Managing nested groups

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Some directory servers allow you to define a group as a member of another group. Groups in such a structure are called nested groups. Nested groups simplify permissions by allowing sub-groups to inherit permissions from a parent group.

This page describes how Jira handles nested groups that exist in one or more of your directory servers. Note that if you're using nested groups, you can't use an  LDAP directory for delegated authentication .

Enabling Nested Groups

You can enable or disable support for nested groups on each directory individually. Select User Directories from the Jira administration menu, edit the directory and select Enable Nested Groups. See Configuring user directories.


  • Make sure that your directory server supports nested groups before you enable nested groups for a specific directory type in Jira.
  • You can nest internal groups in internal groups, or external groups in external groups. You can't nest an internal group in an external group or vice versa.
  • Please read the rest of this page to understand what effect nested groups will have on authentication (login) and permissions in Jira, and what happens when you update users and groups in Jira.

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Related topics

Configuring user directories

Last modified on Sep 3, 2019

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