Making Roon Industrial Strength

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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I only listen to one endpoint - that is an Auralic Aries connected to various DACs. The rest output to the motherboard audio to run (1) audio-reactive RGB (e.g. Aurasync); (2) windows based visualizations (SoundSpectrum products mostly), and (3) various external meters by motherboard audio speaker jacks.

AppleTV is an interesting idea - I will have to look into what that supports. I don’t have one but I’m sure if they are cheap enough it might supplant some of the other gear, that is if it improves stability or function.

I still wonder if your better using something to display the now playing.

Plus dedicated audio devises for audio output.
I think you maybe flogging a dead horse tied into windows
My main room is a Zen stream into a Dac and amp, with now playing and basic controls on an Apple TV linked to my TV.

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Need Help Making Roon Industrial Strength

Build the case of the Core out of 5mm 316 stainless steel!

An i5 and 16gb RAM is a good starting point.

I use a Dell Optiplex 7040 platform. I run Ubuntu (for now) but will be adding a further 16gb RAM for 32gb to run VMWare EXSI so I can have virtual machines. Not ideal for the i5 quad core but I had 2 virtual machines going on 16gb and Roon was on one.

I’m 42 and still a geek

OK, got Roon Server running on Ubuntu Server! I have a couple remotes, a couple web displays, a couple web controllers, and a couple endpoints running. We’ll see how it goes.

At least this gives me a chance to adopt a new device naming convention. Linux servers will be sci-fi action heroes. This particular machine is Ripley.


You’ve gone to the effort to switch to Linux, but chosen a distribution that carries unnecessary bloat and is definitely not built for leanness & speed.

Clear Linux is pretty much bare bones out the box meaning you aren’t running any unnecessary processes. If performance is truly your goal Ubuntu is a poor choice.


But for someone who has no knowledge of the OS it’s a starting point to build from and gain some experience.

Ya, but in this case it’s a wasted experience getting to know how to use apt-get etc when what’s required here is a set and forget appliance like experience.

To install Clear Linux the process is pretty similar to that for installing Debian or any other headless distribution:

  • Download the server image and pop it on a USB flash drive
  • Boot the flash drive and follow the on-screen prompts to install Clear Linux
  • Reboot

swupd bundle-add alsa-tools storage-utils kde-frameworks5-dev wget samba

wget -O <path to roon easy installer script>

chmod +x


Configure samba


Load your Roon client on your windows box and have it find your new core…

It’s that easy.

If the OP were running a 100k or so lib I’d say any distro would do, but he’s wanting Roon to do it’s thing with 100’s of thousands of tracks. That performance edge he’ll get from Clear Linux is enough to warrant the effort.