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Bitbucket Ejects Mercurial – It’s Time for git

BitBucket-MercurialBitbucket announcement

Back in 2008, when Bitbucket (formerly Stash), Atlassian’s version-controlled software-hosting service, was launched, it supported only Mercurial repositories. Since then the version control software market has evolved, and Git became the de-facto standard. 

According to StackOverfow’s 2018 survey, more than 87% of developers used Git and less than 4% used Mercurial.

On August 20, 2019 Atlassian announced as follows:

“After much consideration, we’ve decided to remove Mercurial support from Bitbucket Cloud and its API. Mercurial features and repositories will be officially removed from Bitbucket and its API on June 1, 2020.”

Developers’ reaction

Although according to Atlassian, the percentage of new Bitbucket users choosing Mercurial has fallen to less than 1%, not everybody is happy.

As @mcclure wrote on Twitter:

I don’t know if I can communicate how distressing this is to me. Aside from how much *work* migrating is going to force me into, git is the worst piece of software ever created. It shouldn’t exist. Instead, it’s *won*. All its competitors have now been eradicated from the earth 

(note that these are the kindest words of those she had used in that post).

What can you do if you are affected by Atlassian’s decision?

Developers with Mercurial repos on Bitbucket have essentially two options:

  1. To stay with Mercurial and move to one of the services that provide hosting of Mercurial repositories. A list of such free and paid services is available here
  2. To migrate to git and put your repository on one of the popular Git hosting services like GitLab, GitHub, Azure DevOps or Bitbucket (if you are not too angry with them 😕 ).


What do we recommend?

Following the famous proverb “if you can’t beat them, join them”, we strongly recommend to migrate to Git. Whatever you think about Git, whether it is good or bad, today it is the de-facto standard and you don’t argue with standards. We assume that earlier or later the existing Mercurial hosting services will also die out for the lack of new subscribers.

We also strongly recommend GitLab. As opposed to Bitbucket, GitLab takes care of the whole DevOps lifecycle, with change management, version control and powerful CI/CD, which includes code security testing. And note that GitLab is the only Git hosting service that provides private repositories free of charge.

— I’ll add the chart that demonstrates how GL is popular

— mention to enjoy all CI/CD features you must take Premium at least

Note also that once you switch from Mercurial to Git, you are not limited to using online services (Bitbucket Server never supported Mercurial). You can also install GitLab (or another tool) on your private server, which can reside either on-premise or in the cloud.

How can we help?

We at ALM-Toolbox can help you to migrate to GitLab or another tool of your choice. Our services include:

  1. Migration from Mercurial to Git.
  2. Help you choose the best Git server that fits your needs
  3. Setup of an online service or installation on an on-premise server.
  4. Git and GitLab training
  5. Managed services of your Git environment including an SLA.


Contact us: devops@almtoolbox.com or +972-7244-405-222 (International) or 866-503-1471 (USA / Canada)