Installing a Nucleus as new Core and a Moon 280D tomorrow

I’m still quite new to Roon, and tomorrow I will be replacing my Mac mini as the Core. The mini is currently connected to my Oppo BDP105 by USB in my main system, and though a wired network to a Digione Player connected to a Bel Canto DAC2.5 in our bedroom.

I just took possession of a Nucleus today, which will be the new Roon Core, and a Simaudio Moon 280D DAC with the Mind2 module, which is Roon Ready. The Nucleus will connect to the 280D through the network, replacing the Oppo as DAC in the main system, and will also connect to the Digione/BelCanto in the bedroom.

I’m super excited, but I guess I’m not quite sure how to make the Nucleus my new Core and drop the mini from the system. The mini currently has Roon Server on it (wasn’t using full Roon because I run the mini headless).

I read the migration page in the Users Guide, as well as some links provided, and it looks like I will have to launch a back-up of the Roon Database onto the Nucleus? Is that right? But how do I do that before the Nucleus is the Core for my account, and how does the mini then become decommissioned (for lack of a better word)?

I’m a bit confused about the Roon Database actually. I understand what it does, and how to make backups, but I don’t understand where the actual Roon Database, as opposed to the backups, resides and why I need to use the backups for a new Core. Does that even make sense?

Anyway, it there is a very basic, step-by-step guide for this process that is fully up to date, I’d appreciate seeing it. If not, I’d appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance.

Hey @Joshua_Thayer — Thanks for reaching out!

Yes, you just need to restore a backup of your Roon database and you’ll be good to go on the Nucleus. I’d definitely have the Migration guide you mentioned handy during this process in case you have any questions. Of course you can always reach out to use here as well!

In short, the Roon database is where all of your Roon specific data is stored. Information about your library, your tags, your playlists, etc. These are all in the database. We have an article you can use to find the specific location of your database here. Restoring the backup on the Nucleus will make sure all of this information is available so you don’t have to start over with Roon.

When you set up the Nucleus and sign in with your Roon account you will switch the Nucleus to be your active Roon device. At that point the Mac Mini will no longer be tied to your Roon license (but you can always switch back at any time).

Once you’ve completely transferred everything over to the Nucleus you can use the Database Location article linked above to delete the database from your old Core machine. As noted in the migration article, tt is important that you “clean up” the machine that was previously running your database. You do not want the same database running on two machines.

So, to recap, the migration process will look something like this:

  1. Create a backup of Roon on your current Core machine. Make sure that you have this backup stored in a safe place for later use if needed.
  2. Setup the Nucleus.
  3. Restore the previously created backup on the Nucleus.
  4. Locate the database on your old machine and remove it (again, make sure you have that backup handy in case you want it later).

If you have any questions about this please let us know! You can always flag support in your posts by using the @support tag and a member of our team will be along to help.

Enjoy the Nucleus!


Thanks. I think I’m exhausted, as I’m having a hard time following Step 2 in Migration, so I’ll re-read in the morning, but I have one quick question.

One the mini, I have done a back up to its local HDD in the downloads folder, but the migration article seems to contemplate only an external HDD or NAS for the back up. How do I get the backup from the mini internal HDD onto the Nucleus?

And once I have the Nucleus set up, where do I then direct backups of the database going forward?

Oh, and I see on the location article this warning:

Remember to ALWAYS shut down your Roon Core before copying, moving, or accessing your Roon database.

Huh? Does that include making back-ups and restoring to another Core? That makes no sense to me.

Copy the whole directory from the Mini to a USB thumb drive (or, better yet, put the thumb drive into the Mini, do the backup directly to the thumb drive), then plug that drive into the Nucleus for the restore.

Hey @Joshua_Thayer,

You can copy the backup to an external drive and then attach that to the Nucleus for the restore.

This is up to you, but it’s best to do an external drive to Dropbox so you can be sure to have a backup in a place stored separately from your database.

No, you don’t have to do this for backups and restores. This is mainly referring to manually moving/changing/deleting database files (which we don’t recommend doing unless explicitly instructed to do so).


Dylan and Bill,

Thank you so very much! I think with a good night’s sleep and reading afresh, the pieces are starting to fit together. Sorry if I was somewhat of a whiner last night. Juggling a million things.

Just to clarify on the database and back-ups, here is my situation and what I intend to do:

  1. Currently, my database is in the Library folder of my Mac mini (I was able to find it, but I didn’t touch it.)
  2. Currently, I have backed up the database to the Download folder of my Mac mini, which I now understand was not a good idea because it’s the same drive as the database itself (i.e., mini’s internal HDD).
  3. I will now do a backup of the database onto an otherwise clean USB thumb drive attached to the mini, and will then plug that thumb drive into the back of the Nucleus so it can see it.
  4. That back up will then load automatically onto the internal SSD of the Nucleus as the database going forward.
  5. Going forward, I should do back ups to one or more of the following: external HHD, external SSD, thumb drive or DropBox. (I’m not yet adept at DropBox, but guess I should be)

Does that all sound correct and should it be relatively seamless?

