Gitlab CI vs Buildkite comparison of Continuous Integration servers
What are the differences between Gitlab CI and Buildkite?

Gitlab CI

https://about.gitlab.com/product/continuous-integration/

Buildkite

https://buildkite.com
Unique feature

AutoDev Ops / Allows keeping code management and CI in the same place

Runs on own infrastructure, API

Type of product

SaaS / On Premise

SaaS

Offers a free plan

Yes

Very generous free plans for both the SaaS version as well as the on premise version.

Yes

Free for open source projects and selected organizations
Predictable pricing

Yes

Clear and affordable pricing for both SaaS and self-hosted versions.

Yes

Clearly defined monthly and annual plans
Support / SLA

Yes

All paid plans include next business day support.

Yes

Depending on the plan, ranging from community support, all the way to an assigned Technical Manager, SLAs and live chat support.
Paralellism
Every CI servers tends to address this differently (parallel, distributed, build matrix). Some of it is just marketing, and some is just nuance. For this table, parallel means that tasks can be run concurrently on the same machine, distributed means that tasks can be scaled horizontally, on multiple machines
How to split tests in parallel in optimal way with Knapsack Pro

Yes

Easily configure jobs you want to be run in parallel via the YML config file (gitlab-ci.yml)

Yes

Up to 10000 agents per account. You can run your tests in isolated Docker container per agent.
Distributed builds
distributed means that tasks can be scaled horizontally, on multiple machines
How to split tests in parallel in optimal way with Knapsack Pro

Yes

Yes

Up to 10000 agents per account
Containers support / Build environment

Yes

The Docker Container Registry is integrated into GitLab by default

Yes

Since the agents run on your own infra, you're free to do whatever
Analytics / Status overview
Analytics and overview referrs to the ability to, at a glance, see what's breaking (be it a certain task, or the build for a specific project)

Yes

Yes

The Buildkite UI features great vizualisations that feature build times, error rates, and more.
Management support
How easy is it to manage users / projects / assign roles and permissions and so on

Yes

Yes

Self-hosted option

Yes

No

Hosted plans / SaaS

Yes

Yes

Build pipelines
A continuous delivery pipeline is a description of the process that the software goes through from a new code commit, through testing and other statical analysis steps all the way to the end-users of the product.

Yes

Defined via YML config files

Yes

Pipelines are defined using an Yaml config file and allow for great flexibility in defining what each step of the process does.
Reports
Reports are about the abilty to see specific reports (like code coverage or custom ones), but not necesarily tied in into a larger dashboard.

Yes

Yes

Ecosystem
Besides the official documentation and software, is there a large community using this product? Are there any community-driven tools / plugins that you can use?

Yes

No

Integrations for GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket as well as SSO support (Google Suite, SAML, GraphQL API)
Specific language support: Ruby
Some CI servers have built-in support for parsing RSpec or Istanbul output for example and we mention those. Some others make it even easier by detecting Gemfiles or package.json and automate parts of the process for the developer.

Yes

Although not built into GitLab CI by default, the Docker support allows solving any Ruby specific need that may arise.

No

Specific language support: JavaScript

Yes

Although not built into GitLab CI by default, the Docker support allows solving any Javascript specific need that may arise.

No

Integrations
1st party support for common tools (like Slack notifications, various VCS platforms, etc)

Yes

Plenty of third party integrations available throughout GitLab, most notably Kubernetes and GitHub, but also plenty of others: https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/integration/README.html

Yes

Integrations for GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket as well as SSO support (Google Suite, SAML, GraphQL API)
API
Custom integreation is available, via an API or otherwise, it's mentioned separately as it allows further customization than any of the Ecosystem/Integration options

Yes

Provides a REST API and a (new) GraphQL API, with plans to maintain the GraphQL API only going forward. Allows doing almost anything that can be done via the interface, at least in terms of CI needs.

