When comparing Bitbucket vs GitLab, the Slant community recommends GitLab for most people. In the question“What are the best hosted version control services?” GitLab is ranked 1st while Bitbucket is ranked 3rd. 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).
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Pro Free unlimited private repositories for small teams
Bitbucket offers unlimited private repositories for free, as long as the number of members in a team is not larger than 5. In other words, it does not charge for each number of private repository, instead it charges by the number of team members.
Pro Native application for both Mac and Windows
Atlassian, the company behind BitBucket is also behind SourceTree, a free application for Windows and Mac wich works as a client for both Git and Mercurial and can be connected to BitBucket and/or other code hosting services.
Pro Integrated issue tracking system
BitBucket comes with an integrated issue/tickets management system.
Pro Multiple authentication methods
BitBucket supports Twitter, Facebook, OpenID, Google and even GitHub authentication.
Pro JIRA integration
JIRA, the widely used project and issue tracker is developed by Atlassian, the same team that's behind BitBucket.
When the two are integrated, JIRA automatically updates issues when a new commit is made in the BitBucket repo.
Pro Allows importing existing repositories
BitBucket has a feature which allows users to import an existing repository that has been hosted elsewhere.
The process is very simple, either a service is selected from a dropdown menu and then a repo can be chosen and the URL for a repository can be added in the specified field. Once that's done, the repository is now uploade into BitBucket and can be edited, forked and compared to other repos hosted there.
Pro Supports hosting static websites
BitBucket supports uploading and hosting static HTML pages for it's users.
Pro Unlimited contributors for private repositories for students/educators
Atlassian offers student licenses for both students and educators for Atlassian products that will be used in a classroom setting for education. This includes BitBucket, which means that students and teachers can have unlimited private repositories with and unlimited number of contributors.
Pro Backed by a trustable company that has proved it's worth
BitBucket is developed and maintained by Atlassian, which is not an unknown venture, especially for developers. Atlassian has a great number of other products used by million of users worldwide, including JIRA, HipChat, Confluence and Stash.
Pro Mercurial support
Pro Easy Trello integration
You can link BitBucket with your Trello board easily.
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 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 Has wikis and pages
Wiki and pages support out of the box.
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 Supports pull requests
Has pull request (AKA, merge request) support.
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 Very feature rich RESTful-API
GitLab exposes a REST API that allows automation possible, like PR bots.
Con Private repositories are free for only 5 users
Private repositories are free for teams with 5 members or less. If a team is larger, then BitBucket charges for each additional team member.
Con Not as stable as github
Users have experienced several half a day downtimes, almost every month. True, github is down once in a while, but when GitHub is down complaints breaks loose on Twitter, TechCrunch, and other major media outlets. For the past 5 years github has been down only three times, and two of these times they were attacked by major adversaries.
Con Requires registration of a "universal atlassian account"
Not a big con for some, but annoying to others.
Con Not all features are free
GitLab's Service Desk features and some more are only available in GitLab EE.
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 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 Not lightweight
GitLab is demanding, Gitea is a much more lightweight solution which uses less CPU and memory.
Con No Windows support
There is no support for Windows. The use of a virtual machine will be required.
Con Bad code review possibilities
No precommit reviews.