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GitHub vs. GitLab for DevOps

GitHub vs. GitLab

GitHub and GitLab are leading platforms in the DevOps space: With continuous integration, continuous deployment, and automation, these platforms facilitate DevOps practices. To help you decide which might suit your needs best, we’ll compare GitHub vs. GitLab in terms of their suitability and capabilities as DevOps solutions. We’ll break down the difference between GitHub and GitLab, compare GitHub Actions to GitLab CI, and show you exactly how to facilitate a GitLab to GitHub migration.

What is GitHub?

The world’s leading AI-powered developer platform and go-to choice for organizations ready to innovate ahead of the curve, the GitHub platform is trusted by 100 million developers and 90% of the Fortune 100 companies. Backed by Microsoft, our enterprise-ready platform provides a compliant and secure environment that’s globally accessible, helping organizations leverage integrations to deliver cutting-edge software that drives technological advancement. Natively-embedded, enterprise-grade tools like CI/CD and automation, application security testing, collaborative cloud development environments, collaboration tools, and AI make it easy to quickly deliver secure software fast. Enterprise application development empowers developers to optimize an organization’s existing technology and adapt to changing business needs.

What is GitLab?

GitLab is a web-based platform for managing and collaborating on software development projects. It provides a set of tools and features for version control, project management, and (CI/CD), and more. GitLab is designed to help software development teams work together more efficiently and effectively.

GitLab is a web-based source control management tool that provides Git repository hosting, that provides free open and private repositories, issue tracking-following capabilities, and wikis. It positions itself as ais a complete DevOps platform that enables usersprofessionals to perform all the tasks in a  project tasks —from project planning and source code management to monitoring and security - within a collaborative environment.. Additionally, it allows teams to collaborate and build better software. 

GitLab helps teams reduce product lifecycles and increase productivity, which in turn creates value for customers. The application doesn't require users to manage authorizations for each tool. If permissions are set once, then everyone in the organization has access to every component.

Why GitHub 

Backed by Microsoft and home to 100 million developers, GitHub leverages the largest open source community to make scaling easy: As projects and teams grow, the platform adapts to your changing needs. With trusted AI coding assistance infused into their workflow, developers can focus on problem-solving and collaboration—made seamless with features like pull requests, the issue tracker, and discussions. 

GitHub Advanced Security adds cutting-edge tools for static analysis, software composition analysis, and secret scanning, while GitHub Enterprise Cloud provides a number of flexible configuration options. Developers can automate, test, and deploy applications directly from private repositories and public repositories with GitHub Actions, a native integration that simplifies the development pipeline and allows for consistent and reliable code deployment.

GitHub’s intuitive interface and features are continually evolving: The platform listens to its users, rolling out updates and new features that cater to the ever-changing needs of the software world.

Only on GitHub

GitHub Copilot

Supercharge the developer workflow (and the developer experience) with AI-powered contextualized assistance—from code completions in the IDE to code explanations—throughout the software development lifecycle.

Learn more

GitHub Projects

Coordinate initiatives big and small with these adaptable spreadsheets, task-boards, and roadmaps that integrate seamlessly with your issues and pull requests.

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Code search and view

Enable developers to rapidly search, navigate, and understand your team’s code—and billions of lines of public code.

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GitHub vs. GitLab Feature Comparison






GitLab offers integrations with third party applications primarily scoped to: project planning, authentication ,monitoring, orchestration, and security.

Common integrations such as Jenkins, Jira, Slack, etc., are built-in as opposed to allowing the users to select which to install for their environments.

More information on GitLab supported third party integrations with GitLab can be found here

Coding capabilities


Third-party integrations



GitLab Duo: Beta AI tool as part of the paid "Ultimate" platform tier. GitLab Duo Pro ($19/user/mo) is their paid offering that is an add-on package of their Code Suggestions [GA] and Duo Chat [beta] 

CI/CD and automation


  • CI Lint tool–validates .gitlab-ci.yml file before committing

  • Dynamic environments

  • Native support for various testing strategies

Open source


GitLab encourages open source development and has published their open core under core is published under an MIT open source license. 



GitLab maintains SOC 2 Type 2 and SOC 3 reports for the Security, Confidentiality and Availability Trust Services Criteria for GitLab maintains SOC 2 Type 1 report for the Security, and Confidentiality Trust Services Criteria for GitLab Dedicated.

GitHub helps us operate efficiently at scale as we transform our business. Everything from security to automation is now in one place for our developers.
Thomas Dohmke
Yong Wen ChuaHead of Platform Engineering, SPH Media

GitHub and GitLab Pricing for 2024






Provides helpful DevOps lifecycle features for individual users. Unlimited private and public repositories available with limitations. 

