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GitHub Vs. GitLab: head-to-head comparison

GitLab and GitHub are both essential tools in development. The best choice between the two platforms boils down to your enterprise needs.

Posted: 16 Mar, 22 Updated: 01 Jun, 23 by Susith Nonis 7 Min

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GitLab and GitHub are both essential tools in development. GitLab is a complete software development and IT operations platform that allows operations, development, and security teams to be on a single operation. It plays a vital role in speeding up the process of software delivery while at the same time reducing security risk and development costs. 

It provides management that allows teams to collaborate their workflow for the software development lifecycle. 

GitHub provides a platform for collaboration and version control. Teams can work on projects regardless of the location. The repository hosting service provides access control allowing programmers to host open-source projects and collaborate on fixing bugs.

The main similarities between GitLab and GitHub are that they are both repository managers that allow teams to collaborate on code. They also offer the same features for project management and issue tracking. 

GitLab is an open-source DevOps lifecycle tool that is web-based and offers a Git-repository manager. The repository manager offers issue tracking, continuous integration, and deployment of pipeline features and wiki. 

Users looking to utilize the tool can use a SaaS version installed on GitLab's servers or install and self-manage the tool. The features of the repository management tool include:

  1. Service desk or ticketing system
  2. Wiki
  3. ChatOp tool
  4. Version control and repository management based on Git
  5. Code review functionality
  6. Review Apps tool
  7. Code quality
  8. Continuous integration and deployment tool
  9. Rich API
  10. Development analytics
  11. Repository mirroring
  12. Performance monitoring
  13. On-premise and cloud-based installations

Some of the benefits of GitLab include: 

1. It is built on Git

Repositories built on Git come with benefits like performance, flexibility, security, and wide acceptance. 

2. Open-source

GitLab is a quality open-source project that provides agility and flexibility in your enterprise development projects. It is a cost-effective repository that enables speed provides solid information security.

3. All-round

GitLab is an all-around tool that provides issue tracker, source control, analytics, continuous integration, wiki, and code review, to mention a few.

4. Scalable, on-premise and cloud-hosted

GitLab is flexible in hosting as it allows both cloud and on-premise hosting giving you freedom over installation. The tool is scalable such that it can host over 25000 users on one server. 

GitHub is the tool of choice for programmers looking to work on a project together. It has several codes for different programming languages and open-source projects supporting the users to contribute to projects.

Here are the features under GitHub's neat graphical interface.

  1. Drag and drop gist code
  2. A Git URL shortener
  3. File finder
  4. Command-line interface
  5. Task checklist
  6. Map, CSV, and 3D Rendering
  7. Linking lines

Here are some of the benefits that make GitHub a popular repository for code sharing.

1. Enhanced code writing

Using the tool, you can request your team to propose, develop and review new code. More so, the team can collaboratively discuss implementations before changing the source code through the platform, thus enhancing the overall process of code writing.

2. Enhanced safety

GitHub packages can be published either publicly to the open-source community or privately. GitHub guidelines can help you ensure your repository settings are locked in tight for enhanced safety and security.

3. Effortless project management

GitHub allows the developers and project managers to track, coordinate, and update their work, ensuring transparency and that the project team is on schedule. The platform's built-in tagging system allows the team to organize and prioritize their workflow, making it one of the most effective project management repositories.

4. Easy code hosting

Github features tons of repositories that come with their tools making it easy for the team to host and release code.

Now that you understand the dynamics of the two tools, here is a comparison that will help you identify the differences.

1. Open source

While GitLab community edition is open-source, GitHub is not. GitHub supports open-source collaboration; however, the service itself is closed source.

2. Private and public repository

With GitHub, users can have an unlimited free repository and offer a free private repository with three collaborators. GitLab allows the users to make a public repository and offers a free private repository.

3. Project analysis

GitLab provides users with project analytics so that they can get insights into how long the team will take to move from one development stage to the next. GitHub doesn't have the project analysis feature, but it provides a history of the project's team commitments for tracking.

4. Issue tracking

Both tools offer issue tracking features whereby the project manager can assign the team members issues, create milestones, share proposals, and track assigned tasks. Both tools also have bug trackers that allow the users to report bugs and provide feedback in real-time.

5. Built-in features and integrations

GitLab comes with a wide range of built-in features, which is one of its advantages over GitHub. GitHub may have to rely on third-party solutions.

Both tools offer third-party integrations to a wide range of utilities.

 6. Price of enterprise solutions

Both platforms provide high-quality enterprise packages. However, the pricing is different between the two platforms, with GitHub being more expensive. This led to GitLab being a more popular option, but GitHub has since revised its prices, bringing them close to GitLab.

The best choice between the two platforms boils down to your enterprise needs. GitHub boasts the trust of millions of developers and a big community that prefers it due to the fantastic collaboration and communication tools. Larger teams and businesses prefer GitHub due to the nature of collaboration tools.

GitLab, on the other hand, provides a lot of flexibility that supports programmers and developers through the full software development cycle. To get the right fit, evaluate the platform's features and drawbacks to see your project's priority. The other thing you need to keep in mind when choosing between the platforms is the complexity and size of your project.

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Susith Nonis

I'm fascinated by the IT world and how the 1's and 0's work. While I venture into the world of Technology, I try to share what I know in the simplest way with you. Not a fan of coffee, a travel addict, and a self-accredited 'master chef'.