Creating Roon core on a NAS

I want to build a Roon core on a NAS. My Synology 218 play has just died and it was not sufficient to become a core, anyway. So, I’m thinking of replacing it with a new NAS with enough power. I have read that ideally it will benefit from Windows 10. Does this mean that if I buy, e.g a QNAP for about £450, that I will need to pay for Windows 10 and install it on the QNAP? What does it cost?


Hi Paul, it would be worthwhile reading this: - & No you don’t need to install Windows.

Thanks Scotav. I have just spent about 15 minutes trying to identify a QNAP NAS which has i3 or better plus 4 gb of RAM and am struggling to find one - can you identify a model number out of the dozens out there?

Hi Michael. This Link might be useful. TL;DR version - scroll right to the bottom for the recommended models.

Hi Paul, as you may already know Roon no longer recommends a NAS as an option and suggests using a NUC with an External USB storage device which would be a much cheaper option for you. It would be a different matter if you already had a QNAP or suchlike. A lot of members here have been very happy with this option.

The fact that QNAP no longer supports “ffmpeg” has also led to a number of issues with users that have AAC files etc as well as some Roon radio stations. There are work arounds which have been a blessing for existing QNAP users but for those looking to replace or purchase new gear a NAS may not be the best way forward.

I use a QNAP TS-473 with 16Gb of RAM but it’s used for far more than just Roon and it easily manages everything I need to do without breaking sweat.

I would have a good think about what your needs are and weigh things up before making your purchase.

Again, worth a read if you’ve not already done so: -

1 Like

Thanks to Scotav and Graeme. This was a great help. I will pause and look into a NUC. I fear that I may be coming back for more help - I am a novice. In these tough times it gives me quite a lift to see how unselfish people can be.

1 Like

Thanks Scott, good points raised there. Ever-changing NAS firmware and Operating systems seem to make things even more complicated. Synology’s DSM7 looks set to break Roon almost completely unless they do something drastic before it’s fully released into the wild. I’ll be holding off the update as long as possible until either Synology makes some concessions around third party Apps or Christopher Rieke pulls a rabbit out of a hat. A NUC would be a major step backwards for me. And from what I read on the support threads, NUCs can also bring their own issues…

Why would a NUC be a step backwards for you? We always hear the opposite, so I’m curious to get your thoughts!

Hi Paul or is it Michael? Thanks for your comments. I think it’s wise to take time deciding which way to go and there’s plenty of members here willing to help. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer and as Graeme pointed out none of them are perfect.

I have been streaming Roon for years now and used Sooloos (Meridian) before that. Roon is streets ahead of what Sooloos used to be. Roon on QNAP has worked more or less perfectly for me day in day out, I just sit back and enjoy the music, after all that’s what it’s about.

Thanks Scotav. My full first name is Michael Paul but I am known as Paul. It’s all pretty difficult for a novice and even working out which NAS fits Roon’s requirements is night that easy

Huh? A number of people already have Roon running fine on DSM7. The rabbit has already been pulled from the hat.

I think that’s a misreading. Windows won’t help, on a NAS. If you’re going to replace your 218play with a new NAS anyway, a lot of folks are doing fine running on a NAS. I use a 918+ for my Core. Depends on what you need Roon to do for your house. I would make sure you get any going RAM upgrade for your new NAS, if you run Roon on it. I have 8GB, and wish I had 16.

Hi Kevin, I have a perfectly capable Synology RS3617xs with 32GB of RAM and 12 spinning disks in a RAID10 arrray. Attached to it is an RX1217 expansion unit with hot spares for the NAS, plus SSDs for the Music library and Roon database (could have gone with HDDs, but SSDs run cooler and quieter, eventually the NAS will be all SSDs. HDDs are hot and noisy!). The Music library and database also back up to the main NAS array and off site. The NAS has a 20Gb LACP fibre backbone to the main network switch which in turn connects to all of our music devices, TVs for Plex streaming and our IP security cameras which record onto the NAS. Not your usual NAS Vs NUC comparison, I’ll admit.

I originally started with the NAS when I was a working photographer. I wanted something big and fast to store and shift around huge quantities of high resolution RAW digital files and fully manage offsite backup via Backblaze B2. Obviously, my needs have changed with time and my setup has evolved somewhat since then.

With the NAS, everything is in one place and it’s easy. With a NUC, I’d need to figure out where to put it, set up additional shares to the music library, manage an additional backup route for the database in the NUC and also have another computer running 24/7.

Synology’s DSM7 may have thrown an enormous spanner in the works as far as Roon is concerned, but I’ll wait and see what the final build looks like and what Christopher Rieke can come up with in the way of workarounds for Synology’s Draconian hobbling of third party app functionality.

Massive spanner? What, the mounting of network shares?

1 Like

Hi Bill, there are quite a few people having issues trying to Roon on DSM7 as well.

Yes, I see. Well, there are always teething issues.

I think there’s a wider issue here though - Synology has shut the door on some of the functionality of third party apps unless those apps are signed by Synology. I’ve no idea what it costs to have an app digitally signed - I expect it’s a non-trivial investment and maybe not a commercially viable option for Roon, especially since they no longer recommend using a NAS for the core. They also have their own hardware in the form of the Nucleus/Nucleus+ as an additional revenue stream.

Personally, I’d like to have a choice in the matter and be able to choose to grant root access to apps that need it.

Philosophically, I think running as root is spawn of the devil and should be avoided at all costs. Having to put the app through some review process that gets it signed before it can run as root isn’t a bad compromise. But there are always open-source NAS systems available as well, for those who can’t stand to have their root access roasted.

I’ve been using Synology NAS for years as library, Plex server, SONOS server, and Bluesound server. But when ROON came into play last year it showed some limitations to the NAS’ overall performance. Normal 44/16 FLAC and 320kbps MP3 were handled no problem, but when it came to High-Res 96/24+ FLAC and MQA files there would often be audio dropouts and server/ROON disconnects. It was very annoying to say the least.

Last week I built a NUC ROCK system and everything is fantastic now. I highly recommend. The media libraries remain on the NAS and NUC ROCK just gets mapped to that for the feeds and every endpoint, wired/Wi-Fi, are happy. I recommend NUC along with the others who’ve mentioned it.