Feature Request? Ethernet linking/bridging

I would like to be able to make more than one Ethernet port discoverable by DHCP in ROCK. That way if I had two ports available on my machine I could connect direct to an endpoint and have that endpoint gain an IP address via DHCP. To keep it simple you could simply have a button that toggled between linked or unlinked. That way endpoints that need to be configurable independently of the Roon interface would still be accessible and would enable popular devices like the Rendu products to be fed direct from a port on a ROCK powered or Nucleus machine. It would also allow me to go direct from my core to my streamer (Teac NT-505) without going back to a switch. Any thoughts @danny?

Your request would mean that Rock would need to run a dhcp server, probably not going to happen.

Your scenario is quickly and easily solved with static addressing, assign say to the Rock Ethernet Adapter, and to the endpoint. Use as the mask, leave the gateway blank.

I think a DHCP server could be dealt with as follows:
Only one port, no enable button
Two ports, enable button is visible on Roon.Local
If you don’t want it, you don’t press enable.
The DHCP server would only run if you invoked it, for the keep it simple brigade it needn’t run and you wouldn’t even be aware it was there.
Note that some streamers don’t allow you to assign an IP because they want/need you to be able to access them via a webpage.

Or you could manually enter two IP addresses, but it’s not my call :slightly_smiling_face:

Problem is, multiple dhcp servers on the same network will lead to utter chaos for the average non-techie music listener. I understand the “enable it if required” idea, Apples “internet sharing” works this way.

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OK, here is the dilemma I face. It is a first world problem, but that is the nature of our hobby!
I can’t assign an IP to my streamer while connected to a port that isn’t linked.
I can’t assign an IP to my microRendu either.
Both get their IP’s via DHCP and both need to be visible on my network so their admin pages can be accessed. If you think it is possible to achieve what I need, then I don’t mind being educated! Every day is a school day and I’d love to be the chance to expand my limited knowledge of networking. I also think that being able to connect any streamer direct to a Nucleus via Ethernet is valuable additional functionality.

In addition, I am not sure how it works but does a switch have a DHCP server or does it just allow your main DHCP server to see ports that are connected and expecting an IP to be assigned? I would not have thought you need a server on ROCK.

No, but a network switch will ensure that only traffic required to go to that device is sent to it.

As an aside but linked into what I think is concerning, you have your considered a opticalRendu?

See, this is an issue. I have refused to purchase equipment based on the “we don’t allow you to set IP” mentality of some audio manufacturers. Having discussed the issue with several of their tech departments, it has always boiled down to, “end users have no idea how to set IPs and it will only confuse them.”

I’m probably missing something here, but what is it you want to achieve that can’t be done with a conventional network configuration, where a single DHCP server allows all devices to talk to each other as and when required?

Exactly. But sometimes obscure network configurations are in vogue, driven by cutting edge audiophoolery.

There is nothing obscure about what I’d like ROCK to do. Windows will do it, as will OSX, as will AudioLinux and Euphony. If I were to choose any of those options I could do what I propose. I chose ROCK and I can’t. And I am not suggesting this option purely because I want to make use of an in vogue configuration, but because I genuinely think it might add value to the Nucleus options in particular. :slightly_smiling_face:

What is concerning me is to go with a minimalist setup. Noteably I have been at pains not to suggest this options brings me better SQ, or isolates me from x,y or z. I just think that Ethernet into my core and then a direct Ethernet link out to my streamer might be a nice option and an alternative to USB to USB as a means of direct connection to your streaming end point. I am getting away from extra boxes, this can be done in software and expand ROCK and Nucleus options for users. :slightly_smiling_face:

Sorry, my comment was unnecessary.
The sonicTransporter i7 will do it as well, network bridging, perhaps this is what you’re after?

I’m thick skinned Mike (the Mrs. says I am just thick but she’s allowed!)
The fact that so many devices and software options allow this is just added evidence that ROCK/Nucleus might benefit from it. I don’t want the options at any cost, otherwise I’d just strip ROCK off my core PC and go with one of the alternatives, or buy something that did it.

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Just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should :wink:

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I’d have said “You don’t have to if you don’t want to!”

Still thinking about this!

I do not understand the motive or benefit here. (beyond help - Ive run out of ports on my switch - get a bigger switch :))

Are you concerned about network saturation on the main network possibly interfering with an audio stream between Roon and DAC?

No. I’m not worried about anything! I am interested in the idea that best performance with music servers can be had if they feed a DAC direct. The normal way to do that is USB. But USB can be variable. So some of ROCKs rivals now allow you to bridge two Ethernet ports allowing any Ethernet streamer to be fed direct from the core. Most modern streamers require administration via a webpage which cannot be accessed via a private IP (10-x-x-x) so they don’t allow you to assign an IP. They are DHCP only. A bridge would allow you to feed these streamers direct. That would increase ROCK and Nucleus’s appeal in my view. And with more people making streaming DACs I think it would be a good move for Roon. No concern, no anxiety, no worry. Just interested in the possibility that the idea might be of benefit to my favourite server OS.

So if bridged, what is the difference between using this and a regular use of a normal ethernet switch?

What kind of performance differences might you be expecting and for what reasons? Are there any articles about why this arrangement might help?


I am trying to figure out how using a second Ethernet port on the Rock server does anything but complicate the situation. This means making Rock turn on bridging which means the server has to do some rudimentary routing. In other words, the Rock server has to do more work. This doesn’t make getting the tracks to the Endpoint any simpler either so there is no gain from a processing standpoint.

What the gain here other than being able to use two ports?

Using the Nucleus as an example, if the user wants a one box solution that is pretty and sits on his HiFi rack he needs to connect to his system via USB. What I propose means if he had a capable streamer he could also connect via Ethernet.

Using my MOCK build as an example I could use the network card fitted to feed my Roon streamer. I could take my switch out of the chain and turn something else off.

This of course is asking ROCK to do something else but recommended Roon hardware is more than capable of a bit of routing. It is hardly an onerous task for minimum i3 spec, and ROCK remains simple to use and administer. If one Ethernet port is present it is as it is now. If a second port is detected it presents a button on the admin webpage asking you to click if you wish to bridge the ports. Very simple.