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Github vs Gitlab

dimensi0n profile image Erwan ROUSSEL ・2 min read

When Microsoft bought Github, everybody wanted to move to Gitlab. After 5 months on Gitlab, I can do the comparison.

Philosophy

Github and Gitlab are two different git repository managers. I think I don't need to present them because almost everybody already knows this two services.

Gitlab is a professional git repository manager. You have a lot of tools to deploy, test your applications. It can also be self-hosted, which is a very good point.

Github is more like a social network, and almost every big open source libraries, framework or tools are on Github.

Use cases

Gitlab

For me, Gitlab is a very professional git repository manager. It means if I were a professional programmer, I'll use Gitlab to host my git repositories. For many reasons like :

  • Free private repositories

  • Docker Registry / Free Docker registry

  • Powerful CI tools

Github

If you want to code an opensource project, Github will be a better option. Github is more like a social network. It means you will have more visibility on Github whereas Gitlab. There is also one good point for Github :

  • Community

Yes, the open source community didn't move from Github to Gitlab that's why I said, GO GITHUUUUUB if you want to code an open source project.

My mind

I think twice are very good choices. It only depends on what you want to do.
Gitlab is very useful but I come back to Github to have better visibility for Filtrify. Sorry, Gitlab ^^

I'm testing gitote.in, I should write something about it in a few weeks

Discussion

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chiefnoah profile image
Noah Pederson

I personally find Gitlab's integrated services (issue tracking, CI/CD, wiki) to be superior to GitHub's in most respects. I'm not a huge fan of the UI, but have gotten used to it with time. One absolutely massive plus in my eyes is the fact that it's open source itself, and has good documentation and support for hosting it yourself. To that end, it's more popular with large corporations that have the resources and care enough about their security to not put their code on other people's servers.

All that being said, I host most of my personal projects on a Gitea instance, as it's much lighter than GitLab.

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Cédric Foellmi

I think there is a key difference betweenn GitHub and GitLab to be mentionned (although everything that is said is certainly true): reliability. For having used GitLab both in the cloud and self-hosting, I think that GitHub is an oasis of stability and availability compared to an ocean of changes, UI confusion, and 502s... My two-cents.

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Erwan ROUSSEL Author

Thank for your comment. I am totally agree with you.

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Thomas Leon Highbaugh

Like all things, if it is made in Europe or by Europeans, chances are its better. While not always true, especially with certain types of guns that are illegal there anyway, that heuristic can save you wasting your time or money setting up Visual Studios in whatever version, just use JetBrains its better. Same is true of GitHiub and either Bitbucket or GitLab. While not able to speak for European office workers, the American form thereof is made by people staring at a clock so they can veg out staring at a screen with some reality garbage on it, predictably they make garbage.This heuristic is especially true if it involves German products (except their cars they float their economy with by using obnoxious bolt sizes in)as they have a culture that values work as opposed to valuing doing as little of that as possible, which remains the trend in California (do not move here, any of you, soon the locals will be sending those who already did out if the tent cities get much bigger) German craftsmanship or French aesthetics are both superior to any American alternative I have so far seen in technology, which conforms to traditional distinctions, Americans produce gluts of raw material and Europeans craft that into well thought out and appropriately balanced products that are slightly more expensive (usually) but worth the investment from the consumer's standpoint.

And no I am not the typical American who thinks Europeans do everything right, those are the lazy clock watchers who picked that opinion up from the TV too but that's another conversation entirely.

by the way 15 year old coder, DON'T MOVE TO CALIFORNIA the ghetto I live in costs more than Paris anyway.

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Erwan ROUSSEL Author

I am very happy to read your comment. What a very complete comment. I don't know how it is in America but every French teen wants to live in america. Everybody wants to be an American. I don't think European's project are better. Btw I love Google wich is an American enterprise. I'll be happy to speak with you about this. Maybe I can write something about this.

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Thomas Leon Highbaugh

I would be interested in doing such a piece.

One truth about life I have come to realize is that everyone wants to be somewhere they aren't, which for Americans manifests in less than healthy ways such as wanting to be European or in some exotic Asian nation they romanticize. The truth is we are happiest learning to be who we are and where we are.

Before tech was as big as it is now and I was still in secondary, here called High School, everyone wanted to be a movie star and move to LA. Now that tech is huge, swarms of LA residents are moving to the Bay Area to be "coders" aka Product Managers. The key is doing what you love since you'll spend most of your life doing it, it just happens to be coding for me weirdly enough but I'd do it if it weren't as lucrative as it currently is just the same. Something tells me the same might be true of you.

France, to my understanding, is actually developing its own cluster of technology companies and some of its free source projects are spectacular (like Yunohost, which I use too) and the Netherlands and Germany are also becoming big players in technology. Which so far has been good for increasing the diversity of companies isolated from one another's fads and why, for a while at least, Microsoft was such an engine being itself isolated geographically from the Silicon Valley.

I am harsh on local firms perhaps, Google makes several technologies I couldn't live without and the Pixel XL is the best phone I've had since the iPhone 4 with tons of customization options (which I appreciate, as design is somewhat important)

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Erwan ROUSSEL Author

Very intéressant. I love to read your comments. You should write a post about it.

