Moving Core from laptop to desktop

I use Roon Core on my Laptop but because its a Mac I don’t think I can avoid it shutting down and pausing Roon when I close the laptop.

I have an imac in another room that I leave on all the time, I’m thinking it makes sense to have the Core on that computer instead of on my laptop.

I assume that once I open Roon on my Iphone it would connect to the Imac and I’d choose my music from the Iphone?

Do I remove Roon from the laptop all together and install it on the Imac or is there an option to toggle between the two (I understand that I’d not be able to have two Core’s at the same time) ?

Is this the reccommended set up (or should I get a Mac mini or similar and put Core on that)?


There are a few things to consider …

  • Backing up your database
  • Switching Core
  • Restoring your database
  • Location of your music files

First, take a backup of your Roon Core and make sure this is saved to a location that can be accessed by your iMac. Go to Settings > Backups > Backup Now > Backup.

Now install Roon on the iMac. Then go to Settings > General > Core > Disconnect. Now choose Use this Mac` for your core.

Restore the backup. Go to Settings > Backups > Find Backups > Browse... and locate the backup you just made and restore.

Finally, depending on where your music is located you’ll need to update your Storage settings. Go to Settings > Storage.

Thanks for the help and advice ! Am I right that if I do move it over to
the Imac that as long as it’s on I’ll be able to access Roon as before but
via my phone (assuming I’m in another part of the house)- I won’t be able
to access it via an Ipad though, right?

I guess this is partly why people end up using a dedicated Mac mini or
Nucleus ?

Hi @andrew_cowan1,

When you set up your iMac as the Core, it would have the same functionality as your Laptop. You should be able to access it from all of your Roon Remotes (provided that there are no networking issues such as multiple subnets set up).

You can also keep using your Laptop as a Roon Client, and connect to the iMac Core via the laptop. This will provide you access to any Audio devices you have connected to the laptop, in addition to the ones connected to your iMac or network.

If you have any further issues, do let us know, preferably with a screenshot if it’ll help!

Thanks- that seems like the way to go. What I want to change is having Roon shut down when I close my laptop and having to keep my laptop open in order to keep Roon running while listening to music.

I’m getting a new laptop in a week so will have to reload Roon Core anyway.

What are the steps I should take when I make the transition and center Roon on the Imac and also want to use the new laptop as a Roon Client ?


@andrew_cowan1 -

The steps that Martin_Webster provided above are a good starting point:

It is also important that Roon does not see two copies of you media files at the same time, meaning if you plan to relocate the music files from one drive to another and they are both active at the same time (even temporarily) in Settings -> Storage this could cause your Roon database to pick up the duplicate media files as “new” and you wouldn’t have any edits associated with them (since the edits would essentially be pointing to the “old” files). See our Preserve Edits Guide and Migration Knowledge Base Article for more information regarding this.

Otherwise, switching the laptop to client mode is as simple as:

  • Performing the database backup on the laptop
  • On the iMac install Roon and log in
  • When asked to unauthorize your laptop, click yes
  • On the laptop going to Roon Settings -> General -> Disconnect (if needed)
  • On the Choose your Core screen, select the iMac

If you are stuck at any point, please provide a screenshot, thanks!

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Thank you! My last question goes back to my reason for considering moving Roon core from the laptop to the Imac- will I be able to initiate listening to Roon from the laptop as I do now BUT once listening to a selection be able to CLOSE my laptop and will the music continue playing or, like what happens today, will playback stop as soon as I close the laptop - in other words with the Core on the Imac and laptop only being used as a remote client does Roon keep playing ?

Hi @andrew_cowan1,

If you have the Core on the iMac and the device is attached to the iMac, it would remain accessible. If the device is attached to the laptop and you are using the laptop as a Roon Bridge, then powering off the laptop or putting into sleep mode will cut the contact to any devices attached to the laptop.

The other option here is to get a DAC that resides on the network, which connects directly to the router or an Ethernet -> USB Roon Bridge device such as Allo USBridge / Sonore Micro-UltraRendu. These can remain as always on devices and communicate with your iMac Core and won’t be impacted when the laptop turns off.

Thanks- so today I have Roon core on my macbook. I choose music via the macbook and it is on my network wirelessly. It routes Tidal etc to my PS Audio Direct Stream Junior via an ethernet cable attached to the bridge port on the DirectStream.

Whenever I close my macbook, Roon shuts off. IF I have Roon Core on my Imac instead will I still be ale to use my laptop (now as a client of the Imac based Core) to choose my music the same as previously but- when I close the macbook will the Roon remain open and functioning because the Core is now residing on the Imac rather than the laptop?

That is correct. If the iMac is hosting your Roon database then turning the laptop off won’t have any impact on Ethernet connected zones such as the PS Audio Direct Stream Jr.

And yes, you will be able to use the Macbook as a Roon Client and connect to the iMac as a Core. I am not sure what kind of iMac you have, but please be sure that it meets our Minimum Requirements.

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