Is Roon on Linux more reliable?

Hello guys
I have just purchased a Roon subscription and I am using roon on Windows 10 but frequently I have to restart the core or the extensions, the system does not seem reliable enough, also because the core runs as an application and not as a service, therefore after having a reboot I am forced to log in, to start the core and the extension in the startup directory …

Can you confirm that Roon on linux is more robust?
Some suggestion on Linux distributions?
I have a good experience on linux but I wouldn’t want to work unnecessarily … :grinning:

Thank you !!

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It was pretty stable for me (desktop workstation) on Windows 10 but in the end I decided to just run ROCK on a NUC and be done with it. It has worked very well for me so I guess in the end i did prefer Linux.

Roon rock is the most reliable as it is a dedicated OS just for roon. Basically turns a nuc into an appliance.
If you look up Mock on the forum you can see lots of people are running it on other hardware.
As to normal distros there seem to be people using every one…

I’ve been running Roon on Linux (NUC with Ubuntu, more recently Ubuntu Server) for several years. It stays up for as long as I don’t update and reboot either the NUC or Roon itself. Currently running Ubuntu Server 20.04 LTS managed remotely with Cockpit.
PS: I considered ROCK, but I ended up staying with Ubuntu because it gives me more control of how to add storage, configure networking, and just the ability to get a shell up to tweak or debug as needed. But that’s because I’ve been using Linux (and before it Unix) for decades.


(but I run all my “services” on Linux so I might be biased)

If you’ve never run Linux and this is your first “UNIX” its an easier learning curve if you start with Ubuntu or Mint. Also, I would run Roon Server on Linux and not ROCK. ROCK is the most stable but you cannot login to it. Troubleshooting ROCK is kind of a pain because of that. If you’ve already got a background in Linux then you can usually identify what’s going on from the logs but without that background its going to be easier to run a full distro so you can get logged in and poke around a bit when/if you have issues.

Also, before someone calls out my bias (and you’d be right to do so). I don’t doubt that “Window Server Admins” can build an equally stable Roon Server deployment on Windows. I’m not a “Windows Admin” and I don’t want to be. I have no idea what needs to be disabled / enabled to make windows more efficient or to get things to start on boot. Linux, out of the box and in my opinion, is better suited for “services” than your out of the box Windows 10 install.


Of course, Windows 10 is for desktop use and not really a server.

Sure, it’s better to have Windows Server for a Roon Core machine than W10…

I think makes Roon more reliable is dedicated hardware, preferably running dedicated software. ROCK on a supported NUC is best. But Roon Server on a late kernel Linux OS is still pretty solid and will work reliably on more hardware. What you might miss is the DAC specific patches that allow native DSD from certain models but if that isn’t important then no matter. And if it did matter you could still run Windows on a low powered machine as an endpoint.

I ran Roon core on my Dell XPS 15 with i7 32 GB Ram and 1 TB SSD. I had lots of problems but most might have been due to using WIFI. I’ve been running Roon core on a Roon Nucleus for 7 months with zero problems. My Nucleus, Oppo 203, and Meridian Prime are all connected by ethernet.

Hi, thank you for all answer !
I am pretty expert about both Linux an Windows, I have got a fanless pc but not NUC so I do not think ROCK is an option…I am pretty sure that Windows Server on my i5 2 core pc is not a good idea…
For sure I will try Ubuntu 20.04 on a brand new SSD!!

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I agree with you !! the in account that I also find very useful for me the “Deep Harmony extension” due to the fact extensions are Node.js application they are quite unstable on Windows 10, almost every evening I have got to restart!!

Hi Saverio,

I can’t tell you if it’s more reliable than something else, but that I have been using Roon server on Debian for some months without any issues.

You might want to try in a virtual machine (e.g. in Virtualbox). Simply install your favorite linux distro, some dependencies (smbclient and ffmpeg in Debian iirc) and execute the installer.

You can also install Rock as a virtual machine. You need to create a vmdk disk for the usb image (you find howtos and videos how to do this). Second gotcha is that you have to connect a keyboard to the virtual machine (under Devices, USB,…), otherwise you cannot type anything.

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I am totally agree with @Nickpi.
I am running Roon Core on Debian as ESXi virtual machine.
Everything is working great without any problems.
IMHO, Roon Core on linux is more reliable than on Windows.


If you really want to run Roon Core on a minimal install, you can install e.g. Linux Debian with only ssh and standard system utilities (no desktop!). Next install the Roon dependencies and run the Roon install script. If you’re familiar with terminal commands and ssh, then this makes a Roon Core without all unnecessary whistles and bells.

It doesn’t have to be a NUC to run ROCK; just anything else isn’t formally supported. If you are comfortable in both Linux and Windows I would be fairly sure you’d be fine getting the ROCK OS to run. The key thing to getting it installed is the BIOS has to be in legacy boot and not UEFI regardless of what system you’re trying to install it on.

I for example run ROCK on a Ryzen 3 3200G based mini PC and it’s 100% stable and reliable; stays running until I shut it down. Have had it running for weeks at a time without touching it at all. It took a couple of minutes to install ROCK as well. Built the PC, swapped the BIOD to legacy boot (which to be fair as the most challenging bit to do), stuck a USB stick in with the ROCK image and it took but a couple of minutes to install and to be up and running.

I ran Roon on a Windows 10 laptop and had the same issue - having to start Roon manually every time I booted up the laptop.

Although not well documented, you can add Roon to the Windows startup folder as detailed here:

Note that you copy the Roon shortcut from the desktop, not a copy of the executable. With that, Roon will start with Windows 10.

I’m now running Roon on a NUC, but can’t say that it’s anything other than a considerable convenience to do so. The sound, at least with Roon Ready hardware doesn’t seem to have changed.

There is no reason to expect a difference in SQ unless you’re talking about fan noise, etc.

This is a great news ! I will take your experience into account! Thank you!

Did a short post on the build - totally painless. I thought it was going to be difficult but it just worked :slight_smile: