Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 15:46

Reading Dr. Roy's made me want to write more about Help Quit GitHub in general and in particular. What is Codeberg? It is a free home for free projects. It is like, but unlike GitHub, it is powered by Free Software for Free Software Projects without Microsoft proprietary software giant behind it. I am not a programmer, but live within a worldwide community of programmers, and care about Free/Libre Open Source Software just like you do. So I make this short review of Codeberg and I wish everybody to know it and helped to make switch. Happy hacking!

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Who? Organization - Press - Users

(Hello, this is Codeberg!)
Who owns Codeberg? It is Codeberg e.V. from Germany that established this service since 2019. They are pretty clear about themselves. Who is Codeberg online? I find them actively tooting at Mastodon as @codeberg. Who use Codeberg? On my observation per 13 June 2020, I could find several projects that caught my attention.
  • Codeberg - they themselves have repositories on Codeberg. We can ask questions, send issue reports & enhancements there. We also can grab the software powering Codeberg as well as contribute improving it in the repository.
  • Invidition - remember Indivious Everywhere? Invidition forced change automatically all youtube links into invidious links in your web browser. Awesome, right? Yes, the project is on Codeberg.
  • Switching.Software - comprehensive list of alternative software against Gafam which are all exclusively free.
  • Crimeflare - a project to bypass The Great Cloudwall.
  • The Awesomes - it is GitHub tradition to make list of things with titles awesome things and this tradition apparently coming to Codeberg as well. Among them: awesome gaming for gnu/linux, awesome android, awesome alternatives, etc.  
  • Infosec Handbook - my favorite user friendly resource about information security.
(Switching.Software - one among few best resources for Free Software and Free Service alternatives - they are openly developed in Codeberg)

Who are migrating to Codeberg? From Mastodon we could see @Codeberg reshares people who announced they are switching in from GitHub.

Who will love the idea of Codeberg? I believe anybody from FLOSS community will be interested to Codeberg especially those who are prepared to quit GitHub. More that that, anybody in Degooglify, Decentralize, Degafam, and similar social movements also will. Lastly, I think people with technical dissatisfaction also will, like our friends living at countries that are banned by GitHub.

(Codeberg account is active at Mastodon)
Who publish about it? Hacker News, a site of true hacker discussions worldwide, has a positive news about Codeberg. Other than this:

Who are Codeberg official persons? Two persons I could find are hw and ashimokawa, active almost everywhere across Codeberg repositories. They are pretty easy to find on the internet too. I think what caring admins they are.

Who fund Codeberg? Users by memberships and donations. It is a non-profit organization who opens both.

What? Basics - Identity - Mission

(Gitea, the 'heart' of Codeberg)
What is Codeberg? I like to quote one of HN's people prases it, it is basically "an alternative to GitHub and BitBucket hosted in Europe".

What is the purpose of Codeberg? Same as GitHub, to host code socially online. As the official statement stated, "Codeberg is founded as a non-profit and non-government organization, with the objective to give the Open-Source code that is running our world a safe and friendly home, and to ensure that free code remains free and secure forever."

What is Codeberg's mission? In short I phrase it, to provide GitHub quality service but without proprietary software and privacy-hostile practices. As the official statement stated, "The mission of the Codeberg e.V. is to build and maintain a free collaboration platform for creating, archiving, and preserving code and to document its development process. [...] Dependencies on commercial, external, or proprietary services for the operation of the platform are thus decidedly avoided, in order to guarantee independence and reliability." and also the main page stated beautiful promise "No tracking. Your data is not for sale.[...]All services run on servers under our control. No dependencies on external services. No third party cookies, no tracking.[...]Hosted in the EU, we welcome the world." You can grab more info from the founder's presentation below.

(A Free home for Free projects - a sixteen slides presentation by A. Shimokawa from Codeberg e.V. presented at SFScon 2019 published at SlideShare)
What powering Codeberg? It is Gitea software that runs on their server. If you install it yourself to your computer, it looks like GitHub user interface, same as what we see on It is the same software --although lacking documentation for these days-- running on other similar services I mentioned on Ethical Code Hostings. What makes Codeberg interesting? It is not U.S. based, not owned by Microsoft (see Techrights), not proprietary-software based service, and not collecting personal data of users. Otherwise, it is Germany based, free service for all, free public and private repository, similar user experience to GitHub, and not less important backed by a serious organization. What makes Codeberg not interesting? It is still new, it still needs more funding, and it is still very small in number of users.

(Interesting platform development: in the repository called build-deploy-gitea, Codeberg develops itself openly collaboratively to everyone – one thing impossible to see in GitHub)

What is my own opinion about Codeberg and FLOSS community? I think it is great, everybody prepared to switch from GitHub should given proper documentations about doing switch. The downside I feel for these days is that the documentation is still lacking severely especially the user guide. Even the Help buttons are still pointing to Gitea software webpage.

