ubiquity – Enterprise Wifi for your home – Part 1

Today I have bought my new house and the challenge is what to do and how to do it.

The house itself has three floors and all is very solid built so no way a decent WiFi Signal will travel in-between.

The idea now is to provide enterprise WiFi capabilities to my house with reasonable costs. Looking to Cisco, Aruba or Ruckus solutions is not funny where a single access point costs several hundreds of Euros. After searching I came across a manufacturer called ubiquiti.

They promise to provide enterprise WiFi grade at a very cheap price (https://shop.omg.de/ubiquiti-networks/unifi/unifi-access-point/)

Therefor I just bought a pack of 5 to lower cost but this was already a not so smart Idea. The single Access Point comes with an PoE inverter and is just 10 € more expensive. Whereas the 5 boxed version comes without and an inline converter can be bought for around 20€ each …

But I found on eBay a cheap PoE Switch (Netgear GS108T-200GES ProSafe) and therefor I have no need for the inverters.

The big advantage of Ubiquiti is the free controller software that can be installed on Windows and Linux and more interesting on an ARM Linux such as a Raspberry Pi (2015-11-21-raspbian-jessie-lite).

After research on the internet you find multiple posts on how to do it but all of them quite complex including compiling mongo DB

https://help.ubnt.com/hc/en-us/articles/204910104-UniFi-Installing-the-Controller-software-on-Raspberry-Pi

http://erikvanpaassen.tweakblogs.net/blog/10024/turning-a-raspberry-pi-into-a-unifi-controller-appliance

 

After having the base image installed and running, the file system needs to be extended. Furthermore all updates should be applied.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo reboot

What need to be downloaded is the DIY file of the controller Software:

https://www.ubnt.com/download/unifi

ubi_Controller

Download the latest version and transfer it to the raspberry pi.

Either you use directly wget on the device or SFTP with FileZilla.

Now all dependencies need to be installed including our beloved java runtime:

sudo aptitude install oracle-java7-jdk git-core build-essential scons libpcre++-dev libboost-dev libboost-program-options-dev libboost-thread-dev libboost-filesystem-dev

install dep

Now install the MongoDB:

sudo aptitude install mongodb

mogodb

Unzip the controller software in your home directory and move it to /opt

unzip UniFi.unix.zip
sudo mv /home/pi/UniFi /opt/

 

Double check the soft link on the controller software folder

ls -la /opt/UniFi/bin/

softlink

 

Now lets start the first time

sudo java -jar /opt/UniFi/lib/ace.jar start &

 

If the Controller Software Needs to be stopped that is the command:

sudo java -jar /opt/UniFi/lib/ace.jar stop

To see how far you got you can use the netstat command to see if the controller is already accessible via the web frontend.

sudo netstat -tulpen | grep 8443

Concole Extract:

pi@raspberrypi:/opt/UniFi/bin $ sudo netstat -tulpen | grep 8443

tcp6       0     0 :::8443                 :::*                   LISTEN     0         14765       4673/java

 

When such an entry appears you controller is up and running and be ready for first configuration:

Go to: https://<your raspberry pi IP>:8443 the initial Setup awaits you:

 

Ubiquiti Web Frontend

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