GitHub vs GitLab

25. 11. 2018

Git, GitHub, GitLab …  what is the difference between these three?

Git is a tool, a version control software designed specifically to keep track of the changes made to files over time. This most popular version control system is used to ensure a smooth and efficient software development workflow through Git repositories.

GitHub and GitLab are web-based Git repositories, a central place for developers to store, share, test and collaborate on web projects. Let’s take a closer look at GitHub and GitLab and compare each other.


GitHub was launched in 2008 and it is the most famous server for hosting open-source projects versed in Git. It offers free services for open source projects (accessible to the public) and paid tiers for private projects. In 2018, this largest code repository in the world was bought by Microsoft company.
GitHub allows users to develop, share, and contribute to open source projects written in over 300 unique programming languages. It is the central place to build software and collaborate on millions of open-source projects together as a team and share ideas for a better software development workflow. The large companies such as Google, Apple, Amazon host their project on GitHub.


In 2011 was launched GitLab, another web-based Git repository manager developed by GitLab Inc. It’ s a simple yet modern, fully featured Git server used by larger organizations such as Sony, IBM, Alibaba, NASA, and more. Unlike GitHub, it’s free and open source. However, if you want to access more functionalities, you’ll need to use the paid version starting at $4 per user per month.
It’s a lot similar to GitHub but with additional features such as easy import from other popular Git repositories (GitHub, Google Code, Bitbucket, etc.).

GitHub  GitLab
The most popular web-based hosting service for Git repositories GitLab has everything GitHub has, but whit extra features and increased control over repositories.
It does not offer detailed documentation for the common Git repositories. It offers a detailed documentation for the common Git repositories on how to export/import data.
It offers an easy-to-use, intuitive UI for project management. It offers more convenient UI allowing users to access everything from one screen.
It offers various third-party integrations for continuous integration and continuous delivery work. It offers its very own CI/CD which comes pre-built meaning users do not have to install it separately.
GitHub has GitHub Enterprise and GitLab has GitLab CE (open source) and GitLab EE (enterprise), along with (GitLab CE hosted and managed by company).
It is not open source but can host open source projects. The GitLab Community Edition is free and open sourced.


Both GitHub and GitLab are the two most popular and widely adopted repository hosting service. Deciding between GitHub vs. GitLab for your open source programming project depends on the specific objectives you intend to achieve.


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