Are other people putting together ROCK setups and selling them?

I haven’t checked, but are other people putting together roon rock setups and selling them?

I built my own but might have been tempted if others were offering a cheap alternative to the nucleus. Many people don’t want to mess with assembly and software installation, so that’s the appeal of the Nucleus. But a lot of people are just going to throw this server in a closet and don’t need the fancy wood case or fanless setup. Just a box with the right specs.

I bought my whole setup for under $500 with a used intel NUC. But I can see buying for around $1000 with it all setup and good amount of storage.

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Roon’s license doesn’t allow people to sell complete ROCK machines with software installed (it’s basically allowing people to compete with them with their own IP).

You can of course sell machines ‘suitable for ROCK’ and assist someone in getting ROCK up and running.

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Small Green Computer is selling what is essentially a ROCK ready made, their Sonictransporter.


Hey Greg,

I’m just curious.

How is this competing against themselves when the only way that it will work is with valid Roon License at which point they will then become a valid Roon customer?

I think I remember seeing used ROCKs for sale and all that was needed was a Roon license.


I think strictly you’re not supposed to sell a machine with ROCK / Roon Server installed, but given the used machines sold via the forum I think roon are relaxed about individuals selling their own used machines.

I think roon have stopped third party vendors selling ROCK machines commercially.

I’ve built about a dozen fanless NUC machines suitable for ROCK and sold them here - so have tried to stay the right side of the line!

I recall a post a few years back saying that roon spent quite a lot of effort getting the software together for an appliance (the Nucleus), and were happy to give it away for DIY enthusiasts to re-use. They weren’t happy for other server vendors to use their own software to compete with the Nucleus.

Of course there are a few other Roon Server machines on the market - but I believe the vendors have a license agreement with roon for this.

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How about selling boxes with vanilla Linux or Windows and Roon server? Would that violate anything? If it’s an appliance, it doesn’t matter if it’s really ROCK or anything else.

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I just popped over to the SonicTransporter website for the first time, and their prices are in line with Nucleus line, it seems, including the Titan.

You’re only allowed to install Roon’s software on one machine for personal and non-commercial use.

So you can’t install roon server intending to sell the machine.

With a lot of software than uses Roon Bridge - the software is installed by the client. To sell a machine with roon bridge installed you’d need a license.


All of this is kind of surprising since the software is free and it’s the subscription where they make their money Doubt they sell that many Nucleus. So would think they’d encourage easy access to roon rock servers. Installing roon on a Mac is a piece of cake but I remember there being a lot of steps to install roon rock on the intel nuc. Luckily once done, it’s maintenance free.

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Thanks @GregD, makes sense.

@Mike_Scheinkman, even if software is free, it doesn’t always mean you can make money off of it. Thats’ what selling pre-installed hardware would be, even if it helps access, and it would also cut into Nucleus sales. Allowing people to install their own ROCK is a good compromise.

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I could build you a machine and ship it with a USB flash drive and keyboard. The end-user would plug the thing into the TV, put the drive in, turn it on, press the return key at the right time, and in a few minutes ROCK would be ready to go.

Now… what would that cost in labor to get that setup? hmmmm… $800 on the low end. Probably $1000 if you wanted me on the phone when you turned on the machine for the first time. Labor + experience is not cheap. If you want labor without experience you can pay half that or less but ask that person how they will call experience into the troubleshooting when things don’t work and who pays for that.

Parts for the machine are what they are… but a fan-less setup + my labor + your time… You’re probably near Nucleus, not titan, but current gen Nucleus pricing. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s truly you get what you pay for and, unless its the kid down the street trying to make date money, don’t hire cheap to build you a machine. Or go to Small Green Computer. They have an excellent product with excellent support and have the OK from Roon to pre-install the server software.

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As with any software, it’s subject to the license terms. Distributing someone else’s software commercially is often restricted.

It’s really not that hard for anyone who has installed an OS before. I would guess that most people never post on the forum about it. For those who do because they have problems, it’s often the first OS install ever, or at least the first one of an „alternative“ OS.

And I understand if Roon prefers that people who can’t do it (or can’t be bothered) buy a Nucleus from Roon rather than a fanless NUC with ROCK preinstalled from someone else who wasn’t licensed by Roon to do so.

I believe I’ve seen several 10K mentioned on the forum, so not insignificant. Remember that forum members are a small percentage of Roon users. There are probably lots who leave their hifi dealer with a Nucleus under their arm and we never hear from them.

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Their machines are more than just Roon servers. You can also run HQPlayer on them, for instance, and use alternative server software so you can still play your local music when there is an internet outage and Roon stops working.


£260 for a NUC10i7, 32GB, x2 1TB drives (eBay). Buy these for similar price or cheaper on eBay and resell them on here for double the price. You’d have a good little earner. A new one (kit only) you can get for £350/£380. Drive and ram is cheap currently. :+1:

Great to know, thanks!

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I’ve always advocated for people to try their hand at setting up their own systems. But, for some reason, many seem to dread those very simple steps and choose to spend thousands instead, even if, in theory, they follow the same steps (without plugging in the drive) when they turn on their Nucleus. One of my friends, who is a software engineer, uses Sonos because it’s convenient. Affluence has side effects.

As long as I enjoy life, I’ll keep tinkering.


same here. If you have an old PC laying around it takes about five minutes to get it setup as a Roon server. It’s much simpler than the Roon marketing team advertises.

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Mine was a local PC retailer PC International who specialize in building desktops, rather than just selling boxes (They do that too) etc so they just put all the bits together and tested it to make sure it booted

Then I installed ROCK , it just saved me any fiddly screw driver stuff , my hands aren’t what they used to be

Having rebranded Roon Core: Roon Server, and then including it in Roon Remote, you just “download and go” - it really can’t get any easier than that. I sold my NUC “core”, and run Roon on a laptop. Done!

I retired my NUC as it simply did not offer any advantage over my previous (and now back in business) RoonOnNAS implementation. Although using a rather weak CPU (Intel Atom C2538 Quad Core 2.4GHz and 16GB), even running convolution filters works. Streaming only. Not multi room. For small to medium libraries this is absolutely sufficient. Still digital processing. Works or doesn’t work. Easy to tell and worth trying when a NAS is around anyway.