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. GitHub has been the favorite place for hosting open source projects. But with Microsoft entering the scene, the scenario might be changed.
It’s not a secret that Microsoft doesn’t have a favorable view in open source community. In fact, some open source people are strictly anti-Microsoft. Microsoft taking control of GitHub would surely prompt the open source developers to look someplace else.
And this is why I have written this article to suggest you some worth alternatives to GitHub where you can host your Git repositories.
Best GitHub alternatives
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.
Aware of the current situation, GitLab now provides an easy way to migrate from GitHub.
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.
The pricing is not cheap of course. Hence I recommend using a cloud service like Digital Ocean that provides one-click installation of GitLab (affiliate link). You can run your own GitLab instance for as low as $5 per month. 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.
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 upto five team members.
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.
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 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:
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.
What’s your choice?
I provided my recommendation on GitHub alternatives. What would be your choice or recommendation for source code hosting service for moving away from GitHub? Do share your views.