The place I do volunteer work for would like to switch from svn to git, and we really love the collaboration features of github. Unfortunately the $300/year cost for a private organisation account is too steep for us, so github itself is out.

Are there any free/cheap (<$50/year) github alternatives which provide similar features like:

  • Tight integration with a DVCS, preferably git
  • Issue-tracker, preferably with good reference (to commits, branches, others issues) capabilities
  • Github-style pull request, i.e. propose merging a branch into master, discuss it and auto-merge if possible
  • Non-public repositories, by self-hosting the software or offering free/cheap private repositories
  • Online browsing of code, commits and branches
  • Online editing of files, e.g. for a typo fix in the documentation

Ofcourse these are the ideal requirements, something that doesn't have everything might still be suitable

  • 1
    How many users do you need? (Price polices are often indexed on it) Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 8:57
  • 3
    Perhaps you should take a look at this question, it is very similar and already has a number of adequate suggestions. Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 11:14
  • 1
    Note that you can get an account for free from GitHub for charity - github.com/nonprofit Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 11:18
  • What about bitbucket ? Not sure how many users you need though
    – exussum
    Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 14:11
  • I don't think this is a duplicate of the linked post.
    – Ky -
    Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 20:29

2 Answers 2


Gitlab fits your criteria rather nicely!

Gitlab is an open source project that you can self host (use the Gitlab Community Edition). It isn't an exact work-alike of Github, but it is surprisingly close. I've recently started to use it for a number of projects and been pleasantly surprised at almost every step1.

It offers a wrapper around bare git repositories on a server giving you easy to manage SSH and HTTP/S access via git that works much the same way as on github. You can manage your password or SSH keys from the user dashboard. There is a surprising degree of granular control over repositories even being able to limit who can push to specific branches.

  • There is an included issue tracker or you can use hooks to integrate with various third party ones.
  • Users can make their own copies of repositories like Github's fork and submit merge requests back to the original (like Github's pull requests).
  • Repositories can be in completely public space, shared by a user or completely private. You can even organize them by group.
  • The dashboard provides a surprisingly fast and useful view of code, commits and branches as well as issues, merges and a wiki.
  • Quick hacks to edit a file and commit can be done from an inline editor right in the dashboard.

If you don't want to self host they also offer hosted services but those quickly pass Github's pricing.

If self hosting really isn't your gig, you should consider Atlassian's Bitbucket offering instead as they allow free private repositories for up to 5 users. After that they cut into Github's price bracket pretty quickly, but they do offer a quality product.

1 Debugging authentication problems on the backend being the notable exception, but that that was largely self induced by my non-standard installation procedure.

  • Note that for gitlab the price $19/year/user, with a minimum of 20 users. So starting at $380/year it is actually more expensive than github's first plan (but doesn't have a repo number restriction)
    – dtech
    Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 11:39
  • @dtech Thank you, my research was faulty. I have corrected my answer to make an appropriate recommendation based on the facts.
    – Caleb
    Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 12:48
  • Also consider GitLab.com if you want a hosted service, it is free for unlimited repo's and users. Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 14:13

Check out Fossil SCM

  1. Bug Tracking And Wiki
  2. Web Interface
  3. Autosync
  4. Self-Contained
  5. Simple Networking
  6. Robust & Reliable

We use it for our projects and it's small scale, free, self hosted, and has an amazing web interface.

Check out their live Timeline tool showing the changesets to the project: http://fossil-scm.org/index.html/timeline?y=ci

To go to your points:

  1. It does not use git but its own commit system.
  2. The issue tracker is really well done and has a bug tracker/issue system(see their website)
  3. Has a merging tool/pull system
  4. The repositories can be hosted locally. The website view that fossil-scm's website has can be login-only for viewing changesets. It's just public for demonstration
  5. Online viewing is available
  6. Online editing is also available, for any changeset

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