When comparing GitLab vs Bitbucket Server, the Slant community recommends GitLab for most people. In the question“What are the best self-hosted web-based Git repository managers?” GitLab is ranked 1st while Bitbucket Server is ranked 6th. The most important reason people chose GitLab is:
GitLab is a free and open source project licensed under MIT. Source code for Enterprise Edition can be found [here](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ee) and Community Edition [here](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ce).
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Good web UI
GitLab's UI is clean and intuitive. Each view is designed to not fill the screen with useless information.
It displays the activity in a feed-type way in the most prominent part of the view. On top of that, there's a toolbar with buttons which can filter this feed by pushes, merge events or comments.
On the left, there's a menu that displays all the links that take you to the different views. For example, a file directory which displays all the files in that repo, a commit view which displays all the commits in cronological order, a network and a graph view that display important information graphically etc...
All these details make GitLab's UI extremely intuitive and easy to use, no view is overflown with information and every view displays only the most useful and crucial information needed at that time.
Pro Has wikis and pages
Wiki and pages support out of the box.
Pro Regular updates
GitLab is being constantly worked on and has a new release every month on the 22nd. Updating is also very easy through a single apt-get command.
Pro Supports pull requests
Has pull request (AKA, merge request) support.
Pro Easy to install with the packages
With the packages available here, GitLab can be installed in two minutes.
Pro Support for protected branches
A protected master branch means that no code can be merged to master without passing a code review by an authorised developer. With GitLab this comes out of the box.
Pro Comes with integrated CI/CD solution
GitLab CI makes it easy to set up CI and deployment for projects in GitLab. It supports parallel testing, multiple platforms, Docker containers and streaming build logs.
Pro Permissions and roles are supported
It has private/public repositories, roles for users (master, developer, reporter, guest). All of these can be set from the user interface. Same permissions set for the UI work for the SSH as well.
Pro Issue tracking support
Has issue tracking out of the box. Creating tickets, commenting on issues, closing issues etc... It's all there out of the box.
Pro Integrates fully with LDAP
The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol is an application protocol for accessing and maintaining distributed directory information services over an Internet Protocol (IP) network.
GitLab EE adds additional functionality over CE such as support for multiple LDAP servers and group sync.
Pro Supports Approvers/Reviewers of Pull/Merge requests
Since 7.12 you can define a minimum number of approvers for merge requests.
Pro "Snippets" support
Snippets are similar to (well-known) GitHub "gists". They are a way to share code or have conversations about anything without needing a full git repo. The implementation here reminds more of a sort of pastebin.
A single instance can handle up to 40,000 users (requires a server with 64 core CPU and 64 GB of RAM) and it can run on multiple application servers to grow beyond that.
Pro Manages large files and binaries with integrated Git Annex
Git Annex enables Git to manage large files (esp binaries) without checking them into Git.
Pro Integrates with other systems by webhooks
Integrates out of the box with services like Bugzilla, Pushbullet, Microsoft Team Notification and many more - one can also add own webhooks to integrate with own services.
Pro Most GitLab EE features become part of GitLab CE after time
EE is the commercial Enterprise Edition, CE is the free and OpenScource Community Edition. Features such as Cycle Analytics were first a part of the EE and are now also available in CE.
Pro Can provide a Docker registry
The default docker.io registry is the docker hub but you can also login to other docker registries. And GitLab provides one for all Repos that make use of this feature.
Pro Integration with third party applications
GitLab integrates with multiple third-party services to allow external issue trackers and external authentication.
GitLab can integrate with many third-party apps to allow external issue tracking and authentication. It can also be integrated with several services, such as:
- Pivotal Tracker
Pro Very feature rich RESTful-API
GitLab exposes a REST API that allows automation possible, like PR bots.
Pro Allows Timetracking with Cycle-Analytics
Very useful project management feature that allows you to know how long it takes to go from the idea to production.
Pro Stash is excellent for code reviews
It's easy to create pull requests through the different view options and commenting. Stash also offers code reviews via pull requests, leading to better code quality.
Pro Issue tracking with JIRA and integration with Bamboo and HipChat
Stash uses JIRA for issue tracking and integrate out-of-the-box with Bamboo and Hitchat. Furthermore, it has many third party integrations and comprehensive API points for custom tools and integration.
Pro Easy to set up and use
Stash installation is very easy and there are install wizards for Windows, Linux and OSX. There are also a lot of tutorials and guides that cover the installation process and more.
Pro Stash is built with focus on enterprise teams
Stash is built with focus on enterprise teams, as such it can scale up to 5000 users on a single instance, it is flexible enough to deploy to multiple OS and has multiple backing stores and database options.
Pro Backed by an established company with amazing support
Stash is backed and developed by Atlassian, an established and world-class software company with a great history of customer support.
Pro Stash has a great permission system
Stash has a permissions system that has 4 levels that go down to branch level.
- Global Permissions: Decide who can log in, who the system admin is, etc...
- Project Permissions: Read, write, and admin permissions at the project level.
- Repository Permissions: Read, write, and admin permissions on a repository level.
- Branch Permissions: Access and write(push) on a branch level.
Pro Approvals for pull requests
In Stash, pull requests are visible to all team members, but they can only be approved for merging by a limited number of globally set reviewers.
Pro Stash is cross-platform
Works fully on Linux and with limitations on Windows and OS X. It also has installers that will make the installation easy for each of them.
Con Not all features are free
GitLab's Service Desk features and some more are only available in GitLab EE.
Con Bad code review possibilities
No precommit reviews.
Con Not lightweight
GitLab is demanding, Gitea is a much more lightweight solution which uses less CPU and memory.
Con The upgrade process fails more often than not
Even for minor versions such as 9.2.0 to 9.3.0. Sometimes the upgrade failure is silent and only seen when logging in first time after update and an http 502 error is given.
Con No Windows support
There is no support for Windows. The use of a virtual machine will be required.
Con Kind of slow
Con Requires at least 1GB of RAM
The default installation is meant for already many users and recommends 2GB of RAM. 1GB is possible but results in some HTTP 500 errors. On a Raspberry Pi 2 it runs fine most of the time, though it eats 75% of the RAM.
Another option is to reduce
unicorn['worker_processes'] in gitlab.rb.
Con Security risks
Costs money, but it is one-time (maintenance after first year is additional), and is much less than GitHub Enterprise if you have a rather large team.
Con No wikis or issue tracking out of the box
Stash is commonly used in conjunction with JIRA and Confluence to provide issue tracking and wiki/project management solution respectively.
Nor does it have some commonfly found info on Github, such as:
- Project description
- Most recent commit message/contributor on top
- Most recent commit message/date for each item in the file browser
- Contributor information
- Commit count, no branch count
Con It doesn't support Gists
Gists are a way to share code files, documents or discussions without needing a full git repo. Stash unfortunately has no equivalent. There is a payed plugin which can fill some of that void but it still does not compensate for the power of Gist.
Con It doesn't have the ability to edit files from the browser
In Stash you can't edit files in the Web UI out of the box. You have to buy an additional plugin for that.