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UISP - The UISP Key and the Device Registration Process


This article provides details about the UISP generic key and how it works, as well as describing the fundamentals of the device registration process.

This article applies to the following firmware versions:
  • EdgeRouter: 1.9.7+ /EdgeSwitch: 1.7.3+ / UFiber OLT: 1.0.0+ / airMAX (AC): 8.4.1+ / airMAX (M): 6.1.3+ / airCube: 1.0.0+
  • Also please note that UISP doesn't support older airMAX devices with firmware versions 4.x, 5.x, or 7.x.
WARNING: For security reasons, never share your UISP key publicly. If you need to share it for whatever reason, always obscure the hostname and AES string parts of the key.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. UISP Generic Key Details
  3. Behind the Scenes: How Does the UISP Key Work?
  4. How to Manually Register a Device via Device UI
  5. How to Register a Device via SSH
  6. Related Articles


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The purpose of the UISP key is to provide secure communication using AES encryption while telling a device where to look for a UISP server. The process of device registration using the generic UISP key and the device-specific UISP key ensures secure communication between the user's devices and UISP.

UISP Generic Key Details

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Here is an example of the UISP key:

wss:// your.domain.com :443 + n9yU137QSwTzBXnF...9Sk0pC7sDKGnpbxiHRI9W +

The UISP key consists of several parts (shown in different colors above), each with their own purpose. In the table below, the UISP key is split apart, and each part's purpose is described:

Key Part Purpose
wss:// WebSocket Secure connection protocol
your.domain.com Hostname or IP of the server where UISP server is running
:443 Port for devices to access UISP server
n9yU137QSwTzBXnF...9Sk0pC7sDKGnpbxiHRI9W Advanced Encryption Standard key (AES key)


Behind the Scenes: How Does the UISP Key Work?

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When a new instance of UISP is installed, it creates its own UISP key which is called The Generic UISP Key. This key represents a pointer for any device being added to the system for the first time. When the generic UISP key is entered into a device's settings, that device will try to connect to UISP using the hostname / IP and the port part of that key (see the third row of the table above).

If the connection is successful, the AES key part of the UISP key is used for secure communication between the device and UISP. When the connection is established for the first time then a new AES key is generated for the device. This new AES key replaces the original AES key in the generic UISP key, creating The Device Specific UISP Key. Then the device-specific UISP key rewrites the generic UISP key on the device and UISP stores the device’s MAC address and AES key in the PostgreSQL database.

From that point forward, each time the device wants to communicate with UISP, the AES key part of the device-specific UISP key is used and UISP uses the AES key from the PostgreSQL database for decryption/encryption.

How to Manually Register a Device via Device UI

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This is only necessary for devices that cannot be found via the UISP Remote Discovery tool.

1. Open UISP and go to the Devices section.

2. In the upper, right side, click the arrow on the ADD DEVICE button.

3. Click the "Copy UISP key to clipboard" to copy the key which will be pasted in step 6. The key is the same for all devices.

4. In your browser type in the IP address of the device, that should open the device's login screen. Insert the correct credentials and you will get to the Device administration screen.    

5. Go to the System or Services section.

6. Paste the UISP key.

7. Enable the UISP connection.

8. Save the device configuration.

9. Now you can go back to the UISP and check the 'devices' table. You should see the newly added device there. Authorize the device in the UISP devices list and assign it to a (Client)Site.

How to Register a Device via SSH

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admin@ER-X:~$ configure
admin@ER-X# delete service unms disable
admin@ER-X# set service unms connection generic UNMS key
admin@ER-X# commit
admin@ER-X# save
Saving configuration to '/config/config.boot'... Done


Danger: Be extremely careful when changing airMAX devices configurations. There is no validation before this manual change applies and a mistake in configuration may lead to losing connectivity to the device.

1. Edit device configuration in file /tmp/system.cfg


2. To apply the configuration use command /usr/etc/rc.d/rc.softrestart save

Related Articles

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UISP - Device Discovery
UISP - Remote Discovery

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