Gitlab vs. GitHub for DevOps: Which Should You Pick?

Gitlab Vs Github Featured

The GitLab vs. GitHub debate is a tough one to settle. Both of these web-based platforms that help users collaborate on software development projects are good at what they do. They make it simple to manage, share, and track changes in code, enabling teams to work together efficiently. In terms of data privacy and security, both platforms perform almost equally.

But which one is better for you? In this article, we’ll use various metrics to compare these platforms in detail and help you choose the best one for your needs.

Tip: if you are starting to learn git, here are some simple Git hooks you should know.

GitLab vs. GitHub: A Quick Comparison

Features and CapabilitiesInner SourcingSupportedComprehensive guides and tutorials are available
Data TransferProvides several tools for importing and exporting dataMore restrictive, lacks proper instructions
Integrated CI/CDBuilt-in support for CI/CD pipelinesRequires third-party apps
DeploymentSimplified deployment with built-in solutions and Kubernetes automationRequires third-party integrations
MilestonesSupportedNot supported
Comment TrackingSupportedSupported, with the ability to remove sensitive information from Edit History
Access LevelsAssign different access levels based on rolesGrant read or write access to the entire team or create private repositories for specific individuals
Knowledge BanksLimited support, not as comprehensiveComprehensive guides and tutorials available
Performance and SpeedSpeedSlower overall, but superior in CI/CD and advanced monitoring toolsFaster overall due to extensive caching and load-balancing technologies
Server InfrastructureSmaller server infrastructureLarger server infrastructure with multiple data centers distributed worldwide
CustomizationHigh customization optionsLimited customization options
Data Privacy and SecurityAuthenticationSupports two-factor authentication and access control mechanismsSupports two-factor authentication and access control mechanisms
Vulnerability ScanningOffers vulnerability scanning for the codebaseOffers vulnerability alerts
Code AnalysisIntegrated set of tools for code analysisOffers similar tools, such as code scanning, code QL, and dependabot
Secret ManagementNative secret management featureOffers GitHub action workflows
ComplianceCompliance dashboardProvides templates
ProtocolsUses HTTPS and SSHUses HTTPS (SSL and TLS encryption) and SSH

Good to know: With the right guide, GitHub is pretty easy to get started with.

GitHub vs. GitLab: A Detailed Look At the Differences

Below, we have shared a detailed breakdown of both platforms in terms of features, performance, speed, privacy, security, and pricing.

Features and Capabilities

A Person Working On A Laptop
  • Inner Sourcing: GitLab allows people in an organization to access and modify the software according to their duties. GitHub doesn’t have this feature, making it difficult for teams to collaborate and work together.
  • Data Transfer: GitLab has several tools that aid coders in importing and exporting data such as projects, webhooks, and repositories. GitHub also allows you to make data transfers but is more restrictive and doesn’t provide proper instructions on transferring data with its tools.
  • Integrated CI/CD Pipelines: GitLab has support for CI/CD pipelines, which automate and streamline the process of building, testing, and deploying software. This feature makes the automation process easier for developers. On the other hand, GitHub doesn’t provide any built-in commands, but you can use third-party apps.
  • Deployment: GitLab streamlines the deployment process by offering built-in solutions and robust Kubernetes automation. Alternatively, GitHub doesn’t include native deployment tools. Instead, you must rely on third-party integrations to enable deployment capabilities, resulting in additional complexity and a steeper learning curve.
  • Milestones: With GitLab, you can use milestones to check the progress of software development at any point in the DevOps cycle. However, GitHub doesn’t support this feature, making it harder for teams to track their development.
  • Comment Tracking: Both GitLab and GitHub offer this feature. But GitHub even allows you to remove certain information from the Edit History if it contains any sensitive details.
  • Access Levels: In GitLab, you can assign different access levels to team members based on their roles, allowing you to exclude members from data that isn’t relevant to them. On GitHub, you can either grant read or write access to the entire team or create a private repository and invite specific individuals.
  • Knowledge Banks: GitHub has several guides and tutorials to help users understand how everything works and learn how to perform specific platform operations. As for GitLab, it doesn’t offer much support in this area. It has knowledge banks, but they aren’t as comprehensive as GitHub.

Tip: Learn how to use Git alias to make using Git more efficient.

Performance and Speed

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Image source: Mike van den Bos


GitHub has high speed due to extensive caching and load-balancing technologies. Whereas GitLab has features like GitLab pages that let you host static websites directly to run CI/CD pipelines on your infrastructure or cloud provider.

In terms of raw speed and response time, GitHub is faster, but in areas like CI/CD and advanced monitoring and analytics tools, GitLab is way ahead.


Both platforms generally aim to maintain a high level of uptime, typically around 99.9% or higher. However, the average uptime of both GitHub and GitLab can vary over time due to factors like maintenance, updates, or unexpected outages.

You can visit GitHub’s status page to get the most recent uptime information and performance history for GitHub. Similarly, you can visit GitLab’s status page for up-to-date information on GitLab’s uptime and performance.

Server Infrastructure

GitHub has a large and strong server infrastructure with multiple data centers distributed worldwide. Plus, it utilizes a distributed architecture to ensure maximum availability and reliability.

On the other hand, GitLab also utilizes a distributed architecture but has a slightly smaller server infrastructure which means it cannot handle traffic as much as GitHub can.


