Networking Roon

I was one of the earliest adopters of the Roon lifetime subscription and it’s been a roony road, as it were. The arrival of Roon Core server was a godsend and getting the right hardware for it was, interesting.

Initially I installed it on a spare mini-mac using the Apple OS, and it worked, but tuning the OS to eliminate the electronic grunge and CPU intensive bloatware was a challenge; I chickened out reasoning that things always improve once the market adjusts itself to the new realities.

I had an early Antipodes DS2 server but the CPU etc were Roon unfriendly, so that put paid to upgrading that music server.

I purchased an Aurender X100L and while it sounded good, it was Roon unfriendly.

My Bryston BDP-1 (S/N 50) could be upgraded to be a Roon end point but it’s flakey and the OS tends to reset itself unpredictably.

The study runs a MacPro (2013 vintage) and I could install the Roon full monty but as I also had a virtual PC (Windows) installed, hardware issues appeared and the Mac would freeze until it sorted out the related network issues.

Cue scream

Roon core was then installed on a mini-mac with a brain transplant involving Ubuntu Server as a headless system. Welcome to VDU and terminal as the principal input means, which brought back memories of the Cyber-76 and terminals I had to use in 1976.

Ubuntu worked but loss of server at unpredictable times continued to irritate.

The whole system is basically simple, NAS, Roon Core feeding into switch that feeds a fibre ethernet to the listening room, where a roon appliance feeds the DAC etc. Drop outs in signal were frequent. (Internet is ADSL2 at 12 Mb per sec).

If I used the MacPro-Roon server solution drop outs and CPU freezes occurred, for obvious reasons - d’oh!.


Roon Core on Ubuntu mac-mini server.
Cheap switch replaced by smart managed switch, (Netgear 8 port unit).
Roon uninstalled off MacPro and Roon bridge installed instead.
Roon client installed on iPad - wireless of course.
Fibre feeds netgear unmanaged switch (5 ports) which feeds Roon appliance, which feeds DAC etc. Music is stored on a brain-dead Synology NAS that can run Minimserver.

As it is at present Roon sounds a little warm while Minimserver sounds leaner. Warm sound I always associated with intermodulation distortion, but in Digiworld, that explanation is incorrect. Whatever, Minimserver sounds more open and better, and dynamic range compression comes to mind. A top flight Hi Fi with abundant power sounds effortless and transparent, while worse systems end up sounding congested and warmish.

Proposed solution is to replace the Ubuntu server with a one function Roon server, probably an Antipodes Audio server, and sound effect to be reported when noticed.

I have noticed that running Roon on a workstation with grunt does not mean it will work well, since Roon competes with all the other processes the workstation is running.


Roon core is on a mac-mini running Ubuntu Server OS accessing a WD NAS (MycloudEX2-3Gb) for music. Streaming services are generally not used, (I tried Tidal but my tastes run to Ray Connif, etc, Big Band, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, and classical).

Roon client is iPad.

MQA is a non starter despite its sonic superiority. (If the Australian ABC were to stream Classic FM in MQA…dream on man).

Ideally the server/transport unit ought to be placed at the Roon endpoint, EMF radiation minimised and short lengths of Cat 6 ethernet used.

As I can hear a difference between Roon and Minimserver through the existing system, upgrading the Roon server is top priority. I hope that Roon’s performance is not due to code bloat; I don’t use any DSP instead relying on the hardware to upsample data physically, rather than softly using code in the app.

(Roon appliance is a Lumin U1 driving an Accuphase DC-37)

Well reading that tired me out. Lol
My journey is somewhat different though.
I installed Roon on a Windows 10 laptop and streamed it to my Meridian MS200 and MC200 endpoints. I use a basic switch and a wired network. For control i started with a Samsung Galaxy A tablet and the laptop.
The only issue was having to have the laptop on all the time or starting it. This obstructed my listening to music spontaneously.
So I saved up for a QNAP TVS 471 i3 which is available 24/7.
The sound is great, no change from the Sooloos system I had before. Music is available instantly. I use iPad Pro for control (Love the screen size for Roon)
That’s it folks… Simples…

Same here. Stuck Roon on an i5 laptop, couple of Meridian end points, control via iPhones and iPads and that was that really. I’m thinking I might use ROCK on a dedicated NUC upon release, but it’s not really necessary as I don’t have any problems other than switching on and off the laptop.

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Read w/interest of your journeys. I temporarily run Roon on a Mini i5. I hate macOS. When you installed Ubuntu on Mini was it on bare metal and did you have any hardware issues, i.e. driver incompatibilities, etc.?


I run Roon Server on an i5-based mid-2011 Mac mini (running current MacOS) with no problems. I use a network endpoint (exaSound PlayPoint via Cat6a Ethernet through a “dumb” Netgear switch), and I’m not aware of any electronic grunge. Could be my ears, but it’s a refreshingly simple setup and super-easy to manage.

It seems like you’re assuming that MinimServer is the standard by which Roon should be measured. I’m curious about the basis for that assumption. Assuming the assumption is correct, though, you’d be well advised to audition any contemplated Roon server replacements before making a financial commitment.

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Hi Louis, A properly working BDP-1 is not at all flakey if your ethernet feed to it is stable. I am hardwired with adequate bandwidth (100+mbps) and the BDP-1 in Roon Ready mode works flawlessly for many hours at a time without issue.

My guess is you have a performance issue delivering signal to your media player(s).

