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Gitlab is not the only GitHub alternative
98 points by marky_nolan on June 7, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 47 comments
MovingToGitlab has become a buzzword after the Microsoft-GitHub deal announcement. Thanks to the Gitlab marketing team on playing the right game at the right time. The Gitlab imports are on the rise.

But, Gitlab is not the only good alternative to GitHub.

I know a few more alternatives like Bitbucket and Codegiant that are equally good and maybe even better in a few aspects.

If you know any good alternatives, do list them here. let's not fall prey to the Gitlab marketing movement without proper evaluation.

If you've been keeping up with HN the past day or so there have been a bunch of great discussion around alternatives

[1] Kallithea https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17246386

[2] Phabricator https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17245649

[3] GitTorrent https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17234498

[4] GitHub Alternatives https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17241487

[5] Gitea https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17245246

[6] Pagure https://pagure.io/pagure

[7] ReviewBoard https://www.reviewboard.org/

[8] GitBucket https://gitbucket.github.io/

[9] Tuleap https://www.tuleap.org/

I have a running GitBucket instance and I must say I can't recommend it, especially not for production. It's good if you just need a private repository somewhere to host your code, but the web interface is not the best and misses features (I'm not even able to create pull requests!). The best thing I can say about it is that it's light on resources, easy to set up and reasonably maintained - which is more than can be said for many other "GitHub alternatives".

>I'm not even able to create pull requests!

I am very curious to see the details of this. I use bitbucket in a regular basis and it does provide PR functionality

Update: In case someone hasn't found it before: https://confluence.atlassian.com/bitbucket/create-a-pull-req...

Bitbucket != Gitbucket

HN regular Sir_Cmpwn posted about his alternative yesterday:


I haven't seen it here, but don't forget Gogs! Written in Go, super lightweight and pretty full-featured. https://gogs.io/

Maybe because there is Gitea, a fork of Gogs which is AFAIK more active now.

Ironically, Gogs is hosted on GitHub :)

[0A] https://allura.apache.org/ for those of us willing to run a self-hosted alternative...

This is a good list. Thank you :)

GitLab has taken a good amount of funding. Which means they will sell out eventually and the ones concerned about big brother taking over will be right back in this discussion again.


Some type of crowd funded federation needs to be created and owned by all of us if we truly want out from under this type of concern.

I caution the community against optimizing for continuity when there are so many other factors that come into play. Sure it sucks to change which tool you rely on every few years but that’s bound to happen anyway for one reason or another.

I mean it’s all Git so switching might take 20 mins a repo, but without some of the great features the most modern (often well funded) companies offer you might lose 10 mins or more a day.

It’s all up to you but I don’t value continuity as much I do productivity.

It's funny but gitlab, start working with amazon and is hosted on google? And nobody says anything about it.

Microsoft is the devil :O :)

We don't. :)

Likewise, Git isn't the only distributed source control solution... and probably not even the best, as detailed here:


There’s no server with Git. You only have remotes. The fact you can use a server and others as well is a byproduct.

Regarding pull requests, GitHub’s implementation is their own, but Git does have `requests-pull`, https://www.git-scm.com/docs/git-request-pull

I still mourn the passing of Bazaar (Canonical's CVS, developed in tandem with Git but abandoned some years back). It was a lot easier to learn and use than Git and had a beautifully clean Python codebase. Unfortunately, it was also slower than Git and not as powerful, and eventually just lost out in the survival of the fittest...

Though having said that, it's still alive in the Ubuntu universe, and there's a community effort underway to keep up maintenance and port it to Python3, under the new name of Breezy.

Don't forget "darcs". That had a lot of promise, but suffered from at least one exponential timing issue - where it would get into a state which took "forever" to resolve.

I am a huge fan of Beanstalk. https://beanstalkapp.com/

Pricing is good, service is excellent, code reviews are really very nice. I have found them excellent to work with.

They don't really do the pull request model (at least they didn't a year ago when I switched companies), but work great for feature branches.

The world has changed a lot since the 90s. Microsoft is a pretty developer-centric company now. People should just chill out and see what happens.

We saw how much worse Skype got after MS bought them. Hard to believe Github will do better.

...said the frog in the kettle.

I don't get it. What is the downside to waiting to see what happens?

Surely people have local copies of their source code, right? I mean, you basically have to. That's how git works. So the worst case scenario is that Microsoft does something to piss people off and then they switch to another provider. That makes the worst case scenario exactly the same as what people are advocating doing now voluntarily. How, then, is it not more prudent to wait and see what happens?

IMHO it is not a good time to move out of Github right now. I think Microsoft will offer a bundled developer ecosystem like Atlassian (bitbucket/trello/jira/confluence/pipelines), Amazon (Cloud9/Codecommit/codestar/chime).

I bet a bundle with something like skype / github / visual studio / linkedIn Learning... will come soon.

Man, I was hoping they would bundle it with something I wanted.


Jumping ship is a knee jerk reaction to news that hasn't impacted the platform at all yet.

I'm not against trying out other services and encouraging competition in this space, but people are over-reacting just a bit to the news.

Exactly, and with the "moving to Gitlab" comments of the past few days, the switching cost is (at present) still really low. Only once something changes will the need to move increase (if it ever does).

That being said, I've only ever put my repositories on Gitlab because of the free private ones, although the vast majority of libraries I used are on GH.

I don't have any hard evidence, but I suspect that the people who have already jumped ship from GH only did so with solo projects or with very small teams. The switching cost for those people/teams is always going to be pretty low.

> Jumping ship is a knee jerk reaction to news that hasn't impacted the platform at all yet.

People are jumping ship not only because of what MSFT may do, but because of what MSFT has done in the past. Its an issue of reputation.

I've used Phabricator, BitBucket and GitLab and I still think GitLab suits me best. Upvote for choices though

I think I would really enjoy working with GitLab, but a while ago I tried to set up an instance on my own server and it was a real pain... Then, once I finally got it running, it turned out to hog incredible amounts of resources even when doing absolutely nothing. So I gave it the kick.

If I were the sysadmin for a large-ish organization and had a dedicated server for nothing but code hosting, I would definitely go with them. But for my own private purposes it wasn't the right choice.

No one has mentioned gogs yet https://gogs.io/

Great product. We have been using it for years. I was expecting it to be first in the list.

I don't found reason to think that github is different after the deal with Microsoft. So for now I 'll keep trust in github... Otherwise I will use pre concept

If you want to host your own, you can use cgit https://git.zx2c4.com/cgit/about/ and gitolite https://github.com/sitaramc/gitolite

I remember I used to run Indefero for a short while. It was nice, although it'd largely dead and buried now.

Sources seems to still be available though: https://github.com/avit/indefero

I personally prefer BitBucket, the best part about them is that they offer, unlimited private repos.

Absolutely, plus I find their UI to be way more usable

As a side discussion, it's a good time to push alternatives to git like fossil or mercurial.

Because...? As far as I can tell, they offer no significant technical advantages over Git. And it doesn't make sense to leave Git just for the sake of diversity, as it's just a tool, and the fact that most developer know its basics is very useful - you don't lose much time dealing with version control training for each new project.


I posted this before one of the GitHub acquisition threads.

Codegiant I like me for small personal repositories without much importance, like mine. Is it based on gitlab? Tell me more about them. It looks nicer than gitlab.

Bitbucket works but their web interface is slow as hell.

The vast majority of comments that I’ve seen outside of HN have been pro Microsoft.

I guess HN is a Microsoft-free “safezone” for SV bubblers.

Thing is ideally everyone will go to one place which appears to be GitLab.

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