GitLab compared to other tools

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


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.

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

Slash commands

In GitLab, you can pilot almost everything that affects an issue or a merge request with slash commands.

Documentation about slash commands

Issue board

GitHub has Projects, which are not tight to labels in any way, making it hard to automatize flows.

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.

Feature highlight: Issue Boards

Continuous Integration

GitHub integrates with popular, external CI platforms.

GitLab provides a continuous integration service, built-in, for free. It's tightly integrated with everything in the product and just works. You can also decide to use external CI solutions if you choose to.

Documentation on CI

Don't take our word for it.

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