The most distinguishing factor between GitHub and Bitbucket is that GitHub focuses on public code while Bitbucket focuses on private code. GitHub has a large open-source community, but businesses and organizations mainly use Bitbucket.
Bitbucket and GitHub are the most popular source code management platforms for development projects, with a range of deployment options ranging from entirely cloud-based to on-premise.
They have historically taken various approaches to private vs public repositories, which has impacted the ease of cooperation and the danger of data disclosure.
The software developer’s calling card is a GitHub account. Every developer must publish examples of their code on GitHub, just as every writer is expected to display his blog. However, this does not automatically ensure that GitHub is the ideal solution for tech teams.
GitHub thrives on simplification and distribution to make coding very easy, and as such, it is critical to the open-source backbone of the internet as we know it. In this GitHub vs Bitbucket article, we will see how both platforms fare against each other.
Bitbucket now supports Git; however, the situation has altered for other repository formats. Bitbucket used to have the edge over GitHub in that it could host both Git and Mercurial repositories.
There was never support for SVN, but Bitbucket’s modernization has come at the price of Mercurial support. Bitbucket is written in Python and is built on the Django web framework.
Bitbucket was founded in 2008 in Australia as a separate business that provided hosting solely for Mercurial projects. It was purchased in 2010 by Atlassian, another Australian firm, and approximately a year later introduced support for Git repositories.
Following Microsoft’s recent acquisition of the platform for $7.5 billion, several users concerned about keeping code private have switched to Bitbucket from GitHub.
Bitbucket interacts very well with JIRA, designed initially as a bug tracker but has since grown to be so versatile that it can now be used for bug tracking, issue tracking, service desks, and project management.
This comes as no surprise given that Atlassian’s JIRA is likewise an Atlassian product. Other features include:
- Code reviews and pull requests
- Private repositories are limitless
- Comparison of branches and commit histories
- SourceTree, a Bitbucket Mac and Windows client; BitBeaker, an Android app
- Stash is a Bitbucket for Enterprises
- Jira, Crucible, Bamboo, Jenkins, and HipChat integration
- Deep integration with Trello is provided by Bitbucket Cloud, which allows for the smooth integration of branches, commits, and pulls requests into Trello boards
- Permissions for branches. Instead of giving developers access to all branches in a repository, Bitbucket allows you to limit access to a single branch. This avoids nightmare scenarios like an unintentional master push and is a significant difference for Bitbucket.
- Continuous delivery, bug tracking, and wikis are all built-in.
- Seamless connectivity with Bamboo and Confluence and Atlassian’s Jira Software Cloud for further setup customization and hosting.
- Bitbucket Snippets allow you to build and manage a variety of multi-file snippets.
Third-party connectors let you incorporate Bitbucket into many aspects of your existing workflow, making the entire development process much more efficient.
Bitbucket supports Git Large File Storage (LFS), which results in faster clone and retrieve speeds for users who work with large files.
GitHub is probably the most popular development site, with one of the world’s largest coding communities. It is widely regarded as the center for Git version control, with over 40 million members and 100 million repositories globally.
It is also the most extensive host source code on the planet: GitHub is a website for storing open source repositories founded in 2004 and bought by Microsoft in 2018.
It’s written in Ruby and Erlang, with a significant focus on open-source programming. It may be used to host and review code, create software, and manage development projects.
GitHub.com was founded in 2008, with the platform developed in Ruby and Erlang. GitHub is intended to foster intimate communication and cooperation among development teams.
It offers features like highlighted code comments and collaborative code review to that goal. Other noteworthy characteristics are given here.
- A built-in problem tracker within your project
- Within projects, there are milestones and designations
- Views of branch comparison
- There are native programs for Windows and Mac desktops, as well as an Android app.
- Over 200 programming languages and data formats are supported.
- GitHub Pages is a feature that allows you to publish and host content on GitHub.
- API integration allows for easy integration of third-party applications and integration with a wide range of other products and platforms. Asana and Zendesk for issue/bug management; CloudBees, Travis, and CodeClimate for Continuous Integration (CI); AWS, Windows Azure, Google Cloud, and Heroku for cloud hosting are a few examples.
