I've been self-hosted since 1999, and always push that option when
talking to people. I didn't always follow my own advice though and
made an exception for public source code repos I put on Gitorious. The
announcement of Gitorious's demise motivated me to change that policy
so that the rug can't be pulled out from under me again. I spent some
time reviewing options and wanted to share my own decisions and
- GitLab.com - The canonical upgrade path provided
by GitLab B.V. is moving people from Gitorious to the hosted
GitLab.com. I do not like the idea of moving to GitLab.com since that
runs their Enterprise Edition which is not free software. Proprietary
sofware is never a solution so this option is automatically
- GitLab Community Edition - From a purely
technical perspective this seems to have some nice features. GitLab
B.V. only makes money when people buy the proprietary version though
so they're clearly betting on people doing that. They also have a CLA,
which I don't like. The lax pushover license used for the GitLab
software already allows them to make proprietary versions though. I
suspect it's only there so that they can be sure there are no issues
with them proprietarizing people's contributions because it seems very
big on making sure that they can sublicense the contributions under
whatever terms they want. This is backed up by history: The
CLA appeared in October 2013 and the license change for the
Enterprise Edition was announced
in February 2014 (it used to be free software), so the work on the
CLA could be seen as preparing for the later license change. I'd like
to be able to make contributions to a project without having to agree
to such a thing. As a result, while it's free software, using the
Community Edition seems like propping up GitLab B.V.'s proprietary
software business which I find distasteful. Disqualified.
- Gitorious - It appears that GitLab B.V. will
discontinue this so I'd be using abandoned software. That's not
appealing to me. Also disqualified.
- Phabricator - Like GitLab B.V.'s Community
Edition, this seems to have some nice technical features. It also
comes with a CLA, which I don't like. Also disqualified.
- GNU Savannah - I can see that some may complain
about the web interface not being HTML5-ified, responsive, or whatever
other terms the kids are using these days. On the other hand, Savannah
supports multiple version control systems, has issue, patch, and other
trackers, mailing lists, website hosting, and more. Also, the GNU
Project and FSF are unlikely to be going anywhere anytime soon.
- Kallithea - This seems rather appealing. It's
community-developed, doesn't have a CLA, but it's missing some
features some may want such as issue tracking. From reading about
their future plans in the documentation this is and more is planned
though. Seems like it could be a good candidate.
- Fossil - This seems like another good candidate.
It has a bug tracker and a wiki in addition to source code
- Gogs - This seems like a good candidate. There's
no CLA and it seems to have all of the features I'd want (namely, an
issue tracker.) I've talked to some of the developers on IRC and they
seem very responsive and accepting of feedback. Based on my suggestion
they now plan to add an option to the web interace for people to
export their issues and such so that they can take them with them if
they decide to move to another instance.
- GitWeb - Basic, but would do what I need. My
repositories are small, don't have lots of contributors (it's really
just me) so I don't need bug trackers. I don't even get pull requests,
really, having received exactly one. People can send their stuff to me
via email, if they have any.
In the end, I've decided to go with GitWeb and letting people do
anonymous cloning over HTTP. Someone with different needs (like an
issue tracker) might do well with their own Gogs or Fossil instance
though. I know of hosted Gogs instances at gogs.io and notabug.org and a hosted Fossil
instance at chiselapp.com.
Snowdrift.coop has a list of some
other options too but whatever it is you should really run your
own instance of it. The demise of Gitorious has shown just how easy it
is to have the rug pulled out from under you. Do you really want to be
in a position where it can happen again? I don't.