The Sysadmins

Tips and tricks from the Sysadmins

Unifi Wireless – 1. Installing the Controller

This mini-series will guide you through installing and configuring Ubiquiti’s Unifi Wireless solution using 802.1x, Windows NPS (radius) and Group Policy. This post will cover the installation of the Unifi Controller. The following posts will cover configuring the controller, NPS and deploying Wireless settings via Group Policy to your endpoints. I will add any relevant or helpful links at the bottom of each post.

The setup for this mini-series is as follows:

  • Server 2012 R2 member server hosting the Unifi Controller and Network Policy Server (NPS)
  • Windows 7/8.1/10 Clients
  • Unifi Controller

Unifi Controller Installation

From the Server 2012 R2 member server:

  1. Install the latest Java. Unifi recommend that if you are using an x64 operating system to install both x86 and x64 version of Java for the Unifi controller service to correctly start
  2. Offline Java Installs:
  3. Install the latest Unifi Controller:
  4. Accept the defaults, but untick “Start Unifi Controller after installation”


The controller installs into “C:\Users\%username%\Ubiquiti Unifi” by default and there is no way to change this when installing, however moving it isn’t too difficult. Simply Copy the entire folder and move it to the required location e.g. C:\Ubiquiti Unifi.

Now that the installation has been moved, you will want to configure the Unifi Controller to run as a service. If this is not done, the Unifi Controller will need manually starting by a logged in user. When the user logs out, the controller software will close.

From an elevated command prompt run

java –jar "C:\Ubiquiti Unifi\lib\ace.jar” installsvc

Start the service with

net start “Unifi Controller"


To access the controller browse to to start the UniFi setup wizard.


  • Choose you country and timezone
  • No devices discovered, next
  • Skip Wireless configuration for now
  • Set your username and password, next and finish

The controller has now been installed and initially configured.


You can also uninstall the service for troubleshooting if need using

java –jar “C:\Ubiquiti Unifi\lib\ace.jar” uninstallsvc

Access Point Adoption

Last thing to do as part of the initial setup is to configure adoption for the access points. When you plug an access point in, you want them to automatically point at your Unifi Controller to receive their configuration and updates. This can be achieved a few ways, but layer 3 adoption via DNS is reliable and easy to configure.

Create a “unifi” A record that points to the server that you have installed the controller on. The Unifi AP will need to contact the controller via it’s FQDN.



Buy Unifi @
Buy Unifi @
Unifi Community Layer 3 Adoption Methods
Unifi Community Run Controller as Service
Unifi Community Java 8 Support Notes

1 Comment

  1. Thanks this worked beautifully!

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