Alternatives to QNAP QTS and Synology DSM Operating Systems

There are alternatives to QTS

Looks to me more like alternatives to QNAP, SYNOLOGY and the likes. I don’t see how your links can possibly prevent Nigel Hough from investing time and money onto a replacement for his current NAS.

1 Like

I have an EOL QNAP TS-470 Pro. I am thinking of migrating to unraid as the hardware is fine but QTS is not getting much love from Qnap.

1 Like

What are you talking about (tinkering to run unraid on your QNAP NAS)? How much love does any OS need so that you’re satisfied?
QNAP just released the new QTS 5.0 – but obviously not for no longer supported EOL devices like yours.

Update: While your hardware might still be fine if you can find an alternative OS that runs on it and is still supported, Nigel Hough’s hardware is different and IMO not worth the effort. But that’s just my opinion.

I am talking about not trashing perfectly good hardware into landfill and extending the life of those devices. I paid a premium price for QNAP hardware so I expect firmware updates, especially security vulnerabilities, to continue for a while but if they do not I will go with an alternative, I enjoy the challenge of getting things working :slight_smile:

Nigel’s NAS worked yesterday, it just needs some tinkering to get it working today.

His NAS runs fine today. What doesn’t work and needs to be fixed is the RoonServer app and the maintainer is on it (read above in this thread).


No offence taken by your post. I appreciate any feedback as long as it allows me to get back to utilising Roon in the near future. Just out of curiosity, what would be a good option for me if I end up having to bite the bullet with the QNAP? I don’t think I want to stretch to a £1500 Nucleus, but I would like to future proof as much as possible. At the end of August I took early retirement at the age of 59, so Roon is a vital part of my ‘new life’. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :sunglasses:

There are already many threads in the forum about hardware for Roon (NAS, ROCK, MOCK, NUC, …). You should take a read. As no one can look in the future I don’t know how you want to “future proof” anything here for more than maybe a hand full of years. Best you can do is to think hard about your needs and create a list of requirements. Some thoughts you might want to contemplate over while doing this:

  • A NAS is not required for Roon, so do you have other needs that justify the investment?
    Note: A NAS that ticks all the requirements for Roon cores is likely to cost as much as a Nucleus(+) but when it has to run other software too you either end up with less resources available for Roon or you have to add more resources than required for a pure Roon Core which will push the price even higher. If you have the needs that justify this investment then why not run Roon on it too.

  • The easiest way to run Roon without much effort on your side is Nucleus or ROCK. If you’re experienced, a MOCK may have its advantages over ROCK but without any guaranties for compatibility with Roon OS . You may have to fall-back to another more generic OS in such a case, you should be prepared should that need arise or go for the generic OS from the beginning. You can still use a “cheap” NAS to hold a backup of your Roon DB and music library (and potentially other convenience software/services you might want to use from a device like a NAS).

  • If you feel yourself save in installing and configuring hard- and software to your needs you may decide to build a machine yourself that fulfills all your wishes. By doing so you shoulder also all the possible risks and they are plenty. So have a look at the offerings of the usual suspects (Dell, HP, Lenovo, …), one or the other may have something in the workstation or server category (which ever fits your needs better; look for basic models) at an attractive price that you can use as basis that you then can modify/complete to your wishes (primarily RAM and Storage wise; do this on your own to avoid the overprized upgrade options of these manufacturers - they are meant for professional needs). This way many of the hardware related risks are now taken by the manufacturer and you can even have some basic (or better if you want to throw money at support options :wink:) support for that.

  • For future proofing, try to buy new products (released during the last year) to get the most out of a manufacturers support cycle. Very cheap offers for older devices often indicate that the device is already out of sales by the manufacturer and will reach EOL status after only 2 to 3 years (you should calculate with 2 and hope for 3 :wink:). Also consumer products are often the ones with the shortest product support cycles. SOHO or semi pro equipment might suite your need for future proofing better but please check on a per case base if this is true and worth the to be expected price hike over consumer products.

I hope that all this text is understandable or at least transports the “message” as English is not my mother language.


Just read it myself, but also been with Roon for over a year. This is a good introduction to Roon and thought starter on what to look out for.

This is a good introduction to Roon and thought starter on what to look out for.

1 Like

Thanks for the feedback.
My setup on the NAS is very simple. 1st drive is music, 2nd drive is backup of music. 3rd drive is movies/video, 4th drive is backup of movies/video. Roon core etc is running on a connected SSD drive. I would like to keep the NAS as the storage point for the music and video, but if I need to find a better solution for controlling the music distribution around the house, then so be it. It seems that a device running ROCK may be something to look into in more detail, based on various suggestions.

p.s. You state that English is a secondary language for you, I honestly do not think that any English people would notice :+1:

1 Like

More thoughts to contemplate over:

  • A copy of important data held on the same device (NAS) as the original data is a very bad one. Your setup seems to protect you only from a drive failure. Many QNAP users lost access to their data stored on their NAS because of ransomware attack this year. There are so many more risks today than a simple drive failure, most of them a risk for the device itself and all the data stored on it. A better approach might be more appropriate. This thematic was also already discussed in the forum (including other Roon users sharing their back-up strategies). Please use the search function to find them if you are interested.

