When comparing Bitbucket vs GitHub, the Slant community recommends GitHub for most people. In the question“What are the best hosted version control services?” GitHub is ranked 2nd while Bitbucket is ranked 3rd. The most important reason people chose GitHub is:
GitHub's UI is clean and intuitive. Each view is designed to not fill the screen with useless information. For example, the repository view displays only the most crucial data about that repo - on the top it displays the number of commits, branches, releases and contributors. When clicked, each of them will take the user to a page that displays more detailed information.
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Pro Integrated issue tracking system
BitBucket comes with an integrated issue/tickets management system.
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 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 Easy Trello integration
You can link BitBucket with your Trello board easily.
Pro Excellent tutorials
Pro Nice and usable UI
GitHub's UI is clean and intuitive. Each view is designed to not fill the screen with useless information.
For example, the repository view displays only the most crucial data about that repo - on the top it displays the number of commits, branches, releases and contributors. When clicked, each of them will take the user to a page that displays more detailed information.
Pro Integrated issue tracking
GitHub has integrated issue tracking that makes hunting and solving bugs easy. Each project's issues page can be filtered by closed issues, assignees, labels and milestones. Issues are also sortable by age, number of comments and update time.
Pro Provides free hosting for static websites
GitHub Pages is a feature that allows developers to create websites for their projects or anything they need a static website for, for free.
Pro Anyone can fork
Any user can fork a project and submit a pull request. If accepted by the owner, the fork will be merged with the master branch.
Pro Large community
GitHub is the largest code host on the planet with over 21.4 million hosted repositories and many users. It's unarguably the largest VCS used by developers worldwide and as such, it has a vibrant community that follows it resulting in many guides and tutorials for new users. Even experienced developers can always find an answer to any question they may have.
Pro GitHub makes it easy to find open source projects
GitHub is the largest host in the world for open source projects. Developers from all over the world fork and work on countless projects hosted on it.
GitHub's search box is a powerful tool that allows developers to find open source projects in areas they are interested in and where they can immediately start to contribute.
GitHub also has a page dedicated solely at exploring and finding open source projects, grouping them by each topic they cover. In the same view, GitHub displays trending repositories and sorting them by day, week or month.
Pro Gist (Snippets)
Gists is GitHub's way to easily share code, text snippets or any kind of information with the world. They are an easy way to share text and they work as Git repos, which means that they are forkable and versioned. They are also fully compatible with Git.
Pro Simplified team management tools
GitHub has easy and useful features to control teams, large and small alike. Team members can be given different powers on different projects, ranging from the ability to create them, to only being able to have read-only access.
Pro Convenient continuous integration with Travis CI
GitHub can be integrated with Travis CI for code testing and deployment, furthermore it is free of charge for free open-source projects.
Pro Supports Two-Factor authentication
GitHub has added another layer of security to their user accounts. This layer comes in the form of Two-Factor authentication. After it's enabled, GitHub delivers an authentication code by SMS, or by a free application for smartphones. After two-factor authentication is enabled, the authentication code is sent to the account owner's phone any time someone attempts to sign into their GitHub account. This means that only someone who has both the password and authentication code can sign into the account.
Pro Easy integration with cloud hosting services
Many widely used cloud hosting services are easily integrated with GitHub. Any project hosted on GitHub can be set up on these services in seconds. Some companies that offer this feature are:
- Amazon Web Services
- Google Cloud
- Windows Azure
Pro Support for mandatory code reviews
GitHub allows maintainers to make code reviews mandatory for any repository they choose.
Pro Code search functionality
GitHub supports searching code. Whether it's from a specific project or from the whole website. What's more, GitHub has excellent SEO and you can easily find any line of code hosted on public repos on GitHub even from Google.
Pro Student discounts
GitHub offers very good student discounts along with other things, such as AWS credits.
Pro Additional features for academics
For those with a valid .edu email or valid school ID there are additional benefits such as free private hosting. While it may take time for the account to be verified, it can easily be worth it.
Pro Project management tools available
GitHub has a tool called (quite intuitively) "Projects". It helps teams to organize and prioritize the work they are doing by creating roadmaps and release checklists.
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 Owned by Microsoft
Con Rule of thumb: 1GB per repository, 100MB per file
For most repositories this is acceptable, but for already large repositories with a long history, this may be a limiting factor.
Con Using it encourages other tools to integrate only with GitHub, leading to a monopoly
Con Limited web browser support
Modern web browsers like Waterfox are no longer supported, breaking basic UI elements and making the site unusable
Con No OAuth2 support
In order to sign in to GitHub, users have to sign up first with unique credentials for GitHub only, so no option to sign in with Google+ or Facebook.
Con Very inconvenient UI
Very hard to switch between projects.