Making Roon Industrial Strength

I think you could build this as an extension with Roon API. In fact, you may be able to modify the web extension to drop the not needed data. I’ll have to pull the web extension code and take a look how much work that would be for my non-programmer brain. I know there is an API specifically for pulling just the image across. You still need to subscribe to the zone to get updates on what that zone is doing. The bit I have no understanding of is if you can subscribe to a zone but not get the seek_position.

I use the Web Controller extension too but don’t have issues with extension authorizations.
But while looking into this, I noticed that with Roon 2.0 while I have (Windows 64-bit) Roon open as remote, the Roon Extension Manager is constantly crashing and restarting (was not the case with Roon 1.8 AFAIK). So it looks like Roon Labs may have introduced changes with Roon 2.0 that can lead to issues with extensions.

YES! My use of the web controller at the location where I really push Roon coincides with the upgrade to 2.0.

My assumption was that adding screens - and more chromecast/web browser displays and more remotes – was what pushed Roon beyond its limits. It may be that the extension manager is also involved.

(That is not to say that problems weren’t seen before that. But what caused me to start this thread was that now problems happen within minutes of getting all the peripherals up and running their various Roon functions versus the problems taking hours to creep in.)

The symptom I see with this is music stops - usually with the message that audio is loading too slowly (it’s local music collection on a hard drive in the core - the music is 3 inches away Roon!) and sometimes the Remotes flash the “can’t find core” for a second, then when I go back to the core the extension is de-authorized. So that is the extension manager crashing and affecting the core with it.

My take is there are multiple contributions to this instability but the Roon Web Controller may be an exacerbating cause or the canary in the coalmine.

I’d love to. It’s beyond my current capabilities. I suppose if the extension controller is crashing whenever a Windows remote is open, I wouldn’t be solving my problem anyway, albeit perhaps less taxing if the progress bar is omitted.

The only time I had an extension crash was a faulty disk. Either at Core or the SD card I was using to run the extension on from Raspberry Pi.

Putting consumer-grade Intel NUC boards into industrial all-metal cases with ground (earth) connector sadly doesn’t transform the board into a workstation/pro platform (chipset) with Intel Xeon and ECC RAM support (including pro drivers).

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I’m not sure that Roon was intended as the core for the mad scientist system but as a first approach I’d dump windows and try either OS X or Unix (Rock). I’d put Rock on a workstation grade server for mad scientist application.

I find NUCs aren’t really that crash hot hardware (I have 3 of them, one is used for my Roon core) and windows is not, and never has been great server software, it’s a hot mess of backward compatible crap with ever mounting patches.

As an aside, I think you’re nuts.

Have built different versions of core. I have had the best success with linux based systems - without all the bloatware the commercial OS’s love to include.
You want industrial? I now run my core on ROCK running on a Dell R220 with 32GB ram. It just runs all day every day. My endpoints are Sonos of which I run 3 without issue plus various phones ipads and laptops for controllers or even endpoints. Not a huge installation by any stretch but it it just works all day every day.
Something I have done over the last few years is spend some time and money on my network. Working from home means I needed something stable and able to handle two of us doing video calls etc without buffering or any of those silly dropouts that occur. Running pro grade routers and switches paying attention to the layout of the network. What is the backbone of your network?
You also mention a lot of different boxes running all different NICs etc. That is a lot of “Windows sticking its bit in” to break things - suspect drivers, firewalls etc. As soon as there is an update something breaks - that’s just Windows in general from experience.
What happens when you simplify it for testing? Add one device at a time and check. How much other traffic have you got on the network? Can you split off some other/iot stuff on VLANs to clean up the Roon network?
Just some thoughts as to where the issues may be - that may not actually be Roon.

