New to Roon & Nucleus: a royal mess

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

MacMini MacOS 10.13.6 / 2.6 GHz Intel Core i5 / v1.0 build6

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

Apple AirportExtreme: MacMini — AirportExtreme — Nucleus
interconnected by ethernet cables (tested)

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

AudioQuest JitterBug + Dragonfly Red on USB

Dessel, 21/10/2019

Dear, I have issues with Roon and/or the Nucleus which I recently acquired (new).

What’s not working?
Almost everything essential to me

How often the issue occurs?
Almost always, unpredictable

Upon the first startup, I choose my MacMini (late 2014 model) as the Core machine.
It contains my iTunes libraries.

The configuration:
MacOS 10.13.6
2.6 Ghz Intel Core i5
8 GB 1600 Mhz DDR3
2 TB Fusion HDD

The Roon Nucleus has a 2TB SSD installed (WD Blue)

Networking details:
MacMini => Ethernet cable (tested) => Apple AirPort Extreme (software is up to date)
Apple AirPort Extreme => Ethernet cable (tested) => Roon Nucleus

Actual audio path:
Roon Nucleus via USB => Audioquest Jitterbug => Audioquest Dragonfly Red => Audioquest Nighthawk

Next week I would love to hear it playing over my PS Audio PWD DAC Bridge 2
Next month I hope to try it on my Wadia as well, but my hopes are not high at all.

Library details: 3 iTunes libraries
– one for HighRes (AIFF)
– a second for HighRes (ALAC)
– and a third for my CD rips (ALAC)
– All libraries are on the MacMini. In total there are about 34.000 tracks.
– The libraries are also on a WD NAS (2x4TB), I hope to connect to that too in the following weeks.
– I do not use any streaming service.

What do I want to do?
I want to transfer my libraries to the 2TB SSD installed inside the Nucleus.
After over 4 days of reading, trying, rebooting, reconnecting and reinstalling, on 2 occasions only could I access that SSD and transfer a small part of my music to it. I found no way to access it directly from your application, so I have to wait for the Nucleus to show up under ‘Devices’ in a folder window’s sidebar and then drag and drop as much as possible.

How do I want to use it?
I hoped that it was possible to carry the nucleus up and down between my homes, as a handy way to have always a big chunk of my music collection at hand and play it over Ethernet, USB or HDMI to the various DAC’s. Preferably as a (headless?) NUC.

In brief:
I was hoping for a wonderful portable one box solution.
Since my HiFi dealer told me that a computer could easily be decommissioned as a core and that function could be attributed to e.g. the laptop, I was convinced that the Nucleus would be the perfect solution for me.
At the moment however it serves as a kind of “paperweight”. And a rather expensive one too.

The unexpected joys of Nucleus:
The internal SSD is almost never accessible but reformatting works like a charm.
At times the Nucleus refuses to reboot.
Yesterday after ejecting the Nucleus in the sidebar of a finder window, and shutting it down (Nucleus power-switch), it had to be forced to quit since it claimed to be in use whilst only the finder was open, the anti-virus was not scanning anything at that time.
At the first startup of Roon I had to appoint a Core, so I selected admittedly impulsively the MacMini.
Now, the choice never presents itself any more, which I understood differently. Is this normal? I assume that as a consequence I cannot assign another machine as a core in the future?
How can I determine that the internal drive is used for playback?
Yesterday there was some music on it, but today there is no way to find out whether it’s still there and definitely not whether it’s playing from it’s internal drive?
At the right of the RJ45 connection, a green light blinks with the power on or off, as described.
But at its left is a steady amber (orange) light, I found no info on this.

And the most important question of all:
How on earth can I domesticate this thing?

The documentation is of no great help: a few pop-up words of explanation as a pointer to what will happen when an item is selected or clicked whilst hovering over a button or menu-item might already be very useful and give the software a feeling of being more intuitive since one would not have to dig through several other pages onscreen before taking any action.

I have read several very favourable reports in the specialised press about your product.
Also my hifi ‘dealer’ uses a Nucleus and is rather happy with it (but he has a software guy to configure it).

So I decided to give it a try and acquired a Roon Nucleus.
Well, up to now it’s no joy, but rather a kind of nightmare.
Since my mother tongue isn’t English and I’m not an IT professional, the rather non-linear documentation which often uses slightly incoherent names and terms is an inextricable mess.

Can you please do me a favour and provide a .pdf manual, well structured, chronologically and systematically coherent? One which mere mortals might understand? Here I can understand all the words but often not the supposed meaning in this context. — OK, Kevin mailed me earlier tonight that a real manual doesn’t exist, but let me keep complaining just a little bit longer.

