When comparing Atom vs GitKraken, the Slant community recommends GitKraken for most people. In the question“What are the best developer tools for Mac OSX?” GitKraken is ranked 20th while Atom is ranked 25th. The most important reason people chose GitKraken is:
It's modern and beautiful, it looks clean and refined. It's simple: the most used features (pull, push, branch, stash, commit) are accessible in one click, and are the only buttons. The other features aren't in complicated menus nor in hundreds of buttons, but rather displayed when you right-click on something. It gives more space to the commits, i.e. the most important things. In fact, you can collapse or reduce the other menus/windows. It displays the current path (project, branch) on an horizontal (clickable) bar at the top. It's just a matter of taste but I prefer this to the traditional "tree" view. It has undo and redo buttons on the main window. It supports some drag-and-drop gestures (for example: drag-and-droping the local branch to the remote one pushes it).
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Extensive list of packages
Atom has a built-in package manager and an extensive list of packages.
Pro Built-in package management
Atom was built from the ground up with the community in mind. Package management is therefore a first class feature.
Atom can run on Mac, Windows, and Linux.
Due to its modular design, almost any aspect of the editor can be changed. Even seemingly core packages, like those taking care of search and replace functionality, can be forked on GitHub, and changed and replaced in the editor.
The documentation for creating new plugins is also great, making it easier for developers to jump in and create plugins for Atom.
Pro Free and open source
Atom is free, open source, and written in C++, LESS, and CoffeeScript.
Pro Beginner friendly
One of the goals of Atom is to be a text editor for both experienced and beginner programmers. You can add keyboard shortcuts, change themes, install plugins, and change core settings by clicking through a GUI, or by manually editing config files the old-fashioned way. It has the added advantage of being built using the same engine that powers Google Chrome, so actions like opening and closing tabs feel familiar, even to new or non-programmers.
Pro Embedded Git control
Atom will highlight folders, files, and lines that have any uncommitted edits made. It also integrates really well with GitHub.
Pro Multi-line select and edit
Multiple cursors and column selection allow for versatile ways of editing.
ctrl + d will select the current word and each time the command is repeated, it adds the next occurrence of the word to the selection.
ctrl + click or
middle-mouse click will place another cursor in the place that's clicked. Cursors can then be controlled together. This also allows for selecting vertically.
Pro Command Palette support
The Command Palette permits fuzzy searching all available functions, settings, snippets, etc.
Pro Allows for instant file switching
By pressing Ctrl or Command + T and using fuzzy search, you can look for a file in your project.
You can theme and customize Atom to your liking.
Pro Command line integration out of the box
Installing Atom adds two command line commands -
apm. The first one runs the application itself while the second is the Atom Package Manager that's used to add and remove various components from the package listing. While these features can be set up with other editors as well, Atom takes care of them out of the box.
Pro HiDPI support
Atom has built-in HiDPI support with zero scaling issues.
Pro Modern feel and very customizable and extendable
Pro Vim plugin turns Atom into a modernized vim
Pro Best support for Arduino with Platformio
Arduino is the most important platform for developing embedded systems.
Pro Could also be used as an IDE
Atom qualifies to be a good IDE because of the packages like linters, atom browser and hydrogen.
Pro Beautiful user interface
It's modern and beautiful, it looks clean and refined.
It's simple: the most used features (pull, push, branch, stash, commit) are accessible in one click, and are the only buttons. The other features aren't in complicated menus nor in hundreds of buttons, but rather displayed when you right-click on something.
It gives more space to the commits, i.e. the most important things. In fact, you can collapse or reduce the other menus/windows.
It displays the current path (project, branch) on an horizontal (clickable) bar at the top. It's just a matter of taste but I prefer this to the traditional "tree" view.
It has undo and redo buttons on the main window.
It supports some drag-and-drop gestures (for example: drag-and-droping the local branch to the remote one pushes it).
Pro Extremely easy to use
A lot of care has gone into trying to make GitKraken as easy and intuitive as possible and it show. Every action is quick and painless with no more user interaction than necessary. For example, switching to another branch is as easy as a double-click on the sidebar.
Built on top of Electron, so it runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows.
Pro Offers a simple way of undoing mistakes
GitKraken has simple undo/redo buttons that work the same way you'd expect in any other software.
Pro Some of the best integration with hosted version control services
GitKraken can be connected to Github, Gitlab, or Bitbucket accounts through OAuth. From that point onward most if not all actions that are related to these services can be done inside GitKraken. Things like: cloning or forking a repository, adding a remote, pushing to a remote repository hosted on these services can be done inside the app.
You can even manage pull requests inside GitKraken for example. All pull requests for a certain branch for example are shown on that branch's graph.
Pro Free version available
There are both pro and free versions available. The free version is pretty complete feature-wise for day-to-day operations.