I host Roon on a small Linux server. I switched to this from Windows, which has a few conveniences but is basically a resource hog. I run a real-time version of Debian Linux, and the machine is a Lenovo M910q. I chose Debian because it’s easy to do a minimal install and simple to administer using Cockpit or Webmin and a web browser. Also, Debian emphasizes rock-solid stability and reliability. Ubuntu server is popular, too, but it comes with some stuff I don’t want or care about. If you can deal with a command line interface, installing Roon isn’t too difficult. The toughest part (not that tough) is setting up an FTP server so you can load new music. Support here in the Roon community is first rate.

From a performance point of view, Roon uses so little of the available resources that the server is practically unaware it’s even on the machine. I’ve had three concurrent users streaming from the server without a single issue and little burden on the CPU.

The only wrinkle is that there’s a bug–I mean feature–in Roon where you sometimes get a “Metadata Improver Paused” message after a restart. Restarting Roon (not the whole machine) clears it instantly.

If this looks like a worthy experiment, almost any old computer will do for a test bed.


Time for a move to Linux. Windows is the worst of the available core options. If you don’t have a Mac go straight to Linux. Your networking setup is massive overkill and has some issues unrelated to speed. Most likely latency.

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Well ,like this its rock solid stable here …I have a costum build small Intel Core I5 fanless NUC pc cabel connected to the internet , with Roon Rock and Roon Core installed on that , and an SSD in there for my modest bitperfect ripped CD collection . I listen to all that in combination with my Qobuz subscription ! (Playing over ECI 6DX MKII in combination with 2 Dynaudio Focus 340 speakers :slight_smile:


People on this forum argue over vertical versus horizontal scrolling. And I’m nuts.


You make it sound like a bad thing…

Just pointing out there are different flavors and levels of “nuts.” And everyone here probably is to some degree…

ROCK is pretty limiting, I installed it once but it didn’t take long to determine it was not for me.

Another vote for a Core install on Debian. Solid, reliable, easy to set up and maintain. If you install Webmin, you won’t need to access the console often.

Original install (2017) was a i7-6700 DeskMini, recently migrated to a Lenovo m720q i3-8100, which is actually a bit faster and uses half the power. $200 new open box on eBay, amazing value.

Library is 4200 albums and 56k tracks. Everything is fast and runs comfortably on a 8GB system.

That is exactly the idea behind it. It is an appliance. Install it and no need or opportunity to fiddle and break it.

You are 100% correct about ROCK. If it fits how you use Roon, it is a great solution. Or better yet, go full appliance and run a Nucleus.

Lots of good ideas in this thread for anyone after appliance type reliability, but don’t find ROCK suitable.

As above I truly appreciate the replies and assistance.

For an update, I’ve determined to install linux on a computer I bought from my son that’s not a beast but not older than 4 years (he always has to have the latest so it’s not his current machine). If that works well and I feel confident enough in my ability to use linux I will then convert my current windows Roon core to Linux. I just want to see it be more stable than the Windows box.

Further update for those also problem solving their cores, I stopped using the Roon Web Controller just to see if it was the source of all the issues, and by no means was it. Certainly the core lasts longer before the bugs appear, but they still happen. All I have to do is search for a few artists or composers, add them to the library, and then tag the artist or some albums, and Roon starts to slow down. A few of those actions and I get the “media is loading slowly” message and the track is skipped. (The FLAC files are local, 3 inches from the processor…so nothing is loading slowly other than Roon starting to suck wind)). Then of course the next track doesn’t do any better and it gets skipped.

Tax the database and the core never recovers. Time to restart the core. This happens even with less remotes (2-3) and no web controller.

So this indicates to me that the web controller exacerbates the problem, but similarly to having multiple remotes running or multiple chromecast/web displays running. In other words, Roon Web Controller isn’t to blame, but it accelerates Roon’s demise.

Goal here is to see if these problems alleviate with Linux.

Does every endpoint need the meters?
I would look at a robust core to audio streamers and using an Apple TV with the remote app for the now playing displays.
I’m not sure what the outputs are connected to on the other windows endpoints.
IE are you using the sound cards or a digital output to a Mac and amp?

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