- The GitHub team recognizes that SVN is a popular alternative to Git. Therefore they provide a tool to convert SVN repos into Git and host them on GitHub. However, reviews indicate that it is a clumsy, rather uncomfortable solution at best. They also wisely ensured that GitHub repositories are fully accessible through the SVN client.
- Highlighting the syntax. GitHub users would be accustomed to this as a primary, essential function; however, Bitbucket lacks it.
- In open-source projects, there is a high degree of utilization. This is hardly surprising given GitHub’s enormous number of public repositories. Supporting trending Repos and highlighting hot subjects has helped GitHub become the open-source community’s default option. GitHub hosts major open-source projects such as Linux and jQuery.
The extensive usage of GitHub for storing code by small developers has resulted in a well-tested platform with one of the finest user experiences in the open-source community.
Bitbucket, which did not begin with such a significant emphasis on open source and has experienced lower usage, has suffered at times with an interface perceived as more challenging to navigate than GitHub offers. However, this has just changed.
Bitbucket’s user experience is now receiving excellent marks. Its online editor is among the finest for modifying code straight online without first downloading it to your system.
While it is not the most user-friendly platform, it is solid and adaptable, with many capabilities to meet the demands of small companies and corporations that have long been significant platform users.
The Bitbucket interface revolves around the “Your Work Dashboard,” which provides quick access to your pull requests and repositories.
Bitbucket has a full-featured Git interface covering everything from SSH key management to issue tracking to filtering pull requests and other functions.
GitHub offers an easy-to-use interface that is suitable even for new-to-Git and online source code hosting. The platform has always been open-source friendly, with a user interface that allows access to Git’s underlying features and some of its own.
However, there may be times when you will need to know how to use Git from the command line, particularly if you are managing big open source projects with complicated merging needs.
GitHub allows you to quickly examine and evaluate contributions made by collaborators and use online diff capabilities to manage code at a granular level.
The interface also provides excellent support for collaborative code review, which is hugely beneficial for working in teams, task tracking and management, and DevOps features like CI/CD.
GitHub’s additional tools, such as GitHub Desktop, allow you to broaden the variety of capabilities available to manage your Git code collaboration even further.
It has also suffered at times with an interface perceived as more challenging to navigate than GitHub offers.
Bitbucket and GitHub both function as collaboration and knowledge-sharing platforms in addition to working with source code.
Wikis and other collaborative tools integrated into the platforms assist teams in working together on ideas that become part of the intellectual space of the code.
When you establish a code repository on Bitbucket, you receive a wiki. Wikis on Bitbucket may be maintained and versioned, and many projects utilize them as project home sites.
Other features that help with team collaboration include side-by-side diffs, IDE integration, and the option to arrange repositories into projects.
GitHub also provides a wide array of collaborative options, with its history of permitting massive open-source projects attesting to the resilience of the platform’s collaboration tools.
Some of the projects with virtual collaborator networks and the most significant number of contributors, to mention a few:
- Native React
- Apache Spark.
- Visual Studio Code is a software development environment.
The GitHub process, which includes diffs, repository forking, pull requests, simple cloning, branching, merging, and other features, makes it one of the finest platforms for teams seeking to collaborate on code, whether open source or not. GitHub also supports wikis for documenting your project and sharing information with your team.
In terms of Wikis and collaboration, GitHub seems like a worthy winner: simple cloning, repository forking, branching, pull requests, merging, diffs, and other features. This makes it among the best platforms for teams seeking to collaborate on code, whether open source or not.
One of the primary benefits of Atlassian’s Bitbucket is that it works incredibly well with the Atlassian suite of development tools, which are widely used and popular among developers.
This is undeniably true and should be taken into account; nonetheless, keep in mind that GitHub has been taking steps to strengthen its products with similar capabilities. It also interacts nicely with the Atlassian suite of development tools.
Bitbucket works nicely with Atlassian’s Jira issue tracker software and Trello, a prominent project management tool used by many software and business teams.
Furthermore, developers and teams hosting their repositories on Bitbucket have access to more than 50 interfaces with other frequently used developer tools. These are some examples:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service provided by Microsoft.
- Docker Hub
- And a lot more
You can monitor analytics from these services and tools directly inside Bitbucket and manage elements of your software or DevOps infrastructure alongside the code, thanks to integrations.
