GitLab vs GitHub: Which One Should You Choose?

gitlab-vs-github

You must have heard of the terms ‘GitLab’ and ‘GitHub.’ These two have emerged in the IT industry at a very fast pace. The majority of the world’s code resides inside GitHub and GitLab. Consequently, GitLab vs GitHub is a usual topic of debate among developers and development teams.

There’s a lot that individuals think about when it comes to choosing a code repository hosting platform for a new project. It doesn’t matter if you’re working as a team or on your own, the first two options that come to mind are GitLab and GitHub due to the popularity they have gained.

Most individuals get confused with the thought that both software belongs to the same company, but GitLab and GitHub are not owned by the same corporation. With 1,303 employees, GitLab Inc. is a private and totally remote enterprise. GitHub, on the other hand, is a subsidiary of Microsoft with headquarters in San Francisco and over 1,600 people employees worldwide.

So, now the main point is how would you decide which is best for your requirements, GitLab or GitHub, and the long-term viability of your software project? Well, that’s what we are going to discuss here.

Summary

In this blog, we will introduce you to GitLab and GitHub, and how they differ from each other so that you can select the best fit for your project. So, let’s begin!

What is GitHub?

GitHub is an online software development platform for saving, tracking, and collaborating on software projects. GitHub is not just a low-cost option, but it also has a vibrant open-source community. It allows developers to publish their code files and work on open-source projects with other developers. Here are a few important reasons why GitHub is so popular:

  • Simple file management.
  • Open-source projects.
  • Private projects.
  • Improved collaboration.

Moreover, it is also a social networking platform for developers and tech professionals to connect and collaborate. Because it’s a cloud-based solution, the code is easily accessible across the entire client business, making everyone’s contributions easier.

What is GitLab?

GitLab is a DevOps-ready platform that allows developers to manage all parts of project management, ranging from planning to monitoring and deployment. It also enables teams to interact and produce better software.

The biggest advantage of GitLab is that it allows all members of the team to collaborate at all stages of the project. GitLab helps developers automate the full DevOps lifecycle and achieve the best possible results by providing tracking from planning to creation. GitLab comes in two forms:

  1. A hosted commercial product available as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) and
  2. GitLab CE (Community Edition).

Difference Between GitHub and GitLab (GitLab vs GitHub)

To better understand the differences between GitLab and GitHub, we will discuss the two online software repositories on the basis of different parameters. Let’s start the GitHub vs GitLab debate with DevOps readiness:

1. Configuration

One of the most notable differences between the two popular online software repositories is configuration. In GitHub, the configuration is done with the GitHub admin web interface in Management Console. Once you’re done with configuring GitHub, you need to click on Save changes.

For configuring GitLab, the user needs to run reconfigure and change gitlab.rb, which is the GitLab configuration file.

2. DevOps-Readiness

GitHub has no inbuilt support for continuous integration and continuous deployment. For adding CI/CD capability to GitHub, you need to rely on third-parties. This means you’ve to do it manually.

GitLab, on the other hand, comes with a robust inbuilt CI/CD functionality. It comes with all the DevOps workflows you need for quicker software delivery. Although it is preferred to use built-in integration tools in GitLab, it also offers third-party options.

3. Docs

The GitHub documents are divided into a series of rules, each focusing on a separate platform. GitLab docs, on the other hand, provide a search bar and a list of all the papers required by the installer, similar to language documentation.

4. Features

Being a fully-featured software development and collaboration platform, GitLab comes with a diverse range of inbuilt features along with numerous other third-party programs and services, which include Microsoft Teams, Slack, and many Google tools.

Although GitHub provides fewer built-in functions than GitLab, it allows users to integrate a wide array of third-party tools and services to facilitate software development and collaboration.

5. Internal Sourcing

In GitHub, developers can access internal repositories from within. GitLab, however, does not allow internal sourcing.

6. Locating a Repository in the Free Plan

Both GitHub and GitLab feature free and paid tiers. While GitHub doesn’t allow locating a repository within an organization in the free plan, GitLab facilitates doing the same.

7. Maintenance Mode

When entering the maintenance mode, The GitHub Enterprise Server instance goes offline, and thus, users are not able to access it. At this time, users need to use the Administration Console.

GitLab has a maintenance mode that prevents all external operations from changing the internal state of the software. The web UI, API, and Rails console are all options for enabling maintenance mode.

8. Priority

Another major point of distinction between GitHub and GitLab is the priority. While GitLab emphasizes reliability, GitHub focuses on speed.

9. Virtualization

The GitHub-hosted runner is a self-hosted VM with the installed GitHub Actions runner application. Thus, GitHub has its own image of a virtual machine. GitLab, on the contrary, is compatible with most Linux distributions.

GitLab vs GitHub: A Compact Comparison Table

GitHub vs GitLab: A Head-to-Head Comparison

Parameter GitHub

GitLab

Userbase 73 million 30 million
DevOps-readiness No built-in CI/CD. Users need to integrate third-party services. Offers superb built-in CI/CD. Third-party tools are also available.
Priority It prioritizes speed. GitLab prioritizes reliability.
Is it possible to locate a repository in the free plan? No. Yes.
Configuration It is done using the GitHub admin web interface in “Management Console.” It is done by running reconfigure and changing the gitlab.rb file.
Features GitHub provides some functions but allows the integration of many other programs and services. GitLab is a full-featured software development platform that also supports integration with an array of third-party tools and platforms.
Virtualization It has its own image of a VM. GitLab is compatible with the majority of Linux distributions.
Maintenance Mode Users are unable to access GitHub while in maintenance mode. GitLab’s maintenance mode prevents all external operations from changing the internal state of the software.
Docs GitHub documents are divided into a series of rules, with each focusing on a different platform. GitLab docs offer a search bar and a list of all the papers required by the installer, similar to language documentation.
Internal Sourcing GitHub allows internal sourcing. GitLab does not allow internal sourcing.

Conclusion

Both GitHub and GitLab are immensely popular online software repositories. The selection between the two depends on several factors.

Because of a big community and user-configurable structure, GitHub availability is higher and more prevalent among developers. GitLab, on the other hand, is more powerful and has ambitions and features that are more entrepreneur-friendly.

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