Why? Existence - Necessity 

(GitHub and others evaluated by FSF)
Why does Codeberg exist? From my own mere user perspective, I like to say, it is because we FLOSS community wants independence to share software without dependencies to proprietary software and commercial-proprietary companies. In shorter words, we want to share free software without Microsoft GitHub. It reminds me to GNOME, MariaDB, OpenJDK, and LibreOffice existences. That is an excellent reason we enjoy the benefits today. More than that, I learned much from, that it empowers us to criticize Microsoft and nothing could silence us (ironies included) for doing that.

From the official statement, it reads, "Considering the fate of formerly successful startups like SourceForge, we need to break the circle and avoid history repeating." Just as explained also in the presentation above, it is clear that Codeberg is serious to fix current problems with GitHub-like services and give a real solution.

Why we need Codeberg? I think we need Codeberg once we are aware we need to switch away from GitHub and are ready for the switch. For example, dear readers who live at countries that has been banned by GitHub may be interested.

Why we don't need Codeberg? For most people at these days, yes, many of us use GitHub and are not ready yet to switch. For myself, I think lack of documentation especially user manual there is a factor that may discourage people from using it. We can compare it to the full and professional document of GitHub. Personally, I wish somebody would start documentation project for Codeberg soon.

Why use Codeberg instead of self-hosting? Because for most people code hostings help and self-hosting is hard. They want to focus in what being worked, not making the platform to work.

Why not other Gitea platforms like Because other than Codeberg (see my previous article), many of them still look like a personal projects or just-another-gitea-servers out there, including for these days. I want clarity, yet still many of them do not have clear Terms or Service and Imprint like Codeberg. To me, Codeberg looks professional and more promising.


Where is Codeberg? It is Where is it hosted? It is hosted in Germany. Where is the terms of service? Here. Where is the privacy policy? Here. Where is the imprint? Here. Where is the javascript licenses? Here. Wait, what is this? It is a great effort to comply with GNU LibreJS to fight The Javascript Trap so everybody guaranteed to browse the website without proprietary software running in their browser. Where to start? I suggest anyone to start exploring first before then signing up. See next section.

(OpenStreetMap showing Germany)

Where to send suggestions? They have an open repository where you can send bug reports & feature requests to Codeberg. It is a rare thing to see and we don't see in GitHub such collaboration between service owner and users.

(Interesting way of interacting with users: using Issues page of a repository, every Codeberg user can report bugs and help fix issues together)


  • Registration
  • Explore
  • Create
  • Upload
  • Download
  • Watch, star, fork
  • Comments & emoticons
  • Static websites

Registration - it is gratis, and the most important thing is that Codeberg is not using Google's reCaptcha. I love that. I believe many other people will also appreciate this.

(Codeberg is a few sites without recaptcha other than Notabug)

Search - also known as Explore, for outsiders this is the most interesting feature of Codeberg as we can find projects and sort them out based on popularity or update time. Aside from repos, we also can find Users and Organizations just like on GitHub. This is the feature still missing on Gogs the predecessor of Gitea up to today (see Notabug).

(Searching in Codeberg)

(Repository Download Button)
Create - once registered and logged in, we can create unlimited number of repositories. This including private ones.

Upload - we can upload text and non-text (binary) formatted files.

Download - for people in general with or without account, of course Download button is available for every repository.

Watch, star, fork, and issues - standard interactions available between users are no different to GitHub's. It helps me to appreciate projects I like such as Gadgetbridge.

Code, Issues, Pull Requests, Releases, Wiki, and Activities - standard features of a repository are available thanks to Gitea with appearance no different to GitHub's too.

(A picture displaying both interaction and repository features of a project)

Comments and emoticons  - check any issues discussion page and you will find Codeberg accomodates your discussions just as good as GitHub. Thumbs up/down, heart, congrats, are basic emots available.

Pages - surprise! Everybody knows GitHub Pages and fortunately there are Codeberg Pages too here! Just navigate to to see how to make it. To me, it is pretty. An example that grabs my interest at the moment is Infosec Handbook, as you can see below.

(My favorite information security website hosts their static website on Codeberg and they even inform that on PrivacyToolsIO Forum)

Dark theme - surprise again! Yes, Codeberg features a dark theme you can enable at user logo > Settings > Accounts > Select default theme > Arc green > Update Theme. To revert back, just change Arc green back to gitea.

(A repository web page displayed in dark theme)


When was it launched? As mentioned, it is launched in 2019, and here is the official announcement. It was formerly named TeaHub.

Will you ask me when will exodus from GitHub happen? I don't know about mass migration but I think (and I prefer to think this way) that migration will happen little by little. And I believe more publications about Codeberg are needed (talks, articles like this, videos, podcasts, everything that made GitHub popular) in order to foster that migration. 

When we need Codeberg? I think there are several answers. For most people, in fact it is not now, unless those who are ready to make switch as I said. For those special people I made this article and this one and this one and this one also.

Happy hacking!

See Also

  • - performance comparison between Codeberg and others. Provided to you by Sourcehut.
  • - another promising code hosting service which is very unique.

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.