab.com versus GitHub.com

GitLab handles huge repositories well

Big repository? Huge (>5GB) binary files? No problem. GitLab is built to handle very large repositories, and Git Annex and LFS are both supported.

Using Git Annex with GitLab

Rebase before merge in the web UI to prevent merge commits

Before merging one branch in the other, GitLab can rebase it automatically.

See how to prevent merge commits

Access to the server

You have complete control of the server/instance, so you can install additional software (intrusion detection, performance monitoring, etc.) and view log files on the server itself.

Learn more about logging

Runs on metal

You can run GitLab fully on metal. No need for pre-supplied VMs. Run GitLab on your infrastructure, however you like.

Run more users on a single server

A single machine server handles thousands of users and repositories

HA setups

GitLab offers multiple HA solutions, making it possible to failover easily.

More information about active servers

Run your own software on your instance

You are free to run your own software on the instance that GitLab is running on. Have your own intrusion detection system? No problem.

Use your configuration management software

Use configuration management software of your choice to manage GitLab. Puppet, Chef, Ansible—it all works.

Read about configuration management here

Use standard Unix tools for maintenance and monitoring

Use the tools you know for monitoring and maintenance, whether they're standard or your own. GitLab doesn't restrict you.

Built-in Continuous Integration tool

Easy-to-set up, performant, stable and elegant continuous integration with every GitLab installation.

Learn about the benefits of our CI tool

Powerful AD / LDAP integration

Sync groups, manage SSH-keys, manage permissions, authentication and more. You can manage an entire GitLab instance through the LDAP / AD integration.

More information about AD / LDAP integration

Multiple approvals in code review

To ensure strict code review, you can require a specific number of approvals on a merge request by different users before being able to merge it.

Approvals Documentation

Ease of Migration

Easily migrate all repos and merge request data from your previous provider.

Security and Policy enforcement

Push Rules and Audit logs and enhanced LDAP integration give you and the added security to meet the increasing requirements of compliance teams.

Issue Weights

Manage issues using Agile practices by setting the weight of an issue.

Issue Weights Documentation

Merge Request Issue Templates

Create a template for issues and merge requests in your project to ensure all information is entered correctly and to make it easy to standardize.

Templates for Issues and Merge Requests Documentation

Geographic Replication with GitLab Geo

GitLab Enterprise Edition can have a geographically replicated instance, so your remote teams don't have to wait for long downloads when cloning or pulling from repositories.

Geo is available as an Enterprise Edition option.

Read the Geo docs for more information

Lock Files

File locking in GitLab Enterprise Edition allows you to lock any file or directory. This ensures that no one will work on or overwrite work that can't be merged easily, for instance when working with art assets or other non-text files.

File locking is available as an Enterprise Edition option.

Read the File Locking documentation

Use the most installed on-premises Git solution

GitLab is used by over 100,000 organizations worldwide, on their own servers.

Access to and possibility to modify the source code of GitLab

The Ruby code in GitHub Enterprise is obfuscated. GitLab Enterprise Edition has a publicly readable source code and you have the right to modify the code.

Read the GitLab Enterprise Edition license

GitLab.com vs. GitHub.com

Everything mentioned in GitLab versus GitHub

Unlimited public private repositories and unlimited collaborators for free.

GitLab.com runs GitLab Enterprise Edition with all its features.

GitLab.com has free GitLab CI if you bring your own Runner or use the shared Runners

GitHub.com has faster pageloads than GitLab.com

Improving this is a work in progress.

Read more about GitLab CI

GitLab CE/EE vs. BitBucket Server

Built-in Continuous Integration tool

Easy-to-set up, performant, stable and elegant continuous integration with every GitLab installation.

Learn about the benefits of our CI tool

More value with everything you need in one solution

To replace GitLab, you'd need a combination of Bitbucket server, JIRA, Confluence, and Bamboo.

Great user interface

GitLab has a really nice user interface that your team will love, and also enjoy working with.

Integrated issue tracking

GitLab includes an issue tracker which you can link to any merge request.

Issue Tracker

Better activity feed and visualization

Collaborative activity feed to help everyone understand what is happening in a project and graphical view of the commit history.

See Our Activity Feed

Search through all your code, issues, wikis, commits, groups and projects. Built into GitLab.

GitLab.com vs. Bitbucket.org

Everything mentioned in GitLab CE/EE versus Bitbucket Server

Unlimited collaborators

With GitLab.com, you don't have to start paying when you have more than 5 collaborators across all your private repositories.

GitLab CE/EE vs. SaaS

Containment

Containing your company's IP behind the company's firewall gives you protection from unauthorized access. Learn from the lessons of Code Space:

Lessons from Code Space

Integrations

Integrating with Authentication and Authorization (LDAP / AD), issue tracking, CI, deployment and other tools such as ALM, PLM, Agile and Automation tools.

Control

Take control of maintenance downtime, don't be at the mercy of your hosting provider. Control how and where your code is backed up and stored.

Choice and Flexibility

GitLab CE/EE can be installed on physical servers, virtualized servers (dedicated or shared), purpose-built appliances and virtualized appliances. These aren’t available with hosted solutions. Likewise, most on-premises servers can be deployed on a variety of operating systems and there’s more choice of on-premises solutions in general.

Retrieval

Getting your IP back from cloud vendors that store data in proprietary formats can be a costly and lengthy process. No such trouble with GitLab CE/EE.

In good company

GitLab is the most adopted on-premises solution for developer collaboration, deployed at over 100,000 organizations worldwide.

GitLab vs. SVN

Distributed

Git, on which GitLab is built, is fully distributed. Every user has a complete copy of the repository, allowing for much faster access to history, easier branching and an overall better experience.

Access Control

For someone to commit to a local respository, no access has to be given in Git. At the same time, the owner of the canonical repository has the ability to restrict pushes to the repository or certain branches.

Powerful Branching

A branch in Git contains the entire history that preceeds it. It's also created or moved towards instantly and easily shared.

Speed

Git is really fast. Performing a diff, viewing history, committing and merging changes, obtaining any revision and any form of branching is much faster in Git than SVN.

Size Requirements

A single repository in Git is typically a number of times smaller than the same repository in SVN.

GitLab vs. GitSwarm

Definitions

Authentication

Mirroring/Syncing with GitSwarm (requires Git Fusion) and GitLab