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Should I host it on GitHub, LaunchPad, Google Code, SourceForge, or something else?

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closed as not constructive by Anna Lear Dec 19 '11 at 2:15

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Possible duplicate/related question: What demands should be placed on source repository / versioning tools? –  user8 Sep 1 '10 at 22:13
That's about the best source control system, not host. –  Gelatin Sep 1 '10 at 22:15
What do you need? If you want collaborators you need something to show first anyway. –  user1249 Oct 19 '10 at 20:41
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12 Answers

up vote 43 down vote accepted


  • Unlimited free open source repositories.
  • No approval process.
  • Supports the most popular DVCS.
  • Out-of-the-box wikis.
  • Users can download project source without source control installed.
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Sure, GitHub is nice, but its the fact that it runs git that turns me off –  TheLQ Sep 1 '10 at 23:22
I have to learn git for Drupal, as it's planned to pass from cvs to git. –  kiamlaluno Sep 2 '10 at 0:21
This doesn't even touch on the social aspects of github. One of my favorite things, for example, is that you can have multiple forks of a project that all collaborate with each other. Whereas before, I'd worry about offending a maintainer of a project by forking it, on GH, I just fork it, and submit a pull request. If s/he doesn't like my changes, then I guess I needed to fork in the first place. –  notJim Sep 14 '10 at 7:05
+1: It also has ghpages so you can host the project website there as well. –  Daenyth Sep 19 '10 at 23:14
@TheLQ: Bitbucket.org is a Github-equivalent that runs Mercurial instead. Maybe worth a look? –  Macke Jan 13 '11 at 9:33
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Try fazend.com. It provides you Subversion, Trac, and Hudson (Jenkins) in one package.

a free hosted Continuous Integration platform that joins together:

  • Jenkins 1.475 server (public LIVE access)
  • Java-friendly testing environment (Maven, Ant, etc)
  • LAMP testing environment (Linux+Apache+MySQL+PHP)
  • Regular backup service to FTP, S3, and EBS...
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It really depends on what kind of project you have and what the related community uses. So my tip would be to use the one that your community will use.

Communities for Linux or Ruby stuff

Communities for Java stuff, Code Igniter PHP, etc.

Communities for .NET stuff

I might update this list later.

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If you like darcs (and/or do a lot of Haskell development), Patch-Tag may be the only option available. At least I'm not sure of any other darcs hosts. Seems like a nice site, though it seems to still be in a beta state.

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For .NET projects, it's hard to beat CodePlex. It's Microsoft sponsored and hosts the code using Team Foundation Server (or optionally, Mercurial), which if you're using Visual Studio 2010, is pretty awesome. Also, bugs that are submitted via the CodePlex site it creates for your project are automatically added to TFS.

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Can I get some feedback on the downvote? Why wasn't this helpful? –  Ryan Hayes Nov 2 '10 at 23:42
+1 to offset weird downvote. I'm not a fan of codeplex, but if I were developing an open source project using Visual Studio as the IDE and targeting mostly the Windows platforms, I'd definitely give it a look (though in general I like Google Code the most for the clarity, simplicity and extensibility) –  haylem Nov 12 '10 at 21:50
It also supports SVN... Funny, the project I am on does not have an option for Mercurial, but I did see some pages on CP that says it is supported. –  jlnorsworthy Mar 23 '11 at 5:06
Yea, I think it's an option you have to set when you create the codeplex project. I haven't seen where you can migrate over yet. –  Ryan Hayes Mar 23 '11 at 11:32
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I like bitbucket. I consider Mercurial to be the best source control system out there.

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+1 for Mercurial/Bitbucket. Mercurial has a much less confusing UI than Git, IMHO. –  Macke Jan 13 '11 at 9:32
BitBucket is awesome, especially for the free repositories –  qodeninja Feb 24 '13 at 4:15
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I liked assembla back when private project accounts were allowed. Since your open sourced check them out. I highly recommend them. Otherwise try google code or codeplex. Github is good but git is a major hassle to get up and running and i found problems with regular use as well (maybe its fixed now but i tried 6mo ago which is fairly recent)

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Assembla still offers free private project hosting as long as you don't want access to the tools. –  Josh K Oct 10 '10 at 2:00
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LaunchPad has a concept innovative comparing with first generation project repositories. It has most tools that any project can need. It uses Bazaar as version control which can decrease the interest of some programmers.

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If you are developing software in the Microsoft stack, there's no better fit than Codeplex. Simple to use and you can place ads on your project to earn you some quick bucks for your work.

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There are tons of great options depending on your source control of preference.

The two I would recommend are Google Code (if you like mercurial or svn) and Github (if you like git).

Keep in mind a distributed source control system gives you a lot more flexibility with accepting patches and so on (it makes it trivial for anyone to submit patches)

However, the code is the easy part. The hard part of an open source project is the community. Both Google code and Github are full of abandoned open source projects. The community pieces on those platforms are pretty basic. And the key to having a successful open source project is getting at least one other person to care about it.

If I were to start another open source project I would probably look at having a basic home page up (or at least a blog post), same time I published the code.

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+1 for the suggestion about the home page; that is something it is usually forgotten, as I saw on a repository for Ruby gems. –  kiamlaluno Sep 2 '10 at 0:26
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I would recommend this:

Don't use SourceForge

They have one of the most complicated interfaces I've seen. Whats main navigation tabs are displayed (the ones to view the home page, issue tracker, etc) change randomly (its called a sub tab!). Submitting bug reports is painful. Website is not shown by default. Following email lists if iffy. Many projects with 0 code commits and downloads, taking up space and cluttering searches. Etc etc etc.

As for an actual site recommendation, I use Google Code. Its extremely simple, clean looking, and powerful at the same time. Issue tracking is a breeze. All wiki pages are displayed in one window (no more orphaned pages that can't be found by anybody). Clean administration backend. Support of both SVN and Mercurial. Great website for any software.

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SourceForge gave me a headache, the first time I looked at it when I downloaded the source code of a utility. I don't like all the banner I see on the site; it seems that recently the banners take most of the time (or it is me to see them bigger than they are). –  kiamlaluno Sep 2 '10 at 0:24
I've had a couple of projects hosted on sourceforge since almost a decade back when it seemed it was pretty much the only game in town (ok, Gnu's savannah was the other obvious one). It hasn't changed a whole lot since then really, and feels increasingly clunky despite some cosmetic polishing. I doubt I'd choose to host any new projects there... would try github/bitbucket/Google code instead. –  timday Mar 23 '11 at 0:41
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I recently started a Google Code project, and in general I really like it. It has Mercurial, my version control system of choice. Of course, this includes support for browsing commits on the web. They offer clean links directly to the latest version of the repo (e.g. http://project.googlecode.com/hg/directory/file.html), and to go to a past revision you just add ?r=xxxx.

It has a very clean interface design, in contrast to sites like SourceForge. It also offers a wiki, although it's deliberately bare bones. I'm satisfied with the issue system, though I haven't tried anything too complex yet. There is basic integration with Mercurial, so if you mention "issue nn" in a commit, it will be turned into a link on the web interface.

The biggest downside is that the hosting software itself is proprietary. Launchpad is now mostly open source, but I still find it tricky to navigate sometimes.

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How would the hosting software being proprietary affect anything? Anyway, google code is my host of choice –  TheLQ Sep 1 '10 at 23:23
@TheLQ, as I said, I like it despite that. However, it gives you fewer options if Google changes their policies in ways you disagree with. –  Matthew Flaschen Sep 1 '10 at 23:55
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