Pro Under constant improvement
A quick glance at GitKraken's release notes shows how frequently it's updated. Updates are released on a 2-4 week cycle and each one brings new features and bug fixes.
Pro Has a FuzzyFinder
GitKraken has a fuzzy finder to switch between repos/files.
Pro GitFlow support out of the box
Supports GitFlow out of the box.
Pro Perfect for beginner developers
GitKraken is easy to use and is brilliant for the beginner developers
Pro Has a dark theme
No more eyestrain staring at white screens - GitKraken has a lovely dark theme.
Pro Good keyboard shortcuts
Con Very slow startup time
Atom is very slow to startup, which is a big disadvantage if you are accustomed to using it to make quick changes on your files.
Con High memory usage
Atom has a relatively high memory usage, especially when compared to some other text editors not based on Electron. For those who develop on the go, this also tends to mean shorter battery life.
Con Slows down exponentially with plugins
Extending it needs sacrificing responsiveness.
Con Has difficulty with large text files
Tends to crash or hang with large >(10MB) text files, making it less useful as a general text editor.
Con Doesn't handle RTL (right-to-left text) well
Text can't be highlighted and manipulated properly, cursor isn't displayed visually according to where it is logically (you have to type to find out), and similar issues.
Con Not suitable for older computers
Atom requires a lot of system resources to run, so it will most probably be painfully slow on an older machine.
Con Indent errors
Sometimes, especially when given a file that has different indentation that the current setting, the programm seems to get confused.
Con Not known when a new window will open
It's not really clear why and when a new window is opened when you open a file out of the tree view.
Con No text UI
Con Bloated - too many packages, too little productivity
Unable to use package to even convert a C file to PDF.
Con Slow because of Electron
Atom is not a native application. As such performance is subpar and the lag is especially noticeable on larger projects. It also opens a surprising amount of sub-processes and leaks a considerable amount of memory.
Con Crash and data loss
Repeated data loss when the app crashes.
A bugreport about that was closed automatically after some time, nobody cares.
Con Missing additional touches
As Atom is still relatively new, it's missing nice little touches that other text editors have implemented over the years. From simple ease-of-use items like middle-mouse button multi-cursor select, to the ways pasted information from a spreadsheet is interpreted in multi-select situations.
Con Doesn't recognize some keyboards
Con Must log into GitKraken servers to use the free version
All functionality is disabled unless you register for a free account and remain logged in.
There is the $99/user/yr Enterprise option. It allows you to deploy a Linux License Server in an air-gapped/offline environment.
Con Has memory-related issues
Like most Electron apps, GitKraken has some memory-related issues. For starter, it requires more memory for an action than an equivalent non-Electron application. Although this should not be a problem most of the time for people who use machines with lots of RAM (after all, RAM is pretty cheap nowadays), it can have some issues when opening large repositories and there have been cases where GitKraken failed to open very large repositories or started lagging once they were opened.
Con Not open source
It is gratis (no cost) but is not open source. The community cannot fix problems in it, audit it for security, or trust it in general.
Con Not free for commercial use
The free version of GitKraken cannot be used in commercial projects.
Can take between 2 and 5 seconds to load a repository, if not crashing while loading
Con No longer free for use with private repos
You can use GitKraken for free if you're working on a public hosted repo, but you can no longer work on a private hosted one without paying.
Con Crashes once in a while
Under specific circumstances, like resetting 5000+ changes, the GUI will crash.
Con Has annoying popup reminders that ask you to upgrade to the Pro version
Understandable, since nobody is entitled to use work done by others for free, but annoying nonetheless.
Con Not free for private repository
The last update made the app total nonsense. from now on, you need to purchase a license if you have a private project.
Con Amending merge output is a pro feature
In most cases of Merge Conflicts, users are stuck with auto-merge or manually resolving it by hand. This is because in the Free Tier, users can only (1) Keep File (ver 1), (2) Keep File (ver 2), (3) Auto-merge, or (4) Use External Merge Tool.
In addition, using External Merge Tools is very limited because GitKraken (all tiers) restricts External Merge Tools to only those it managed to Auto-detect. It also does not support custom arguments for the External Tools.
Modifying the merge output directly, or Selecting lines to keep/discard, is a Paid Feature.
Con Not free for private projects
The FREE plan does not allow you to open private repositories. This seems to be a recent change as of November 2019, previously that was ok.
Con Not free for private repos
It is no more free for use with private in-house repos. On top, need to log onto the gitkraken account to use it at all. It's like enrolling in a home depot account just to be able to open your own front door.
Con Can be confusing
Con Ugly, looks like a web app
Con No real commitement to Linux support
Infinite loop on Fedora 28, no debug feature or stacktrace available, no clear dependencies listing.... No real support on Linux.