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Installing UniFi on Raspberry Pi

Published onNovember 20, 2023

#how-to

Setting up a UniFi Controller on a Raspberry Pi is an exciting project that combines powerful networking capabilities with the compact, energy-efficient Raspberry Pi. This guide walks you through the process step-by-step, making it accessible even if you're not a networking guru.

Let's dive in!

Table of Contents

Gather Your Materials

Before starting, ensure you have the following:

  • A Raspberry Pi (3B, 3B+, 4 or newer recommended)
  • A microSD card (16 GB or larger recommended)
  • An SD card reader
  • A power supply for the Raspberry Pi
  • An Ethernet cable
  • A computer to access the Raspberry Pi remotely

Install Raspberry Pi OS

  1. Download Raspberry Pi Imager: Visit the Raspberry Pi website and download the Raspberry Pi Imager.
  2. Write OS to microSD Card: Insert the microSD card into your computer. Open the Raspberry Pi Imager and choose the OS (Raspberry Pi OS Lite recommended for a lightweight installation). Select your microSD card and write the image.

Initial Raspberry Pi Setup

  1. Insert the microSD Card: Once the OS is written, insert the microSD card into your Raspberry Pi.
  2. Connect to Network: Connect your Raspberry Pi to your router using an Ethernet cable.
  3. Power Up: Connect the power supply to boot up your Raspberry Pi.

Access Raspberry Pi via SSH

  1. Find the Pi's IP Address: Check your router's DHCP lease table to find the Raspberry Pi's IP address.
  2. SSH into Raspberry Pi: Use an SSH client (like PuTTY for Windows) to access the Raspberry Pi. The default login is 'pi' with the password 'raspberry'.

Install UniFi Controller

  1. Update and Upgrade: Run sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade to update your system.
  2. Install UniFi Controller: Install the UniFi Controller software by running appropriate commands. Since the process can vary based on the current software releases, it's best to check the official Ubiquiti installation guide for the latest instructions.

Accessing UniFi Controller

Once the installation is complete, you can access the UniFi Controller by typing http://[your Raspberry Pi's IP address]:8443 in a web browser. Complete the setup wizard to start managing your network.

Configure Your Network

With the UniFi Controller running, you can set up networks, and manage your Wi-Fi settings.

Create Networks: Navigate to the "Settings" -> "Networks" section of the UniFi Controller. Here, you can create VLANs, set up DHCP settings, and configure WAN/LAN settings as needed.

Set Up Wi-Fi Networks: Go to "Settings" -> "Wireless Networks" to create and manage your Wi-Fi networks. You can configure SSIDs, security protocols (WPA2/WPA3), and assign VLANs to different SSIDs for network segmentation.

Conclusion

Installing UniFi on a Raspberry Pi merges the flexibility of UniFi's powerful networking with the Raspberry Pi's compact and cost-effective nature.

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