GitHub, GitLab & Bitbucket: What is the Difference Between Them?

Coding, Technology
Difference between GitHub, GitLab & Bitbucket

Often developers need to share their codes for a software project with developers or other team members. Cloud has made this process much easier. While using Git cloud computing for source control, there are three options that developers can use – GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket. These three platforms for repository management are among the best options for a team trying to develop, manage and maintain codes or a software project as a whole.

In this article, we will discuss these three repository platforms and a detailed comparison of their features. The comparison will show us the aspects where these three are similar, where they vary with each other, and focus on whether one could be a better option than the other.  So, let us start with understanding each of them, and then we will gradually move on to their comparison.

GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket – What are they?


GitHub is a cloud-based repository that is used by developers to store and manage a project. Alternatively, it can be said that it is an internet hosting service to aid software development and control the updated versions of the software with the help of Git. Its common usage is to support open-source projects for software development and team collaboration.


This free Git repository offers both open and private repositories and is a complete DevOps platform. From project planning, code management, and security to monitoring, a developer can perform all tasks involved in a project on this platform. Teams can collaborate here for the betterment of the software.


It is a cloud-based service that is used by developers to store and manage their codes and also track and control the changes made to the codes. Bitbucket provides the Git repository hosting service which is cloud-based and has a user-friendly interface over Git. It also provides a variety of other services to teams like collaborating and creating new projects, and, testing and deploying it.

Comparison between GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket


Here is a highlight of the comparison between the three :

Points of comparisonGitHubGitLabBitbucket
1. Free private repositoriesThe GitHub platform does not offer free open repositories.Provides free private repositories to its users.There is no such functionality.
2. Free public repositoriesOffers free public repositories.Provides free public repositories as well.Also provides free public repositories.
3. Merge requests and issue templatesIn this platform, the user can ask for both merge requests and issue templates.This platform also allows users to ask for merge requests and issue templates.No such functionality is available for Bitbucket.
4. Integrated CIGitHub provides GitAction for CI/CD which is chargeable after a few days.It comes with integrated CI functionality.The functionality is provided within the platform.
5. Open sourceIt is not an open-source platform but the user will find a few limited free features here.It is a completely open-source platform where all the features are free to use for users.Does not provide an open-source platform. However, one can find a few features of open source in Bitbucket.
6. Navigation usabilityThis platform comes with navigation usability functionality.It also has the navigation usability functionalityIt does not provide any such functionality.
7. Storage for large-size filesAllows storage of large-sized files.Allows storage of large-sized files.Also allows the storage of large-sized files.
8. Third-party tool integrationCapable of integrating third-party tools into the platform.Capable of integrating third-party tools into the platform, as well.Also, capable of integrating third-party tools into the platform.
9. Project analysisNo provision for project analysis.Users can make use of the burndown chart and project analysis chart to analyze a project.Similar to GitLab, a burndown chart and project analysis chart can be used for project analysis.

Final Words

Bitbucket, GitHub, and Gitlab are three cloud-sourced platforms that help professionals to store and manage software projects. Among the three, GitLab is the only platform that is completely an open-source repository where developers can use all its features free of cost.

Arguably, GitLab maybe is an alternative platform for GitHub and Bitbucket, but it has a wide range of functionalities to offer besides a wonderful user interface. It has been observed that recently many teams have switched to GitLab which is particularly due to its support towards CI pipeline and Docker.

Nevertheless, it always depends on the project type, software requirements, team size, and workflow to decide on the cloud repository platform that suffices the needs.

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