At HostiFi, we take care of all Linux and UniFi updates for our customers.
This is one of the biggest values that we can provide as part of our service, which involves testing UniFi updates and firmware versions in order to shield our customers from buggy releases. We have a long history of successful updates going back to August 2018 with UniFi version 5.8.28. We have avoided many problems for our customers since then because of our thorough testing process.
This article will describe our release process. Our time frame for a "good" update to be pushed out is 2-3 weeks after a new release is marked as Stable, but varies depending on when, or if, Ubiquiti decides to push the release out to the Ubuntu/Debian repos, and the results of our testing phase.
If we find any major problems during testing, we will skip the release entirely and wait for a new Stable release, then begin our testing process again.
Recommended System Requirements
All of our servers follow Ubiquiti's recommended system requirements for UniFi, putting us in the best position to avoid bugs.
We keep all of our customers on the latest Stable releases, and update only after extensive internal testing.
Ubiquiti has 3 release tracks for UniFi
You may also notice on the Ubiquiti forums that Release Candidate or "RC" versions of UniFi will be posted. These are versions that are suggested to become Stable, but have not been confirmed as Stable yet.
In addition there are "Testing" and "Unstable" versions which you can learn more about here: https://help.ubnt.com/hc/en-us/articles/360008240754#1
How Stable releases work
Usually a release will start off as a Release Candidate, and then be promoted to Stable in the same forum thread.
Once promoted to Stable, all the controllers will begin receiving the notice that a new update is available and alerting about it when you log in, however, the repos (for updating on Ubuntu or Debian with apt-get update && apt-get install unifi) are not updated until at least 1-2 weeks later, in order to give some time for any bugs to be discovered still.
You can see that mentioned in the Stable promotion comment by UI-MikeD above - "It will be pushed out to the repos in the near future and a notice will be made at that time".
HostiFi Testing Phase
When a new Stable release comes out and before it is pushed to the repos, we will begin testing internally on a handful of our test servers and customers who volunteer to be upgraded early.
Some customers will need the version right away, usually because they have a Cloud Key on the newer version and they are unable to import it to their HostiFi server due to the version mismatch, so we can upgrade their servers manually, although we do warn them that the version has not been fully vetted by us yet.
If testing goes well for us, and we check the forums and there are not any major problems being reported by other users, we will push the new Stable release out shortly after it hits the repos.
The entire process, from when an RC is promoted to Stable until we push out the update to our customers is usually 2-3 weeks if things go smoothly.
If HostiFi determines a "Stable" release to be buggy
Occasionally we will find a major issue in a Stable release and decide to skip that release. Such was the case when upgrading from 5.9.29 Stable to 5.10.12 Stable, which failed on some of our servers during testing. Later 5.10.17 was released as Stable, we began testing it and discovered the same problem still existed. 5.10.19 was released as Stable and after testing it we finally were able to determine the release was good and pushed it out to our customers.
[Example] Our email newsletter from February 28, 2019
Device Firmware Upgrades
We don't push device firmware upgrades to our customers, however, you are able to schedule automatic firmware upgrades within UniFi under Settings > Services > Scheduled Upgrades. The schedules can be configured per site and even per device.
Buggy Firmware Releases and Workarounds
With tens of thousands of Ubiquiti devices connected to our platform, we are quickly made aware by our customers of any firmware bugs that are discovered. We are usually able to test internally and find solutions - typically by downgrading to a "known good" version or finding a workaround. If you run into any bugs, let us know!
[Example] Our email newsletter from June 14, 2019 https://mailchi.mp/15337fec163b/guest-portal-redirect-bug-fix