GitLab vs GitHub: Key differences & Similarities

Every developer’s focus has always been on the necessity for a “Git.” It predates both GitHub and Gitlab’s existence. Two or more developers contributed code to a project. Source code version control was all too often a tangled mess.

As a developer, you should have some sort of portfolio to show off your work. Also, experience and contribution to a publicly hosted project(s).

gitlab vs github

I will guide you on their applicability to help you pick the best choice for your projects. Using both platforms would be counterproductive. So I will show their relevance to helping you decide the best fit for your projects.

What is Git?

Consider Git to be the central system for managing file and content modifications. Git can be used on your local network or in the cloud with the help of hosting service providers.

It’s worth acknowledging that there are alternatives to GitLab and GitHub, such as Bitbucket and Gitea.


Git has been spiced up with a variety of other tools and features by service providers. Making it possible to market the platform that results. You’ll find out more about this later. For the time being, let’s compare GitLab to GitHub.

Cloud Git repositories such as GitHub and GitLab go ahead with the basics of Git. Aid in the development workflow. They also feature project administration, presentation, and deployment capabilities.

What is GitHub?


GitHub is a for-profit firm that provides Git repository hosting in the cloud. Individuals and teams will find it much easier to utilize Git for version control and collaboration.

The GitHub interface is simple enough that even inexperienced programmers can use it. Utilizing Git usually necessitates a little more technical know-how and command-line experience.

However, because GitHub is so user-friendly, some people use it to handle other types of projects. GitHub earns money by offering private code repositories hosted on its servers. Other business-focused options make managing team members and security easier for businesses.

In addition, anyone can sign up for free and host a public code repository. It’s one of the reasons why GitHub is so popular among open-source projects.

Core features of GitHub include

Social/collaborative coding:

You manage modifications made by each contributor. It includes development teams and code from other projects. Assign senior team members duties for reviewing and controlling the quality of the code produced.

GitHub PM Tools:

GitHub also has a complex set of tools that tailor every modification to the project and team. You may track issues, set milestones, and use a graphical dashboard to quickly see what’s going on in your repositories.

GitHub has a distinct selling point in that it is Microsoft-owned. When you utilize Microsoft’s development tools, it’s the default version control system (VCS).

Continuous Integration and Deployment:

Create templates to help you manage your software delivery process. Construct pipelines. Tasks that execute according to a schedule, starting with coding and ending with deployment.

Security for Git:

It starts with easy two-factor authentication (2FA) and automatic code branch protection. Enterprise-grade security such as LDAP and SAML and IP access filtering is included.

What is GitLab?


GitLab is a single application that serves as an open DevOps platform. It distinguishes GitLab and allows for a more efficient software workflow. It frees your company from the limitations of a patched-together toolchain.

GitLab is a single program that covers all aspects of software development.  You’re not utilizing GitLab. Your DevOps lifecycle is distributed over a variety of apps. The overhead of integrating, managing, configuring and maintaining these slows down your team. Moving to a single application will help you provide better software faster by speeding up your workflow. Learn how GitLab may be used to replace a variety of your current applications.

Core features of GitLab include:

Management of source code: 

GitLab provides a collaborative workspace for any code files that your team needs to work on. You can edit, moderate access, and iterate on code by branching and merging with main files.

DevSecOps in GitLab:

Static tests (SAST) are done on every code block before committing to the main files. Vulnerability administration, Android app experiment, and container safety are all affected.

Infrastructure automation: 

Users can have a seamless infrastructure automation experience. Just combine the basic functionalities of GitLab and GitOps.

DevOps on autopilot: 

GitLab offers a pipeline that takes quality assurance, testing. Also, security scanning and deployment are out of the hands of your engineers. The moment code is submitted to a repository, the auto-DevOps feature starts.

Given how it arose, you may be confident that it resolves a problem GitHub had not addressed. We have a better understanding of what GitLab and GitHub have to contribute.

Similarities between GitHub vs GitLab

Similarities between github vs gitlab

Some of the significant commonalities between GitLab and GitHub offer are as follows:

  • Issues

Both GitHub and GitLab can set up the status, assignees, and milestones for multiple issues rapidly.

  • Assist the community

GitHub’s support community is slightly larger. Both solutions have a robust developer community. They contribute to GitHub and GitLab’s updates and upkeep.

  • Tracking

Both GitHub and GitLab provide excellent issue tracking features. It allows for status updates as well as the assignment of owners to each problem. Both GitLab and GitHub may receive bug reports immediately.

  • Labels

Both GitLab and GitHub make it straightforward to add labels to issues. Also, merge requests and epics to categorize them based on descriptive titles. Titles include “bug” or “documentation,” which is highly useful for tracking.