  • You wrote the keywords “movies/videos”. This often goes hand in hand with server software (like Roon for music just for movies/videos instead). Depending on your needs, this other software’s capabilities and setup, such software can become very demanding on resources too.
    Note: NAS (especially the cheaper ones) are engineered and built primarily as storage devices. Manufacturers, often driven by the marketing department, try to deliver a complementary software stack tailored to the needs of the target audience. This often leads to the inclusion of media server software for photos, music and videos for consumer products. That such software comes preinstalled doesn’t change the fact that the device itself is designed for storage rather than multimedia use and Roon or software like Plex are not even preinstalled. So there is a high risk to ask to much from the devices, but there is no generic rule of advice that I know of – too much depends on a users use case, setup, configuration and expectations. It may work well or not and even what runs acceptable today might break with the next new feature update because the new features may need considerably more hardware resources. So what are possible strategies? Run possibly demanding software on their own hardware optimized for the task and use a NAS just as back-up storage (if at all)? Use a potentially expensive NAS and factor out server software when problems suggest that the NAS just isn’t good enough? And surely any strategy comes with her own specific risks and pitfalls - much to contemplate on.

1 Like

I use the NAS for only two things:
Movies/video is stored on the NAS and accessed on three tv’s in the house via PLEX. I never watch remotely - only at home. Music was originally distributed via Squeeze server… before I discovered Roon. As I have already had a problem with drive failure in the past, this is the reason I duplicate the music and video files. I also copy this data to an external HDD each two months. If I lose two months data it is not the end of the world for me.
I would still appreciate some suggestions for alternate methods of running the Roon core - for someone who is happy to learn, but no way an expert!

BlackJack, a big thank you to you as well.

You are a knowledge base, bring assessments, but no determinations and show in this forum solutions that not every beginner can quickly develop themselves.

…and there are always important core statements that everyone should take to heart if they want to stay happy with Roon in the long term.

I would like to have your opinion about the Linux GUI. To me, the concept of separating the Roon server (Linux), the data (hard disks) and the graphical operation on the device side seems understandable. A year ago I considered the Windows concept of data, core and operation on one device more comfortable. However, there are clearly too many tasks for large databases on one machine.

That’s the only reason why we come up with the idea of playing with media servers and NAS, for example. With QNAP, Synology & Co I always ask myself why the system and the data have to be or better should not be in one device. Here, only the simple operation (keyboard, touch, display) is disconnected.

The Windows concept is different and brings everything in one device and this graphical interface is now also poured into the old tubes (Wine) to operate it common Linux machines, even there the question remains, why not consistent Linux server, data storage and remote controls (Linux, Windows, Android, MAC, iOS).

I see Roon so strong on the Linux way and Linux so strong on the server way, but therefore hold on to old desktop braids? The people who are more involved with it have all understood that Windows is currently more cosmetics and marketing and less new development.

What matters here is a strong server component and the remote control looks like a free accessory.

1 Like

It seems to me that your question is more about how to run/use Roon and less about “Linux vs. Windows”. Am I right with that assumption?

Simplified, Roon’s (software) architecture is split into a server component and a client component. Client/Server architectures are nothing new. It’s just not a typical thing to see on consumer’s private IT at home. But most with a day to day job work every day with (the client side of) software that follows the same basic principle. Just because a system is split into different parts doesn’t mean it has to be run on separate hardware though. Even on professionally/commercially used system installations you can often find the client component installed on the server too (for testing and troubleshooting purposes only though).
As for Roon and other software that target consumer’s private home especially the not so common “run both components on the same machine” approach needs to be easy to use because most any of the potential customers are unfamiliar with running client/server software in there home and lack the needed hardware to run the components separately to begin with. They need a simple-to-use way to test the software to be able to decide if they want to buy it. Should someone decide to do so, he can then run the system as tested or decide to upgrade his system by adding additional hardware to run the sever part on it, depending on his needs going forward after testing. Both ways of running Roon come with their own risks and pitfalls. The assessment of those risks, the personal needs and expectation is something a user typically has to do on its own. For those who lack the necessary knowledge and experience to do so, manufacturers typically offer best practice guides and often also different installers to make the setup for different recommended setups easier and sometimes even sell ready to use hardware/software bundles.

The server part in such a software design is typically designed to constantly run 24/7 being always available to use for clients and therefore the data, music files in the case of Roon, the server manages has to be constantly available all the time too. Managed data needs to be re-scanned on every restart of the server as it is unclear if the data may have changed during the time period the server was not running (managing the data is the main task of the server). Many/most server software does not allow/support for managed data to be stored on a network share for that very reason. Roon is an exception here, I guess just for convenience, but I wouldn’t take this approach if possible.
Note: For large professionally/commercially used systems there exist ways to off-load the data onto separate machines but the methods used to do so reliably are usually totally out of reach for home use (acquisition and operating costs, lack of knowledge and experience).

This is typically not the recommended way to operate a client/server software design. IMHO there aren’t that many reasonable scenarios, exclusive use on laptop or single PC come to my mind here, to use Roon that way besides testing. But as already written above, it’s not uncommon to install the client part onto the server also (for convenience). For Roon this means: use the server install and, if you want to, add the all-in-one for the control part.

There is a Roon server installer for Windows as well as for MacOS available from the download site. No need to use the all-in-one installation and the all-in-one installation can be used as control only, leaving the server part that comes with it unused.

Maybe I can’t follow your thoughts here. I don’t know of anyone that uses the server part that comes with the GUI from Roon running under Wine. All seem to use the native Linux server install for that part. And using Roon under Wine doesn’t necessarily mean “on the same machine as the server”. At least my Roon under Wine Linux control runs on a different machine. I don’t see how Wine changes anything regarding “separation of components” versus the already available installation options for other OSs.
Note: Keep in mind that RoonRemote even on tablets is still no full-featured Roon control. There are operations that are only possible with the desktop version of Roon.

1 Like

Yes, that’s right. Nucleus the Linux rock is certainly Roon’s strongest development achievement, it was deliberately designed as a server without remote control or client. With NUC or NAS, Linux-based components are added again. All the controls are there as far as the client desktop (Android, iOS, macOS, Windows), but there was no time/force left for Linux? Of course there is Wine, but what goes via detours could experience the love and direct client execution at Roon, which is just visible at Microsoft in Linux matters.