If you decide to use GitHub, you’ll be overjoyed to know that the plugins for Trello and Jira are somewhat capable.
GitHub started in 2018, that it has been working with Jira to develop an interface that would provide better functionality for linking your GitHub code to Jira Software Cloud. GitHub, for example, released “Projects” in 2016, a tool that allows Trello-like cards to organize tasks and coding projects.
Integrations for a wide range of popular developer tools and software solutions are also available on GitHub. For team communication, for instance, a Slack interface is available, as are connectors with Codefresh and Semaphore for continuous integration.
LogRocket and Waydev are two monitoring integrations that are accessible. Integrations with GitKraken Glo Boards and DeepAffects are available under the project management area, among many more helpful integrations in many categories.
Given that Bitbucket and GitHub are both Git repository hosting giants, it seems probable that they might continue to offer the most comprehensive sets of integrations with other popular coding tools.
One major exception is the removal of Mercurial from Bitbucket’s source code hosting services in 2020. GitHub never supported this VCS, although Bitbucket did for a long time.
Nonetheless, owing to the small number of Mercurial users, it has expired on Bitbucket’s system and will no longer be offered in the future.
Whether GitHub or Bitbucket, both are Git repository hosting giants. It seems probable that they might continue to offer the most comprehensive sets of integrations with other popular coding tools. Hence no winner for this round.
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You may offer people access to specific branches in both Bitbucket and GitHub. Assume you wouldn’t want a team member or contributor to have unrestricted access to your repo. Alternatively, you could limit their access to a single branch by adjusting the permissions.
One of the advantages of integrating Bitbucket over GitHub is that it offers this feature as part of every subscription for free. While you may implement branch limits on public repositories for free on GitHub, you can only enforce them on private repositories with a premium subscription.
Here in this category, Bitbucket has taken the glory because one of the advantages of integrating Bitbucket over GitHub is that it offers this feature as part of every subscription for free.
Bitbucket is primarily aimed at companies and businesses. As a result, the vast majority of its users adopt it for private repositories.
On the other hand, GitHub is the largest site for public code and, as a result, has a sizable open source community. From a purely numerical viewpoint, GitHub has more extensive community participation in tapping onto than Bitbucket.
If you want to contact as many developers as possible, GitHub is your best chance. This is not to suggest that Bitbucket lacks support or a community foundation.
In addition to a significant user base, Bitbucket provides online assistance in the form of webinars, tutorials, and a comprehensive library of documentation.
Due to the sheer size of GitHub, it’s safe to say that there is no room for Bitbucket because This is not to suggest that Bitbucket lacks support or a community foundation.
In addition to a significant user base, Bitbucket provides online assistance in the form of webinars, tutorials, and a comprehensive library of documentation.
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Though both Bitbucket and GitHub provide private and public repositories, pricing and, more particularly, what you get for that fee may play a significant role in your choice.
Of course, your objectives and resources will change depending on whether you are a large company, a freelancer, or a small team.
Let us begin with Bitbucket’s price. You may establish an endless number of private and public repositories with up to five users on its free cloud hosting plan.
This includes 1 GB of Git ample file storage (LFS), which may be used to store big non-text files. After that, monthly fees rise by $3 per user.
Bitbucket’s self-managed hosting has a tiered pricing system based on the number of users with specific savings. Prices for enterprise-level hosting at a Bitbucket datacenter start at $1,980 for 25 users.
GitHub is a free service that allows you to build an infinite number of public and private repositories and has no restriction on the number of users you may have. The free plan also comes with 500 MB of storage.
Paid plans begin at $4 per month and go up from there. This includes unlimited collaborators, unlimited public and private repositories, additional storage, reminders, wikis, and websites for private repositories.
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If you desire an Enterprise subscription, they start at $21 per month per user. GitHub’s enterprise-level pricing, known as GitHub One, is not publicly available and requires you to contact sales.
Furthermore, GitHub does not provide the self-managed hosting option that Bitbucket provides via its service centers.
Although prices might differ slightly, we can also conclude that both platforms are evenly and moderately priced.
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Differences between GitHub and Bitbucket
GitHub has a large community and it is sometimes simpler to discover code sources on GitHub than on Google. GitHub has about 6,000,000 public repositories that are open to the public. As a result, GitHub is an excellent platform for open-source projects.
