Imran's Blog
Stuff I feel like blogging about.

The pain of updating my SSID with Unifi (AP AC-lite)

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As the title suggests, I have a Unifi AP AC-lite that I use to serve wireless in my home, paired with an EdgeRouter PoE. This is my story of trying to change my wireless SSID.

# Step 1. The mobile app

Unifi provides a mobile app that should, supposedly, make managing your ubiquiti network easier. I installed it with hopes of this being a quick and simple process (spoiler alert: it wasn't).

The first thing the mobile app asks for is to connect to your ubiquiti controller (and ubiquiti account). I do not have a ubiquiti controller (or account). The app does present another option of connecting to a standalone AP (which I do have).

Upon selecting this option it presents you with a screen saying the AP needs to be in factory setup mode (glowing white ring) for the app to connect to it. The catch-22 here is that if I reset my AP, how is my phone (and thus the app) going to connect to my network as the AP? The AP is my sole method of providing wifi in my household.

When you factory reset the AP, it has a default network it broadcasts that requires it MAC address to connect to. You can scan QR code on the back of the AP to speed up this process. After resetting my AP, the app refused to connect to it even with the code scan process. As of now I no longer have a useable wireless network in my home.

I google'd around for folks who were experiencing a similar issue and found this post. Turns out my AP was running firmware version 3.something. To use the app I would need to update to the latest firmware version. To do this I had to ssh into my AP (default username/password is ubnt/ubnt) and run the commands listed in the link. After upgrading my firmware, the app still failed to connect/find the AP. Yippee.

# Step 2. Unifi controller

At this point, my remaining option was to get the unifi controller/application running. The unifi controller is a chunky boy. An AUR package is available as unifi and look at those dependencies. You need mongodb and java to run it. The build of mongodb fails with the following error. At this point it's around 1 a.m. and my patience is running thin. I found a docker image provided by the lovely folks at This came with some special instructions around setting the inform url (since docker internal IPs are not the same your network IPs).

And boom, at long last I updated my SSID 🥲.

# Conclusion

This whole processed sucked ass. No other way to put it. Ubiquiti want you to use their app, they want you to use their controller application, they want you to have an account. All I want, is just to access my router's or AP's interface and change my wireless network name.