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Daniel Shin

While I appreciate the insight, I think it's a dangerous generalization.
Besides, I believe both GitLab and GitHub's HQ is in SF, CA

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Hunter Drum

I feel there are more reasons to use GitHub

  • Marketplace (apps)
  • Less confusing UI
  • More services support it
  • GitHub pages

There are a few more, but as I don't use GitLab that often, I'm not sure whether GitLab also has them

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Erwan ROUSSEL Author

I'm very happy to read your comment. Marketplace is a very good point. I can't say something about UI because it's a personal mind. Take a look at Gitlab Pages.

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Hunter Drum

I didn't realize Gitlab pages existed. Looking into it, I think I like it more than GitHub pages

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Michael Mayer

AFAIK they don't support automatic HTTPS with Let's Encrypt (you have to upload your own cert and keep it updated).

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Adrian B.G.

Github is more like a social network.

a social network without basic communication systems like private messages, chat, boards and forums.

As the compassion goes, GitHub will try to balance the difference with Actions, but for now GitLab is a superior platform from most perspectives (it evens has pages

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rhymes

a social network without basic communication systems like private messages, chat, boards and forums.

it used to have private messaging, they removed it for the obvious reasons (and I guess to avoid spam and harassment). User interaction is designed around issues and PR and most maintainers are one email or tweet away.

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Adrian B.G.

Exactly, it is a place where we throw away code and do very few code practices and operations, but is not a "social" anything.

chiefnoah profile image
Noah Pederson

Oh, sorry I misunderstood 😅

I like the issue tracker. Even though there's little to no actual collaboration being done, the integrated issue tracker and wiki help organize myself. Of course everyone should find what works for them, this is just what I do.

Edit: I also use Drone CI, which has pretty good integration with Gitea.

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Erwan ROUSSEL Author

Very interessant discussion

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Nazar Atamaniuk

At DeployPlace we use self-hosted GitLab, we have chosen GitLab as most of us are familiar with it. We are happy with all features GitLab provides, I can’t imagine our life without integrated GitLab CI. Another important feature for us is integrated code review tool, we use it every day, we use merge requests, code reviews, branching. To be honest, most of us have GitHub accounts as well, we like to contribute in open source, and we want to be a part of the tech community, but lack of solutions from GitHub in the area of CI doesn’t let us chose it for our projects.

We have an article here, where we described in details: GitLab vs GitHub in details

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Erwan ROUSSEL Author

You should take a look at Github Actions released few months ago. Github offers now a complete CI tools suite. (But this is beta for now)

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Nazar Atamaniuk

Time is important, they release CI tools in 2019, when there are tons of external CI's and internal GitLab CI, it can't be a reason to switch git storage now)

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Erwan ROUSSEL Author

I can totally understand

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Erwan ROUSSEL Author

I need to explain me about this article. I wanted to create a little article with a something vs another thing format. That's why some people found this article empty with only few arguments...

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Stefanie Grunwald

I second that. @dimensi0n , why not be honest with your audience upfront and add what you just wrote to the beginning of your article? That would save folks some time who were expecting an actual in-depth comparison of both tools.

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Erwan ROUSSEL Author

That's a good idea ^ I'll do it during the day

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tux0r

I think twice are very good choices. It only depends on what you want to do.

Why do you limit yourself to Git anyway?

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dimensi0n profile image
Erwan ROUSSEL Author

What do you want to say ?

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tux0r

You should look for better options.

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dimensi0n profile image
Erwan ROUSSEL Author

What is a better option for you ?

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tux0r profile image
tux0r

Depending on the project, Darcs, SVN or Mercurial.

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dimensi0n profile image
Erwan ROUSSEL Author

I'll take a look at it

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tux0r profile image
tux0r

There are DEV articles about some. :)

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Noah Pederson

I like to host all my own infrastructure, and that includes my git repos. I'm also pretty invested in enterprise devops, which requires being familiar with self-hosted options.

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Dave Albert

Thanks for writing this article.

I know this article is regarding GitHub vs. GitLab, but it seems curious the lack of mention of BitBucket even in the comments. I know there are a lot of Code Repo tools out there, but I would have thought more people dealt with BB than GF, probably just my own experience bias.

BB has some nice CI tools, and free private repos for teams <= 5. I'm a paid user for team size, but not affiliated with them at all. I've used paid GitHub in the past as well, and I've been very happy with BB. It also has an issue tracker kind of like a mini-jira (that could be good or bad depending on your experience)

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Erwan ROUSSEL Author

I never used BB. That's why I didn't write something about it. But ill test it one day. Thx for your comment

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Pavan Maheshwari

Also can you do a github vs gitlab vs bitbucket?

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Erwan ROUSSEL Author

I think I'll make an entire article on bitbucket.

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Klaus Donnert

I had a private repository at GitLab for a while but there where too many outages too close together, so I moved to Github and opted for a paid plan. Never looked back.

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Clive Da

can i ? how can i like someone on gitlab ? i cant find any button :(

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Erwan ROUSSEL Author

I am testing gitote.in

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Arthur Poulet

Stop posting and start reading.

Uptime stuff: status.github.com/messages/2018-10-23

Self hosting vs externalisation, open-source vs proprietary, feature comparison, pricing, etc.

There is so much stuff to say about this and you come with this crappy garbage post ? You don't need to write empty posts to exists. If you really want to post something, get some content.

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Ben Halpern

Arthur, this does not add value to the conversation. Please offer more constructive criticism than just dumping on a reasonable post next time.

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