GitLab compared to other tools

GitHub.com vs. GitLab Self-hosted

FEATURES

Flexible permissions

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 roles

The most comprehensive import feature set

GitLab can import projects and issues from more sources (GitHub, BitBucket, Google Code, FogBugz, Gitea and from any git URL) than GitHub or any other VCS. We even have you covered for your move from SVN to Git with comprehensive guides and documentation.

Making it easier to get up and running with GitLab

Export projects

GitLab allows you to export your project to other systems.

We don't restrict access to your data

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

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

Application performance monitoring

GitLab collects and displays performance metrics for deployed apps, leveraging Prometheus. Developers can quickly and easily determine the impact of any changes, without leaving GitLab. GitHub requires a 3rd party product, adding additional cost and separate workflows.

Learn more about monitoring deployed apps

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. GitHub can't provide this data.

Learn more about Cycle Analytics

Slash commands

GitLab provides a convenient way to change meta data of an issue or merge request withouth leaving the comment field with slash commands.

Documentation about slash commands

Issue boards

GitLab has Issue boards, each list of an issue board is based on a label that exists in your issue tracker. The Issue Board will therefore match the state of your issue tracker in a user-friendly way.

Learn more about Issue Boards

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

Built-in Docker Registry

GitLab Container Registry is a secure and private registry for Docker images. It allows for easy upload and download of images from GitLab CI. It is fully integrated with Git repository management.

Documentation on Container Registry

Time tracking

Time Tracking in GitLab lets your team add estimates and record time spent on issues and merge requests.

Learn more about Time Tracking

Review Apps

With Review Apps you can spin up dynamic environments for your merge requests and preview your branch in a live environment.

Learn more about Review Apps

New features every month

GitLab is updated with new features and improvements every month on the 22nd.

Confidential Issues

Keep your information secure with Confidential Issues. With GitLab, you can create confidential issues visible only for project members with Reporter access level or above.

Learn more about Confidential Issues

More control during downtime

When GitHub is down, you have to wait for GitHub to make it available again. When your GitLab instance is down, everything is under your control.

You decide when you upgrade

GitLab releases a new version each month, and lets you choose when to upgrade. GitHub updates its product without you being able to do anything about it.

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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. All names and logos are recognized trademarks of their respective owners.

GitLab is open core

GitLab is an open-core product whereas our competitors are mostly closed-source products. The GitLab Community Edition is fully open source, and the Enterprise Edition is open core (proprietary).

Access to the source code

Unlike closed source software, you can see and modify the GitLab Community Edition and Enterprise Edition source code at any time. Be it right on the server or by forking our repositories, you can add features and make customizations. We do recommend that you try to merge your changes back into the main source code, so that others can benefit and your instance stays easy to maintain and update.

Build with a community

GitLab is built by hundreds of people every month. Customers, users and GitLab, Inc. all contribute to every release. This leads to features that organizations actually need, such as easy, yet powerful user management.

Viable long term

GitLab has a solid community with hundreds of thousands of organizations using and often contributing to the software. This means that GitLab is much more viable for long term usage, as it's not reliable on a single company supporting it.

New stable version every month

GitLab releases a new stable version every single month, full of improvements, new features, and fixes. This allows GitLab to move fast and respond to customer requests extremely quickly.

Choose the GitLab edition that is best for your team

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