GitLab Isn’t Really Open-Source

Microsoft recently
its acquisition of GitHub which has led to a
spike in the number of
repositories imported to GitLab. One reason for the spike is that GitLab often
touts itself as open-source, but that is only partially true.

GitLab has two version of its software – GitLab Community Edition, the
open-source version, and GitLab Enterprise Edition, the proprietary version.
versions have their sources
published on GitLab with the former having an MIT license and the latter a
proprietary one which requires a paid subscription with GitLab.

Originally, both versions had an MIT license, but this changed in 2014 because
GitLab found that “the open source license of EE is
confusing” to
potential subscribers.

You can see the differences between these two versions on their
site. A lot
of them are focused on enterprise features such as LDAP and Kerberos
authentication, but many aren’t:

Host static pages (with TLS & CNAME support) from GitLab using GitLab Pages
Contribution Analytics, see detailed statistics of contributors
Rebase merge requests

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