Best practices for managing backups and Roon updates

I’ve been a long time Roon user and I’m fortunate to have never had a technical issue with an update. But I understand that many people have had issues, and problems are inevitable with all software. So I’m very cautious about doing any updates and always do backups make multiple copies prior to any updates or changes being done.

Yes, as a paid subscriber, you shouldn’t have to worry about any of this and that Roon should just work flawlessly. But I know that’s just not reality with any software or hardware, so I’m pretty OCD about having a backup plan.

One of the main goals is to be able to recover and revert back to a prior version if you ever have an issue with a Roon update. I thought sharing these ideas might help, and I’m curious what others might be doing and/or other ideas and suggestions on backup plans.

#1: Database backups: I use the Roon database backup feature and keep versions that go back as long as possible. One backup series does monthly backups and keeps 12 copies. And another does backups every other night and keeps 90 copies. The Roon database backups go to my NAS, and my NAS is backed up weekly to another storage device. The NAS backup goes back to when I first started using Roon, so I would have the ability to go back to several years of Roon database backups.

#2: Roon core/server backups: I keep copies of my entire Nucleus, which includes the OS, the Roon server software and all the database folders. There’s not an easy way to do that on the Nucleus since you can’t install and run backup software on it. So first I stop Roon on the Nucleus. And then I simply copy all of the files in the Data folder (except Storage, which is the 4TB internal SSD that I added for my music files - I have a different way of managing backups for that - but that’s for a different post!). I make these copies to my NAS, and manually mark them with the date and Roon core version. By doing this, I should be able to copy a version back from my NAS to the Nucleus if I ever have a problem with a Roon update and want to revert back to the prior version. I’ve never tried it, but I would expect that it would work. Does anyone have experience reverting back on a Nucleus from a copy in that manner? Or other ideas on how to more easily back up/retsore the entire Nucleus?

#3: Waiting to do updates: I do not enable automatic updates anywhere. Not in Roon server, not on remotes, not for mobile apps, not for operating systems. I always give it a day (sometimes more) before apply any updates so I can check the forums and see what issues might be reported.

#4: Actually doing an update: When I’m ready to update, I will update Core and update the remote on my Mac. I will do this first, because I would then be able to revert to the prior version by copying back the Nucleus folders and by using Time Machine to revert back on my Mac. When I am satisfied that everything went well, I then start updating my iOS remotes. I have two iPads and an iPhone that I use for Roon. Once you update an app on iOS, there is no way to revert to a prior version. So I always start with one iPad first and leave the others alone until I am satisfied that everything works ok.


I don’t have Nucleus, but I had in the past ROCK, and now AudioLinux (both on on Intel NUC).
For all these (and for other PCs) I used dedicated software for OS backup, which have the possibility to boot from the USB stick. One of the best is Acronis.
Also, AudioLinux has a proprietary OS backup tool that works very well.

In addition to the steps you describe, I often do “Clean Up Library” in Roon. I don’t know if that helps or not…

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I have my Roon Nucleus backup every night and keep the last 30. It also backs up once a month and saves the last 12. I plugged in a 1 TB HDD I had laying around.

I’m curious… when doing this for ROCK on a NUC, are you essentially rebooting the NUC from the USB stick and running Acronis from there to image the SSD with ROCK OS on it? Where are you storing the backup image when doing this?

Yes, with the observation that I do not save the image of SSD with ROCK OS on the USB stick I booted with, but on another HDD / stick attached to another USB port.