My Ubiquiti UniFi Appliance 3.0 – now even more super!

Update – v3.1

I have updated the appliance to Ubuntu 18.04 as well as the latest version of Unifi as of Feb 2019. The new download links are below. Enjoy!

Out with the old

My Ubiquiti Unifi 2.0 virtual appliance has gotten quite a few downloads. So I decided to revamp it for 2018. This version is easier to use, comes with the latest UniFi server (as of this post), and can be more easily updated in the future.

I also created a post on how to build your own UniFi server in AWS using a few simple steps too, but for those purists who still need a solution that can run on-prem in VMware or Hyper-V… Long live the OVA Virtual Appliance!

In with the new

So what makes my new “Version 3.0” virtual appliance more kick ass? Simplicity.

This new version comes with a console based menu that allows you to update and configure the appliance.

Unifi Virtual Appliance Menu

So what does the menu help with?

  • Shows current IP address
  • Allows you to easily update Unifi via the official APT repository
  • Allows you to configure the network interface (DHCP or Static) without knowing anything about Linux
  • Updates my unifi-va scripts directory from my GitHub Repo (
  • Change the “unifi” user’s password

Basically, all the things that non-Linux people wouldn’t like about running UniFi on a Linux machine can be done via this menu. As I think of more things to add I will update my GitHub repo and you can update your appliance by running option 3 in the menu.

Deploying v3

Deploying v3 is just like deploying any other virtual appliance.

First, download the virtual appliance (select the appropriate version).

VMware 6.5+ SHA256 version

VMware 6.0 and older SHA1 Version

Then import it into your hypervisor. For VMware 6.0 and older go to File, then “Deploy OVF Template”. For VMware 6.0 and newer, with the web interface, right click on your cluster or host and select “Deploy OVF Template”.

Configuring v3

Configuration is already mostly done, all you need to do is make sure the virtual appliance has an IP address. Once it does go to a browser and type in https://<IP ADDRESS>:8443 and you should see the invalid SSL warning page. Click through it, and you will then see the UniFi Configuration page. From there you can either import an old configuration or create a brand new appliance.

Note: the default username and password for this appliance is “unifi” (for both the username and password)

Get Update Notifications

If you want to be kept up to date on my UniFi Virtual Appliance news, fill out the form below to get email updates when it’s time to run the “Unifi-VA Scripts Update” from the menu on your appliance


I’m always looking for feedback. So if you come across something that I could do better in the virtual appliance let me know. You can use the Drift chat box in the bottom right corner, or shoot me a message on Twitter (@recklessop), or shoot me an email ([email protected]).

Thanks for reading!

Looking for the UniFi Hardware?

If you haven’t completed your Ubiquiti Unifi hardware deployment, Amazon has great prices on all the UniFi hardware.

UniFi Security Gateway Unifi PoE Switch Unifi Wireless Access Point

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45 Responses to "My Ubiquiti UniFi Appliance 3.0 – now even more super!"

  1. USG, Unifi Security Gateway, is a router that is managed by the Unifi Controller software (which is what this appliance is). the USG does NOT include Unifi Controller, so you must get a Cloud Key, run a windows or linux controller or sign up for the Unifi Enterprise offering.

  2. Hi Justin,
    converted via vboxmanage from ova to vmdx and imported into Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V. After renaming the netrwork interface from ens32 to eth0, everything works like a charme. Even updateing Ubunto and Unifi Controller. Thank you very much. Love our appliance!

    Kindly from Berlin, Germany

  3. Hi, Thank you for you work, But I got a problems, when I choose update Unifi Application, after the update it failed to start up the web GUI, I remember when I update the application it asked me to backup the application itself, May I know how can I restore the back up from the Bash shell? I already search the Unifi forum but those method seems not working, would you please suggest what can I do, Thank you again!

  4. Hi Justin, Thanks for the great work !!

    One thing that doesnt work for me is the cloud access. My guess is that it has somthign to do with the Esxi firewall.
    Any expirience with connecting to clount from virtual host ?


  5. Hi!
    Tanks for making this.

    Ran into “running out of storage” on your v2.
    some scripts for cleaning out apt and manipulating/prune mongodb would be nice. I’m not a huge *nix user and found it hard to do. 😀 (Had to change mongodb to smallfiles before bruning.)

    Again – love your work with this.

  6. Hi Justin, thanks for this awesome appliance. I’ve been running your 2.0 version for almost a year and it is very stable. So, how can I upgrade to the new-and-improved 3.0 appliance? Just shutdown the old one and deploy the new one?


  7. Brian, I havent tested this, but if you upgrade the one you have now to the latest unifi, then export the config, you should be able to deploy the new appliance and apply the config to it.

    Its been a while since i worked on this, but im sure there is a way to apply the menu to the older appliance, but i havent tested it.

  8. To help anyone converting to Hyper-V. Steps I used are download 7zip and extract the .ova file. Then use the Starwind V2 Image converter to convert the vdmk to a vhdx. Then you can attach that to a VM you create.
    Once up in running you need to change the interface.

    Edit the /etc/network/interfaces file and replace all occurrences of the old name esn32 with the new one eth0:

    # sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

  9. Mike, I have updated the appliance this weekend for Ubuntu 18.04 along with the latest Unifi.

    Sorry for the downtime, but the links should be good to go now! Also note that I pushed a sha256 and sha1 version this time to make it easier for those with older VMware hosts.

  10. Thank you very much for this new release. Works like a charm. Just had to retrieve the backup from v3 appliance and import it in the v3.1
    Do you think we could perform a release upgrade to 18.10 or better leave it in 18.04 ?

  11. Hi Great App installs really quickly, I have a problem when trying to change the IP address it lets me enter the address but then keeps prompting for subnet enter if i enter this once and then return past the next it gives errors on lines 28, 56, 118, 124 and the IP doesnt change is this something that i am doing wrong thanks in advance

  12. Loves this v3. Ran better than my cloud key. But my controller wont start. I am trying to repair and shrink the database but I don’t know the Ubuntu admin password to shut down the unifi service. Any help would be much appreciated. I am dead with multiple sites to be reprogrammed and 2 new ones to install.

  13. Anyone have any idiot guides for usage with Google Cloud? I’ve never used Any of the cloud services and would like to use it with Google cloud due to costs..

  14. If you’re on the 3.0 version, is the best method to move to the 3.1v to backup the old config and import it into a new vm from the new OVA?

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