What are the differences between GitHub and GitLab?

Once you decide to be related to IT, you will have to deal with Git, and, consequently, with Git repositories. So, the question “GitHub or GitLab?” will appear in your head for sure. Let’s make a short GitHub vs. GitLab comparison. But first, a brief Git definition.

From the moment it was created by Linus Torvalds. Git became incredibly popular as it helps track the changes developers make to the files. Git repo, as it is, not only tracks but also saves the history of all changes. The DevOps make to the files in any Git project. It saves the mentioned data in a repo folder, a .git directory.

Is GitHub and GitLab the same?

Actually, from the first sight, they may look a little bit similar as both these git repository hosting services have Git in their name and are run by Linux servers. Although they have different distinctive features. So, here let’s look at some GitHub – GitLab differences one by one. 


Managing CI/CD is one of the most significant differences between these two services. GitHub allows its users to work with the CI/CD tools of their choice, on the other hand, they will need to integrate it themselves. What is more, it’s usual for GitHub users to work with a third-party CI program available directly from GitHub Marketplace. GitLab, in its turn, has built-in CI/CD and DevOps workflows. 


When we speak about GitLab backup, as a command-line utility. We understand that it runs on the same Linux server as GitLab itself. On the other hand, GitHub provides a similar possibility to another separate host. Otherwise, both git hosting services recommend having an alternative solution. For example, – the most PRO GitLab backup and GitHub backup. And recovery software on the market.

Speed vs. reliability

Sometimes it is difficult to choose between speed or reliability. Though both these options tell us about comfort. It is up to the user to decide which one suits him more. GitLab permits the user to make multiple stable branches beyond the master. But it can a little bit slow down the process of testing as multiple steps should be performed. Meanwhile, GitHub permits the merging of new branches with the master branch. So a user can faster deploy and restore the old variant in case of trouble.   


Due to the fact that GitLab is a modular application and consists of a number of components, which can exist either as a single node or can be separated into different nodes. It allows both vertical and horizontal scalability.  GitHub, on the other hand, has a monolith system, so it can’t be divided into a number of components. In this situation, GitHub allows only vertical scalability.  

As it has already been mentioned, it is up to a development team to decide which git hosting service to choose. But it should definitely meet all the users’ needs and security measures. So, before starting to code, every IT department should decide what are the most important criteria for him.  

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