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First impressions on Sourcehut

Published on 2019-11-18.

Sourcehut recently marked the 1 year anniversary of its public alpha release, and what better circumstance to share my initial thoughts on it?

I’ve started using Github in early December of 2011 but I was never satisfied with it, I can’t put a finger on why, even though I had a pro account (thanks to being an university student), but alas, I began hopping from a git hosting service to another. First I migrated to Bitbucket, I gave it a spin but again, I wasn’t really satisfied. I feel like they have too many features which I don’t care about, and the ones I cared about didn’t work very well for me. For example I didn’t like that the free plan only included 50 minutes a month of pipeline usage and the LFS storage is limited to 1GB per month, after which you can’t push anymore. Sure I could have paid $3 a month to get 2500 minutes of build time and 5GB of storage, but ultimately I didn’t want to support a closed source service and their pricing model. Fast forward a bit and I switched again, this time to Gitlab and after the Github acquisition by Microsoft, I moved most of my projects over to Gitlab. However, even though I consider it an improvement over the previous ones, again I felt like it wasn’t for me. Gitlab, Bitbucket and to some extent Github all feel like having an overly complex interface, and in the end it ended up getting in the way of me being productive.

One day I was being productive, by browsing the internet of course :) when I stumbled upon a beautiful tutorial on git rebase, and something caught my eyes, it was these 3 sentences: "This guide brought to you courtesy of sourcehut, the hacker’s forge. 100% open source Git & Mercurial hosting, continuous integration, mailing lists, and no JavaScript! Try it today!". I thought, "mmh, an open source git hosting service with no JS? I’ve gotta take a look", so enter sourcehut.


Right after discovering sourcehut I decided to make an account and try it. After about two weeks of usage here are my impressions. Disclaimer: at the moment sourcehut is still in alpha, so things might change.

But it’s not all nice and shiny and being a new platform also means having some issues, for example in my first week of using it I noticed some, how can I say it, less than optimal performance when performing git commands over SSH. Sometimes it would take more than 10 seconds to perform a simple fetch or to push some changes. Fortunately things are getting better, but there’s still some improvements to be made and they are working on it.


All in all, things are moving relatively fast and as the last update post says, we are near the beta stage and all the services are coming together to create a complete system. In conclusion I’m really excited in what’s coming for sourcehut and I’ll probably write a full review once it’s mostly done.