Can git clone be used with code storage services which are not github?

Is the data organization architecture with which git works unique to GitHub or that the code in other code storage services website's would be organized the same way (so that git could work with it without problem)?

  • 1
    gitolite is one option; git is its own protocol, and existed before github
    – user10489
    Oct 10, 2021 at 1:10
  • There is Gitlab as well, which many people switched to when Microsoft bought Github. Oct 10, 2021 at 5:47

2 Answers 2


Since Git was created in 2005 and GitHub was created in 2008, and time travel is impossible, the answer must be trivially Yes: Git can be used without GitHub.


Tl;dr: Yes

git is a VCS/SCM, written by Linus Trovalds in 2005. Originally written in C and alternate implimentations exists in Python, Go and Java. It has a built-in server feature (git daemon) to set up a server over TCP using GIT protocol. This is the very git programme you run in your terminal, though Linus himself don't maintain this now.

GitHub is just another company providing source-code-hosting-as-a-service for free and commercial use, currently owned by M$, basically a nice web GUI to git and some steroid. You can see other website like GitLab, BitBucket, GNU Savannah. Many projects host their own git servers like KDE, FreeDesktop.Org, ArchLinux. You can host your own and can also add a good-looking web interface to it using GitLab, Gitae, cgit, gitolite etc. As a parallel comperison, think about MediaWiki (software powering WP, Fandom, ArchWiki etc.) and Wikipedia (a commonly known use).

But there are some auxillary features in GitHub that are not found in vanilla git, like issue tracker, CI/CD. These aren't acually part of git and other git server systems have their own way to do these.

So git clone can be used with other code storage service, as long as they are using git. For example Mozilla uses Mercurial, Ubuntu uses GNU Bazaar, KDE used Phabricator, in these cases you cannot use.

Read SO posts on Git vs GitHub: 1, 2.

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