If you are an open source developer and you want to start an open source software project, it’s important to have a good open source hosting environment. The open source movement is based on communication and collaboration. It’s extremely important that you have a web hosting system that makes the development process seamless. The open source development process requires the ability to quickly deploy new software releases as well as manage multiple copies of releases. It’s important to provide access to both current and stable releases.
Open source project hosting requires specialized software functionality. You don’t want to just get regular web hosting and put together your own site. It’s better to use proven vendors, as your project will benefit from reliable proven host and your team members will likely already have experience with the features of the software.
The following hosting providers are well known in the industry and provide reliable hosting for OSS development. Please read below to learn about the different vendors and their benefits.
- SourceForge – is one of the leading open source software code hosting sites. With over 260,000 projects under their management, their software is proven. Better yet, their hosting is free.
- Google Code – like many of Google’s applications, this one is pure gold. Google’s application is fast, reliable, and free
- GitHub – is another great reliable host. They probably have the most users, with over 700,000 people hosting over 2 million projects
- Eclipse Labs – known for their excellent development environment, Eclipse also features a hosting site, which uses Google code. The benefit for users is that this is a first rate code repository.
- CodePlex – This is Microsoft’s code hosting site. Seems unusual for Microsoft to host open source software, but they use their software to support the site and that’s probably why they do it. It’s based on commercial development software, so the system is legit.
- Bit Bucket – is another system like GitHub. It allows free hosting for up to 5 private projects, but is unlimited for public projects.
- Java.net – was originally hosted by Sun, which was acquired by Oracle. If your project is a Java application, this is a great hosting site as there are a lot of development tools for Java develoers here.
- Ruby Forge – This site is focused on Ruby on Rails, so if your project is based on Ruby, this is a great site to use. The site is large, they have nearly 10,000 projects, and feature over 90,000 users.
Although there are other Open Source Project Hosting sites, I have listed what I find to be the top ones out there, based on size, longevity and user reviews. I’d recommend that you take a look at them, try out one that meets your particular project needs.