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10 Free GitHub Copilot Alternatives for VS Code 2024

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Table of Contents

Do you want to try some free GitHub Copilot alternatives? 

Look no further! 

In this article, I have compiled an ultimate list of Free GitHub Copilot Alternatives for Visual Studio Code. Some of these tools are even open source. 

You just need to install the extension in your VS Code editor to start using the AI coding assistant. 

Comparison of Free GitHub Copilot Alternatives

Features Comparison

BitoTabnineAmazon CodeWhispererCodeiumCodyFauxPilotTabbyCodeGeeXAskCodiBlackbox AI
Code CompletionsYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
AI ChatYesNoNoYesYesNoNoYesYesYes
Command Line InterfaceYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Understands Your Local Code out of the BoxPaid FeaturePaid FeatureNoYesNoTraining RequiredTraining RequiredNoNoNo
Personalized AI ModelYesYesNoPaid Feature (Enterprise Plan)NoYesYesNoNoNo
Code PrivacyYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYes

Accessibility Comparison

BitoTabnineAmazon CodeWhispererCodeiumCodyFauxPilotTabbyCodeGeeXAskCodiBlackbox AI
Open SourceNoNoNoNoYesYesYesYesNoNo
Offline AccessNoYesNoPaid Feature (Enterprise Plan)NoYesYesYesNoNo
Self-HostingNoYesNoPaid Feature (Enterprise Plan)Paid Feature (Enterprise Plan)YesYesYesNoNo

Coding Use Cases Comparison

BitoTabnineAmazon CodeWhispererCodeiumCodyFauxPilotTabbyCodeGeeXAskCodiBlackbox AI
Translate CodeYesYesNoYesYesNoNoYesNoYes
Fix CodeYesNoYesYesYesNoNoYesNoYes
Code NavigationYesNoNoYesYesNoNoNoNoYes
Detect Code SmellsYesNoYesNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Generate Unit TestsYesYesNoYesYesNoNoYesYesYes

Project/Repository Level Tasks Comparison

BitoTabnineAmazon CodeWhispererCodeiumCodyFauxPilotTabbyCodeGeeXAskCodiBlackbox AI
Summarize Recent Code ChangesYesNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Generate Release NotesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Reference TrackingYesNoYesYesYesNoNoNoNoYes
Documentation GenerationYesNoNoYesYesNoNoYesYesYes

1- Bito

Bito

Unlike GitHub Copilot, Bito understands your local codebase inside VS Code by leveraging the power of embeddings and a vector database. It offers highly relevant AI code completions as you type or via code comments. It features an AI-powered chatbot where you can ask questions regarding your entire codebase. It also maintains a history of your conversations, thereby generating better context-aware answers.

Additionally, there is a Bito CLI that can automate your repetitive tasks using AI. Some intelligent AI automation tools created with Bito CLI include an AI Documentation Generator and an AI Test Case Generator.

Bito is the highest rated AI app in the Visual Studio Code marketplace (with a rating of 4.9 out of 5).  It has over 100,000 active monthly users so it seems to be well-liked by developers.

It has many one-click templates to generate unit tests, clean code, explain code, etc. and opens all answers in your IDE’s native diff view to make it easy for you to decide which to keep.

You can start by asking a question and Bito will reply you with a precise answer. If you don’t like something in the answer, tell Bito to fix it.

Since Bito is using sophisticated models from OpenAI (GPT-4, GPT-3.5 Turbo) and Anthropic (Claude 2, Claude Instant) it is very versatile. You can ask it to generate code, improve code performance, explain a concept, etc.

Here are some more usage examples of Bito.

Bito is based on GPT-4 architecture which enables you to pass large code blocks as input.


2- Tabnine

Tabnine

The working of Tabnine is similar to that of Copilot. But, some of its advantages include personalized AI models, self-hosting, offline access, and code privacy.

Their free plan only offers basic code completions. It suggests code line by line.

To get better suggestions from Tabnine, you must give it some context using natural language prompts and your own code.


3- Amazon CodeWhisperer

Amazon CodeWhisperer

Amazon CodeWhisperer suggests entire functions and code snippets (up to 10–15 lines of code) in real-time.

It is optimized for use with AWS APIs like Amazon EC2, AWS Lambda, and Amazon S3.

