Re-purpose Cloud Key Gen2 Plus for Pi-Hole

I have upgraded cloud key with UDMPro. UDMPro don’t have a DNS. I plan to use Cloud Key as DNS and wanted to install PI-HOLE on it.

Followed these steps.

a) Factory Restore Cloud Key Power off the system.

b) Press and hold the reset button and then power on the Cloud Key by connecting it to the power source.

CloudKey G2 Plus
  • Keep the reset button pressed for about 10 seconds, or until you see the recovery LED pattern in a loop (blue – off – white). The LCD screen on the front panel will also read “RECOVERY MODE.”
  • Once the LED is flashing in the recovery mode pattern, open your browser and type the IP address for the Cloud Key, visible on the device’s screen. The IP address comes from your DHCP server, if you can’t access DHCP, the fallback IP will work: However, keep in mind that if your Cloud Key does have a IP address assigned by the DHCP server, the fallback IP will not work.
  • You should be taken to the Recovery Mode screen. From here you can reset, reboot, power off and most importantly you can upload an updated firmware bin file.

Click ton Reset to Factory Defaults and then Reboot. It would take 2-3 minutes to come back with a steady white light. You would see information on the LCD that its ready to be configured.

You can see the latest firmware by clicking here.

2) Open your browser and type the IP address for the Cloud Key, Disable update/diagnostic in wizard

Let it set up. After update, I can see UniFi OS Version2.3.10 on Cloud Key.

Uninstall All applications, Settings -> Update. There are three dots on the right of application icon, click and uninstall.

Enable SSHS by going into Settings -> Advanced and SSH.

Open Putty and SSH into Cloud key;

User = ubnt

Password = your password

We are in console. If for some strange reasons, Web URL doesn’t work but SSH works, then cloud key can be reset to factory defaults by running this command;

/sbin/ubnt-systool reset2defaults

It’s time to re-purpose cloud key. I have found this sequence on unifi forum. Follow step by step;

#go superuser

sudo –i

#Let’s install nano to make conf edit easier

apt-get install nano

#Install dnsmasq

apt-get update

apt-get install dnsmasq

#(Answer Y to replace the files as keeping the existing will point to 01-pihole.conf which does not work until pi-hole is installed)

# Ubiquiti switched the resolver to systemd-resolved which reserves the port 53

# dnsmasq install will fail to start dnsmasq so lets resolve that

sudo systemctl stop systemd-resolved

sudo systemctl disable systemd-resolved

sudo systemctl start dnsmasq

#Install pi-hole

cd /tmp

wget -O

#Install optional dependencies

#apt-get install man

#Install required dependencies

apt-get install whiptail

apt-get install dhcpcd5

apt-get install git

apt-get install dnsutils

apt-get install lsof

apt-get install unzip

apt-get install idn2

#downgrade libsqlite3 to support sqlite3

apt-get install libsqlite3-0=3.16.2-5+deb9u1

apt-get install sqlite3

apt-get install resolvconf

apt-get install lighttpd

apt-get install php-common

apt-get install php-cgi

apt-get install php-sqlite3

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

sudo apt-get full-upgrade

sudo apt-get –purge autoremove

# Install PI-HOLE now


if above command fail, run this;

curl -sSL | bash

if above command to install PI-Hole fails on OS check, run this;

curl -sSL | PIHOLE_SKIP_OS_CHECK=true sudo -E bash

#Reconfigure lighttpd port (for example 8080)

nano /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf

#Restart lighttpd

/etc/init.d/lighttpd restart

#Change the pi-hole random password to your liking

pihole -a -p

Navigate to the URL and it should be up and running.

If the pi-hole is not exposed to internet and properly firewalled, you can choose one of these options;

This will help you to see all of your clients (wired/wireless). Also you wouldn’t see “DNS request timed out” when do a nslookup, for example


If you want to see LED scrolling on Cloud Key, install one of Unifi App for example Protect or Doorbell. I have no issues with Pi-Hole with the App.

Make these configuration changes after PI-Hole installations;

nano /etc/pihole/pihole-FTL.conf


Restart pihole-FTL to make the changes effective

sudo service pihole-FTL restart

To uninstall Pi-Hole, run this command;

sudo pihole uninstall

After uninstalling, run these commands;

sudo systemctl enable systemd-resolved

sudo systemctl start systemd-resolved

Some frequent Pi-hole/Linux commands are;

# Pi-Hole related
# Command to see if the database exists:
stat /etc/pihole/pihole-FTL.db

#If it does, then run these commands:
sudo service pihole-FTL stop
sudo rm /etc/pihole/pihole-FTL.db
sudo service pihole-FTL start

# Pi-Hole stores its 24 hour log here:

# debian related
dpkg --list
systemctl status lighttpd
systemctl start lighttpd
systemctl stop lighttpd
systemctl restart lighttpd
# List of ports that are in use
sudo lsof -l -P -n | grep LISTEN

Your Pi-Hole is up and running. It’s time to decide if you want Pi-hole as All-Around DNS Solution? If yes, then follow these instructions on Pi-Hole web site or this site.

You want to change database location, follow this link.

If Cloud key updated and Pi-hole does not work, follow this link.


Reset Cloud key via SSH

Turn Unifi Cloud Key into a headless linux server

DNSMASQ Failed to create socket

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Author: Shahzad Khan

Software developer / Architect