Illegal group reference Exception

While restoring a JIRA backup,  the following exception is thrown

"Exception importing entity: java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Illegal group reference

java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Illegal group reference".

atlassian-xml-cleaner-0.1 utility cleans up all illegal characters (

java -jar atlassian-xml-cleaner-0.1.jar entities.xml > entities-clean.xml

But even after using the above utility,  the exception is thrown.  What could be the problem and what is the solution for this?

Thanks and Regards,


1 answer

Hi Krish.

Just to be sure, after run the command line to clean the XML, did you rename the files, removing the '-clean' part e made a new .zip file with them to be imported?


Yes it did that.

In this case, I would recommend to open the files and look for special characters such as the $ in the column headings and remove it.

If you still are seeing errors I would recommend to open a ticket to the support team in

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