Mac mini: Roon or RoonServer?

I just reinstalled from scratch macOSX mojave (10.14.4) and a minimal Roon + Audirvana software install. Also run the standard optimizations such as stopping Spotlight, etc.

My mini: 2012 i7 quad, 16GB RAM, 120GB SSD, external 3TB FW drive. Run headless. Plenty of cpu power, no issues in that sense.

I have so far run Roon but I am wondering about running RoonServer instead. So I have a few questions:

1- Would it be better to run RoonServer?

2- Can Roon (as core) and RoonServer share the database? (I would run one or the other of course)

2- Do I need to switch the core authentication if I switch back and forth?

3- Any other cumbersomeness?


Hi @miguelito,

To answer your questions:

  1. Roon and RoonServer are pretty much identical except for the fact that RoonServer has no UI and is minimized to the task bar. It has a smaller footprint because the UI elements are not being used but it seems like you have a decently powerful machine so this should not be an issue.

  2. Yes, you can use RoonServer to set up the database and then have the regular Roon app also installed on the same machine and running in “Roon Remote” mode by connecting to the RoonServer database in the “Choose your Core” screen.

  3. No, if you have it set up as RoonServer + Roon Remote mode, there will be no need to transfer the authentication back and forth

  4. Not that’ I’m aware of. Maybe you will also want to double check to make sure that both RoonServer, Roon and RAATServer have been added as exceptions to your OSX firewall by using these instructions.

– Noris

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mac mini roonserver usere here too. what are the “standard optimizations?”

Disabling spotlight, notifications, sleep, hibernation, etc. However, my music mini is exclusively used to run Roon, there’s almost no additional software installed in it.

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Understood. I have already set up Roon and recovered the db from a backup. Question is: If I switch to using RoonServer do I have to recreate the db or can it use the one I have? And is there any compelling reason to do this?

Hi @miguelito,

You can use the existing db you made on the “All-in-one” version of Roon and just restore that one with your Roon Remote to the RoonServer. That’s what I have done in the past with no issues.

– Noris

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I run RoonServer instead of Roon - on the same machine. The Roon db is there for Roon. When I started RoonServer it looked like starting from scratch (ie doesn’t see the local db).

What I don’t want to do is create a new db, duplicating it and wasting disk space. I presume you mean this would not happen… Can you clarify exactly?

Hi @miguelito,

You will need to use the Backup feature to restore your Roon database to the RoonServer install.

Once you have transferred the backup over you can use the “All-in-one” version of Roon just as a Roon remote and have your database be part of the RoonServer install.

These two databases are separate and they do take up some space. Databases are fairly compact from what I’ve seen but if you’d rather not have the second database, you might want to just stick to using the all-in-one version.

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Ok understood. Thank you.

I have the same Mac Mini 2012 i7… it’s a powerful machine. But I use it for all sorts of other things too like Plex etc. Personally I would run Roon rather than Roonserver… it just gives you a lot of flexibility if needed to use the UI on that machine, and I highly doubt there is any sonic advantage, though I haven’t tested.

Thx. I’ve decided to stay with Roon rather than the server version.

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