Jenkins and GitLab | Compare DevOps . software

Jenkins and GitLab are popular tools for continuous integration and continuous development, but which software is right for you? Learn how to compare the features of these DevOps tools.

gitlab vs jenkins
Image: Yulyana / Adobe Stock

With DevOps, the need to continuously develop, test, and deploy new features is critical, and this requires specialized tools that help automate and streamline the process to make it work. seamless. Two popular choices for CI/CD . Solution are Jenkins and GitLab, and these tools are well-suited to the specific requirements of DevOps. We compare features and use cases for Jenkins and GitLab.

What is Jenkins?

Jenkins is a free and open source automation server for CI/CD management. Jenkins works on Windows, Linux and Mac servers and has a handy installer that makes setup very easy.

One of Jenkins’ biggest strengths is its list of more than 1,700 plug-ins that make customization and integration very simple. It also gives Jenkins the ability to adapt to almost any request.

What is GitLab?

GitLab is a free but open source CI/CD management tool that provides complete DevOps support, including important built-in features like issue tracking and version control.

GitLab runs only on Linux-based servers, although it can run on some Windows systems with extended workarounds. GitLab also has slightly higher prerequisites than Jenkins, and a suitable server would need to have node.js, Git, Ruby, and Redis rather than simply a JRE.

Jenkins and GitLab: Feature Comparison

Feature Jenkins GitLab
Windows and Mac Support It’s correct No
Issue tracking No It’s correct
Extended plugin support It’s correct No
Support available No It’s correct
Built-in version tracking No It’s correct

Head-to-head comparison: Jenkins and GitLab

Easy to install

Jenkins and GitLab provide a very simple and easy installation process and both of these options are also on-premises tools, so your own server will be required.

Installing Jenkins is very easy. The only prerequisite is that you install the Java Runtime Environment first, then simply download the Jenkins installer and follow the prompts. After installation, you will create an administrative account and then access the tools and functions through the web browser interface.

GitLab can be a bit more complicated to install, especially if you don’t have experience with the specific Linux builds it requires. All tools and features are included in a single Omnibus package, so downloading the right package for your installation is easy.

GitLab provides the ability to run on top of Kubernetes, which can be useful if you already have this infrastructure and are Kubernetes savvy. Docker images are also officially supported

GitLab supports cloud installation using AWS, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure. Gitlab offers special pre-configured builds for three popular cloud services to make installation and configuration easier. When it comes to cloud installations, GitLab is definitely the better choice of the two.

User interface

Both Jenkins and GitLab have convenient user interfaces. With Jenkins, this can be a browser-based interface or via a theme plug-in that the user can choose. With GitLab, there is an option called Activity Console. This quickly shows all projects along with pipelines and other metrics.

Ability of extension

Both of these DevOps tools provide the ability to build, customize, or scale based on your needs.

Jenkins really shines with their plug-in library, allowing it to go from a simple project management tool to managing a complete product lifecycle. But as more plug-ins are added, the whole system can start to become cluttered and feel pieced together. Extreme scaling can be a problem with Jenkins compared to GitLab.

SEE: Feature comparison: Software and time tracking system (TechRepublic Premium)

With GitLab, although it doesn’t have the plug-in libraries that Jenkins provides, it does provide more fully integrated tools for DevOps. This makes it a much better scaling option in the long term. Although not directly flexible at first, as flexibility or extensibility is promoted, GitLab begins to lead in this regard.

Choose Jenkins over GitLab

Jenkins excels in small to mid-sized environments where budgets and manpower can be constrained. It is simple to use, very easy to install and configure, and can adapt as your projects grow with the extensive plug-in support.

GitLab is a more advanced tool that can serve medium to large environments where additional DevOps tools such as issue tracking, version control, and complex pipelines all need to be managed. This makes GitLab superior when it comes to code collaboration and code repository management.

Both Jenkins and GitLab are extremely competent and mature tools. Deciding between the two is really just a matter of matching their strengths to the environment you intend to use them in.

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