Is Roon on Linux more reliable?

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.

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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:

Do you also have a DAC connected directly to the core? If yes, don’t you have performance issue with USB hardware?


Hi Saverio,

usually use Ropieee on Digione Signature as endpoint. Also tried the DAC connected to USB from the core, from my desktop (NUC, also running Linux) and USB from a pi4, no big differences (maybe my hearing is not what it used to be).

The core btw. runs on a Celeron J4105 with NFS, Sambe, minidlna, backups, the usual stuff.

If you are familiar with linux: You can run the Roon Desktop under wine, there is an installation script from Harry ten Berge, the developer of Ropieee (thanks).


Very nice work! my compliments!

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First, I think your issues are Windows related. I’ve been running on an old MacBook Pro since Nov 2019. Totally stable and handles multiple streams fine. I’m awaiting delivery on a Leveno M90n and will install ROCK on it. My primary listen place is in another room, so I’m using an RP4 endpoint with USB to DAC.

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I’ve run rock and windows 10 on 2 non Nuc platforms (intel) interchangeably with no issues for either, windows can of course support windows specific drivers for some dacs to get their best performance but it can also support running of extensions, and give more feedback on performance and temps etc going on the system, but I haven’t seen or heard any real difference in performance or sound quality or reliability for that matter.

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It can make a difference depending on the driver you use. For example, with W10 I could use Deivalet’s AIR driver or shut down the driver and let Roon use their own proprietary streaming solution to the hardware.

That certainly made a difference in the sound. I agree that with ROC running on a NUC that all goes away.

I was talking about Roon with Windows 10 or Linux. I got no difference in SQ.