3.15. Groups and Group Security

Groups allow for separating bugs into logical divisions. Groups are typically used to to isolate bugs that should only be seen by certain people. For example, a company might create a different group for each one of its customers or partners. Group permissions could be set so that each partner or customer would only have access to their own bugs. Or, groups might be used to create variable access controls for different departments within an organization. Another common use of groups is to associate groups with products, creating isolation and access control on a per-product basis.

Groups and group behaviors are controlled in several places:

  1. The group configuration page. To view or edit existing groups, or to create new groups, access the "Groups" link from the "Administration" page. This section of the manual deals primarily with the aspect of group controls accessed on this page.

  2. Global configuration parameters. Bugzilla has several parameters that control the overall default group behavior and restriction levels. For more information on the parameters that control group behavior globally, see Section 3.1.9.

  3. Product association with groups. Most of the functionality of groups and group security is controlled at the product level. Some aspects of group access controls for products are discussed in this section, but for more detail see Section 3.4.4.

  4. Group access for users. See Section 3.15.3 for details on how users are assigned group access.

Group permissions are such that if a bug belongs to a group, only members of that group can see the bug. If a bug is in more than one group, only members of all the groups that the bug is in can see the bug. For information on granting read-only access to certain people and full edit access to others, see Section 3.4.4.


By default, bugs can also be seen by the Assignee, the Reporter, and by everyone on the CC List, regardless of whether or not the bug would typically be viewable by them. Visibility to the Reporter and CC List can be overridden (on a per-bug basis) by bringing up the bug, finding the section that starts with "Users in the roles selected below..." and un-checking the box next to either 'Reporter' or 'CC List' (or both).

3.15.1. Creating Groups

To create a new group, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the "Administration" link in the page footer, and then select the "Groups" link from the Administration page.

  2. A table of all the existing groups is displayed. Below the table is a description of all the fields. To create a new group, select the "Add Group" link under the table of existing groups.

  3. There are five fields to fill out. These fields are documented below the form. Choose a name and description for the group. Decide whether this group should be used for bugs (in all likelihood this should be selected). Optionally, choose a regular expression that will automatically add any matching users to the group, and choose an icon that will help identify user comments for the group. The regular expression can be useful, for example, to automatically put all users from the same company into one group (if the group is for a specific customer or partner).


    If "User RegExp" is filled out, users whose email addresses match the regular expression will automatically be members of the group as long as their email addresses continue to match the regular expression. If their email address changes and no longer matches the regular expression, they will be removed from the group. Versions 2.16 and older of Bugzilla did not automatically remove users who's email addresses no longer matched the RegExp.


    If specifying a domain in the regular expression, end the regexp with a "$". Otherwise, when granting access to "@mycompany\.com", access will also be granted to 'badperson@mycompany.com.cracker.net'. Use the syntax, '@mycompany\.com$' for the regular expression.

  4. After the new group is created, it can be edited for additional options. The "Edit Group" page allows for specifying other groups that should be included in this group and which groups should be permitted to add and delete users from this group. For more details, see Section 3.15.2.

3.15.2. Editing Groups and Assigning Group Permissions

To access the "Edit Groups" page, select the "Administration" link in the page footer, and then select the "Groups" link from the Administration page. A table of all the existing groups is displayed. Click on a group name you wish to edit or control permissions for.

The "Edit Groups" page contains the same five fields present when creating a new group. Below that are two additional sections, "Group Permissions," and "Mass Remove". The "Mass Remove" option simply removes all users from the group who match the regular expression entered. The "Group Permissions" section requires further explanation.

The "Group Permissions" section on the "Edit Groups" page contains four sets of permissions that control the relationship of this group to other groups. If the 'usevisibilitygroups' parameter is in use (see Section 3.1) two additional sets of permissions are displayed. Each set consists of two select boxes. On the left, a select box with a list of all existing groups. On the right, a select box listing all groups currently selected for this permission setting (this box will be empty for new groups). The way these controls allow groups to relate to one another is called inheritance. Each of the six permissions is described below.

Groups That Are a Member of This Group

Members of any groups selected here will automatically have membership in this group. In other words, members of any selected group will inherit membership in this group.

Groups That This Group Is a Member Of

Members of this group will inherit membership to any group selected here. For example, suppose the group being edited is an Admin group. If there are two products (Product1 and Product2) and each product has its own group (Group1 and Group2), and the Admin group should have access to both products, simply select both Group1 and Group2 here.

Groups That Can Grant Membership in This Group

The members of any group selected here will be able add users to this group, even if they themselves are not in this group.

Groups That This Group Can Grant Membership In

Members of this group can add users to any group selected here, even if they themselves are not in the selected groups.

Groups That Can See This Group

Members of any selected group can see the users in this group. This setting is only visible if the 'usevisibilitygroups' parameter is enabled on the Bugzilla Configuration page. See Section 3.1 for information on configuring Bugzilla.

Groups That This Group Can See

Members of this group can see members in any of the selected groups. This setting is only visible if the 'usevisibilitygroups' parameter is enabled on the the Bugzilla Configuration page. See Section 3.1 for information on configuring Bugzilla.

3.15.3. Assigning Users to Groups

A User can become a member of a group in several ways:

  1. The user can be explicitly placed in the group by editing the user's profile. This can be done by accessing the "Users" page from the "Administration" page. Use the search form to find the user you want to edit group membership for, and click on their email address in the search results to edit their profile. The profile page lists all the groups, and indicates if the user is a member of the group either directly or indirectly. More information on indirect group membership is below. For more details on User administration, see Section 3.2.

  2. The group can include another group of which the user is a member. This is indicated by square brackets around the checkbox next to the group name in the user's profile. See Section 3.15.2 for details on group inheritance.

  3. The user's email address can match the regular expression that has been specified to automatically grant membership to the group. This is indicated by "*" around the check box by the group name in the user's profile. See Section 3.15.1 for details on the regular expression option when creating groups.

3.15.4. Assigning Group Controls to Products

The primary functionality of groups is derived from the relationship of groups to products. The concepts around segregating access to bugs with product group controls can be confusing. For details and examples on this topic, see Section 3.4.4.