  • Integrations

Both GitLab and GitHub include a large number of third-party integrations. It helps streamline workflows and increase productivity. A marketplace of third-party integrations for tools and applications is available on GitHub. Integrations for development and DevOps teams are available in GitLab.

  • Combined Approvals

Developers can use both programs to check one or more persons authorize merge requests. These approvals allow the development team to pre-define a list of approvers for each merge request. It is done in a project to increase coding quality.

  • Templates for writing descriptions

In both GitLab and GitHub, developers can add a description template to issues. Also, merge requests by picking a template for effective communication.

  • Solutions for businesses

For development teams and businesses, GitLab and GitHub provide enterprise-level features. GitLab is better suited to the enterprise. Both systems perform admirably in our situation.

  • Edits

Upstream maintainers can collaborate on a source branch and edit it into a fork on both platforms. Maintainers can make minor changes or rebase branches. It is done before merging, reducing the number of community contributions iterations.

  • Documentation

Both GitLab and GitHub maintain a different documentation system known as Wiki. It is integrated into each project as a separate Git repository.

  • Revert Commits

Using the user interfaces of GitHub and GitLab, you can roll back commits or a single merge request.

GitHub vs GitLab: Main Key Differences

GitHub vs GitLab: Main Key Differences

A few key distinctions between GitLab and Github may lead you to pick one over the other.

Continuous Integration

GitLab has an integrated CI/CD framework. It allows you to conduct automated tests quickly. The fantastic built-in CI/CD tool that comes with GitLab is used to entice developers to switch. But that is no longer the case. There’s no need to use a third-party CI/CD tool with Github. Streamline the development process by automating testing.

By offering its own built-in CI/CD system, Github made a fantastic decision. For many years, GitLab has provided its own CI/CD tool. GitLab’s Continuous Integration framework is widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, solutions available. GitLab also includes integrations with a variety of tools. That is if you choose a different CI/CD framework.

DevOps Lifecycle

When it comes to managing your complete DevOps lifecycle, GitLab outperforms Github. GitLab takes care of your complete software development lifecycle (SDLC). From a concept in your head to cloud-based code. The GitLab interface isn’t exactly user-friendly. If you’re new to GitLab, you may be perplexed.

The beauty of Github is that it has a super-simple interface and infrastructure.

Github does not include all of the functionality required for a complete SDLC. Github won’t suffocate you with half-finished features.

Documentation Import/Export

GitLab provides comprehensive documentation for importing and exporting files. It simplifies and streamlines the entire GitLab workflow. GitHub, on the other hand, does not include comprehensive documentation on importing and exporting. When it comes to your GitHub workflow, it could be regarded as harmful.

GitHub, on the other hand, includes a program called GitHub Importer. It takes care of the entire importing procedure for you. And as a result, getting started with GitHub is a breeze.

So, if you’re thinking about switching to GitHub, the GitHub importer tool will come in handy. However, there isn’t much material provided for the exporting section.

Private Repositories 

They are only accessible to members of the public. GitLab, unlike GitHub, provides free private repositories for open source projects.

Tracking of comments

GitLab does not support giving the whole history of a thread of comment updates, whereas GitHub does.


GitLab had a significant edge over Github in that it offered free private repositories indefinitely. Github offers free private repositories to teams of three or fewer people.

Github also restricts repository storage to 500 megabytes per repository. GitLab limits the amount of storage per repository to 10GB.

All public repositories on Github receive free code and secret scanning. It’s a component of the Github Advanced Security system. Github repositories also enable code hosting for improved Github DevOps lifecycle management. Both GitLab and Github repositories have advantages and disadvantages. They do admirably against one another.

Export to a CSV file

GitLab may send CSV files of issues as attachments to default notification email addresses.

Private Nature

The Confidential Issues module in GitLab creates private issues. It is only available to project members with the Reporter access level or higher.


Internal projects in GitLab allow developers to promote internal sourcing of internal repositories. It is something GitHub does not provide.


Permission is granted in GitLab based on people’s roles. Developers in GitHub can grant read or write access to individual repositories.

Platform for deployment

GitHub does not have a built-in deployment mechanism. It must rely on a third-party interaction with an external program. GitLab, on the other hand, uses Kubernetes to provide a seamless deployment experience.

Comparison between GitHub vs GitLab

Comparison between GitHub vs GitLab
  • Fees

With publicly published codes, GitHub projects are free and open to everybody. GitLab is a code repository where only its team of web engineers may collaborate.

  • Location

In the free plan, GitHub does not allow you to locate a repository within an organization. While utilizing the free program, GitLab enables users to find a repository within an organization.

  • Issue Tracker

The issue tracker supports pulling requests. It means that when issues are merged to another repository, they are automatically closed. The issue tracker allows users to link the problems to PRs so that they can be closed automatically.