Installing Ubuntu server on the Mac mini has one trap - making the right decision on which ethernet device to to set up - most PC’s have 2 ethernet devices, wireless and hardwire, but looking at the list Ubuntu offers does not tell you so its suck and see. I initially installed on the first on the list, nothing worked, reinstalled the OS, repeated it, still no work, and then third time I tried the second device and it worked.

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Hi Robert,

The flakeyness was before roon was installed, which is why I gave up on it. Then it was used with an attached USB drive. Tried it with Roon, sound was superb but hours later it became a “why did it do that?” type of situation. Or the music would suddenly stop for a reason I never managed to work out. Usually the interface lags or says I have an update when I don’t or MPD is turned off and then an hour later is back on again. But then I access it using Safari, and Bryston recommend Firefox, which might be relevant. Typical hard to replicate issues that drives one nuts sometimes. I bought the BDP-1 in 2013 ? so age has to be factored in.

To be fair I have a fairly busy LAN what with 2 apple TV, 4 Sonos devices, 2 Bluray players, NAS, etc…

And of course it might be ME! I can’t wear mechanical watches because somehow I slow them down. Watchmaker insists the device, after 1 week observation, keeps perfect time, but when I wear it, it loses a couple of minutes per week.

I could be the modem instance of Joe $@&%&^$%#$ of the Little Abner Cartoon from way back. :slight_smile:

Minim server is located on the NAS, while Roon an a separate PC, so its pears and apples at present. The new server will have both software solutions on board, so comparison between Roon and Minimserver will be meaningful. Providing of course I will hear any difference. It’s a bit like comparing MQA with Hi Res, and then that was apples and pears as well since I was listening to 2 DACS, one which did MQA and one which doesn’t.

Point is not to install Roon on a PC that is used for other things apart from music replay.

Not kidding, I have the same problem with electrical devices. Not science fiction.

Apparently Chris Connagher of The Computer Audiophile tested various flavours of servers and could not hear any difference, but ever since he changed his website format, the review is hard to locate. I heard a difference but that’s not so much Roon as the LAN circuit design which remains analog. Fun, fun, fun.

BDP-1 MPD via USB drive will also suffer from dropouts with low bandwidth issues and limited memory issues. Found that out doing DB updates. BDP-2 was a big upgrade in memory. Not sure why it’s not working right, but you may want to send it off to Bryston. The BDP-1 has a five year warranty period.

Might want to reach out to @Krutsch he knows a lot about the Bryston stuff.

My unit is way out of warranty so that solution isn’t on the menu. I was tempted to get a BDP-3 but decided on the Lumin U1 instead. I will wait until the new server arrives.

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On the MPD topic, I’ve found with the latest versions of the Bryston software I had to crank up the buffering of MPD to 15% (from default of 10%) when using flash/thumb drives and 192/24 tracks. The BDP-1 is just too memory constrained, but you can make it work.

For Roon playback, be sure you are on the latest BETA release of the Bryston Manic Moose software, as they’ve updated the Roon raatapp code to a new version; the difference in sound quality was significant.

For me, in my system, to get the best playback experience, I moved from Roon Server on an old/slow Mac Mini to my MacBook Pro (i7 + 16 GB RAM + SSD) and have an ethernet connection from the Mac to the BDP on the same switch (i.e. no wireless segment in between).

Post if you have more questions… glad to help.

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Thanks for the heads up and advice.

I’ve added another switch to the router to handle the Hi Fi area (wired) and that seems to have cut the traffic down bit - . Apparently Roon also needs a SSD and CPU grunt to work properly, which you have confirmed, so I am waiting for a purpose designed Roon server to arrive from Antipodes Audio. I haven’t tuned the Ubuntu server at all, so there may be extraneous processes going on that are potentially affecting things but it seems to work ok. Its all these PC energy saving bells and whistles that seem to be the main area for problems. Maybe the music should be put on SSD’s instead of spinners…more $ if that route is taken.

The BDP-1 - a newer RAAT ? version? Will check that out but the BDP-1 is a bit short on memory and resources, so I suspect using it as a Roon end point is asking too much.

I noticed yesterday that Rooning to the Hi Fi I would occasionally get a short drop out that Roon reports as a file loading problem, taking too long. As the music files are on a WDMYCLOUDEX2 (3Gb) which isn’t too shabby, I suddenly realised I didn’t turn off the sleep function which might have been one of the causes of the drop outs.


Thanks Kenneth…knew you would have some good ideas on this issue…

Best, Robert

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Nope, it is not… Roon on the BDP-1 works flawlessly and sounds fantastic (again, with the latest BETA firmware).

I have also experimented with have music files on a MyCloud … stop doing that and move the music to a drive directly connected to the Roon Server or Core (whatever is hosting your library). My music is on a fast thunderbolt drive. No drop-outs for me… ever.

And then Roon themselves release two new Roon servers, handling both USB, Thunderbolt 3, and streaming just announced at Munich, presumably running the Roon OS.

As music streaming seems to be the direction the industry is taking, and my issues are in the streaming area, so solving those are top of the list. Right now the drop-outs have disappeared, (fingers crossed).

Thanks for your advice.

Networking issue resolved with latest Core version to TCP/IP.

I’ve worked out that the drop outs in the network seem to be limited to the Ipad Pro wireless system. I installed Roon on a spare windows notebook, joined the wireless LAN and the system worked perfectly. I’ve noticed before that combining Apple wireless with other WiFi devices produces some incompatibilities. The wireless router is a Technicolor Unit supplied by Telstra Australia.