Backup and restore of Unifi Cloud Key Gen2 Plus

Posted: 2020-02-22

My unifi controller and unifi protect software are running on a Cloud Key Gen2 Plus device.

Today I noticed that it had gone into a fail state - it couldn't see that either were online. Checking them directly - the same - not responding.

So - a reboot - and - hmm - same issue. So it was time to go for a factory reset and restore.

Restoring the controller

After the factory reset I headed to the controller setup first. I uploaded my backup and got

The backup file you are trying to load is from a newer version of the UniFi Controller and cannot be used with this controller.

Updating the controller version via SSH

First - head to

Get the URL of the latest version of UniFi Network Controller X.X.X for Debian/Ubuntu Linux and UniFi Cloud Key

Now we need to download and install this file.

SSH password: whatever you set up after the reset.

ssh ubnt@CLOUD_KEY_IP
cd /tmp
wget URL

At this point you should be able to restore via the setup GUI. My restores are quite large and it can take some time.

Restoring protect

There doesn't seem to be a similar way to update protect when the same issue happens - a backup from a newer version.

The simplest fix for this was:

  • Setup a new NVR with the same name as the old one
  • Give it a new user
  • Start it and login
  • Apply any waiting updates
  • Restore the backup (via import a backup file)


So - this all means that I have to have backups already right? Yes.

Backups for the unifi controller will be on the external hard disk on the gen2+ at /srv/unifi/data/backup/autobackup/

Backups for protec will be on the internal disk at /etc/unifi-protect/backups

I had set up daily backups for the controller and protect.

I had then created a backup_to_nas shell script - ssh to the cloud key and place the script under /etc/cron.daily

This will use rsync - so we need rsync installed on the cloud key too:

apt-get update
apt-get install rsync

You'll need an ssh key on the cloud key and its public key needs to be on the nas.

Then the script itself is just two rsync calls

rsync -qa /etc/unifi-protect/backups/ user@nas-host:/path/to/backup/Unifi/protect/

rsync -qa /srv/unifi/data/backup/autobackup/ user@nas-host:/path/to/backup/Unifi/unifi/