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UniFi - How to Manually Change the Cloud Key's Controller Version via SSH


Readers will learn how to change the controller version on the UniFi Cloud Key. This article will discuss how to download and install a controller version via SSH. This is specially useful when installing unreleased versions you will find in the Beta blog. For an update to the newest public release available, a simple upgrade via the WebUI is the easiest way to go.

book_25x25.png  NOTES & REQUIREMENTS:

  • It is always best to make a backup prior to changing the controller release.
  • If you are changing release channels you may lose some statistics. Typically this would only happen when downgrading between major release branches (i.e. 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9). So, if you upgraded to 4.9, then decided you wanted to change back to 4.8 you would lose some stats.  
  • Only stable releases are found on our downloads site, alpha and beta releases are in their respective release blog.


1. You will need to use the firmware's download link for step 4, so go ahead and locate it now. All stable releases can be found in In the Software section of the page, search for the most recent UniFi Controller for Debian/Ubuntu Linux. Click the Download icon and when the pop up window appears, copy the URL.

If you are interested in a release that is not a Stable release, find the link in the corresponding alpha and beta blog. You will need special access to see these: How to Sign Up for Early Access. Once again, select Linux (Debian/Ubuntu) and Copy Link Address.

2. Once you have the link to the .deb file, connect to your Cloud Key via SSH. If you aren't sure of the IP and are on the same L2 subnet then you could use the UniFi discovery tool to find it. Use the following article if you need help connecting via SSH: Intro to Networking - How to Establish a Connection Using SSH

3. After you are connected to the Cloud Key it is recommended that you change to the /tmp directory, by issuing:

cd /tmp

The console would show something like:

[email protected]:/tmp#

4. Issue the  wget  command followed by the firmware download link you copied in step 1, to "grab" the file. Notice that in the example below, it is for a past firmware: version 4.8.12. You will need to replace the link in blue with the one you copied in step 1.


5. After you've downloaded the file, and are back in  [email protected]:/tmp# , issue the following to "unpack" the firmware:

dpkg -i unifi_sysvinit_all.deb

6. Once it has successfully installed, and you are back in  [email protected]:/tmp# , issue the following to remove the deb from the /tmp folder.:

rm unifi_sysvinit_all.deb

7. You can 'exit' from the SSH session now that the controller upgrade is complete with:


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