There seems to be conflicting info out there for how to accomplish this.  Compounded with the Zero’s different micro ports, it’s easier if you can set it up as a headless device.  Unfortunately, I found that if you try to do this locally, with a monitor and keyboard, the order of operations causes the ssh keys to be faulty.  So, let’s make it easy and just do it all from the start.  Download Raspbian Jessie Lite.  I believe the version I got is 03.02.  In Windows I’m using Rufus to write the disk image.  Select the disk image from the folder icon in the lower right.  You need to search for all file types, as it’s not an ISO.  Once you select it, Rufus will automatically determine that it needs to be a DD write for the file.  Fire it off on your micro SD card and let it finish.  It will take a few minutes.

When it’s done you’ll have a single partition viewable in Windows for the SD card.  Right click and create a Notepad file called ssh.txt in the root of that partition.  Just create it.  Don’t edit it.  Create another Notepad file and call it wpa_supplicant.conf.  Open that in Notepad and add the following:

ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev
update_config=1

network={
    ssid="Your SSID Here"
    proto=RSN
    key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
    pairwise=CCMP TKIP
    group=CCMP TKIP
    psk="YourPresharedKeyHere"
}

Modify the SSID and PSK to match your WiFi settings and save it.  Pop the SD card out, pop it into your Zero W and boot it up.  Wait a few minutes, and then you’ll need to find the dhcp address the Zero W received.  For me, I checked the dhcp scope on my firewall and found a new dhcp lease for a device named “raspberrypi”.  Open up Putty and ssh to that IP.  You should be connected at that point.  Probably a good idea to run raspi-config and update the password and host name.

With all of this tutorial publishing I’ve been doing for Grafana, I have neglected to post what mine currently looks like.  So, here it is.  This is the 1080P version.  I also built an iPad version that has a lot of the same info but compressed for the smaller screen.

This is kind of goofy with how Ubiquiti doesn’t do well at supporting SNMP.  For one thing, they don’t support it through the controller, only directly to each AP.  But, you have to enable it at the controller to have it flip the switch on the APs so they’ll respond.  They really want you to use the API, which is great if you’re a programmer.  I am not.  I’m a router jockey, so I like SNMP.  Anyway, after finding and downloading the MIBs I had a look through them and sorted out a couple of OIDs I was interested in.  Specifically, client count per radio and Eth0 bits in and bits out.  Here’s what I loaded into Telegraf.  You need a separate inputs section for each AP you want to monitor.  Nope, not really an “Enterprise” approach.

[[inputs.snmp]]
agents = [ “192.168.x.x:161” ]  ## The IP of a single AP.
timeout = “5s”
retries = 3
version = 1
community = “RO_Community”
max_repetitions = 10
name = “UnifiWiFiOffice”
[[inputs.snmp.field]]
name = “Bits.Out”
oid = “1.3.6.1.4.1.41112.1.6.2.1.1.12.0”
[[inputs.snmp.field]]
name = “Bits.In”
oid = “1.3.6.1.4.1.41112.1.6.2.1.1.6.0”
[[inputs.snmp.field]]
name = “2.4.Clients”
oid = “1.3.6.1.4.1.41112.1.6.1.2.1.8.0”
[[inputs.snmp.field]]
name = “5.0.Clients”
oid = “1.3.6.1.4.1.41112.1.6.1.2.1.8.3”

Just a quick reminder note about something I’ve run into with Aerohive a couple of times.  If you get too anxious and start changing the config and rebooting quickly, the APs will get confused and seem to go into a waiting period.  Things will behave oddly, and you’ll get error messages like “There’s an admin modifying the config”, or something to that effect.  Just be patient, and either wait for or perform a full reboot.  And then be patient.  It seems like these things just need some time to get caught up occasionally.

Also, I ran into a situation where non-Apple devices would connect fine, but all Apple devices would either say “Unable to join” or “Incorrect password”.  No rhyme or reason to it.  Eventually, after several reboots, the Apple devices magically started working.  Again, just be patient.  It’s not like applying changes to a standalone AP, or even a local controller.  There’s that Internet thing getting in the way!

I’ve been having some trouble with my two Apple Airport Extreme’s in the house.  They are both a couple of generations old and I got them both used off of Ebay some years ago.  They’ve served me well and provided good throughput and signal coverage.  For some reason I can’t explain, in the last month they’ve become slow and buggy.  Maybe it was an update.  Regardless, I’ve had my eye on the new AC APs from Ubiquiti and this was a good excuse to pull the trigger.

So, I decided to get a couple of the LR models, partly because I want more coverage out in the yard, partly because they are less expensive and partly because they are readily available.  I set up the Unifi controller in a VM in Nutanix first, and installation could not have been easier.  So far, I’m very happy with the coverage and performance.  I’ve been getting good coverage in the house, and I’m able to still use them at almost 200′ away from the house.

 

I got an interesting comment on a year old post of mine regarding CAPWAP.

Matt from Aerohive had some interesting things to say about CAPWAP and the state of things. I wrote a somewhat lengthy response so I thought I’d put up a new post on it.

As you can see further up in the comments, someone suggested an open source CAPWAP based app. The site is still barren, aside from some fairly old files and a basic update about 30 days ago. You’d think CAPWAP would be an area that has a lot of open source interest and yet I’m unable to really find anything. There are vague references but no one seems to be moving forward with anything.

Matt also made the comment that CAPWAP is about AP’s and not controllers. I can understand that a traditional “controller” might not be necessary but I would think some form of a management platform would be important. If you have a single AP and no management platform, what’s the point of CAPWAP?

I’m experienced with Cisco LWAPP enough to know it works pretty nicely.  There are some quirks to be sure but for almost every wireless implementation it’s the preferred solution.  It’s unfortunate then that both Cisco’s LWAPP and Aruba’s protocol (whatever that’s called) are closed protocols.  CAPWAP’s in the works and does seem to be making some progress as an open standard, despite some concerns about hidden patent coverage in some of the standard.

Still, you’d think the standard had progressed enough to start seeing some products.  Nope.  I just read that Cisco’s new Mobility product supports some portion of CAPWAP, which is interesting by itself.  But where are the open source controllers?  Controllers are really expensive!  It sure would be nice to have a cheaper solution for home, for instance.  This is one of those times I wish I was more of a programmer so I could just build it for myself.