Need help with Roon setup

A lot depends on your library size and what bits of Roon you use As mentioned Roon is resource heavy on the Core PC

For sure you will need a SSD forte Roon system and library, a normal HDD will be sluggish to point of unusable

You will need a minimum 4gb RAM preferably 8

“An old laptop” may not cut. It

Few of us want a server-side windows box :stuck_out_tongue:

The first thing you want is an SSD, preferably NVMe, to host the database. The catch with Roon as compared to LMS is that you want really high IO, both throughput and iops, on the server side. Past a certain threshold, I’m unsure how much the Roon experience can be affected by the fastest SSD in class, but the Samsung Pro NVMe line seem to be a common recommendation.

No matter what you do, please don’t try to host the database on a spinning drive. The reason to this is that because the tracks are interconnected, you’ve got a very quick (not quite exponential, but still steep) rise in load the more tracks (local or remote) you add, and your 2,5" rust bucket will choke, limp, and make your experience truly miserable. I haven’t checked this with RoonLabs, but I also suspect that there’s a difference whether or not you’re subscribed to a streaming service (it’d make sense that a library of 10’000 local tracks shouldn’t interconnect as much as 30’000’000). There might also be a difference depending on the type of albums you own: 10’000 tracks of best of the decade compilations might carry a much higher metadata load than 10’000 tracks of New Kids On the Block bootlegs.

Regarding your laptop, the official guidelines in terms of processing requirements are i3-7100 up to 100’000 tracks or so, i7-7567 beyond that. They are generous, and you will get away with (much) less, but that’ll give you a ballpark of what’s expected for the best possible experience. I’m currently running about 100’000 tracks on a Xeon D-1518 docker container, and it’s perfectly useable, but a touch laggy.

As far as tryout is concerned, as long as you’ve got an SSD on that old laptop, try that and see if it works. If it doesn’t, temporarily run it off the most powerful box you have, then migrate to something more economical. ROCK (“Roon Optimised Core Kit”, or RoonOS) is supported on NUCs, but runs fine on other setups (those are called “MOCK”), albeit with no guarantee something won’t break down the line: it’s a lean and mean, closed distro meant to be as appliance-y as possible. Since you’re comfortable with DiY’ing, if you really want to cheap out, you can probably scavenge a known compatible motherboard from ebay or your local classifieds. As far as NUCs are concerned, the sweet spots right now, as far as I can tell, are “really cheap 2nd hand if you can find one”, or “NUC8”. I’m personally unconvinced the limited financial gains by going the MOCK route are worth the (small) risk of something breaking down the line, and feel like outside of edge cases (million track libraries…), the best bet for those of us who know how to build a dedicated box is to use the continued support safety net from Nucleus sales and get a NUC.

Regarding your Raspberries, the best-in-class endpoint Raspberry distro is called Ropieee, so you can do that if you’d like a more appliance-like experience than DietPi.


Accurate and to the point

Great advice

Try before you buy but don’t get put off by sub optimal kit

Bookmarked for when a comprehensive response is required.

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Hi there sorry I didn’t reply earlier but as I’m a new user of this forum I’m limited as to the number of posts I can post - since we las spoke I’ve bought a used nuc5i5myhe , it did have ROCK installed bur it was a bit locked down for my liking so I’ve installed Debian 4.19.160-2 (2020-11-28) i686 GNU/Linux on it which is running fine but can’t seem to find an install script to install Roon Server on - any ideas as to where I can find one ? thanks for your help.

Rock might still have been your best option

Also not a great idea to multi post issues

Try the ones in the kb - hopefully, there isn’t some weird broken thing somewhere that’s going to cause problems… if it doesn’t, have a look in the Linux section of the forum. This, for example, seems like something you might run into.

Thing with ROCK is that by being an appliance, it’ll shield you from that kind of weirdness, and that’s a good thing, even if, yes, we ALL get the frustration of having a locked-down black box sitting around picking its nose when it could do more interesting stuff than feed music a few hours a day…

Take a read of this. I believe it has the download link for the easy installer for Linux.

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Hi I didn’t realise I had multi posted - it seems to me Roon is overly complicated to install and I can’t find a simple answer to my problem - I don’t wan’t suggestions like why don’t you install ROCK ! I want to install it on the OS I have running - thanks for your time though I’m just trying to like Roon and find myself fighting it at every corner - like most things once I understand it and get it running all will become clear - can anyone ( knowing my setup ) just send me a link and say just run this ?

Did you read the link I posted? Besides instructions, there are the download links for both the Easy Installer method (which is what I’d suggest) and the Manual Method.

Once you do and you have questions, I’d be happy to help.


It’s really easy, your just making it hard through your randomised approach.

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Hi and thanks for replying but why do you say I’m making it hard through my randomised approach?

Hi Rugby and thanks for your reply but can you tell me which one of the scripts I need to use ?

I assume you are using the command line only server version of Debian. RoonServer X86 Easy Install script. Download on another PC and then copy over to the linux box and then run as per the instructions.

Well you started without actually reading anything about roon or how it works or what it runs on. Now you’ve bought kit that the simplest route to install is to put rock on it but you’ve decided to go with Debian. Then say it’s complicated…

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Actually, the simplest route really is Windows. No faffing with codecs, no tweaking boot parameters in BIOS, the ability to use the entire drive, including for storing music and making backups.

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Or indeed windows.

But, if you bought a NUC, why not put ROCK on it and be done?

Op said, “[ROCK] was a bit locked down for my liking so I’ve installed Debian”

@Peter_Kane has received solid advice here. He just need to take the time to absorb and follow it. Nothing in the “Installing Roon on Linux” doc should be difficult to follow for a professional software engineer with more years of experience then he cares to remember working with music streamers on Raspberry PIs and other SBCs. May just be a patience thing. I struggle a bit with ADD sometimes myself. :slight_smile: