15Jul 2018

Difference Between Gitlab vs Github vs Bitbucket

One of the vital components of any shared software development methodologies includes the repository management services. The main objective of these repository management services is to help the developers of software to efficiently manage and control any changes or modifications to the source code as well as other related files. And also apart from all these, it helps in creating and maintaining multiple versions of these files in one central storage. Regardless of whether you are working as a team or as an individual, you can enjoy not one, but numerous benefits of this service. One of the most promising uses of a repository management service is to help teams to move fast and ensure efficiency as they progress through the various stages of their software development cycle.
We are going to brief you about the four most widely used repository management services listed below:

  • GitHub
  • BitBucket
  • GitLab
  • Coding

In fact, we can examine the features of each including free plans, self-hosted plans, importing repositories, open source and much more. Once you read through the article, you will have a clear idea on which of the solutions you should be using the next time for your needs. It will help you to take wiser decisions.



A Git-based repository hosting platform, GitHub, was introduced by the trio PJ Hyatt, Tom Preston-Werner and Chris Wanstrath in the year 2008. Also, known to be the largest repository host, it is the house to as many as 20 or more million projects around the world. Amazing, isn’t it?



Again, launched in the same year as that of GitHub, BitBucket is owned by an Australian company and was initially intended only for Mercurial projects. But as time passed, somewhere in the year 2010, BitBucket was taken up by the software company, Atlassian. The team at Atlassian reformed and renovated BitBucket to support Git hosting. Though now it is capable of powering Git hosting, it still works in collaboration with Atlassian’s set of services seamlessly, which is one of the reasons why it is the apple of the eye for large corporates.



In the year 2011, two revolutionary minds put forward GitLab as an idea to bring about a replacement for the existing repository management services. Though the company took a few more years to form (2014), by the year 2012, the site GitLab.com went live.



Founded by Zhang Hai Long in Shenzhen, China in the year 2014, today, an approximate of 300,000 developers are using it. It powers around 500,000 projects and it has a wider community support. It received a total fund accounting to around $15 million the same year that it was launched. Though it is presently used by Mainland China’s people, slowly it is spreading far and wide across the globe.

Let us examine the fundamental characteristics.
With regard to the features and characteristics, each one is better than the best and it can prove to be a bit difficult to compare each of them for the range of performances that they exhibit. Listed below are some of their characteristic features:

  • Two-factor authentications
  • Feature-rich API
  • Snippets
  • Third-party integrations
  • Code review
  • Issue tracking
  • Pull request
  • Markdown support
  • Hosted static web pages
  • Inline editing
  • Fork or clone repositories

GitLab is an open-source repository management service and holds the pride that among all the four, it is the only one that exhibits this distinction. The enterprise edition of GitLab is exclusive and you can find the open source code of GitLab Community Edition on its website. Though GitHub is known to be open-source friendly and also hosts the majority of the open-source projects, but sadly it doesn’t fit into the open-source criteria. Many open-source collations are powered by GitHub, which comes as a surprise. GitHub hosts a large number of public and open-source projects. It provides the free hosting of public projects, which further helps in connecting developers who share similar interests. Also, this could be one of the right places, where you can find help if someone is looking forward to learn software development.

Though BitBucket is not open source, you can acquire its self-hosted version, where the complete source code is set with options for blending it with the product as per your needs (precisely, it is customizable). Coding is brand exclusive – which makes it impossible to get the source code.
So, now if you are looking for community support – yes, we do understand your concern where to find public projects and also associate with other community members.

GitHub, BitBucket, and Coding provide you with the option to follow others, though GitLab is yet to extend this feature. All the four provide options to discover functionalities in public. With Coding, you can tag personal profiles – which further helps in finding and connecting with users who share similar interests.

Importing Repositories

Importing repositories

It is important to have a system that allows you to import and use your previous projects into a single system, without hassle. In fact, when we discuss BitBucket, it is different in this case as it provides support to Mercurial repositories unlike the other three. But GitHub, BitBucket and Coding allows you to import repositories from multiple different systems. But GitLab has its limitations as it supports only Git. If you are using the Mercurial or SVN repositories, migrating to GitLab is not a feasible option, so you could continue with what it is.

There is a repository importing feature within GitLab that helps in migrating from other platforms toward GitLab. Try it and see it for yourself. GitHub provides easy migration of SVN, HG, TFS, and Git. With GitHub, you can import Git and also it provides import from other services such as Google Code, GitHub, BitBucket, and FogBugz. And with Coding, you can find support to import Git, HG, and SVN. With BitBucket, you can find support to import CodePlex, HG, SourceForger, SVN, and Git.

BitBucket comes with small team plans that will allow around four to members to come together and work on any number of projects. And the repositories within this have a minimum size of 1GB limit. And once this is exhausted, an email notification will be sent and if you are intending to extend the repository, then, of course, you can till it reaches the threshold of 2GB. GitHub provides a free plan, which allows you to host any number of public repositories. With these repositories, you can clone, fork and blend in ideas. And as in BitBucket, GitHub does not impose any disk usage limit, though it is emphasized that projects should limit the size to 1GB and individual files to 100 MB. Coding comes with a free plan that again allows 9 to 10 people to team up on any number of public and private repositories, though there is a restriction of 1GB overall storage limit.
With GitLab cloud-hosted plan, you can always limit the number of users who can be teamed up on any number of private and public projects. Unlike the others that offer a size of 1GB, the GitLab offers 10GB space limit per repository – in fact, if you need a lot more space than 1GB, then this would be the best fit.


AI and UX

In fact, GitLab Community Edition is one of the best self-hosted plans within this list. If you want to find resources for maintaining the servers and also control the code base, then this should be the best option. It does not feature code search as it is backed by community support.
Let us take a look at the paid-cloud hosted plans.
You can always choose paid cloud-hosted plans, which offers any number of private repository storage and email support.

With GitHub’s personal account, you can easily get hold of the essential functionalities that you can always get in the free account, along with the ability to host any number of private repositories. Any number of users with a personal account can team up but are not eligible to access some of the team-based access permissions. And also billing would not be done jointly. If you are opting for GitHub organization plan, then it starts at $25 a month and it can collate minimum five people, and you can add an additional user at the rate of $9 per month.

For BitBucket, the cloud-hosted growing team plan covers 10 users for $ 10 a month. You can add any number of users to this if you can increase the $ 10 limitation to $100 per month.
Coding comes with two paid plans – one is the developer plan, which can accommodate around 20 users at the same time. The second one is the advanced plan, which can accommodate around 50 users. In any of the options, you can host an unlimited number of repositories with a storage limit of around 5GB and 10GB. But, Coding has the best of billing options at affordable prices and it also provides live chat and phone call.

Let us Discuss Paid Self-hosted Plans

When compared to the cloud-hosted counterparts, GitHub, BitBucket, and GitLab come with a number of enhanced features. There is less information about the Enterprise Edition of Coding as they don’t further details of the pricing and other features of the site. They provide the solution by assessing the client’s needs first and also offer customized quotes based on this assessment. In fact, each of the GitHub Enterprise plans starts at $2500 for 10 users, billing it annually. You can get in touch with their sales team in case you need assistance. The BitBucket teams require only one-time payment.

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Jamsheer K

Jamsheer K

Jamsheer K, is the Tech Lead at Acodez. With his rich and hands-on experience in various technologies, his writing normally comes from his research and experience in mobile & web application development niche.

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