October 21, 2021 - Patrick Kerwood

Setting up a UniFi Controller

This is a Docker Compose configuration example on deploying a UniFi Controller.

Below is the Docker Compose configuration with my usual Traefik setup. The webinterface will of course be served on https://unifi.example.org which by default will be port 443, but you still have to map port 8080 to the host. Port 8080 is used for device discovery and communication, without it your devices would not appear in the interface.

I'v seen a lot of different guides on which ports to open in a firewall or forward to, but basically you just need port 8080 and a port for the webinterface. This is the minimum setup and will be sufficient for most use cases.

There is no official container image from Ubiquiti. But there are two popular unofficial images, one is from linuxserver.io (opens new window) and the other is from jacobalberty (opens new window). I have been using jacobalberty for years and never had issues with that one, so I'm sticking with that.

# Docker Compose

  • Change the image version you want to use, at the time of writing the current major version is 6.
  • Change where you want the volume data be on the host.
  • Change the URL you want to use in the host rule.




version: "3.8"

      name: traefik-proxy

    image: jacobalberty/unifi:v6
    container_name: unifi_controller
    restart: unless-stopped
      - 8080:8080
      TZ: Europe/Copenhagen
      - /unifi-data:/unifi
      - traefik.enable=true
      - traefik.http.services.unifi.loadbalancer.server.port=8443
      - traefik.http.routers.unifi.rule=Host(`unifi.example.org`)
      - traefik.http.services.unifi.loadbalancer.server.scheme=https
      - traefik.http.routers.unifi.tls.certresolver=le
      - traefik.http.routers.unifi.entrypoints=websecure

# Setting the Inform address with DHCP

If you have a lot of UAP's in your environment, the easiest way of setting the Inform address is with a DHCP server. By setting the DHCP option 43, the UAP will take that setting (IP) and use that for the inform address and UAP will magically appear on the controller.

Note that you are not able to set the controller communication port, so your controller has to use 8080 for that.

Here's a couple of exampels i swooped from this UBNT article (opens new window). I use the Miktorik option and it works flawlessly.

The HEX string works as follows.

  • IP:
    • Suboption: 01 (do not change)
    • Length of payload: 04 (do not change)
    • 192: C0
    • 168: A8
    • 3: 03
    • 10: 0A
      • Result: 0104C0A8030A

# Mikrotik

/ip dhcp-server option add code=43 name=unifi value=0x0104C0A8030A
/ip dhcp-server network set 0 dhcp-option=unifi

# Why 0104C0A8030A ?
# 01: suboption
# 04: length of the payload (must be 4)
# C0A8030A:


# ...
option space ubnt;
option ubnt.unifi-address code 1 = ip-address;

class "ubnt" {
  match if substring (option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 4) = "ubnt";
  option vendor-class-identifier "ubnt";
  vendor-option-space ubnt;

subnet netmask {
  option ubnt.unifi-address;  ### UniFi Controller IP ###
  option routers;
  option broadcast-address;
  option domain-name-servers,;
  # ...

# Cisco CLI

# assuming your UniFi is at
ip dhcp pool <pool name>
network <ip network> <netmask>
default-router <default-router IP address>
dns-server <dns server IP address>
option 43 hex 0104C0A8030A # -> CO A8 03 0A

# Why 0104C0A8030A ?
# 01: suboption
# 04: length of the payload (must be 4)
# C0A8030A:

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