GitLab compared to other tools

GitLab Merge Requests vs. GitHub Pull Requests


Squash and merge

Combine commits into one so that main branch has a simpler to follow and revert history.

Learn more about squash and merge


Labels provide an easy way to categorize issues or merge requests based on descriptive titles as 'bug', or 'documentation'.

Learn more about GitLab Labels

Improved UX

GitLab Merge Requests have their own description and title displayed before the timeline feed.

View side-by-side comparison

Edit merge request

GitLab Merge Requests are editable by the author, the project's owners and users with master access. Every field is editable, as well as the target branch.

Read through GitLab Merge Request's Documentation

Built-in Continuous Integration

Use GitLab CI/CD (built-in GitLab) to build, test, and deploy your app with continuous methods, and your build results will be displayed on merge requests.

Take a peek at GitLab's Pipeline Graphs.

Fast-Forward merge available for all merge requests

With fast-forward merges, you keep a linear Git history without creating merge commits. With GitLab, they're configurable on a per-project basis; with GitHub, they are available only for squashed or rebased merge commits.

Learn more about Fast-Forward Merge Requests

Fix merge conflicts from the UI

When a merge request has conflicts, it is possible to resolve those conflicts right from the GitLab UI.

Learn more about Merge Conflict Resolution

Close issue(s) when merged

With GitLab, you can use specific keywords to close one or more issues as soon as a merge request is merged.

Learn more about automatically closing issues

Review Apps

With GitLab Review Apps, you can preview the changes made to your app by that merge request in dynamic environments. These environments are automaticaly destroyed when the merge request gets merged.

Learn how to get started with Review Apps

Integrated web terminal

GitLab can open a terminal session directly from your environment if your review app is deployed on Kubernetes. This is a very powerful feature where you can quickly debug issues without leaving the comfort of your web browser.

Learn more about GitLab Web Terminals

Watch your jobs running

With GitLab's built-in CI/CD, you can watch your jobs running right from the UI for debugging and optimizing your CI scripts.


Merge Request Approvals make your workflow smoother when your are working with your team. With GitLab, approvals are configured per project, and a user can choose the approver in a per-merge request basis.

Read through Merge Request Approvals Documentation.

Resolvable discussions

Code or text review is faster and more effective with inline comments in merge requests. In GitLab, Merge Request inline comments are interpreted as a discussion. You can configure your project to only accept merge requests when all discussions are resolved.

Learn more about Resolvable Discussions


When a user is mentioned in or assigned to a merge request it will be included in the user Todos, making the development workflow faster and easier to track.

Learn more about GitLab Todos

Time tracking

Time Tracking allows you to track estimates and time spent on issues and merge requests within GitLab.

Learn more about GitLab Time Tracking.

Integrated with Cycle Analytics

Cycle Analytics lets you know how long it takes your team to complete each stage in their workflow from idea to production.

Learn more about GitLab Cycle Analytics

Enriched markdown support

Both Merge Request descriptions and comments support GFM - GitLab Flavored Markdown.

Learn more about GitLab Flavored Markdown

Pipeline Views

GitLab Merge Requests are presented with multiple views: Discussion, Commits, Pipelines, Changes (diffs). On GitHub, even if a repository integrates with a Continuous Integration third-party tool, you can't see its pipelines through GitHub's UI.

Cherry Pick merge request

Cherry-pick any commit in the UI by simply clicking the Cherry-Pick button in a merged merge request or a commit.

Learn more about Cherry Picking merge requests

Merge when pipeline succeeds

When reviewing a merge request that looks ready to merge but still has one or more CI jobs running, you can set it to be merged automatically when the jobs pipeline succeeds.

Learn more about Merge when pipeline succeeds

Revert commits from the UI

Revert any commit from GitLab's UI, with a click of a button.

Learn how to revert a commit or a merge request from the GitLab UI.

Work in Progress Merge Request (WIP)

Prevent merge requests from accidentally being accepted before they're completely ready by marking them as Work In Progress (WIP).

Learn more about WIP MRs

Merge Request template

By adding a description template to your MRs, users who create a new issue or merge request can select a template to help them to communicate effectively.

Learn more about GitLab Description Templates

Since GitLab fans wrote most of the text here there is a pro-GitLab bias. Nonetheless we try hard to ensure the comparisons are fair and factual. Please also add things that are great in other products but missing in GitLab. If you find something that is invalid, biased, missing, or out of date in the comparisons, please open a merge request for this website to correct it. As with all the pages on this website you can find where this page lives in the repository via the link in the footer. All names and logos are recognized trademarks of their respective owners.

GitLab is open core

GitLab is an open-core product whereas our competitors are mostly closed-source products. The GitLab Community Edition is fully open source, and the Enterprise Edition is open core (proprietary).

Access to the source code

Unlike closed source software, you can see and modify the GitLab Community Edition and Enterprise Edition source code at any time. Be it right on the server or by forking our repositories, you can add features and make customizations. We do recommend that you try to merge your changes back into the main source code, so that others can benefit and your instance stays easy to maintain and update.

Build with a community

GitLab is built by hundreds of people every month. Customers, users and GitLab, Inc. all contribute to every release. This leads to features that organizations actually need, such as easy, yet powerful user management.

Viable long term

GitLab has a solid community with hundreds of thousands of organizations using and often contributing to the software. This means that GitLab is much more viable for long term usage, as it's not reliable on a single company supporting it.

New stable version every month

GitLab releases a new stable version every single month, full of improvements, new features, and fixes. This allows GitLab to move fast and respond to customer requests extremely quickly.

Choose the GitLab edition that is best for your team

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