Project: Unifi controller running on Linode VPS

My Project

One of my goals this year is setting up a Unifi system by Ubiquiti at the house. Due to overall cost of setup, my going to spread out buy cost of equipment over several months. One of the first things I’ve bought so far was a Unifi Switch 8-60W. Reason I went with that first is because I was starting to run out of ethernet for all my internet-connected devices. Yes, I prefer wired versus WiFi if I can help it.

Ubiquiti

How one manages a Unifi device(s) is via the Unifi controller. First option, you could order the UniFi Cloud Key (newest version is UniFi Cloud Key Gen2). I would say this would have probably be the easiest method. Second option, you could just download the UniFi controller software and install it say like on any computer at your home that is connected all the time so you can get the statics/metrics of your UniFi network. You can also choice to install it say like on a Raspberry Pi 3 or 4, which I was having some difficult time on. Or you can just spin up a Linode Nanode 1GB VPS for $5 (US) per month like I did.

Linode

Linode is cheap and affordable in my oppion and the use of the Linode marketplace community stackscripts makes things really easy with setting up a UniFi controller on Linode.

  • Create a Linode account and/or login to your Linode account
  • Click on ‘Marketplace‘ tab on the left-side. (Screenshot-1).
  • Create from section, select ‘Community Stackscripts‘. (Screenshot-2).
  • In the search box type ‘unifi‘ and select ‘eseelke / Unifi‘. (Screenshot-3).
  • Once you select, scroll below your selection to fill out Unifi Options. (Screenshot-4).
  • In Select an Image section select Debian 9. (Screenshot-5).
  • In Region section, select the location close to you. (Screenshot-6).
  • In Linode Plan section, select Nanode tab and then select Nanode 1GB. (Screenshot-7).
  • In Linode Label section, you can leave default name. (Screenshot-8).
  • In Root Password section, enter a complex password. This is the password you would enter to access via SHH. (Screenshot-9).
  • In the Options add-ins if you would like backups, this would be a good time to set this up. Having backups of your VPS is very nice in case you run into issues, at least you (Screenshot-10).
  • Lastly, select Create. This will create your VPS. (Screenshot-11).
  • Once all setup is complete, you will have a working UniFi controller. (Screenshot-12).

Final Thoughts

From there you should be good to go. Just like any VPS that is public-facing remember to make sure you VPS is secure and only have the appropriate ports open. Linode does over some guidance on that here.

Hopefully this helps you with your UniFi controller setup. Note, this article does contain referrals links, so I might make a bit of commission for you clicking link.