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GitHub Enterprise vs GitLab: What are the differences?

Key Differences Between GitHub Enterprise and GitLab

Both GitHub Enterprise and GitLab are popular version control platforms used by organizations for managing code repositories. However, there are several key differences between these two platforms that make them unique in their own ways.

  1. Hosting Options: GitHub Enterprise is a cloud-based platform, whereas GitLab offers both cloud-based and self-hosted options. This means that organizations using GitLab have the flexibility to host their repositories on their own servers, providing greater control and security. On the other hand, GitHub Enterprise users rely on GitHub's servers for hosting their repositories.

  2. Integration Capabilities: GitLab offers a comprehensive set of integrated tools, including project management, continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD), and security features. In contrast, GitHub Enterprise provides a more focused approach to version control, with fewer integrated tools. While GitHub Enterprise can integrate with other third-party tools, GitLab's built-in features make it a more all-in-one solution.

  3. Pricing Model: GitHub Enterprise follows a subscription-based pricing model, where organizations are charged based on the number of users. GitLab, on the other hand, offers a free community edition for unlimited users and repositories, as well as various paid plans with additional features and support options. This makes GitLab a more cost-effective option for organizations with large development teams.

  4. Security Features: Both GitHub Enterprise and GitLab offer security features such as vulnerability scanning and code review, but GitLab's security-focused approach sets it apart. GitLab provides built-in container scanning, static application security testing (SAST), and dynamic application security testing (DAST), making it a more robust platform for ensuring code security.

  5. Workflow Management: GitLab provides powerful workflow management features through its integrated CI/CD capabilities. With GitLab, organizations can automate the entire software development lifecycle, from code review and testing to deployment. GitHub Enterprise, while supporting CI/CD through third-party integrations, lacks the native workflow management capabilities that GitLab offers.

  6. Community and Ecosystem: GitHub has a larger and more vibrant community compared to GitLab. GitHub's extensive ecosystem of integrations, plugins, and libraries makes it the go-to platform for many developers and organizations. GitLab, although gaining popularity, still lags behind in terms of community size and ecosystem support.

In summary, GitHub Enterprise and GitLab differ in terms of hosting options, integration capabilities, pricing models, security features, workflow management, and community support. Organizations can choose the platform that aligns better with their specific requirements in terms of control, cost, security, and workflow automation.

Advice on GitHub Enterprise and GitLab
Eric Seibert
DevOps at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia · | 6 upvotes · 464.1K views
Needs advice
GitHub EnterpriseGitHub Enterprise

We are using a Bitbucket server, and due to migration efforts and new Atlassian community license changes, we need to move to a new self-hosted solution. The new data-center license for Atlassian, available in February, will be community provisioned (free). Along with that community license, other technologies will be coming with it (Crucible, Confluence, and Jira). Is there value in a paid-for license to get the GitHub Enterprise? Are the tools that come with it worth the cost?

I know it is about $20 per 10 seats, and we have about 300 users. Have other convertees to Microsoft's tools found it easy to do a migration? Is the toolset that much more beneficial to the free suite that one can get from Atlassian?

So far, free seems to be the winner, and the familiarization with Atlassian implementation and maintenance is understood. Going to GitHub, are there any distinct challenges to be found or any perks to be attained?

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Replies (1)

These are pretty competitive, and to recommend one over the other would require understanding your usage. Also, what other tools you use: for instance, what do you use for Issue-tracking, or for build pipelines. In your case, since you are already using Bitbucket, the question would be: do you have any current pain-points? And, on the other hand, do you already use Atlassian's JIRA, where you'd benefit from the tight integration? So, though I would not recommend one over the other just in general,. But, if Bitbucket fulfills your current use-cases, then there seems to be little motivation to move.

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Decisions about GitHub Enterprise and GitLab
Phillip Manwaring
Developer at Coach Align · | 17 upvotes · 349.1K views

Both of us are far more familiar with GitHub than Gitlab, and so for our first big project together decided to go with what we know here instead of figuring out something new (there are so many new things we need to figure out, might as well reduce the number of optionally new things, lol). We aren't currently taking advantage of GitHub Actions or very many other built-in features (besides Dependabot) but luckily it integrates very well with the other services we're using.

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Elmar Wouters
CEO, Managing Director at Wouters Media · | 7 upvotes · 510.7K views

I first used BitBucket because it had private repo's, and it didn't disappoint me. Also with the smooth integration of Jira, the decision to use BitBucket as a full application maintenance service was as easy as 1, 2, 3.

I honestly love BitBucket, by the looks, by the UI, and the smooth integration with Tower.

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Weverton Timoteo

Do you review your Pull/Merge Request before assigning Reviewers?

If you work in a team opening a Pull Request (or Merge Request) looks appropriate. However, have you ever thought about opening a Pull/Merge Request when working by yourself? Here's a checklist of things you can review in your own:

  • Pick the correct target branch
  • Make Drafts explicit
  • Name things properly
  • Ask help for tools
  • Remove the noise
  • Fetch necessary data
  • Understand Mergeability
  • Pass the message
  • Add screenshots
  • Be found in the future
  • Comment inline in your changes

Read the blog post for more detailed explanation for each item :D

What else do you review before asking for code review?

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Weverton Timoteo

Using an inclusive language is crucial for fostering a diverse culture. Git has changed the naming conventions to be more language-inclusive, and so you should change. Our development tools, like GitHub and GitLab, already supports the change.

SourceLevel deals very nicely with repositories that changed the master branch to a more appropriate word. Besides, you can use the grep linter the look for exclusive terms contained in the source code.

As the inclusive language gap may happen in other aspects of our lives, have you already thought about them?

