Git service providers comparison

Since its inception, the attitude of GitHub toward repositories was to allow unlimited public repositories, while make private ones paying. Whether it’s a consequence of Microsoft’s acquisition or not, this stance changed recently: GitHub announced private repositories were also made free, for up to 3 contributors.

There was a lot of celebration on the Web, but not from my side. This move looks more like a (desperate?) move to keep developers on GitHub. Whether that’s the case or not, I’d like to use the occasion to compare the free-tier offering of the 3 major Git-as-a-Service providers, namely: Microsoft GitHub, Atlassian BitBucket and GitLab.

GitHub BitBucket GitLab

Unlimited public repositories

Unlimited private repositories

Max. users per public repo


Max. users per private repo



Open Source

Bug tracker

(relies on JIRA)

Project management

Build pipeline

(relies on third-party e.g. Travis CI)

Pages website

(GitHub Pages)

(GitLab Pages)

Of course, there are other criteria to consider when choosing your GaaS provider.

Some years ago, I chose GitLab to build and host this very blog based on some of those. Nothing in GitHub’s new offering makes me change my mind.

Nicolas Fränkel

Nicolas Fränkel

Developer Advocate with 15+ years experience consulting for many different customers, in a wide range of contexts (such as telecoms, banking, insurances, large retail and public sector). Usually working on Java/Java EE and Spring technologies, but with focused interests like Rich Internet Applications, Testing, CI/CD and DevOps. Also double as a trainer and triples as a book author.

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Git service providers comparison
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