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Discussion – GitHub vs Bitbucket

If you want a large development team to collaborate and work on a certain project, you need to choose the right source platform to upload your code.

You can pick any repository hosting platform but unfortunately not every repository host makes your developers more productive in creating products as you’ve planned.

GitHub and Bitbucket are the two most popular repository hosts that provide its customers both public and private repositories.

These two have grown strong communities and user bases over the years.

Tl; dr;

GitHub and Bitbucket are the two best-known version control systems on the DevOps market.

The two offers features appealing to everyone from individual developers, to small teams and right through enterprise customers.

Their most basic and fundamental difference is that GitHub is more focused around public code having a huge open-source community, while Bitbucket is for private having mostly enterprise and business users.

What is GitHub?

github logo

Source: thenextweb

GitHub is a for-profit company that offers a cloud-based Git repository hosting service, helping developers store and manage their code, as well as track and control changes to their code.

It is the most popular version-control system with some 57 million code repositories on file. Also, it is loved by the open source community as public repositories are free.

It only supports Git (not Mercurial or SVN), written in Ruby and Erlang and is available for Windows, Mac and Android.

Its key features include:

  • Social coding;
  • Collaboration;
  • Integrated issue and bug tracking;
  • Graphical representation of branches;
  • Code review;
  • Code hosting;
  • Team management;
  • Project management;
  • Propose changes;
  • Protect branches;
  • Tracking and assigning tasks;
  • @mentions;
  • Conversations;
  • Milestones;
  • Assignees;
  • Integrations;
  • Documentation;
  • Set community guidelines;
  • Built-in review tools; and
  • Team and user permissions.

Advantages of using GitHub

  • An integrated issue tracker, helping teams to track issues within their project in real-time;
  • Contains milestones and labeling features to assist users in tracking information changes;
  • Offers branch comparison views reviewing the state of the user’s repository across commits, tags, and timescales;
  • Supports more than 200 different programming languages;
  • Allows users to host and publish theirown codes on the GitHub platform across the SSL, SSH or https environment; and
  • Has the ability to highlight syntax (its edge over other platform offers).

What is Bitbucket?

bitbucket logo

Source: stackshare

An Atlassian product (the makers of Trello and other apps), Bitbucket is very well-known for its full integration with other products in the Atlassian family such as Jira, Fisheye and Bamboo. It enables you to have a slick and clean interface the moment you log-in.

The product tool is primarily tailored in helping enterprise developers. It is written in Python and uses the Django web framework. It supports Git and Mercurial VCS (but not SVN) and comes with SOC 2 Type II security compliance.

Bitbucket is available for Mac and Windows and Android via an app.

Its key features include:

  • Workflow control
  • Access control to restrict access to your source code
  • JIRA software integration
  • Snippets
  • Collaborative projects
  • Smart mirroring (beneficial for enterprise level)
  • Code clustering
  • Mercurial repository hosting
  • Latest and Updated APIs
  • Full support for large files
  • Supports external authentication with Github, Facebook, Google and Twitter.

Advantages of using Bitbucket

  • Allows users to construct an internal issue tracker within their repository so that they can track down bugs in real-time;
  • Enables its users to access control features, regulating access permissions for different people involved in the project;
  • Incorporates two deployment models, allowing users to either placing the code in a cloud environment or launching a separate in-house server;
  • Offers both Git VCS and Mercurial;
  • Easy to navigate and search;
  • Helps users to migrate their code from old repositories to new repositories of BitBucket; and
  • Though not offering the highlight feature, Bitbucket still add comments and launch threaded discussions.

GitHub vs Bitbucket: Which one is better?

Summing up, Bitbucket is easy to use and a bit forgiving if you are just new to git, as you learn the workflow.

If you are interested with open-source development, GitHub is the major platform in open-source and public code. While, Bitbucket specializes in business clients.

For teams with only a few number of people Bitbucket can be your friend.

In terms of package, GitHub falls a bit on the pricier end of the spectrum in comparison to BitBucket and also promises a bigger community.

Weighing across other attributes and features, GitHub takes the top shelf and irrefutably the best version control repository in the market.

Whatever development tools you use, may it be Bitbucket or GitHub, anyone can guarantee great service for both of these products.


GitHub and Bitbucket are development tools that caters different services and demographics. GitHub basically has a huge open-source community while, Bitbucket has enterprise and business users mostly.

It is not that you can’t have a private repository on GitHub (yes you can) or you can’t post codes publicly on Bitbucket (again, you can). It is such that, the majority of the users aren’t doing so.

Outside their differences, the two platforms function very similarly.

By Tuan Nguyen

2 Responses

  1. Hey mate BitBucket is sunsetting its Mercurial support

    Also have a look at Gitlab. It has a ton of options when it comes to CI/CD

    • lightbringer says:

      That is interesting indeed. Mecurial is a very old versioning system. By sunsetting it, Bitbucket is forcing users to switch to git.

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