  • Documentation

GitHub documents are structured into a series of guidelines, each of which focuses on a different platform. GitLab docs are similar to language documentation in that they include a search bar and a list of all the documents needed by the installer.

  • Integration

In GitHub, there is no built-in continuous integration. Third-party providers are in charge of providing it. GitLab has a built-in integration that works well. They prefer to use their integration tools, which are constantly updated.

  • Authentication

Authenticating who has access to and does not have access to the repository can be done based on their function. A developer has the right to decide someone should have access to a repository in this case.

  • Community

GitHub has a sizable developer community. It has millions of active users with whom to debate issues. GitLab offers community events that bring open-source contributors together.

  • Platform

It has a development platform where projects can be stored. It has features like task management, bug tracking, and so on. GitLab is a web-based DevOps tool for managing internal repositories.

  • Inner-sourcing

Internal repositories can be sourced from within by developers. Inner sourcing is not permitted in GitLab.

  • Confidential Issues

This module creates personal issues that are only visible to project participants. The confidential issue feature is not available in GitLab.

GitLab vs GitHub Pricing

GitLab vs GitHub Pricing

The GitLab Premium plan starts at $19 per month per user. It provides project management and codes integrity controls to managers.

Similarly, GitHub’s subscription plans emphasize advanced collaboration tools. Also, security and compliance features.

However, there is a notable price difference between the two systems. The GitHub Team plan costs $4 per month per user.

gitlab vs github: Github pricing

GitLab Ultimate costs $99 per month per user, but GitHub Enterprise costs $21 per month per person.

gitlab vs github: Gitlab pricing

GitLab‘s free plan is positioned as a competitor to GitHub’s Team plan. Its Premium plan is positioned to complement the Enterprise plan.

Merits and Demerits of GitHub


  • For an open-source codebase, this is an incredible system.
  • Pull requests and comments are available.
  • There is a sizable community.
  • Allows for collaboration from afar.
  • Allows for simple sharing.
  • The user interface is intelligent and user-friendly.
  • It has features that make it simple to control.


  • Doesn’t have a great API development team.
  • For those looking for a private repository, it’s a little pricey.

Merits and Demerits of GitLab


  • Has a steady stream of new features.
  • Pull requests and code reviews are available.
  • The GitLab CI/CD lifecycle is supported.
  • Codes are simple to maintain.
  • Has a command-line interface (CLI).
  • Provides package management services.


  • The update process has been problematic.
  • There are a lot of flaws in GitLab.
  • Some enterprise-level functionalities are missing.

How to Choose between GitLab vs GitHub?

Choose between GitLab vs GitHub

GitLab gains out in terms of functionality and self-hosting. However, as the market chief, GitHub is in a novel position. It has a considerably higher amount of applications and integrations.

GitLab is the better option for self-hosted unique repositories. You may accept right away without requiring to pay a monthly fee. Both are great choices for open-source plans. GitLab provides premium abilities for free. GitHub provides access to a broader community of active open source subscribers.

GitHub has a significantly more affordable enterprise package for commercial plans. GitLab is the more recognized and perhaps less costly option if you’re trying to get into DevOps. 

It also relies on technologies your organizations are already familiar with. If GitLab doesn’t have a combination with a program, you practice regularly. GitHub will be the apparent winner.

GitLab is a good alternative if you want to automate a lot of the work after coding. You might also take the CI/CD automation minutes cap into account. Companies that use GitLab are likely to have experimented with GitHub at some point. They choose the DevSecOps method for security enforcement. It can be tough to pick between GitHub and GitLab. They both have a distributed version control system (VCS).


GitLab may be a better option if your requirements are more flexible and you want to save money. GitHub is the method to go if you have a big community. GitHub availability is higher and more prevalent among developers. GitLab, on the other hand, is powerful and offers more entrepreneur-friendly plans and features.


Is GitHub or GitLab better?

GitLab, unlike GitHub, provides free private repositories for open source projects. Within the developer community, GitHub is more popular than GitLab. GitLab gives you a free 30-day trial of their premium services without requiring any credit card information. Compared to GitHub, GitLab offers a better source code management system.

Why is GitHub so popular?

GitHub is the world’s largest open-source repository. It provides developers with a multitude of unrivaled advantages. GitHub is the largest software development platform in the world. It stores source code in the cloud. Also, supports all major programming languages and simplifies the iteration process.

Does Microsoft own GitLab?

Microsoft’s acquisition of GitLab, an open-source developer collaboration service. GitLab is saying goodbye to Microsoft Azure and transferring to Google Cloud Platform.

Are Git and GitLab the same?

Git is a free and open-source shared version control system that can easily handle small to substantial projects. GitLab is a self-hosted open-source Git management solution. GitLab allows you to manage git repositories, code reviews, issue tracking, activity feeds, and wikis.