Oh, and what capacity thumb drive will I need for the database back up and restore?

Hey @Joshua_Thayer,

Just to clarify a little here, once you attach the drive and go through the restore process, then the database will exist on the Nucleus moving forward. It’s a pretty straightforward process, but it isn’t 100% automatic upon connecting the drive.

Correct, it’s best to make sure that you have the backup stored on a separate drive just to be safe.

This is dependent on your database size, but a typical 8GB thumb drive should be enough to transfer the database backup to the Nucleus.


Thanks! OK, here goes . . .

Sorry, but this part I do not understand:

“When you set up the Nucleus and sign in with your Roon account you will switch the Nucleus to be your active Roon device. At that point the Mac Mini will no longer be tied to your Roon license (but you can always switch back at any time).”

The Nucleus is connected to my ethernet network and powered up, and I just did the firmware update. But how do I now sign in with my Roon account? I’m already signed in with the Mac mini and have not yet installed Core the the Nucleus. Do you mean I go to Downloads and download Roon Core again but this time to the Nucleus?

Confused again.

OK, you’ve already had Roon installed on your Mac mini - that means that all three main components of Roon are there: the Core, the Control and the Endpoint.

What you want to do now is to switch over to the Core running on the Nucleus.

Open Roon on the Mac mini - go to Settings, and in the General section at the top, you’ll see that your Core is on the Mac mini. Click the blue Disconnect button, and then you should see a screen that shows all the Cores available on your network. Connect to the Nucleus, and you’re off on the yellow brick road…


Thanks. That got me to the correct screen, but now when I try to select the backup from the USB thumb drive I attached to the Nucleus, I am directed to the last backup on the internal HDD of my mini. Any idea on why that USB drive is not showing on the final screen where you hit restore or delete?

I think you are looking in the Scheduled Backups section? You need to choose the Find Backups section and navigate to your USB stick from there…

OK, no, that’s not what I was doing. Here was the confusion:

When I followed your User Guide and the advice above, I got to the login screen and clicked on Restore Backup. But that page listed both my old Core and the Nucleus as “Joshua’s Mac mini”. I posted that a second ago, but deleted my post because I then recognized the IP address of one of the “minis” to be the Nucleus and assumed, correctly, that it was not really my Mac mini, so I selected it.

Seems to have worked, and thanks for you patience. But, now, how do I rename the Nucleus in my Settings so that it’s no longer called my Mac mini?

Go to Setup in Settings, and you’ll see that you can rename the Core (it’s an editable field)

Excellent. Thanks for all the assistance. Once you all walked me through the few gaps, everything did indeed take care of itself, and very quickly.

The Nucleus saw the Digione endpoint immediately. Setting up and connecting the new Moon 280D DAC was plug and play. Roon saw it immediately as a Zone, so I just named it and enabled it.

Sounds great. Thanks again.

P.S. I do notice that in the Audio settings, the 280D is flagged as “uncertified”. That surprises me, because Simaudio promotes it as Roon Ready and it is working fine (knock on wood). I have not yet done a firmware update on the 280D. Might that be why?

The “Uncertified” flag usually means that the switch has not yet been thrown in Roon Labs to mark the formal completion and signoff of a Roon Ready certification process. The state of the switch is also delivered as part of a Build - so it might be waiting on a future release of the Roon software. If it’s working, I won’t be too worried…

Thanks Geoff.

Unfortunately, I have two more problems to resolve:

  1. My iPhone and iPad no longer can find the Core. Only my MBP (which has the control app) can see the Nucleus, and it too is only connected by wifi to the network. Now that I think of it, the same thing happened with the mini when it was the Core unless the mini’s internal wifi was activated. Both are connected to an Apple Extreme by ethernet, and the Apple Extreme is sending wifi successfully to all of our devices, so this makes no sense to me. Does the Core have to stream wifi itself? If so, how do I do that. If not, why is this happening? And since my MBP is connected by wifi only, then why would it be different here from the iPad and iPhone?

  2. As I had noted before, I was not able to restore the backup from an attached USB drive, so I had to do it through the network from the back up on my mini’s internal drive. That worked, but going forward I would like to save backups to the USB thumb drive, but Roon doesn’t see it or show it as a location for backups. Advice?

Re Q1: sounds like a network issue to me. Are you sure that your WiFi has the same address range as your ethernet? If the WiFi has an address range that puts it in a different subnet from your wired network, then that would explain why your iPhone and iPad can’t find the Core.

Re Q2: Can you show a screenshot of what you see in the “Choose folder to backup to” screen? It should look something like this:

That “New Volume” drive is a USB drive plugged into my ROCK NUC. You should be seeing something similar on your Nucleus…