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GitLab Ultimate and GitLab Gold now free

Nearly every developer will be familiar with GitHub, but slightly fewer may be familiar with its competitor GitLab. Following the purchase of GitHub by Microsoft for $7.5 billion, many are switching over from GitHub. The platform has seen a surge of activity in the past 24 hours. To gain the trust of more users as an alternative to GitHub, GitLab will now be offering GitLab Ultimate and GitLab Gold for free to open source projects and educational institutions.
What do both of these packages offer? The base service already offers a number of features for free that GitHub doesn’t including the option to create private repositories. The Ultimate and Gold packages offer pretty much the same thing, but while Ultimate is self-hosted, Gold is provided as a service. Both include all features available on the platform including Epics, Roadmap, Static Application Security Testing, Container Scanning, and more. The only thing you won’t get as part of an open source project or educational institution is customer support, but you can buy that separately for $4.95 a month per user.
If you want to get in on the action as a student, you’ll have to wait for your educational institution to apply. Your institution will then be able to provide a license for you. For those with open source projects looking to upgrade, you can simply send a merge request to add your project to a list of open source projects using Ultimate and Gold.

While many users are already switching over, the company is certainly making the most out of the current ongoing situation with GitHub. Amidst privacy concerns, developers are making switches to alternatives in droves—not just to GitLab, but other services like Bitbucket and the self-hosted Jenkins for example. GitLab is simply taking advantage of the news with some incredibly smart moves.

"" It has been a crazy 24 hours for GitLab. More than 2,000 people tweeted about #movingtogitlab. We imported over 100,000 repositories, and we've seen a 7x increase in orders. We went live on Bloomberg TV. And on top of that, Apple announced an Xcode integration with GitLab. "
Today, we're excited to announce that GitLab Ultimate and Gold are now free for educational institutions and open source projects.
  1. Educational institutions: any institution whose purposes directly relate to learning, teaching, and/or training by a qualified educational institution, faculty, or student. Educational purposes do not include commercial, professional, or any other for-profit purposes. To apply, send an email to Once your application has been approved, we will send your license code.
  2. Open source projects: any project that uses a standard open source license and is non-commercial. It should not have paid support or paid contributors. To apply, send a merge request to add your project to a list of open source projects using GitLab Ultimate and Gold.

Why make it free?

We make GitLab free for education because we want students to use our most advanced features. Many universities already run GitLab. If the students use the advanced features of GitLab Ultimate and Gold they will take their experiences with these advanced features to their workplaces.
We would love to have more open source projects use GitLab. Public projects on already have all the features of GitLab Ultimate. And projects like Gnome and Debian already run their own server with the open source version of GitLab. With today's announcement, open source projects that are comfortable running on proprietary software can use all the features GitLab has to offer while allowing us to have a sustainable business model by charging non open source organizations.