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I want to start an open source project. Where's the best place to host it?

I am using to study (and at some point of time copy the desired module of) the code from these two sites (Google Code and Github). There is sourceforge too,

I have some code, say some library that I want to share with the community, and I am to decide the hosting site. And before I decide I want to have opinions from this community.

Which is your favorite Project hosting site or service? And why?

There is one point where github can win over google code (may be I am wrong here), Github can let you forge whole project with a zip or tar file, but to do the same in google code we have to upload the zip file explicitly and put it in downloads....


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marked as duplicate by Anna Lear Dec 21 '11 at 22:03

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

www.xp-dev.com free & private svn repository. Better with Visual Studio & AnkhSVN –  Ahmet Kakıcı Jan 12 '11 at 12:55
I'm not entirely certain this counts as a duplicate, because the other is specifically open source. Here, 'Share with the community' is ambiguous, and may not imply 'in source form'. There are, therefore, more possible answers here than the linked duplicate. For the sake of posterity, I would like to add Microsoft's Team Foundation Service, which offers both TFS and git source control, along with management tools and automated builds, and is free for up to 5 users. –  Magus May 1 at 18:34

5 Answers 5

up vote 16 down vote accepted

I've yet to find one that fit my personal requirements.

  • GitHub is maybe the most interesting in features but I can't use it because I'm using Mercurial.
  • BitBucket isn't as useful as GitHub but at least it now provide both Mercurial and Git repositories. It also allow private repos for free.
  • Google Code is a good alternative to BitBucket but require a google account (that's not a problem for me but maybe for others). It's ticket tracking system is simple and sometimes too simple for some needs. I like the fact that you can manage several repos in the same projects.
  • Sourceforge is just too slow and full of ads.

What I'd like to see, would be a project hosting software that allow :

  1. Repository-tool agnostic. As in git-svn-mercurial-bazaar-etc-agnostic. That's the most important thing.
  2. Excellent permanent code-review tools. (github - google code also have some code review tools but they are not as good in my short experience)
  3. Excellent patch/changesets management tools (github : I mean that to work with a lot of people sending patches, tools to manage, review, process patches, thoses tools have to be provided).
  4. Allow sub-projects (instead of just a "component" field in the tickets ...).
  5. Allow several repos per project (Google Code does, Redmine and Trac now manage several repos by projects so providers could use them)
  6. Allow to setup a specific ticket workflow. (In some way it's doable in Google Code at least but there is no way to limit different transitions of tickets)
  7. Free for open-source project (with a not-annying size limit - most current hosting tools provide this)

For the moment, I didnt' found a perfect solution. I'm using Google Code most of the time because I use Mercurial and it's the one that provide me the most interesting features. It's still far from what I think would be perfect.

Also, note that an agnostic project hosting service would allow easily ignore the problems when you want to have dependencies from several libraries all using different repository tools.

UPDATE : Google Code now provide Git repos and is more and more matching this list. That said, I don't know about others so feel free to point me if things change in other tools.

UPDATE : BitBucket now provide Git support too. I wish Github would provide Mercurial and Bazaar support. Bitbucket have now an advantage for git users : it allows private repos.

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+1 for comparing all the sites you know and especially for source forge. Now source forge option is minimized. –  Prasham Jan 12 '11 at 13:24
Because I've never put a project there but used a lot of libraries from there. So I know the feel ads and bloated web pages makes to users and don't forget often slow servers when trying to get sources. I don't want my users to feel that so I avoid it but maybe it's getting better. Someone else might give a better experience feedback about sourceforge. –  Klaim Jan 12 '11 at 13:27
Tools that are perfectly general are rarely great tools. Better to have specialized offerings that are uniformly excellent. –  Andres Jaan Tack Jan 12 '11 at 13:35
"Sourceforge is ... full of ads." Does that really count as an objection in the face of AdBlock? –  systemovich Jan 12 '11 at 13:51
@Geoffrey For me yes. Even with ad blockers, the pages seems bloated. Same thing with Hotmail for example. –  Klaim Jan 12 '11 at 14:20

I enjoy using Mercurial with BitBucket.

It's fast, straightforward to setup and I really enjoy using Mercurial as a whole. HgInit gave me the tools to start straight away and haven't looked back since.

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plus, free private repository –  Carson Myers Jan 12 '11 at 13:45

GitHub wins for ease of collaboration. If other people want to contribute to your project you don't have to worry about giving them write access to your repository or deal with manually applying e-mailed patch files. Instead they can fork your project and commit changes to their own copy. If they have something they want to share with you they can send a pull request and you can then cherry pick the changes you want to merge into the master copy.

GitHub also has some support for code review with the ability for other people to leave comments on individual commits.

On the negative side, the issue tracking on GitHub is extremely basic.

Sourceforge, in my opinion, is much less pleasant to use.

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+1 for mentioning fork, the word I had in my heart when I was asking the question. –  Prasham Jan 12 '11 at 13:22
The issue tracking on GitHub does have a long way to go. Other than that though, I love it. Git was my first foray into version control, and I found it easy to learn and figure out how to do all the site-specific things I needed. It's also helped give a project of mine some more credibility, and we've gained some valuable help from the community thanks to being on the site. –  sp0rus Apr 13 '11 at 17:24
@sp0rus I haven't had a chance to take a proper look at it, but GitHub announced a new version of their issue tracking a couple of days ago (see github.com/blog/831-issues-2-0-the-next-generation). –  Dan Dyer Apr 13 '11 at 18:30

I like Assembla. It has following free services:

  • Free Subversion Hosting
  • Free Git Hosting
  • Free StandUp/Scrum
  • Free Public/Open Source Unlimited tools and users

These free services allow to host private project. And if you're developing Open Source project, you get all PRO services for free. So as you can see, almost everyone can find a suitable service for his needs.

EDIT: PRO services include

* SVN or GIT Repository  
* Issue Tracking/Ticketing  
* Wiki  
* Standup/Scrum  
* Activity Stream  
* Files  
* Messages  
* Chat  
* FTP/Build  
* Customer Support Module  
* Time Tracking
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Thank you for that info. Because of new policy of Google I am looking for some similar site to GPH and so far SourceForge and Assembla look best. –  greenoldman May 28 '13 at 9:07


Because it provides the following, in order of importance to me:

  • It allows you to have private repositories for a limited amount of users (<= 5) for free. That suffices for my "soon to be OSS but i have to shame-clean-up first" and my "Webpage for a friend"-like Projects.

  • It offers mercurial which i use

  • It has a Bugtracker

Not that important, but noteworthy: since recently, it offers git too

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