How do I run other apps on a Raspberry Pi endpoint?

I am running Ropieee XL on a RaspberryPi with the official Raspberry Pi touchscreen

What do I need to do to have other apps running on this device?
What I’m thinking is having the Roon interface but then be able to swipe through different screens that do different things, like display a Home Assistand dashboard, or show a certain website, or a weather app, etc
I suppose this would entail installing some Linux distro and then customize it?
But maybe there’s something already built like that?
Any thoughts and suggestions appreciated.

You can’t install and run other apps on RoPieee, as it is a closed appliance-like system. If you want to tinker with your Pi, use DietPi or Ubuntu or any other OS which gives you full control.

I certainly understand that. I was hoping for some guidance on how I could make that work under a linux distribution. Has anyone done anything similar?

There are a number of different approaches to Rpi’en as RoonBridges. I’m not an expert, but here are a few:

  1. Ropieee. Wonderful, incredible support from developer and community. Appliance. You get what you get. Many things besides RoonBridge, but all “create an endpoint” - Airplay 2, Spotify, Upnp, maybe some others. Can attach a Pi touchscreen, but that screen just does what Harry says it does, no more no less.
  2. RooExtend. Commercial license. Dr CWO keeps things nicely up to date. Supports RooWatch (Apple Watch), RooDial (Surface), RooHead (convolution filters for headphones), Roo6d (spacemouse), RooNuimo (special cool device), probably some other things. Allows you to add the Extensions ecosystem. Works nicely headless to set up WiFi (a feature which Harry says he’s adding to Ropiee). Again, you get what you get. You have to buy a license for each component, but they will run in parallel.
  3. Install DietPi, install RoonBridge, and whatever else you want. No longer an appliance.

I’ve never gone the roll-your-own route. but RooExtend and Ropieee are both appliances / black boxes. They have great developer support and the ecosystem is moving forward. But you can’t get the appliance-like aspects and the “you can modify it” too - if I was a developer I wouldn’t let you either.

Thanks, I’ve done 1 and 2 but they are, as you say, 100% Roon dedicated appliance-like implementations.
I’m looking for an appliance-like toy that is able to switch easily between Roon, Home Assitstant, etc, etc. And do all that on a official Pi touch screen :slight_smile:

Looks like DietPi is a good candidate as there are already nice scripts to get Roon Bridge going, But as Im a total noob to Linux I’m looking for some guidance on how to achieve the applicance-like user experience that I described above.

This is just a fun, non-essential, time-wasting project for me, I’m happy to spend time learning… if it’s interesting for you guys let’s keep this going.

So, learning Linux is kind of the opposite of “appliance-like”. Get ready to search for packages & drivers, deal with dependency conflicts, run all updates manually at CLI. I’m by no means a Linux n00b, but for endpoints it’s just easier to let these amazing developers do the work. For fun I have a couple project machines I use to learn Linux. You’re of course a free agent (I’m not the boss of you!), and this is as good a project as any to learn on. But I personally like the music to just play, so I’ve left my endpoints as all Ropieee with a couple RooExtends where I want RooDial/6d. I’m sure there are a few guides on here for getting DietPi based Roon bridges going. There are lots of advantages (you can set these up as PlexAmp endpoints also, you could run lots of stuff, which is of course your original point). But to me the downsides aren’t worth it. Let us know how you get on!

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thanks! as I said my system is running tip-top as you described: all endpoints are ropiee or hifiberry. just looking for some reason to hide away in the basement :slight_smile:

I have two Pi4 devices running RopieeXL and two running DietPi. Super easy to get DietPi up and running but you’ll need to SSH over to the DietPi device to set it up and be able to see that the device is on your network to confirm its IP address and device name. I use Termius on my Macbook to SSH to the device. DietPi has a menu for installing software packages include Roon Endpoint. I don’t use a display with the DietPi endpoints. For display I use RopieeeXL but you have to live with what you get. I don’t really like the new way that the touch screen is turned off but small thing.

I like the idea of running PEQ on the endpoint since that would let me apply those settings to other streams like Airplay. In reality I listen to everything through Roon so it’s more like a tinkering desire than a real need. If you try DietPi and it doesn’t work out you can just reflash with Ropieee.

I went down the Ropieee/XL route initially but decided it wasn’t for me. The Roon Bridge part of Ropieee worked absolutely fine and if you are just going to use a Pi for this I would highly recommend it as it’s mainly a fit and forget approach - just get on and enjoy the music - then find something else to fiddle around with.

However I wanted to use my Pi as an Air Play 2 streamer as well and this is where I began to have issues with Ropieee XL. There was something weird going on with volume levels and when I started looking into more deeply, I wasn’t even sure the latest Ropieee XL was running Airplay 2 - rather 1. Anyway cut a short story shorter…

(1) Install Raspbian (very easy and optimised specifically for the Pi). I use Ubuntu on another system and it rocks, but IMO Raspbian is ideal/much better for Pi.

(2) Install Roon Bridge. Dead easy. Just go for native option rather than trying to do a docker-y-doo-dah. (3) Install Shairport (mikebrady/shairport-sync) - natively, rather than docker. Pretty straightforward, some helpful online prompts when you go all ALSA (I use Mac as my everyday so don’t encounter this)

I’m using a Chord Qutest DAC connected to my Pi (Yes I am!!!) and it’s what I listen to 99.9% of the time. My little Pi Roon Bridge Streamer is a champion heavyweight in a £4.5k+ setup.

From here you can install Docker on Raspbian and you’ve got loads of options, just limited by your hardware and your imagination. I wouldn’t go completely bonkers as you’ll risk blowing up your music playback source and what’s the point of doing that?! (unless you’ve got some decent fallbacks!)

Use the Pi as a backend server with the various apps running and access them all from a browser running on your laptop/desktop.

Happy tinkering!

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Just to let you now that the latest RoPieeeXL 2023.02 form last week supports Airplay 2…

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I realized recently that Android can be installed on a raspberry Pi. Then if this works well with the Pi touchscreen it would be a matter of just installing Roon remote for android and any other app that I fancy. If that works, it has the advantage of having a full Roon interface on the Pi touchscreen instead of just the basic playback/volume controls that you get with Ropieee
Before I break my fingers trying this, does anyone have any experience doing anything like that?
I suppose it’s not such a dramatic thing to try, I would just use another SD card for the android experiment, if it doesn’t work I just reboot the Pi with the Ropieee installation on it and I’m back…