Bitbucket’s access security is often used in major corporations. All of your repositories are private, even if you utilize a free Bitbucket License. Bitbucket is an excellent solution for corporations, large companies, and teams that value enhanced project security.
Unlike GitHub, Bitbucket provides wiki capability for each repository, making team collaboration effortless and straightforward.
Similarities between GitHub and Bitbucket
Importing/Exporting: The Bitbucket importer makes importing GitHub repositories to Bitbucket a breeze. However, the same cannot be true about GitHub. More digging and work will be required to migrate your repository data to GitHub.
Community support: If you check at StackOverflow, you’ll see that GitHub questions emerge every few minutes, but Bitbucket queries may take several hours to appear in threads. Nonetheless, both sites have fantastic communities. However, GitHub is light years ahead in terms of community support. GitHub’s open-source nature has earned it a gold reputation.
Academic plans: Academic plans are available on both platforms.
Mobile versions: Some developers have raised concerns about GitHub’s mobile version. Others have reported that GitHub occasionally causes their internet browser to stop when bigger files are being evaluated. Even if you aren’t continuously coding on your phone and use it for brief activities like approving PRs, unresponsiveness might drive you insane.
Customer support: To be honest, both GitHub and Bitbucket’s help staff are excellent.
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- It’s Reliable and Super-Fast: Several operations are desired locally on GitHub, although this has little effect on performance. Still, it provides significant benefits in terms of performance.
- It’s Open-Source and Free: Several existing GitHub users are aware that the platform is entirely free and you may use it and get a feel for it without paying. Let’s also mention that GitHub is open source, which means you can download source codes and programs without hesitation, and make adjustments as needed.
- Standby BackUp: We won’t argue that GitHub features bad backup services, but there are far fewer possibilities of losing data because you can create numerous copies of it.
- Multi-User Support: Multiple users or developers can collaborate on a project at the same time on GitHub. It enables developers from many nations and regions to exchange ideas and collaborate.
- Challenges: It may be fine for existing users; however, if a user has recently joined, he will face a lack of time and experience because they are new to the platform.
- Security: Yes, indeed! Although GitHub offers private repositories, this may not be the best choice for everyone. People or developers with copyright protection are putting their whole trust in GitHub. Anyone with login credentials can do just about anything; these sorts of security breaches are continuously targeted over GitHub’s security. There are no privacy or security issues with GitHub. It is a safe platform.
- Bitbucket is quite simple to connect with other DevOps tools such as Jenkins and project/workflow management systems such as Jira.
- Bitbucket is quite effective in managing code compliance and security requirements, merge requests, primarily in requests for pull, branching, and so forth.
- Bitbucket is quite solid in terms of functionality, especially the datacenter and cloud versions, which seldom encounter performance difficulties and serve thousands of developers.
- User access permissions to manage at the repository level, Bitbucket instance, pull/merge requests level, project level, and so on are making it tough to manage, especially during your organization’s yearly access review process. Instead of using an external service like Atlassian Crowd, there should be bulk access provisioning and an access review capability.
- New repositories and branches should be identified and archived. This is currently done manually.
- When the license is used, all users are no longer able to use it. It should not prevent current licensed users from utilizing the tool. Instead, it should simply prevent new users from gaining access.
We don’t believe there is. Whereas the services have a unique feel to them and target different demographics, you’ll get decent service and get your job done regardless of whether you use Bitbucket or GitHub.
In the end, you can’t go wrong with either decision. If you have a small development staff, either will function virtually the same.
However, if you’re new to Git, Bitbucket is more forgiving and straightforward to use as you learn the workflow. If you’re at all interested in open-source programming, GitHub is the place to be.
Bitbucket focuses on corporate clients, providing an all-in-one solution through Atlassian’s entire suite. Still, GitHub is the leading platform for open-source and public code, so if your organization is involved in that, that may be the way to go.
In truth, neither is a terrible option for you and your source control requirements. You won’t be disappointed with either one.
Scott L. Macarthur is a marketing consultant and an online author. He is mostly engaged in providing his expertise to startups and SMBs. He is also an author on TheNextWeb.