I was wondering if I can install rock os core on MINI-ITX intel i7?

Mini ITX is a form factor, there can be many, many variations of chipsets built in that shape.
But the most useful answer you will get is still: Try!

While ROCK can be loaded on other systems than an Intel NUC, those installations are not supported and you are on your own with issues. ROCK only has the drivers in the OS for the listed Supported NUCs and is only tested on that hardware.

Do you think the ethernet might be the biggest issue?

Ethernet drives is one. Another is that ROCK only supports legacy booting. There are a whole host of little gotchas.

Just use Linux or Windows. I prefer them as my RoonServer OS. It is not like there is any SQ difference.

Can you run the Linux kernel with Roon headless that’s start and run it without login etc?

If you go to the MOCK thread you will see all of the boards people have managed to run ROCK on. The problem you will have (apart from the above mentioned fact that you have no guarantees or explicit support for issues with ROCK) is that much of the additional functionality offered by a bigger format isn’t of any use. So if your hope is more storage or an on board sound card they won’t work and Roon are under no obligation to make it work. But I got ROCK to work on one with a network card of my choice. And despite my comments about storage (additional drives) you could make the one music drive that ROCK allows a big 3.5inch HDD. So 10 gig plus.

I’ll like to install JCAT USB audio card in a Roonlab core. However, the MINI-ITX case can fit the card not a NUC case.
That’s why am looking into MINI-ITX

So if you want to install this card, it is highly likely that you won’t be able to use ROCK - because it won’t have driver support…

I thought that usb drivers should work with Rock OS

Not at USB drivers are created equal. The only way to be sure is to try it. I’m just saying that there’s no guarantee…

I run Ubuntu Server headless: my original fanless NUC, which for some reason could not load ROCK even though it was in theory supported, and now also a fanless ZBOX CI662 nano. However, I’ve been running Unix and Linux systems for decades, so I can’t really gauge how hard it would be if you don’t have that experience. The main issue with Ubuntu Server is that it’s configured with various datacenter/cloud oriented services out of the box that can get in the way. And setup can feel really black-magic-y, even to someone with my experience. On the other hand, once it’s running, it just does its thing, if you make sure to update it regularly, either with command-line update tools, or with a Web-based server manager like Cockpit.

One further advantage of running a full Linux distribution is that you can run additional services. Im my case, I use Syncthing to keep the files on various servers and a Synology NAS synchronized, and I use the IDrive Linux scripts to back up the master server to the cloud as well.

TL;DR It’s doable, but if wasn’t a Linux geek already, I’d choose my hardware to match ROCK and forget about all the added complication.

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Am good at Linux and please can you provide me with the Linux details and does it boot up to rock os or roonlab without logging?
Like a bootstrap script.

JCAT cards run OK in ROCK. The main criteria is will ROCK run on the hardware. I have to say I’ve not had problems loading it on three different NUC models as well as my M-ITX build.

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Rock is a closed OS you cannot load anything to it, or even get to a command line. So no driver loading.

You don’t need a separate boot script to run Roon Server on any reasonable Linux distro. In my case, I install Ubuntu Server (20.04.2 LTS) on my server following the Ubuntu instructions. I set it up so I can ssh into the server.

Then ssh into the server and I install Roon Server following this. It the install is successful, RoonServer will be a service that starts when your Linux is started.

I’m planning to buy this JCAT USB Card XE with Mini-ITX motherboard with Rock OS