When it comes to customization, GitLab turns the tables as it allows you to configure the GitLab instance to meet your specific needs. For example, you can customize the interface, set up a custom workflow, create your own GitLab CI runner, etc. GitHub doesn’t offer such customizations.

Data Privacy and Security

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Authentication and Access Control

Both GitHub and GitLab offer support for two-factor authentication; they also provide access control mechanisms such as granular positions, roles, and groups to manage who has access to your repositories.

Vulnerability Scanning

If your software or infrastructure is weak, an attacker can exploit it, leading to serious consequences. GitLab offers vulnerability scanning for your codebase, which detects all security vulnerabilities. In contrast, GitHub offers vulnerability alerts that notify you if your software has any weaknesses.

Code Analysis

Code analysis works like vulnerability scanning. It analyzes your code for security flaws such as buffer overflows, SQL injections, cross-site scripting, etc.

GitLab offers an integrated set of tools for code analysis, such as static analysis, dynamic analysis, and code quality analysis. GitHub offers similar tools, including code scanning, code QL, and dependabot for dependency scanning.

Tip: Extend GitHub’s functionalities by adding these top GitHub apps to your repository.

Secret Management

GitLab offers a native secret management feature to securely manage API keys and passwords. On the other hand, GitHub offers a feature similar to secret management known as GitHub Actions workflows.


Software must meet certain industry standards and regulations to be legal and successful. GitLab and GitHub both offer compliance features that help you achieve that. While GitLab offers a compliance dashboard that helps meet regulations, GitHub provides templates.


GitLab uses HTTPS as its primary protocol for communication between clients and the GitLab server. HTTPS encrypts all the communication between the client and the server so the data isn’t intercepted and the server identity is authenticated. Besides this, it also supports SSH (Secure Shell).

GitHub also uses HTTPS and SSH as its protocols. However, GitHub’s HTTPS uses (SSL Secure Sockets Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption to communicate between the client and the server.


A Person Counting Money
Image source: Karolina Grabowska
PlatformPlanFeaturesPrice (per user, per month)
  • 5GB storage
  • 10GB transfer/month
  • 400 units of compute/month
  • 5 users per namespace
  • 50GB storage
  • 100GB transfer/month
  • 10,000 units of compute/month
  • Code Suggestions
  • Code Ownership and Protected Branches
  • Merge Requests with Approval Rules
  • Enterprise Agile Planning
  • Advanced CI/CD
  • Enterprise User and Incident Management Support
  • 250GB storage
  • 500GB transfer/month
  • 50,000 units of compute/month
  • Free guest users
  • Suggested Reviewers
  • Dynamic Application Security Testing
  • Security Dashboards
  • Vulnerability Management
  • Dependency Scanning
  • Container Scanning
  • Static Application Security Testing
  • Multi-Level Epics
  • Value stream management
  • Unlimited public repositories
  • Unlimited collaborators
  • 500MB of GitHub Packages storage
TeamAll Free features, plus:
  • Unlimited private repositories
  • Team access controls
  • 2GB of GitHub Packages storage
EnterpriseAll Team features, plus:
  • SAML single sign-on
  • Advanced auditing
  • GitHub Connect
  • 50GB of GitHub Packages storage

Community and Support

GitHub has one of the largest communities of developers and enthusiasts worldwide. Considering this, it won’t be wrong to say that GitHub’s active and connected community is one of the reasons behind its success.

GitLab, on the other side, has a smaller community, but the way it engages it by hosting events and gatherings makes it no less than GitHub’s community.

GitLab vs. GitHub: Our Verdict

Based on the features and plans on offer on these platforms, it’s clear that both of them have aspects that are ideal for certain scenarios.

A Person Looking At A Screen

GitLab Is Ideal For…

  • Large enterprises with complex needs
  • Self-hosted environments
  • Businesses with agile teams
  • Organizations that value automation

GitHub Is Ideal For…

  • Open-source projects
  • Tech startups and small businesses
  • Organizations that prefer cloud-based solutions
  • Businesses that require advanced security features

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use GitLab and GitHub together?

Yes, you can use GitLab and GitHub together because both are Git-based, allowing simultaneous use and flexibility. To use them together, set up automatic mirroring, add both as remote repositories or use each for different purposes to get the best out of both platforms.

Can I import my existing repositories from GitLab and GitHub?

Yes, you can import your existing repositories from GitLab and GitHub. Both platforms provide import tools to easily migrate your repositories from one platform to another. When switching platforms, you can transfer not only your codebase but also associated data such as issues, merge requests, and wikis, ensuring a seamless transition.

Is GitLab safe for private projects?

Yes, GitLab is safe for private projects. GitLab offers private repositories even in its Free tier, which means only authorized users have access to the repository and its contents. GitLab takes various measures to ensure the security and privacy of your projects, including role-based access control, two-factor authentication (2FA), security features, and compliance certifications, such as SOC 2 Type 2 and GDPR.

Which platform is better for large teams?

Determining which platform is better for large teams is difficult, as both have strengths and weaknesses. While GitLab offers strong access controls, built-in CI/CD, and integrated tools, GitHub has a large user base, many integrations, and collaboration features. You need to choose according to your team’s needs.

Ojash Yadav
Ojash Yadav

Ojash has been writing about tech back since Symbian-based Nokia was the closest thing to a smartphone. He spends most of his time writing, researching, or ranting about Bitcoin. Ojash also contributes to other popular sites like MakeUseOf, SlashGear, and MacBookJournal.

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