400 compute minutes per month 

5GiB storage

10GiB transfer per month



$29 user/month


Enhances team productivity and coordination by introducing more complex workflows.



$99 user/month


All features from Premium, plus security, compliance, and planning for corporate projects. Users can customize their suite of SKUs depending on needs.

Frequently asked questions

What is the main difference between GitLab and GitHub?

Trying to choose between GitHub vs. GitLab for DevOps? The short answer: It depends on your current business needs and your growth plans. GitHub and GitLab are both mature, cloud-based SaaS platforms that offer native capabilities and integrations with third-party tools. While GitLab has their roots and the majority of their business in on-premises environments, they also have a relatively small cloud offering. 

GitHub is the home of open source and has been a cloud-native solution since their inception. Our unified platform offers on-premises environments and a marketplace full of integrations and automations. Backed by Microsoft, it offers access to broad, enterprise-level support and resources—not to mention security and reliability  thanks to long-term investments by such a legacy company. What’s more: GitHub is laser-focused on building the best developer experience on the market.  

Before making a decision on GitHub vs. GitLab, you should want to conduct your own research and test each solution.

What are the differences in security features between GitHub and GitLab?

GitHub Advanced Security—the only native security solution for GitHub—outperforms non-native add-ons with 7x faster remediation rates. Unlike traditional application security packages that burden your toolchain with unpredictable integration hassles, surprise maintenance headaches, and constant context switching, GitHub Advanced Security (GHAS) makes it easy for developers to implement and sustain secure coding practices. 

Leveraging familiar workflows and time-saving automations, GHAS adds cutting-edge tools for static analysis, software composition analysis, and secret scanning to the platform that developers already know and love. Native, scalable, and compatible with thousands of open source and commercial tools, GHAS brings developers and security teams together to accelerate the delivery of secure software. 

GitLab provides Static Application Security Testing (SAST), Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST), Container Scanning, and Dependency Scanning to help you deliver secure applications along with license compliance. Unlike GitHub, GitLab paywalls dependency scanning as part of their “Ultimate” package.

GHAS offers developers a security experience integrated with the rest of GitHub enterprise tools, increasing productivity and reducing context-switching.

What is the pricing difference between GitHub and GitLab?

While you can find most details about pricing in our pricing section, above, GitHub’s Enterprise plan comes with 50,000 Actions minutes and a GHAS add-on. Even after adding GitHub Enterprise for $21 per user/month, and the GHAS seats for $49/month per active committer, the GitHub total comes to $70 per user/month compared to GitLab's Ultimate license coming in at $99 per user/month for comparable features.

What is the difference between GitLab CI/CD and GitHub Actions?

GitHub Actions is a complete CI/CD solution for customers of all sizes. Actions make it easy to automate all your software workflows with native CI/CD built in to a complete developer platform. Similarly to the rest of GitHub, Actions is built specifically for the developer’s needs, providing a superior onboarding and developer experience which includes capabilities like starter workflows, repo analysis, and easy to understand views. Actions also makes it possible to automate across the entire SDLC to remove manual labor and keep projects moving efficiently and securely. Actions supports both hosted and self hosted runner options and with an ever expanding fleet of fully managed GitHub-hosted runners, users never have to worry about scale or security. The GitHub Marketplace provides over 20k+ actions built by trusted enterprises and open source contributors giving Actions users the flexibility and leverage to build out their workflows quickly and to a high standard of quality. Unlike GitHub’s Marketplace model, GitLab’s CI/CD provides and maintains all the features required for a complete CI solution where customers can self-manage runners on VM's, containers, or physical machines in the cloud or on-premise, and use those at the group or project level on GitLab SaaS to run CI jobs.

Can GitHub be used for DevOps?

Yes! GitHub is an essential part of the DevOps toolchain and workflow for millions of users, and provides several features and integrations that support key aspects of the DevOps lifecycle. A trusted platform for source code management, GitHub empowers teams to collaboratively work on code through pull requests, code reviews, and discussions, and has an extensive version control system to ensure changes can be properly reviewed, tested, and merged. GitHub’s built-in CI/CD solution, GitHub Actions, allows developers to automate, customize, and execute software development workflows right in their repositories. To enhance your DevOps toolchain, GitHub can be integrated with a variety of external tools and services, from issue tracking systems and monitoring tools to deployment platforms. GitHub can also be used to manage Infrastructure as Code repositories, and offers extensive security features that include code scanning, dependency scanning, and secret scanning.