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Jenkins is one of the most popular self-managed open source build automation and CI/CD developer tool in the world. It derives it's incredible flexibility from incorporating capabilities from it's hundreds of available plugins, enabling it to support building, deploying and automating any project.

At the Q3 2018 Jenkins World conference CloudBees (the primary maintainers of Jenkins) announced their intention to revive the competitiveness of Jenkins by splitting it and focusing on a cloud native version, as well as a simplified, opinionated version (Jenkins Evergreen). There is also a Jenkins sub-project called Jenkins X, meant to make running a pipeline out of the box with Kubernetes easier.

Jenkins X natively integrates Jenkins CI/CD server, Kubernetes, Helm, and other tools to offer a prescriptive CI/CD pipeline with best practices built-in, such as using GitOps to manage environments. It uses deployment of Jenkins into Kubernetes containers to get around the complexities of installing and integrating Jenkins. However, it is a complex pairing of many tools including the fragile Jenkins server.

In contrast, GitLab already provides more than what Jenkins is hoping to evolve to, by providing a fully integrated single application for the entire DevOps lifecycle. More than Jenkins' goals, GitLab also provides planning, SCM, packaging, release, configuration, and monitoring (in addition to Cthe I/CD that Jenkins is focused on).




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