If you ever ask for suggestions on cheap but awesome networking hardware, there’s one company you’ll probably see mentioned the most: Ubiquiti. I started using them experimentally at my last job as a Network Administrator and I fell in love with them so much that I bought an EdgeRouter Lite and an Ubiquiti AP-LR for my homelab. Not only are their devices low priced, but the fact that you can download and use the UniFi software controller completely for free makes them an absolute steal. You can control all of their devices (in the UniFi product line) with this controller that can be installed on Windows, Mac, or Linux.
You can install UniFi on your Windows or Mac workstation, but why when you can just throw up a tiny Linux VM dedicated for it that doesn’t cost a damn thing? Since I’ve been focusing my Linux tutorials on CentOS, I thought I’d switch it up and show you how to install UniFi on Ubuntu Server 14.04 (this will also be assuming that you have an Ubuntu Server VM ready to go).
Installing UniFi on Ubuntu Server 14.04
1. Let’s make sure you’re updated. We’ll also install Nano (if you don’t have it already) since it’s an easier text editor to use than Vim for you Linux newbies.
sudo apt-get update -y && sudo apt-get install nano –y
2. Now let’s update our APT source list file using Nano.
sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
3. Go to the bottom and add the following (your screen will look similar to mine below). When you’re done type Ctrl+X, then Y, and Enter twice to overwrite and exit.
deb http://www.ubnt.com/downloads/unifi/debian stable ubiquiti
4. Let’s add the needed GPG Key.
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv C0A52C50
5. Now we just have to update and install UniFi. You’ll see a screen like mine below when it’s done.
sudo apt-get update -y && sudo apt-get install unifi –y
6. That’s it! All that’s left to do is to go to https://<IP_OF_UNIFI_SERVER>:8443 (your screen will look like mine below once you trust or add it as an exemption because of the self-signed cert) and then finish the easy setup wizard.
Now you’ve got an awesome new controller to manage your Ubiquiti UniFi wireless APs and other UniFi devices.
…oh and if Ubiquiti is reading this, keep up the awesome work guys but please bring UniFi controller redundancy and publish some freakin’ SNMP MIBs. Thanks!