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GitLab

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GitLab vs Tower: What are the differences?

Developers describe GitLab as "Open source self-hosted Git management software". 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. On the other hand, Tower is detailed as "The most powerful Git client for Mac & Windows". Use all of Git's powerful feature set - in a GUI that makes you more productive.

GitLab and Tower are primarily classified as "Code Collaboration & Version Control" and "Source Code Management Desktop Apps" tools respectively.

Some of the features offered by GitLab are:

  • Manage git repositories with fine grained access controls that keep your code secure
  • Perform code reviews and enhance collaboration with merge requests
  • Each project can also have an issue tracker and a wiki

On the other hand, Tower provides the following key features:

  • Clone & create repos with a click - Manage your GitHub, Bitbucket & Beanstalk accounts from within Tower
  • Open repos quickly - Tower's "Quick Open" dialog finds and opens repositories in no time
  • Automate the boring stuff - Fetching and stashing are automatically done for you, if you wish

"Self hosted" is the top reason why over 451 developers like GitLab, while over 16 developers mention "Git" as the leading cause for choosing Tower.

GitLab is an open source tool with 20.1K GitHub stars and 5.33K GitHub forks. Here's a link to GitLab's open source repository on GitHub.

Alibaba.com, trivago, and Avocode are some of the popular companies that use GitLab, whereas Tower is used by Swat.io, Coderus, and Startae. GitLab has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1234 company stacks & 1477 developers stacks; compared to Tower, which is listed in 31 company stacks and 16 developer stacks.

Decisions about GitLab and Tower
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
Head of Engineering at Dibiz Pte. Ltd. · | 8 upvotes · 250K 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 gitlab.com 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
on
DeployPlace
GitHub
GitLab

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 GitLab
Pros of Tower
  • 489
    Self hosted
  • 418
    Free
  • 332
    Has community edition
  • 236
    Easy setup
  • 235
    Familiar interface
  • 130
    Includes many features, including ci
  • 106
    Nice UI
  • 80
    Good integration with gitlabci
  • 52
    Simple setup
  • 32
    Has an official mobile app
  • 30
    Free private repository
  • 25
    Continuous Integration
  • 18
    Open source, great ui (like github)
  • 14
    Slack Integration
  • 10
    Full CI flow
  • 9
    Free and unlimited private git repos
  • 8
    User, group, and project access management is simple
  • 7
    Intuitive UI
  • 7
    Built-in CI
  • 7
    All in one (Git, CI, Agile..)
  • 4
    Both public and private Repositories
  • 3
    Mattermost Chat client
  • 3
    Integrated Docker Registry
  • 3
    Issue system
  • 2
    Excellent
  • 2
    Security and Stable
  • 2
    Free private repos
  • 2
    Low maintenance cost due omnibus-deployment
  • 2
    On-premises
  • 2
    Unlimited free repos & collaborators
  • 2
    Great for team collaboration
  • 2
    It's fully integrated
  • 2
    I like the its runners and executors feature
  • 2
    CI
  • 2
    So easy to use
  • 2
    One-click install through DigitalOcean
  • 2
    It's powerful source code management tool
  • 2
    Build/pipeline definition alongside code
  • 1
    The dashboard with deployed environments
  • 1
    Multilingual interface
  • 1
    Native CI
  • 1
    HipChat intergration
  • 1
    It includes everything I need, all packaged with docker
  • 1
    Powerful software planning and maintaining tools
  • 1
    Groups of groups
  • 1
    Dockerized
  • 1
    Beautiful
  • 1
    Wounderful
  • 1
    Opensource
  • 1
    Because is the best remote host for git repositories
  • 1
    Not Microsoft Owned
  • 1
    Full DevOps suite with Git
  • 1
    Many private repo
  • 1
    Published IP list for whitelisting (gl-infra#434)
  • 1
    Powerful Continuous Integration System
  • 1
    Kubernetes Integration
  • 1
    Kubernetes integration with GitLab CI
  • 1
    Review Apps feature
  • 1
    Built-in Docker Registry
  • 0
    Supports Radius/Ldap & Browser Code Edits
  • 18
    Git
  • 16
    Just works
  • 10
    Version control
  • 6
    Awesome
  • 6
    Simple layout
  • 4
    Multiple windows
  • 3
    Multiple tabs
  • 3
    Automatic repo discovery
  • 2
    Gitflow support
  • 2
    Uses standard git terminology and methods
  • 2
    Submodule support
  • 2
    Interactive stage or discard by hunks or lines
  • 2
    Github integration
  • 2
    Full featured client
  • 1
    SAS

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Cons of GitLab
Cons of Tower
  • 26
    Slow ui performance
  • 6
    Introduce breaking bugs every release
  • 5
    Insecure (no published IP list for whitelisting)
  • 0
    Built-in Docker Registry
  • 0
    Review Apps feature
  • 4
    Subscription based
  • 4
    Expensive
  • 1
    No side by side diff
  • 0
    Merge conflict resolution impossible/unclear

Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

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.

What is Tower?

Use all of Git's powerful feature set - in a GUI that makes you more productive.

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

What companies use GitLab?
What companies use Tower?
See which teams inside your own company are using GitLab or Tower.
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What tools integrate with GitLab?
What tools integrate with Tower?

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Blog Posts

What are some alternatives to GitLab and Tower?
GitHub
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.
Bitbucket
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.
Jenkins
In a nutshell Jenkins CI is the leading open-source continuous integration server. Built with Java, it provides over 300 plugins to support building and testing virtually any project.
Gogs
The goal of this project is to make the easiest, fastest and most painless way to set up a self-hosted Git service. With Go, this can be done in independent binary distribution across ALL platforms that Go supports, including Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.
Git
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