Ideally it should be written by someone with experience. To me the actually available information appears to be written by a team of several people without a real coordination between them, they seem to know the product really well. But as so often with specialists, they compulsively give in to the urge to skip the — to them — too obvious parts. Don’t get me wrong, I do recognise the complexity of the task, but where Airbus or the former McDonnellDouglas can and could succeed, you should too! (Boeing is off the picture at the moment).
For an outsider however, at every omission or ‘jump’ made by an author, he has to consider at least two or three possibilities. After the fifth jump, even Albert Einstein would be lost.
Originally I intended to take at this time a lifetime subscription of Roon but the actual level of desperation is such that I will subscribe for one year only and suffer a few more days trying to find out why at one moment I can e.g. access the inner storage (that 2TB SSD) and the rest of the day not, etc… etc… etc… one head-scratcher after the other.

Please, do not take these complaints personally, but a workable solution would be very much appreciated.

Best regards,

Frans Koninckx

paging @support

Since the Nucleus is designed to be used as the core, I assume you are looking for help on how to set it up as the core and ditch the MacMini. I am confused about how you are trying to set things up.

(note not official support, just a friendly and very knowledgeable user)

As has already been stated, the Nucleus should be assigned as the Roon ‘core’, NOT the Mac Mini.
Get rid of/eject the Mac from the chain, and reconfigure your system, and you should get Roon, and the Nucleus to work.

As you are living in Flanders, maybe I can assist you in Flemish (although I do have neither Nuclues nor Mac)
You can send me a message here in the forum

Hi @Frans_Koninckx,

What happens when you try to access it? Do you receive any errors? Can you share a screenshot of this if so?

How are you trying to reboot the Nucleus? How does it fail? Any errors?

Go to Settings > General and choose Disconnect. Then Choose the Nucleus as your Core.

You can see what storage folders you have added by going to Settings > Storage

Regarding documentation, I definitely advise heading on over to and checking out our Knowledge Base. You can search for any questions you might have there. If there is anything specific you’re looking for that you’re not finding please let me know!

If you bought the Nucleus through a dealer they should be helping you. Though given what you want to do and your self acknowledged lack of IT skills they should have recommended something else such as a laptop.

Install the Roon core on your Nucleus. Connect Nucleus to your network using ethernet. Connect your Roon end-point device, whatever it is, to your network using ethernet. Use iPhone, iPad, or computer to control your Roon system. Follow Roon instructions for copying your music from wherever it is to wherever you want it to be. I would simply put it on a USB drive connected to your Nucleus or a NAS connected to your network.

You need a Roon endpoint device. I can’t tell that you have one.

Maybe the wrong choice of words. Nucleus is already a Core you don’t need to install anything. You need to choose it as the Core.

Hopefully the following two links to the knowledge base will help:

This is extremely helpful and easy to follow even for non technically minded users and will help you copy your music:

The endpoint will be the AQ Dragonfly, connected via USB.

Connected to what?

The Nucleus. Probably. Well buried in the post though.

Well, that would give the OP his “one box” solution if he can copy his music files over to the Nucleus internal SSD. I have a “one box” solution with Roon core on my Dell laptop and a Dragonfly Cobalt plugged into the laptop USB. It’s great when away from home.

I agree…

I think it all went horribly wrong when he selected the Mac as core, but it should be recoverable!

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Yes, the USB port of the Nucleus.

Dear Rugby,
Thank you for your kindness and for taking your time.
When I tried as you recommended to disconnect the MacMini and assign the Core to the Nucleus, it didn’t work. I can remove the MacMini in the settings, but cannot assign as a Core any other device— nor the Nucleus, nor my MacBook Pro — without taking a second subscription
I keeps on throwing me into a loop, with as only solution: a second subscription
Kind Regards, Frans

I think you may need @support to unpick this mess…
As has been previously stated, the Nucleus is your core, and you should have never daisy-chained the MacMini with the Nucleus.
I don’t know who you bought the Nucleus from, but they should have given you more support (if needed) in setting up Roon.

Hi Frans!

Please forgive as I am doing this from memory and not in front of my system. If you go to Settings, under General the top setting is Core, your core MacMini should be listed and a blue button called Disconnect.

When you click that you should be brought to a screen which lists all the potential Roon Servers on your network. One of them should be the Nucleus. If it is not, then stop and get a screen shot of that to support. IF you can select Nucleus, then you will get another screen saying you have too many authorizations and that you need to de-authorize one OR buy another license. In this case, you want to de-authorize the Mac Mini which should then allow you to choose and then log in to the Nucleus as your new Core.

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Dear Martin,
Thank you for your reaction. Before buying, people assured me it was possible to do as you describe. I am trying to do exactly that for over three hours now, as you suggested and also with other devices and the only solution provided is to take another licence.
After all the joy I had with this device during the last days, my choice is rather “NEVER” and to the landfill with it.
But seeing all you guys taking your time to give me advise is heartwarming.
I will continue a bit longer tonight.
To all of you, a sincere thank you!

1 Like

Dear Rugby,
What you suggest I have been trying for a few hours now and guess what? I tried it again AND THIS TIME IT WORKED!
Maybe someone from support did something, I don’t know but in any case I am grateful fo you guys.