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Weverton Timoteo

One of the magic tricks git performs is the ability to rewrite log history. You can do it in many ways, but git rebase -i is the one I most use. With this command, It’s possible to switch commits order, remove a commit, squash two or more commits, or edit, for instance.

It’s particularly useful to run it before opening a pull request. It allows developers to “clean up” the mess and organize commits before submitting to review. If you follow the practice 3 and 4, then the list of commits should look very similar to a task list. It should reveal the rationale you had, telling the story of how you end up with that final code.

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Kamaleshwar BN
Senior Software Engineer at Pulley · | 8 upvotes · 668.6K views

Out of most of the VCS solutions out there, we found Gitlab was the most feature complete with a free community edition. Their DevSecops offering is also a very robust solution. Gitlab CI/CD was quite easy to setup and the direct integration with your VCS + CI/CD is also a bonus. Out of the box integration with major cloud providers, alerting through instant messages etc. are all extremely convenient. We push our CI/CD updates to MS Teams.

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Gitlab as A LOT of features that GitHub and Azure DevOps are missing. Even if both GH and Azure are backed by Microsoft, GitLab being open source has a faster upgrade rate and the hosted by solution seems more appealing than anything else! Quick win: the UI is way better and the Pipeline is way easier to setup on GitLab!

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Nazar Atamaniuk
Shared insights

At DeployPlace we use self-hosted GitLab, we have chosen GitLab as most of us are familiar with it. We are happy with all features GitLab provides, I can’t imagine our life without integrated GitLab CI. Another important feature for us is integrated code review tool, we use it every day, we use merge requests, code reviews, branching. To be honest, most of us have GitHub accounts as well, we like to contribute in open source, and we want to be a part of the tech community, but lack of solutions from GitHub in the area of CI doesn’t let us chose it for our projects.

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Pros of GitHub Enterprise
Pros of GitLab
  • 4
    Expensive - $$$
  • 2
    Code security
  • 2
    CDCI with Github Actions
  • 1
    Both Cloud and Enterprise Server Versions available
  • 1
    Draft Pull Request
  • 0
    User experience
  • 508
    Self hosted
  • 430
  • 339
    Has community edition
  • 242
    Easy setup
  • 240
    Familiar interface
  • 137
    Includes many features, including ci
  • 113
    Nice UI
  • 84
    Good integration with gitlabci
  • 57
    Simple setup
  • 34
    Has an official mobile app
  • 34
    Free private repository
  • 31
    Continuous Integration
  • 22
    Open source, great ui (like github)
  • 18
    Slack Integration
  • 15
    Full CI flow
  • 11
    Free and unlimited private git repos
  • 10
    User, group, and project access management is simple
  • 9
    All in one (Git, CI, Agile..)
  • 8
    Built-in CI
  • 8
    Intuitive UI
  • 6
    Full DevOps suite with Git
  • 6
    Both public and private Repositories
  • 5
    So easy to use
  • 5
  • 5
    Integrated Docker Registry
  • 5
    It's powerful source code management tool
  • 5
    Build/pipeline definition alongside code
  • 4
    Issue system
  • 4
  • 4
    Unlimited free repos & collaborators
  • 4
    Security and Stable
  • 4
  • 4
    It's fully integrated
  • 4
    Mattermost Chat client
  • 4
  • 3
    Great for team collaboration
  • 3
    Built-in Docker Registry
  • 3
    Low maintenance cost due omnibus-deployment
  • 3
    I like the its runners and executors feature
  • 3
    Free private repos
  • 3
    Because is the best remote host for git repositories
  • 3
    Not Microsoft Owned
  • 3
  • 2
    Groups of groups
  • 2
    Powerful software planning and maintaining tools
  • 2
    Review Apps feature
  • 2
    Kubernetes integration with GitLab CI
  • 2
    It includes everything I need, all packaged with docker
  • 2
    Multilingual interface
  • 2
    HipChat intergration
  • 2
    Powerful Continuous Integration System
  • 2
    One-click install through DigitalOcean
  • 2
    The dashboard with deployed environments
  • 2
    Native CI
  • 2
    Many private repo
  • 2
    Kubernetes Integration
  • 2
    Published IP list for whitelisting (gl-infra#434)
  • 2
  • 2
  • 1
    Supports Radius/Ldap & Browser Code Edits

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Cons of GitHub Enterprise
Cons of GitLab
  • 2
  • 28
    Slow ui performance
  • 8
    Introduce breaking bugs every release
  • 6
    Insecure (no published IP list for whitelisting)
  • 2
    Built-in Docker Registry
  • 1
    Review Apps feature

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What is GitHub Enterprise?

GitHub Enterprise lets developers use the tools they love across the development process with support for popular IDEs, continuous integration tools, and hundreds of third party apps and services.

What is GitLab?

GitLab offers git repository management, code reviews, issue tracking, activity feeds and wikis. Enterprises install GitLab on-premise and connect it with LDAP and Active Directory servers for secure authentication and authorization. A single GitLab server can handle more than 25,000 users but it is also possible to create a high availability setup with multiple active servers.

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What are some alternatives to GitHub Enterprise and GitLab?
Bitbucket gives teams one place to plan projects, collaborate on code, test and deploy, all with free private Git repositories. Teams choose Bitbucket because it has a superior Jira integration, built-in CI/CD, & is free for up to 5 users.
GitHub is the best place to share code with friends, co-workers, classmates, and complete strangers. Over three million people use GitHub to build amazing things together.
Atlassian Stash
It is a centralized solution to manage Git repositories behind the firewall. Streamlined for small agile teams, powerful enough for large organizations.
Azure DevOps
Azure DevOps provides unlimited private Git hosting, cloud build for continuous integration, agile planning, and release management for continuous delivery to the cloud and on-premises. Includes broad IDE support.
Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.
See all alternatives