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I can define a hostgroup in Nagios to include hosts X, Y, Z. Can I set a hostgroup to include all the hosts from another group as well? So any host in hostgroup B would be included in hostgroup A? And any service that runs for group A would also include all the hosts in group B?

In theory one could do this by just copy and pasting a few lines, but is there a 'cleaner' way?

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You can nest hostgroups but not in the way you're describing. See Christian's writeup:

Nagios 3 and hostgroup inheritance

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Oh interesting. Does that work in nagios2 (the current version in debian)? –  Rory Jul 31 '09 at 13:26
    
Afaik: no. That's not the only reason I'd recommend going to Nagios3 (or Icinga when it's out). –  chankster Jul 31 '09 at 13:39

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