Best Free Software project hosting?

August 6th, 2009

I’m getting tired of running myself. Redmine eats up CPU like crazy when web bots hit it, despite me preparing the most restrictive robots.txt I’m comfortable with. So I’m looking at other options.

Some features I want (though not really showstoppers if missing) are the ability to close bug tickets via changelog messages, ability to script the uploading of new tarballs, and quick and easy operation.


Immediate fail. It feels like some seedy alley these days. Ads all over, terribly cluttered, and slow. No thanks.

Google Code

Initially it looks great. A couple of things bother me: one, they have a lifetime limit on 25 different projects. I have more than that in my git repos already.

They don’t directly support git right now, which is fine (I like using my own git server anyhow). But even for the VCS they do support, there isn’t a way to close a ticket without having to go to the website.


Looks like an interesting option. Still the lack of support for closing tickets from the changeset. I hope that the service will stay around indefinitely, but not a big deal to me if it doesn’t.


Similar to Savannah, I guess. Not sure what the pros or cons would be either way.


I haven’t been able to verify whether any of these will let me script the uploading of tarballs. In general, I write a lot of little programs and a few big ones, so lightweight tools that let me track open bugs in all my tools are preferred.

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Comments Feed15 Comments

  1. ssam

    you missed out launchpad. only has bzr for source control, but has top notch bug tracker.


  2. Greg

    A big +1 here for GitHub.


  3. James Vega is actually pretty good if you’re fine with moving everything to git. I’m not sure how their release system works, though. may help, too.


  4. Bruce Cowan

    Gitorious. Unlike GitHub, it’s free (in both senses of the word).


  5. pwnguin

    Launchpad is completely open source now; it uses bzr for DVCS, and I know you can close Ubuntu bugs from package changelogs, but I’m not sure about projects in general.


  6. James Vega

    Bruce: I was going to mention gitorious in my reply but it seems to be targeted simply at hosting repositories instead of full project management. Also, John seems willing to use non-Free projects as evidenced by considering Google Code and Sourceforge.


  7. Onkar

    AFAIK, Google code allows fixing of bugs by mentioning them in changelog. I think I have seen this in reviewboard project.

    And of course there is launchpad as well.


  8. Christoph

    Google does extend beyond the limit of 25 on request. How that works in practice, I don’t know.


  9. John Goerzen

    The big problem with Launchpad, for me, is that they only support bzr. I use git, and do not want to use bzr for my projects. I don’t mind keeping git repos on, but presumably I would then lose a good deal of benefit from integration.


  10. John Goerzen

    I’ll also say I prefer Free Software hosts, but it’s not as big a requirement as some of the other things. I’ll always have my local Git repo copy of course.


  11. Rahul Sundaram provides a trac instance (wiki +tracker) and support for most common SCM’s and it is not Fedora specific.


  12. mirabilos

    There’s also which is pretty much the same as either
    Savannah or Alioth since it uses the same software.

    Closing tickets from changesets sounds interesting though (I like
    that from the Debian BTS). It might become implemented.


  13. Elliot Murphy

    Launchpad has continuous git imports, which is pretty neat. I’m working on a couple of projects which are hosted in git but we want to use launchpad for bug reports and code reviews, and so we just import git trunk into launchpad.

    Launchpad also has an API that will allow you to script uploading tarballs, making releases, manipulating bugs, code reviews, etc. I use an cron tool ( to automatically notice, pull/test/merge approved branches into trunk.


  14. Dmitrijs

    It has tracker and git, hg, svg, bzr support.

    And’t it’s not the names heard up here ;-)


  15. Free Software Project Hosting | The Changelog

    […] asked for suggestions a few days ago. I got several good ones, and investigated them. You can find my original criteria […]

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