CircleCI vs GitHub Actions: CI CD platform comparison

gitlab ci cd vs github actions

I’m a bit familiar with the concept of Github Actions — reusable CI processes that you can “use” in your own CI pipeline on other projects. If you want to find a file on a Linux filesystem, try looking at the find command. We are going to use the nginx framework as a web server within a Docker container. The performance boost comes from the fact that unlike VMs which run an entire copy of the operating system, containers share the linux kernel with the host. However note that if you are running linux containers on Windows/macOS a Linux VM will need to be active as a middle layer between the two. Watch a video on Using GitLab CI/CD pipelines with GitHub repositories.

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  1. However, many developers have been using GitLab CI/CD for a while now.
  2. Also, never store secrets as variables in your .gitlab-ci.yml file, which is public to allusers with access to the project.
  3. When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions.
  4. If a team’s repositories aren’t linked to GitHub, CircleCI has UI features that could prove to be beneficial.
  5. The build jobs will run in parallel, and when they have all completed successfully, the packaging job will run.
  6. Having functionality that makes the lives of developers easier might be a major selling point.

The fine-grained and clear structure of GitHub Actions, that determines whether a workflow, job, or step should be executed is an advantage over the monolithic approach of GitLab. When talking about build processes on code changes, there are many considerations such as dependency management, setting up build systems locally and remotely, testing etc. Similarly, for larger builds, we could even need to have a hierarchy of pipelines in which the parent pipeline controls it’s children. You will also see that on working in large teams, this could become very complicated and prone to errors.

Activity 3: Mount Contents Inside of Container

These include software that GitHub has worked on to integrate with the service and hundreds of other programs via GitHub Marketplace. In this case, you are using npm to install the bats software testing package. Your new GitHub Actions workflow file is now installed in your repository and will run automatically each time someone pushes a change to the repository. To see the details about a workflow’s execution history, see “Viewing the activity for a workflow run.”

gitlab ci cd vs github actions

GitHub Actions syntax for jobs

In GitLab’s workflow, you create multiple yet separate stable branches beyond that of the master branch for each set of changes you make. At a minimum, you’ll have production and pre-production stable branches. The multiple branch approach does require a multiple-step testing process.

When an event that triggers a workflow is emitted, the defined jobs within the workflow get templated (using lazy templating) and are added to the job queue. Available GitHub runners that match the runs-on tag automatically pick up queued jobs and execute them on a fresh VM provisioned just for that job. The GitHub provided VMs come preinstalled with a lot of tools to allow for fast execution of the jobs. It essentially runs shell commands directly on the host, even if the actual commands are abstracted by the GitHub Action modules. Each step gets individually templated, which allows users to pass values from one step or job to another using a special GITHUB_OUTPUT variable.

Much like GitHub, GitLab offers a full suite of functionality that developers can leverage throughout their development cycles. In conclusion, both GitLab CI/CD and GitHub Actions offer powerful features for managing CI/CD pipelines. Your choice between the two will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you value community-driven resources and tight integration with GitHub, GitHub Actions could be the right choice for you. If you need advanced environment management, deployment strategies, and a visual pipeline interface, GitLab CI/CD might be a better fit.

CI triggers from external services like issue trackers and chat tools are much more versatile, just like the CI environment setup. But GitLab requires the user to write all the CI task implementations themselves. Sharing and reusing CI definitions becomes difficult and quickly confusing with the monolithic approach of one big .gitlab-ci.yml file approach. There are multiple levels of including, inherence and extending which can make it hard to get a quick oversight of what a job actually does.

For more information, see “About larger runners.” If you need a different operating system or require a specific hardware configuration, you can host your own runners. For more information about self-hosted runners, see “Hosting your own runners.” GitLab CI/CD is a complete DevOps platform that provides a full CI/CD solution for GitLab repositories.

If you already use either GitHub or GitLab to host and manage your projects, it makes the most sense to stick to their in-house CI/CD offerings. For small projects with infrequent builds or a need for a Windows or macOS runner, GitHub Actions might be better. In terms of job control and parallel execution, both tools offer robust capabilities. However, GitLab CI/CD’s visual interface for pipelines provides a clear view of the job flow, which can be particularly helpful for complex pipelines with multiple stages and dependencies.

In this file, you define variables, dependencies between jobs, and specify whenand how each job should be executed. GitHub Actions – simple CI; GitLab CI/CD – configurable and powerful open-source CI/CD with integrations with different software and unique features. Both GitLab CI/CD and GitHub Actions allow you to run workflows at a specific interval. In GitLab CI/CD, pipeline schedules are configured with the UI, while in GitHub Actions you can trigger a workflow on a scheduled interval with the “on” key. GitLab CI/CD uses rules to determine if a job will run for a specific condition. GitHub Actions uses the if keyword to prevent a job from running unless a condition is met.

gitlab ci cd vs github actions

Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers. GitLab also has CI/CD component templates for common tasks and integrations. Atlassian is ending support for its Server products—including Bitbucket Server—in February 2024. In this post, you’ll learn what that means for you, your options, and how you can move to GitHub.

In the dynamic landscape of software development, Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) have emerged as vital practices that enhance efficiency, reduce errors, and facilitate rapid delivery. Among the plethora of tools available for implementing CI/CD, GitLab CI/CD and GitHub Actions stand out as popular choices. This article aims to delve into a feature parity comparison of these two powerful tools, providing insights to help you choose the one that best aligns with your project’s needs. Please describe.Having the validation check using the schema is nice.

It also works better than its predecessors, such as Apache Subversion, Concurrent Versions System (CVS), Perforce, and Rational ClearCase. So, there’s a reason why so many VCS services have “Git” in their names. What really matters is which Git VCS will give you the tools and services you need to best develop your software.

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