Users subscribed to GitLab’s free tier may soon see projects being automatically deleted if they have remained inactive for one year.
According to The Register (opens in new tab), people in the know have suggested that this new rule could be activated from September 2022, but there has not yet been an official announcement.
It is expected that GitLab will prepare its unpaid users with sufficient notice, served with a reminder that updating a comment, commit, or issue just once will renew the project’s validity for another year.
GitLab free accounts
The same article exposes that around a quarter of the company’s hosting costs are made up of free accounts, many of which are no longer used. This is a move that could save GitLab an estimated $1 million every year in hosting costs.
The change doesn’t come without opposition, though, as open-source advocate Geoff Huntley told The Register:
“Source code does not take up much disk space… For someone to delete all that code is destruction of the community. They are going to destroy their brand and goodwill.”
He continues to explain that many free users choose to host their code online in the anticipation of other people being able to use it, and as such it will typically remain unaltered on the account holder’s end.
This will leave many users questioning GitLab’s free account, which comes with 5GB of storage, 10GB of data transfers, and 400 CI/CD minutes per month, along with five usernames who get access to every namespace.
Despite widely promoting its free tier, GitLab sees it primarily as a recruitment tool that will see more users paying up for its premium plans, in turn creating a more sustainable business model for the business.
Via The Register (opens in new tab)