Yes

Great GraphQL API, allows building your own dashboard with ease
Auditing

Yes

Yes

Additional notes

The Auto DevOps feature might be interesting to people looking for a very hands-off experience with getting a CI/CD process up and running https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/topics/autodevops/

How to run parallel tests on Gitlab CI and Buildkite
to execute 1-hour test suite in 2 minutes?

Without Knapsack Pro

you have to wait 20 minutes for slow tests running too long on red node

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Run fast parallel CI build with Knapsack Pro

CI build completes work in only 10 minutes because Knapsack Pro ensures all parallel nodes finish work at a similar time

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You can even run 20 parallel nodes to complete your CI build in 2 minutes

How it works

1. Install Knapsack Pro client in your project


2. Add Knapsack Pro client to your current CI server and run your tests in parallel

Knapsack Pro how it works with CI server

3. Update your CI server config file to run tests in parallel with Knapsack Pro

Knapsack Pro in Queue Mode will split tests in a dynamic way across parallel CI nodes to ensure each CI node finish work at a similar time. Thanks to that your CI build time is as fast as possible. It works with many supported CI servers.

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Start using Knapsack Pro

Sign up and speed up your tests.

Get faster feedback from Gitlab CI and Buildkite server

  • save time & money
  • deliver features faster
  • catch errors earlier
Knapsack Pro terminal

GitLab CI parallelisation - how to run parallel jobs for Ruby & JavaScript projects

Buildkite parallel agents and how to use them for CI parallelisation

Gitlab CI parallelism integration

Buildkite parallelism integration

Introduction to CI parallelisation with Knapsack Pro

Run tests in parallel on Gitlab CI and Buildkite in optimal way and avoid bottleneck parallel jobs.

How much can you save with faster tests
on Gitlab CI and Buildkite?

minutes
$

Monthly you can save hours
and up to $
on faster development cycle.

Features that make your tests perform better

  • Queue mode see video

    Dynamic tests allocation across Gitlab CI and Buildkite parallel jobs. Autobalance tests to get optimal test suite split betweeen CI nodes.

  • Regular mode see video

    Test suite split based on time execution. Generates subset of test suite per CI node before running tests.

  • Fallback mode

    Network issues? Not a problem, run tests anyway! Auto switch to the fallback mode to not depend on Knapsack Pro API.

  • All supported test runners

    Ruby: RSpec, Minitest, Test::Unit, Cucumber, Spinach, Turnip.

    JavaScript: Cypress.io, Jest

    Do you use different programming language or test runner? Let us know in the poll

Discover all features or see
how to use Knapsack Pro with your CI

Trusted solution

Join the teams optimizing their tests with Knapsack Pro.

We've been really enjoying Knapsack Pro, it's been saving us a ton of time.

Devin Brown Software Engineer at Pivotal

This is a fantastic product, it's been a total game-changer for us.

Geoff Harcourt CTO at CommonLit

We are using CircleCI and we noticed that builds were being limited by the slowest parallelized container. Knapsack Pro was really east to setup and we saw huge improvements right away. Thank you for making this tool!

Martin Sieniawski Software Engineer at Collage

Knapsack Pro has helped us build an insanely fast and scaleable build pipeline with almost no setup or maintenance.

Tim Lucas Co-founder of buildkite.com

Knapsack Pro saves us hours of engineer waiting time every week, and is the best solution for keeping our tests load balanced that we've used to date.

Michael Amygdalidis Senior Software Engineer at Popular Pays

I've been playing with Queue Mode. Love it! Wow, I love how fast it goes.

Michael Menne CTO at humanagency.org

I just logged into my account expecting it to say that I needed to add a credit card and was so surprised and delighted to see the trial doesn't count usage by calendar days but by testing days! This is incredible! I love it!!!

I just wanted to say that I really appreciate that small but very huge feature. Thank you for being so thoughtful :)

Shannon Baffoni Senior Software Engineer
at Blue Bottle Coffee

See more testimonials

Start using Knapsack Pro with Gitlab CI or Buildkite

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