GitHub is currently the most popular source code management and hosting platform on the web. It allows you to store and manage code repositories online, using the Git version control system. On GitHub, you can create and fork repositories, track the progress of your work, and collaborate with your team. It hosts millions of successful open-source projects in several different programming languages.
Although GitHub is an excellent platform, it’s not the only option for source code management and online version control. There are a couple of GitHub alternatives that offer similar features and capabilities. In this post, we have collected the 6 best GitHub alternatives for you.
Bitbucket is Atlassian’s source code management and version control application. It’s one of the most well-known GitHub alternatives currently on the market. Its most loved feature are free private repositories you can use up to 5 members, which can be an excellent solution for freelancers and smaller teams.
With Bitbucket, you get access to a well-designed, user-friendly interface where you can manage every aspect of your project. You can create repositories, branches, and pull requests, check out diff views, and collaborate with your team. You can host your projects in the Bitbucket Cloud, on your own server, and in an external data center as well.
Bitbucket seamlessly integrates with other Atlassian products such as Jira, Confluence, and Bamboo, too. It also has great documentation where you can find everything you need to know about source control management with Git. Bitbucket’s latest feature are Bitbucket Pipelines with which you can automate your CI/CD pipeline in several different ways.
- free private repositories up to 5 members
- unlimited public repositories
- multiple deployment options
- code-aware semantic search
- large file storage (LFS)
- built-in continuous delivery
GitLab is another excellent source code management tool if you are looking for viable GitHub alternatives. It’s used by notable companies and organizations such as NASA, Sony, Siemens, and many others. GitLab allows you to manage your entire DevOps lifecycle from project planning to issue tracking to monitoring. So, if you need a comprehensive DevOps tool GitLab might be even a better solution than GitHub.
With GitLab’s source code management service, you can collaborate with your team in many different ways. For instance, you can review and comment each other’s code, share ideas, and prevent code conflicts using the file locking feature. Besides, you can add description templates and task lists to your issues and merge requests to make communication easier across your team.
GitLab has a free plan that’s a great way to get started with the platform. The free plan already comes with unlimited private repositories, but premium plans have even more to offer. For example, you get access to professional support, code quality scans, merge approvals, a security dashboard, and many other advanced features.
- unlimited private projects and collaborators
- commits visualized as graphs
- analytics and reporting tools
- filterable system activity
- custom notifications by email, Slack, or ToDos
- JIRA integration
SourceForge is the favorite source code management platform of the Linux community. It was one of the first tools that offered free source code hosting for open source projects. Currently, it hosts more than 500,000 open source projects and serves over 4 million downloads per day. Many outstanding open-source teams have chosen SourceForge as a platform, such as Open Office, FileZilla, and Moodle.
With SourceForge, you can create as many open source projects for free as you want. Besides Git, you can also use Subversion and Mercurial for version control. SourceForge allows you to create commits, fork projects, merge pull requests, and view your commit history as a graph. Each repository comes with built-in statistics and analytics tools, too. SourceForge has a built-in automatic platform detection feature that gives you detailed information about the operating systems and locations of people who downloaded your software.
SourceForge provides a great solution for developers who are in search of GitHub alternatives. To make migration from GitHub easier, SourceForge has even created a GitHub Importer tool that helps you copy your entire GitHub repository into SourceForge’s platform.
- unlimited open source projects
- worldwide mirror network
- free statistics and analytics tools
- integrated issue tracking with milestones, custom fields, and labels
- browser-based code browsing
- advanced search capabilities
GitKraken is one of the most promising GitHub alternatives that have emerged in recent years on the market. It’s mostly known of its beautiful, intuitive user interface that makes online version control a breeze. GitKraken comes with many impressive visual features such as visual commit history, a fuzzy finder, drag and drop capabilities, and many others. It also has a cool “Undo” button that lets you return to a previous version of your repository with a single click.
The tool has a free plan for open source projects and a friendly price for commercial use (currently $4.08/user/month). GitKraken integrates with other source code management apps such as GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket, too. Thus, you can move your existing repos from these platforms to GitKraken without much hassle. If you sign up for an Enterprise plan you can also host your GitKraken projects on your self-hosted servers or serverless architecture.
GitKraken has a built-in source code editor, too. So, you don’t have to switch context between the code editor and the command line when you want to commit changes. You can add and remove files, make commits, and perform other Git-related tasks directly from the editor. GitKraken also supports Git hooks, the Gitflow workflow, and large file storage (LFS) for media files and larger data sets.
- built-in code editor with syntax highlighting and diff split view
- visual commit history
- in-app merge tool that resolves merge conflicts
- one-click undo & redo button
- Kanban-style task tracking with Glo boards
- seamless integration with other version control tools
5. AWS CodeCommit
AWS CodeCommit is Amazon’s solution for hosting scalable private Git repositories. As CodeCommit is built on top of Amazon’s architecture, you don’t have to worry about security, scalability, and availability. Your code repositories are stored in the AWS Cloud so that you can continuously deploy incremental changes. CodeCommit also makes use of AWS Identity and Access Management, so you can always know who accesses your repos and why.
CodeCommit makes it easy to collaborate with your team. It comes with all the features you can expect from high-quality GitHub alternatives. Among many other things, you can create and merge pull requests and branches, create code reviews, track issues, and more. If you already have an established Git workflow, you don’t have to change it, as CodeCommit works together with existing Git tools. Besides, you can use other AWS tools right from CodeCommit’s interface.
You can create unlimited repositories for free, up to 5 active users. With the free plan, you get access to 10,000 Git requests/month, too. After the first five users, you can add extra users for just $1.00/month/user, which is a quite friendly price.
- repositories are hosted on AWS’s distributed cloud servers
- unlimited free repositories up to 5 active users
- access to AWS code management tools such as AWS Mangement Console, AWS CLI, and AWS SDKs
- advanced monitoring tools
- automatic data encryption
- custom scripts and notifications
6. Cloud Source by Google
Cloud Source is Google’s source code management and version control solution, hosted on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Your repositories are hosted on distributed cloud server clusters, which ensures constant availability. Cloud Source also integrates with GitHub and Bitbucket. This means you can mirror code from your existing repositories to get access to Cloud Source’s advanced features.
You can use Google’s search engine to run sophisticated code searches across all your projects and repositories. You can even use regular expressions to perfectly target your search queries. Probably the best thing about Cloud Source is that you can use it together with other GCP products. For instance, you can use Google App Engine to deploy changes directly from your branches and Cloud Build to set up automated builds and tests.
Cloud Source has a free tier with many impressive features that Google promises to keep free forever. The free tier is up to 5 users, above which you can add extra users for $1.00/month, which is quite similar to AWS CodeCommit’s pricing model.
- free unlimited repositories up to 5 users and 50 GB storage
- repositories are hosted on Google Cloud Platform
- automatic syncing with GitHub and Bitbucket
- seamless integration with other GCP tools
- powerful code search, code browsing, and diagnostics
- debugging in production with Stackdriver Debugger
Online version control and source code management are essential to the modern web development workflow. Source code hosting platforms from GitHub to Bitbucket to Cloud Source let you store your code repositories on the web, track changes, and collaborate with your team.
Although there are many excellent GitHub alternatives, you might still decide to stick with GitHub—it all depends on your needs. If you want to learn more about the platform, have a look at our previous articles about how to start a Jekyll blog on GitHub Pages for free and how GitHub can help you to improve as a developer, too.