GitLab is making its most expensive self-hosted and software-as-a-service plans free for educational institutions and open source projects that have OSI-approved open source licenses and are non-profit.
In a post on its official blog, GitLab explained how these two specific types of users can get its usually paid premium plans for free:
Educational institutions: any institution whose purposes directly relate to learning, teaching, and/or training. Educational purposes do not include commercial, professional, or any other for-profit purposes. To apply, send an email to email@example.com. Once your application has been approved, we will send your license code.
Open source projects: any project that uses an OSI-approved open source license and which does not seek to make profit from the resulting project software. To apply, add a merge request to add your project to a list of open source projects using GitLab Ultimate and Gold.
The one caveat that comes with getting these plans for free is that they do not come with complementary support. However, GitLab has provided these users 95% off the regular monthly price of support, from $99 down to a much easier to swallow $4.95 a month.
This news comes in the wake of Microsoft acquiring GitHub for $7.5 billion and the positive publicity that GitLab has received as a result. As stated in the blog post, between a seven-fold increase in orders, relatively torrential social media outpouring, and Apple announcing that Xcode 10 will now be integrated with GitLab, this is a "crazy" time for the open source Git repository manager.