Confused about Roon Server[Answered]


Been using Roon for a few months on a Mac Mini with the bulk of library held on QNAP. Playback controlled via Roon remote on iPad. All run through Devialet 800s via Gigabit switch and Devialet Air streaming. No problems.

However, I have just noticed the existence of ‘Roon Server’. What is this and should I be running it with my setup?

Thanks for advice.


RoonServer has no GUI and runs more like an ‘aways on’ service.

If you’re generally using your iPad to control Roon and don’t need a GUI on he mini, then you could swap to RoonServer as it would use less resources. Whether or not you’d notice a benefit depends on a few factors. You can then run standard Roon on the mini (in control mode) if you needed a GUI on the mac. This is what I so as my mini is headless so I rarely use a GUI unless I need to trouble shoot something via VNC - the rest of the time I control with iPad or a laptop.

If I remember correctly, there was the odd post on Devialetchat about AIR(3) interacting differently with RoonBridge vs Roon vs RoonServer. So if everything’s stable in your setup, it might be worth sticking with what you’ve got.

1 Like

Having installed Roon many times now (for myself and others) I think that Roonserver is probably the best default first program to install on the core machine/main PC. I cannot think of any good reason why this would cause a problem, not doing so can however cause quite a few problems in the future when you understand the set up a bit more.

This KB article might also help to clarify matters.

So is there any real difference between Roon Bridge, and what used to be termed a Roon ‘Endpoint’?

Hi Geoff, the only thing I’d suggest about the KB is possibly clarifying that Roon can be installed and run as a remote on the same machine that’s running RoonServer.

I agree with NickB on this - for any ‘permanent’ setups, the best default installation would be RoonServer combined with Roon on the same machine - for an ‘always on’ server and a GUI as and when required. I can’t see much downside, whereas starting with just Roon may mean a need to change over to RoonServer down the line.

As far as I understand it the ‘endpoint’ is a physical audio output. RoonBridge is software specifically for allowing a Mac/Win/Linux machine to output sound (if the hardware is capable) or connect to a physical endpoint such as a DAC - both using Roon’s proprietary RAAT which allows zone grouping among other things.

Roon Ready capable endpoints don’t use RoonBridge for example.

I do think the terminology could be simplified somewhat, but I won’t go there again… :wink:

Thanks guys. This has all been very helpful. I’ll try loading tonight.


Yes, well put Steve. I guess the point I was trying to make (in a slightly cack handed way) was that the article per the link to the knowledge base above makes no mention of ‘Endpoints’, so although the article is accurate, it is not really complete for someone coming into the world of Roon and is inevitably confused by some of the terminology. So in the spirit of trying to be constructive, I think a short paragraph on Roon ‘Endpoints’ would be a useful addition to the article per the link.

Yup, it can be confusing - especially for those new to Roon.

Common Roon terminology includes; Endpoint, Core, Output, Control, Remote, Server, Bridge, Ready, RAAT, Zone, (and for historical completeness, ‘Speaker’).

And is based around software downloads of; Roon, Roon Bridge, Roon Server, and Roon Remote (and where for example the all-in-one ‘Roon’ consists of multiple components and on Mac/Linux can be run in a mode equivalent to the iOS/Android ‘Roon Remote’).

Any clarification would help I think.

The trouble with Endpoint as a term is that it can refer to different points in an audio chain and not necessarily the end of that chain.

In one setup Roon might connect to a renderer (eg: Aries, microRendu) which then connects to a DAC. In another to a Roon Ready streamer or DAC. Each could be called an endpoint although they are in different positions in the audio chain. For that reason, some devs (@brian being one) have preferred to refer to Zones. A zone could occur anywhere in an audio chain, without creating confusion.

Lately however, the increased grouping of zones and possibility of confusing a location with a device has resulted in increased reference to endpoints. This is something of an ongoing debate.

We agree that the word Endpoint is confusing–we scrubbed all references to it from the app in the 1.2 release, and most of the current documentation (including that page) deliberately avoids that term. It is not necessary to use it in order to explain or understand the product.

When we explain the architecture, there are three components: Core, Control, and Output.

The word Endpoint is better replaced wth Output or Zone based on context. In a discussion about playing music to different parts of your house, Zone is appropriate. If talking about architecting a system, we discuss Connected Outputs and Networked Outputs.

Endpoint is confusing for the reasons @andybob explained, and also because it creates a distinction between Endpoints and Zones that is incomprehensible to non-technical users.

Zone should refer to a space in your home, served by an Output, just as it does in other systems (Sonos, Sooloos, …). Zones can be Grouped together for synchronized playback, but grouping doesn’t alter the physical relationship between Zones in Roon and physical spaces.

Thanks all. Roon Server loaded and running with no problems. Interestingly I did get the occasional - less than 1sec - dropout during playback with Roon, which I thought was my network or Devialet Air. Also seemed to stop playback when on repeat when screen saver kicked in - not a crash as it starts immediately on play.
None of this has happened yet with Roon Server. Impressive.
Also I swear it sounds very slightly different - a bit cleaner/leaner. Probably expectation bias - although I wasn’t expecting anything. Regards. K.

1 Like