Tutorial: Setup Ubiquiti UniFi controller (Digital Ocean)


Update: 10-18-2015:

This is obsolete due to no further development on the version 3 UniFi controller. An updated installer for version is available for 4.7.5 here.

Ubiquiti provides a wide variety of enterprise network solutions Their free controller software, UniFi, can control one or thousands of UniFi access points regardless of whether they are on the same switch or across the world.

Droplet information

This tutorial is based upon a Digital Ocean Ubuntu 12.0.4 x64 droplet. It is suggested to use at least a droplet with 1GB of memory (a default install only leaves about 100MB of memory free with a 512MB droplet). As the number of access points and amount of traffic increases the droplet’s memory size should be increased to 2-4GB (or beyond).


Commands in these boxes should be copied/pasted into your terminal client.


The steps in this tutorial require the user to have root privliges but no other software is required aside from a default droplet.

Step One – Add sources

The Unifi Controller source are not listed by default. You first need to add them.

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Use the Page Down button until you reach the end then paste into your terminal:

## Ubuntu Precise (12.04):
deb http://www.ubnt.com/downloads/unifi/distros/deb/precise precise ubiquiti

## MongoDB
deb http://downloads-distro.mongodb.org/repo/ubuntu-upstart dist 10gen

Use keyboard combiations Control+O to write the file, confirm by pressing enter. Now use the keyboard combination Control+X to exit nano and press enter to confirm.

Step two – Import keys

We need to import the keys for the Ubuntu servers for the UniFi controller package.

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv 7F0CEB10
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv C0A52C50

Step Three – Prepare to install packages

First update the repository

sudo apt-get update

Step Four – Install MongoDB

sudo apt-get install mongodb-10gen

Step Five – Install Unifi

sudo apt-get install unifi

Step Six – Configure UniFi

Launch your web browser and navigate to your server’s IP address in the following format, https://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX:8443 (replacing XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX with your server’s IP address).

UniFi device inform

Since the UniFi controller is in the cloud, you will need to set the inform URLs using the Ubiquiti Discovery Tool using a PC that is on the same level 2 network as your access points. The inform URL will be https://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX:8080

Final Note – Firewall Configuration

By default, the droplet does not have a firewall configured. You will want to configure it using the article, How To Set Up a Firewall Using IP Tables on Ubuntu 12.04. The following ports need to be opened on the firewall:

TCP 8080
TCP 8443
TCP 8880
TCP 8843
TCP 22
UDP 3478