UniFi Controller on a Pi or DietPi

Having just invested in a UniFi AP UAP-AC-Lite (it is absolutely fantastic), and refusing to spend £70 on the USB UniFi controller or wanting to use the cloud system, I needed to get the UniFi controller installed.  I didn’t expect any issues.  Well there were.

I first ran up a new DietPi VM on my micro HP server running an old 5.5 version of Esxi – Ain’t broke don’t fix. I now have a policy of not combining systems but running individual VMs.  I was burned recently when an installation of HomeAssistant went Pete Tong and I had to rebuild from scratch.  That also took out Node-Red and Mosquitto so they all (broardly) have their own VMs.

I tried a number of different ways of installing the controller via apt.  The problem I kept hitting was Java.

[Edit 9th March 19] I have discovered a much better way via these scripts.

To cut a long and tedious story short, I stumbled upon a community post that linked to a docker version of the Controller (project links https://github.com/ryansch/docker-unifi-rpi and https://hub.docker.com/r/ryansch/unifi-rpi/).

To install this on DietPi (after my usual setup) I simply installed docker and then from apt docker-compose, before building the container.

And that was it.

The controller appears on port 8443, you need to use an https address and there is the usual stupidity around browsers complaining about no SSL cert for non-routable addresses but it all works fine.

Epilogue: I subsequently realised that there is a second method to install the docker that might actually be better as it has instructions on how to upgrade. I do not understand the difference in the methods and I will leave it until I need to upgrade.

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