Linux or WIN10 to run Roon Core server headless on a NUC?

I’m on the way to buy a dedicated Intel NUC6I5SYH (16GB RAM and Samsung 950 Pro fast M2 SSD) to run Roon Core server 24/7 headless (in a closet).

What is the best OS / Roon versions for optimum performances and reliability ?

  • WIN 10
  • Linux Ubuntu

Thank’s

Quite simply: both will do fine in running Roon Core, and the device you selected is more than capable enough.

So what it comes down to is personal choice: me I would never run a Windows server in my home infrastructure :wink:

Setting it up on Linux took me about 20 minutes (openSUSE).

Thank you Harry,
I’m not sure Linux NVMe drivers for 950 SSD are quite as optimized than win’s.
Excepting this point I would also prefer LINUX.

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I’m pretty sure they are (hardware these days is very well supported on linux), but even if that’s not the case the system will operate perfectly. Although CPU power doesn’t hurt because of the audio analysis Roon performs, disk performance demands is nothing special.

So, in your opinion, no performances benefits from a very fast M2 SSD ?

oh sure. I would definitely go for an SSD these days, but disk I/O is not something that Roon is (very) heavy on. My files are stored an an ARM-based NAS (Synology) with ‘old-skool’ disks, and even then I/O performance is rather average.

I agree for the audio files, also on a NAS (READYNAS) in my setup, but for the core server database (metadata and coverart, search queries …) very fast IO is, perhaps, a benefits for the overall user experience and performances with a quite large local library.

Use the operating system you are familiar with. Both work fine for Roon.

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I’d install Arch Linux (there’s a howto in the Linux subforum and be done with it…set and forget.

Check out the new Intel Nuc before deciding on hardware.

[quote=“Rugby, post:10, topic:10695”]
Check out the new Intel Nuc before deciding on hardware.
[/quote] Thank you Rugby.
I’m currently unsure I7 is needed. For 24/7 operation in a closet i’m afraid more heat not a good point.
However, i will wait few days.

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whether an i7 is needed depends upon the size of your collection, any on the fly conversion being done, i.e. DSD to PCM, how many different audio streams to different endpoints it is coordinating. And how much you want to future proof as new functionality becomes available. Personally, I am of the thought that in the scheme of things, hardware is pretty cheap and having operational headroom is always useful.

The new NUC is pretty heat efficient from what I’ve read. I’m thinking I"m going to give my current NUC a redo.

I agree @Rugby.
My collection is not very huge (6000 local albums) but powerful hardware is a good thing.
I will wait and check Skull Canyon NUC for heat and 24/7 operation.

What about LINUX or WIN10 to run Roon Server ?

I’ve gone with Debian Linux. Very fast and easy to setup. It is also very stable so can be left running indefinitely. BTW, I’m running on a single thread of an i3 (half of a core) without any performance issues. I’ve tested up to 4 concurrent audio streams without issue so your hardware will be more than adequate.

If you do get one of the NUC6IXSYH models, just make sure that you update to the latest BIOS before you do anything else. There are lots of reports of NUCs getting broken because of a voltage regulator issue that has been fixed in the latest BIOS.

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Either will run fine. Go with what you know. When it comes to Linux, I have tested at least 7 different linux distros. I liked Ubuntu 15.10 server, no GUI the best and with GUI, elementary OS. I have not tried the new Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. But, I probably will give it a go this weekend.

On Windows, I have only used the 32 bit version in Win 10, Win 8.1 and Windows 7 all worked fine. Currently, my base non-changing installation is windows 7 32 bit, i7 4790K, 32 GB, OS on SSD, HD Audio on SSD. Haven’t had a hiccup with that build since I built it last May. But, when I put together a new machine I will give the 64 bit version a try.

[quote=“Geoff_Coupe, post:15, topic:10695, full:true”]
If you do get one of the NUC6IXSYH models, just make sure that you update to the latest BIOS before you do anything else. There are lots of reports of NUCs getting broken because of a voltage regulator issue that has been fixed in the latest BIOS.
[/quote] Thank you Geoff

I will try Ubuntu 16 and WIN10 x64 (for the easy install convenience).

I like to build my servers rather than buy a pre-done one since I really don’t care about size as it will not be in the audio rack. However, sometimes a computer case comes along that just begs to be displayed. I think I"ll build a new Roon server in this computer case: :slight_smile:

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This does not consider the different usages of storage. Roon disk I/O for its databases makes a larger performance difference than anything else you can upgrade. then CPU, then RAM. That EVO NVMe will give you better latency on those DB reads/writes.

Our official statement on this is:

1) Run Linux if you can
2) run the fastest SSD you can find for the DBs (64gb for the database SSD should serve almost everyone)
3) put your audio files on the cheapest, quietest, and most reliable storage you can find. (5400rpm NAS drives?)

Your NUC purchase is in my opinion, better than 99% of Roon setups out there. It is almost exactly what I am running at home (but I have only 4gb RAM since that’s all I need).

I run a super trimmed Linux that we call RoonOS (~40 MEGABYTES!)… the idea is to make this an OS we can provide Roon Core partners. It boots in about 2.5 seconds, which I’m trying to get even faster.

As for i3 vs i5 vs i7 – I think the i7 generates too much heat, and the i5 is a great CPU. The i3 should serve most people just fine, but you can’t go wrong with the i5 if you aren’t price sensitive.