GitLab CI vs. Jenkins

GitLab compared to other tools

GitLab is the next-generation development toolset that covers 100% of your software development lifecycle.

GitLab unifies chat, issues, code review, CI, CD, and cycle analytics into a single UI. Unlike other source code management tools that only support a portion of your development lifecycle, GitLab delivers a unified experience for every step of the development lifecycle providing the most efficient approach to software delivery. So no matter what line of business you're in, GitLab gives you the edge to compete, innovate, and win.

FEATURES

Built-in CI/CD

GitLab has built-in Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery, for free, no need to install it separately. Use it to build, test, and deploy your website (GitLab Pages) or webapp. The job results are displayed on merge requests for easy access.

Learn more about CI/CD

Application performance monitoring

GitLab collects and displays performance metrics for deployed apps, leveraging Prometheus. Developers can determine the impact of a merge and keep an eye on their production systems, without leaving GitLab.

Learn more about monitoring deployed apps

GitLab server monitoring

GitLab comes out of the box enabled for Prometheus monitoring with extensive instrumentation, making it easy to ensure your GitLab deployment is responsive and healthy.

Learn more about monitoring the GitLab service

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.

Learn more about Cycle Analytics

Preview your changes with Review Apps

With GitLab CI/CD you can create a new environment for each one of your branches, speeding up your development process. Spin up dynamic environments for your merge requests with the ability to preview your branch in a live environment.

Learn more about Review Apps

A comprehensive API

GitLab provides APIs for most features, allowing developers to create deeper integrations with the product.

Read our API Documentation

Built for containers and Docker

GitLab ships with its own Container Registry, Docker CI Runner, and is ready for a complete CI/CD container workflow. There is no need to install, configure, or maintain additional plugins.

Cloud Native

GitLab and its CI/CD is Cloud Native, purpose built for the cloud model. GitLab ships with Red Hat OpenShift and Kubernetes support out of the box.

Container debugging with an integrated web terminal

Easily debug your containers in any of your environments using the built-in GitLab Web Terminal. GitLab can open a terminal session directly from your environment if your application is deployed on Kubernetes. This is a very powerful feature where you can quickly debug issues without leaving the comfort of your web browser.

Learn more about the web terminal

Comprehensive pipeline graphs

Pipelines can be complex structures with many sequential and parallel jobs. To make it a little easier to see what is going on, you can view a graph of a single pipeline and its status.

Learn more about pipeline graphs

Browsable artifacts

With GitLab CI you can upload your job artifacts in GitLab itself without the need of an external service. Because of this, artifacts are also browsable through GitLab's web interface.

Learn more about using job artifacts in your project

Scheduled triggering of pipelines

You can make your pipelines run on a schedule in a cron-like environment.

Learn how to trigger pipelines on a schedule in GitLab

Code Quality

Code Quality reports, available in the merge request widget area, give you an early insight into how the change will affect the health of your code before deciding if you want to accept it.

Learn more about Code Quality reports

Multi-project pipeline graphs

With multi-project pipeline graphs you can see how upstream and downstream pipelines are linked together for projects that are linked to others via triggers as part of a more complex design, as it is for micro-services architecture.

Learn more about multi-project pipeline graphs

Protected secret variables

You can mark a secret variable as "protected" to make it available only to jobs running on protected branches, therefore only authorized users can get access to it.

Learn how to use protected secret variables

Environments and deployments

GitLab CI is capable of not only testing or building your projects, but also deploying them in your infrastructure, with the added benefit of giving you a way to track your deployments. Environments are like tags for your CI jobs, describing where code gets deployed.

Learn more about environments

Environments history

Environments history allows you to see what is currently being deployed on your servers, and to access a detailed view for all the past deployments. From this list you can also re-deploy the current version, or even rollback an old stable one in case something went wrong.

Learn more about history of an environment

Environment-specific secret variables

Limit the environment scope of a secret variable by defining which environments it can be available for.

Learn how to configure environment-specific secret variables

Group-level secret variables

Define variables at the group level and use them in any project in the group.

Learn how to configure secret variables

Customizable path for CI/CD configuration

You can define a custom path into your repository for your CI/CD configuration file.

Learn how to configure a custom CI/CD configuration file

Run CI/CD jobs on Windows

GitLab Runner supports Windows and can run jobs natively on this platform. You can automatically build, test, and deploy Windows-based projects by leveraging PowerShell or batch files.

Install GitLab Runner on Windows

Run CI/CD jobs on macOS

GitLab Runner supports macOS and can run jobs natively on this platform. You can automatically build, test, and deploy for macOS based projects by leveraging shell scripts and command line tools.

Install GitLab Runner on macOS

Run CI/CD jobs on Linux ARM

GitLab Runner supports Linux operating systems on ARM architectures and can run jobs natively on this platform. You can automatically build, test, and deploy for Linux ARM based projects by leveraging shell scripts and command line tools.

Install GitLab Runner on Linux

Run CI/CD jobs on FreeBSD

GitLab Runner supports FreeBSD and can run jobs natively on this platform. You can automatically build, test, and deploy for FreeBSD-based projects by leveraging shell scripts and command line tools.

Install GitLab Runner on FreeBSD

Show code coverage rate for your pipelines

GitLab is able to parse job output logs and search, via a customizable regex, any information created by tools like SimpleCov to get code coverage. Data is automatically available in the UI and also as a badge you can embedd in any HTML page or publish using GitLab Pages.

Learn how to generate and show code coverage information in GitLab

Manage JUnit reports created by CI jobs

Many languages use frameworks that automatically run tests on your code and create a report: one example is the JUnit format that is common to different tools. GitLab supports browsing artifacts and you can download reports, but we're still working on a proper way to integrate them directly into the product.

Read more on the issue

Details on duration for each command execution in GitLab CI/CD

Other CI systems show execution time for each single command run in CI jobs, not just the overall time. We're reconsidering how job output logs are managed in order to add this feature as well.

Read more on the issue

Auto DevOps

Auto DevOps brings DevOps best practices to your project by automatically configuring software development lifecycles by default. It automatically detects, builds, tests, deploys, and monitors applications.

Read more about Auto DevOps in the documentation

Protected runners

Protected Runners allow you to protect your sensitive information, for example deployment credentials, by allowing only jobs running on protected branches to access them.

Read more on the issue

Easy creation of Kubernetes clusters on GKE

Create a Kubernetes cluster on GKE directly from your project, just connecting your Google Account and providing some information. The cluster can be used also by Auto DevOps to deploy your application.

Read more on the issue

Easy Deployment of Helm and Ingress on Kubernetes

Install Helm Tiller and Nginx Ingress directly into your cluster from the GitLab Web UI with one click.

Read through the documentation on installing applications on GKE clusters

Canary Deployments

GitLab Enterprise Edition Premium can monitor your Canary Deployments when deploying your applications with Kubernetes.

Learn more about configuring Canary Deployments

Minimal CI/CD configuration

GitLab CI/CD requires less configuration for your pipelines than other similar setups like Jenkins.

Learn more about GitLab CI/CD

Automatic Retry for Failed CI Jobs

You can specify a retry keyword in your .gitlab-ci.yml file to make GitLab CI/CD retry a job for a specific number of times before marking it as failed.

Learn more about Automatic Retry for Failed CI Jobs

Pipelines security

The ability of running CI/CD pipelines on protected branches is checked against a set of security rules that defines if you're allowed or not. It includes creating new pipelines, retrying jobs, and perform manual actions.

Learn more about pipeline security