Amazon CodeWhisperer can also scan your source code to detect security vulnerabilities. It follows the best practices outlined by Open Worldwide Application Security Project (OWASP).


4- Codeium

Codeium

Codeium is an AI coding companion powered by in-house generative AI models and infrastructure. The AI models are trained in 70+ popular programming languages.

It offers code autocompletion, intelligent search (find files and code in a project folder using natural language prompts), and AI-Powered Chat.

They also have an online playground to test the functionality of Codeium without signup.


5- Cody

Cody

Cody is an open-source AI coding assistant created by Sourcegraph. It uses Large Language Models with Sourcegraph’s Code Graph API to provide coding assistance.

Its chatbot can answer your technical questions right inside the VS Code. Cody also provides autocompletion as you type code in the editor.

Cody can easily understand complex codebases. Enabling you to ask questions regarding your code.


6- FauxPilot

FauxPilot

FauxPilot is an open-source alternative to GitHub Copilot. You can host it on your server or use it offline on a computer.

Unlike GitHub Copilot which uses OpenAI Codex, FauxPilot is powered by SalesForce CodeGen models which are very competitive with OpenAI Codex.

By default, FauxPilot doesn’t provide an extension for VS Code. But, another developer has created the FauxPilot extension for VS Code and also made it open source.

I would only recommend using this if you are comfortable working with Docker because the installation steps of FauxPilot might be a bit complex.

If you are on Windows, use this repository to install FauxPilot.


7- Tabby

Tabby

Tabby is an open-source self-hosted AI coding assistant. It can suggest entire functions or multi-line code snippets as you type. It takes context from your code and comments.

The best thing about Tabby is that it can be fine-tuned for any project. To train Tabby, you need a PC with a good GPU accelerator (e.g. RTX 3080). The training process can be configured using the YAML file.

You can also try Tabby inside the browser without signup.


8- CodeGeeX

CodeGeeX

CodeGeeX is an open-source code generation model trained in more than 20 programming languages (e.g. Python, JavaScript, Java, C++/C, Go, etc.). It utilizes 13 billion parameters and produces very high-quality results.

It can be used for code suggestion, translation, explanation, and summarization.

You can also read the CodeGeeX research paper for more technical information.


9- AskCodi

AskCodi

AskCodi is a free alternative to GitHub Copilot for VS Code. It uses OpenAI Codex to perform many tasks of an AI code assistant.

For example, it can be used for code suggestions, software documentation, code explanation, testing, etc. You can also use its chat feature to start a conversation with your AI pair programmer.

AskCodi prioritizes code privacy. It doesn’t save the code you pass to it or the code that it generates.


10- Blackbox AI

Blackbox AI

Blackbox AI is packed with features like code autocomplete, code search, and repo search. It is created to speed up software development by increasing the productivity of developers.

The code autocomplete feature provides suggestions in over 20 programming languages based on the developer’s input. The repo search allows developers to search through millions of open-source repo files directly within their integrated development environment (IDE). The code search feature helps developers find code snippets for their projects by entering a question or query.

These features are also available in Jupyter Lab and Jupyter Notebooks.


Conclusion

There are many free alternatives to GitHub Copilot that can be integrated with Visual Studio Code. Each of these alternatives offers unique features and capabilities, catering to different coding needs and preferences. Whether you want a chatbot-like coding assistant, personalized AI models, offline access, code privacy, or specialized support for AWS APIs, there is an alternative that suits your requirements. 

Bito stands out with its chatbot functionality and context-aware answers. It also has a command line interface that can suggest shell commands using natural language prompts. 

Now it’s time to experiment with different AI coding assistants in your Visual Studio Code editor, finding the one that best complements your coding style and workflow. Embrace the power of AI in your coding journey and take your development process to new heights.

Anand Das

Anand Das

Anand is Co-founder and CTO of Bito. He leads technical strategy and engineering, and is our biggest user! Formerly, Anand was CTO of Eyeota, a data company acquired by Dun & Bradstreet. He is co-founder of PubMatic, where he led the building of an ad exchange system that handles over 1 Trillion bids per day.

Amar Goel

Amar Goel

Amar is the Co-founder and CEO of Bito. With a background in software engineering and economics, Amar is a serial entrepreneur and has founded multiple companies including the publicly traded PubMatic and Komli Media.

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