Top GitHub Alternatives to Host Your Open Source Projects

Brief: If you are looking to migrate from GitHub, here are some of the best alternatives to GitHub for hosting the source code of your open source project.

By now you must have been aware that Microsoft has acquired GitHub. While GitHub has been the favorite place for hosting open source projects. But with Microsoft entering the scene, a lot of open source projects moved to a GitHub alternative.

It’s not a secret that Microsoft doesn’t have a favorable view in the open source community (or maybe they’ve started liking the open source community, who knows?).

In fact, some open source people are strictly anti-Microsoft. Microsoft taking control of GitHub would surely prompt the open source developers to look for something else other than GitHub.

And this is why I have written this article to suggest some worthy alternatives to GitHub where you can host your Git repositories.

Best GitHub alternatives

Best alternatives to GitHub

The focus here is on GitHub alternatives that have at least some sort of free service. Because that was the main attraction of GitHub. There are several Git repository hosting services but not all of them provide a free option in their package.

The list also includes some self-hosted tools which do not offer managed hosting options, so you should take a look at them to decide for yourself.

1. GitLab

GitLab is the number one choice to replace GitHub. It is the closest to GitHub in terms of use and feel. Best of all, GitLab is an open source software. You can download and install it on your own server.

Many open source projects have already been using GitLab. GNOME and GIMP are some of the examples.

You might have also noticed that a couple of projects moved to GitLab as well. It’s easy to migrate your project if you need.

Migrate GitHub to GitLab

You are not bound to deploy GitLab on your own server. GitLab provides hosted service as well but it costs money. Here’s the pricing structure if you want to host at GitLab’s servers.

GitLab Pricing

The pricing is not cheap of course. Hence, you can also try using a cloud service like Digital Ocean that provides one-click installation of GitLab (affiliate link). You can run your own GitLab instance for about $20 per month (depending on your minimum requirements). Digital Ocean also gives $10 free credit to new users. You can read this tutorial to see how easy it is to deploy GitLab on Digital Ocean servers in minutes.

2. BitBucket

BitBucket is a version control repository hosting service from Atlassian. It is tightly integrated with other Atlassian project management tools like Jira, HipChat, and Confluence. This makes it a preferred choice for big enterprises.

But you don’t have to be a big enterprise to use BitBucket. It has got something for everything. If you look at its hosted account price, you can see that it is free for projects with up to five team members.

Bitbucket Pricing Screenshot

Open source projects with more than five members can still use BitBucket for free. All you have to do is apply for community license and adhere to Atlassian’s open-source guidelines.

3. SourceForge

Source Forge GitHub alternative

SourceForge is another big name on this list of GitHub alternatives.

SourceForge has been popular among open source projects. Many Linux distributions and projects provide their downloads through SourceForge. It enables developers to create open source projects by providing all the necessary tools.

Source Forge popularity got hit with the surge of a more intuitive GitHub. However, under the new leadership of Logan Abbott, SourceForge has redesigned its interface and is focusing to regain its lost spot in open source code hosting.

For GitHub migrants, SourceForge provides tools to import entire GitHub repositories or selected repositories into existing projects. This video shows how to use this tool:

4. Launchpad

Launchpad source code

Launchpad is a software collaboration platform from Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu. Launchpad has been extensively used by Canonical and projects around Ubuntu. It has been instrumental in providing the PPA and bug tracking for Ubuntu related projects.

Though Launchpad has been on the scenes for years, it has not gained as much popularity as the other GitHub alternatives on the list. It has been typically seen as an ‘Ubuntu stuff’.

That being said, Launchpad has good support for Git. You can host or import Git repositories on Launchpad. And this is entirely free.

Launchpad is a good choice if you can ignore the stale interface and slightly different workflow than GitHub.

5. Google Cloud Source Repositories

Google Cloud Source Repo

Google Cloud Source Repositories can be a good alternative for private repositories. You can get started for free with a limit of 5 users and 50 GB storage. To start with, you get a 12-months trial period.

It is worth noting that if you continue using the Google Cloud Platform within the free tier usage limits, you won’t be charged. However, if you want more resources or users for your project, you can opt to upgrade to a paid account manually.

You should check out their pricing list and the free tier details for the trial if you’re interested for a paid account.

6. AWS CodeCommit

Aws Code Commit

AWS CodeCommit is a similar alternative to Google Cloud Source Repositories.

Just like the Google Cloud Platform, AWS also provides a free tier that does not end when the trial ends. So, it’s free forever if your usage is within the free tier limits as mentioned in their official documentation.

You can have 5 users and 50 GB of storage for free to start with. If you want to add more users, you can do it for $1 per extra user for the resources you already have.

Aws Code Summit Pricing

And, if you want more resources along with the number of users, you should check out the detailed pricing.

7. Phabricator

Phabricator

Phabricator by Phacility is an all-in-one tool that lets you host code and discuss/plan to keep working on a project without needing to utilize separate applications for communication/collaboration.

You can audit source codes, manage tasks, manage a workboard, note things down, and do a lot of things.

Phabricator Pricing

Phabricator lets you self-host or opt for the paid hosting solution offered.

8. Gogs (Self-Hosted)

Gogs

Unlike some of the ones mentioned above, Gogs is a completely self-hosted solution to host your code.

Also, it is a very lightweight option that can also run on a Raspberry Pi. Of course, you can also utilize a $5/month cloud hosting solution like Linode or Digital Ocean.

9. Gitea (Self-Hosted)

Gitea

Yet another self-hosting solution to host your code is a community fork of Gogs (which I’ve mentioned above).

Similar to the above, it is a lightweight option and can even run on Raspberry Pi.

10. Apache Allura (Self-Hosted)

Apache Allura was originally built by SourceForge as an open-source implementation that utilized Python and MongoDB while offering REST APIs. It is indeed a decent GitHub alternative.

You can check out the comparison of its features to its competitors in its official comparison chart and decide for yourself.

Bonus: Radicle (A Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Code Collaboration Platform)

Radicle P2p Github Alternative

If you do not want to rely on any single entity, you can try Radicle (in beta phase while updating this article). No central server, no censorship, and private.

It is a peer-to-peer code collaboration platform where you just need a unique ID to add users to your network and work together to maintain/develop a project. You may not find all the options because it is still in its early stage of development but it is something promising to keep an eye out for.

You can learn more about it in our coverage on Radicle.

Other GitHub Alternatives That You Can Try

There are several other code hosting platforms that may not be as good as GitHub – but if you want to explore more options, I’ve listed some of them below:

What’s your choice?

I provided my recommendation on GitHub alternatives. What would be your choice or recommendation for a source code hosting service to switch from GitHub?

Do share your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • Google is NOT your friend. I’d go with SourceForge or Launchpad. They both have been around forever and have great reputations.

  • Github used to be the best because it had a very attractive and SIMPLE interface. It used to be intuitive and very easy to use. After Microsoft bought it, they made the interface as cluttered and complicated as possible. Now it all just looks kind of a mess.