Gitlab is not the only GitHub alternative

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.

I use Bitbucket for all my repos since 2012. The whole Github thing looked like a mob psychology to me.

However, now I’m afraid that Oracle decides to buy Atlassian - just to counter MS.

Not sure if it’s justified at all, Microsoft clearly wants to play fair this time.

But yes, BitBucket is the best option for bootstrappers anyway because it’s free with no strings attached.

1 Like

I agree with Ivan. I think the Microsoft fear is overstated. GitHub was not the paragon of virtue some hackers-news types want to believe. There was a frat-bro culture that was corrosive. Microsoft will bring some adults to the table and hopefully clean that garbage up.

Speaking for my company, we use Gitea for internal development (it works well – fast and feature-ful). And we use Gitlab and GitHub for our open source projects.

“There is a logic of intentions, and there is a logic of circumstances. The logic of circumstances is always stronger.” ©

They may say and even intend good things, but they are 500 pound gorilla, and a small mistake on their side can easily destroy a lesser service.

I also use Bitbucket. If you’re a solo developer, you can have an unlimited number of private repositories. I’m unsure if this platform is good or not, but I’m happy with it.

1 Like

For me, github is / was about the place to search for open source code. Bitbucket of gitlab don’t provide that ecosystem.
For private repos, we had actually never used github.

Right, and also there was this politicized code of conduct mess. Microsoft has a lot of work to do.

My 2cents: I’ve used bitbucket for years, and I have no complaint. They’re flawless (IMHO).

I’ll take this opportunity to rant a bit because gitlab vs. bitbucket vs. github has a lesson for software businesses, both current and future.

GitHub wins because of network effects and that’s their almost insurmountable moat.

They don’t win by a little, they win by a wide margin.

I use GitHub for my open source projects because that’s where everyone else is. And I use it for my private projects because I already know GitHub.

And since GitHub “owns” 99% of open source projects, they serve as a black hole-like gravitational force to attract more and more developers.

Once that rich-get-richer effect kicks in, the business is almost impossible to unsettle as they grow at a faster rate than others.

This is not about features.

To compete with GitHub one would have to build a service that is on another level, quality and feature-wise. None of the alternatives are.

(as an aside, Gitlab is kicking GitHub’s ass in how quickly they improve and in 5 years they could be a serious challenger, but only because their rate of improvement was so much higher. GitHub really stagnated and didn’t introduce major features in years. Which is typical of monopolies. With Microsoft’s acquisition I hope/suspect that GitHub will start improving quickly again)

BTW: here’s how short-lived the GitHub -> Gitlab move is:


(a current snapshot of

Other code hosting platforms are perfectly fine and go use them, especially if you don’t care about the social aspect, but the non-GitHub market is about 1%.

And I made this rant not to comment about relative merits of GitHub vs. Bitbucket but because way too often I see people working on ideas that compete with products that have powerful network effects, like competing with Reddit or competing with Disqus or competing with Disqus v2 or competing with medium or fiverr or upwork or woofoo.

On one hand it’s understandable: a popular product validates the need for it and there’s always the hope of “if I can get a tiny fraction of those millions of users, I’ll make a good living”.

People often fail to consider how to market their software and especially how to market against companies that have so much google juice they could fill a lake with it.

1 Like

Why would us, self-funded folks, care about the social aspect of our code?

I use Github, Gitlab , BitBucket and - they’re not indestructable so I make sure I have backups to go to if one is down. Github is my main host, I often deliberately leave one of the others a little behind just in case I toast the Git repo and want to backtrack a little.

As for the MSFT thing, ah, Gitlab is hosted on azure oh, WAS hosted on Azure.

One code host is like only drinking one beer from one pub.

Microsoft now is not the Microsoft it has been in the 2000s.

And GitHub was stagnating and degrading anyway. Founders getting bored… Staff did nothing but solving the huge-scale issues… Well, typical maturity problems.

So overall I guess that’s a good thing for Github in the end. Don’t believe the “anti-MS” hype

We were using Bitbucket for ages. Tried moving Gitlab last month (followed the crowd haha), but after 3 days moved back to Bitbucket due to lack of features.