You can use the UniFi Network Controller to administrate Ubiquiti network equipment from a macOS/Linux/Windows client if you have a Dream Machine or Cloud Key. But there’s another way: Using the FreshPort unifi5 it’s possible to install the controller in a FreeNAS jail so you don’t have to run a server 24/7 for this specific purpose. This FreshPort is not an official Ubiquiti package but as of July 2020 it’s well maintained.


Setup a new FreeNAS jail in the FreeNAS web interface with JailsAdd. You can use all the default settings or change them if you know what you’re doing. Make sure you activate auto-start. Once the new jail is running, click on the Shell button to enter the Jail’s shell. Then install the unifi5 package:

pkg upgrade
pkg install unifi5

To enable autostart for the UniFi Network Controller add the line unifi_enable="YES" in /etc/rc.conf.

Then start the service:

service unifi start

In the Jail overview of the FreeNAS web interface you can see the IPv4 address of the jail, e.g. Go to to visit the Network Controller’s interface which will guide you through the rest of the setup.