No GUI on launch for new Roon server install on Mac mini

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

Mac Mini, setting up via screen sharing (will not be using it as the audio device), specs are:

Mac Mini (late 2012)
2,5 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 / 16 GB RAM / 120 GB SSD
macOS Catalina 10.15.7

Starting Roon from the command line shows:

Info: Starting RoonServer v1.7 (build 610) stable on macosx

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


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

Networked (wired) Cambridge Audio CXNv2 (not relevant at this stage I think)

Description Of Issue

I have just signed up for the free trial, and downloaded and installed Roon server for macOS on my Mac mini. Installation seemed to go fine. I double clicked to launch, get the usual Mac warning about running downloaded applications, clicked OK, and … nothing. I notice there is a Roon icon in my task bar, clicking that shows a dropdown that says Roon is running, and options to start on boot and quit. But there is no UI and no icon in my Dock. I was expecting some kind of application UI where I can log in to my account, configure my sources etc.

I’ve quit and restarted, I’ve rebooted, but with no change, the behaviour is the same every time I try to start Roon.

I do not have any other Roon installs on my network - I plan to use the app on an iPad for a remote, and will output to my Cambridge Audio streamer.

I tried all the suggestions from the docs:

  • I chown/chmod-ed my ~ and ~/Library;

  • I checked Font Book, Arial is already installed and enabled;

  • I do not have a firewall enabled;

I bought and installed an SSD (Crucial BX500 120GB) just a few days ago after reading Roon core will benefit from that. I installed it as my boot drive, and installed macOS on it by booting with Command + Option + R which installs the latest OS the system supports, which turned out to be 10.15.7. The OS installation is just a few days old, with almost nothing else installed (only Plex, I think, though it is not running). The machine is otherwise running fine, Plex runs, etc.

Here’s a Dropbox folder containing some logs:

  • zips of ~/Library/RoonServer/Logs and ~/Library/RAATServer/Logs;

  • zip of warning/error output in the Mac “console” app when starting up Roon;

  • zip of output when launching from the console (found in this ancient post) with:

    /Applications/ -colorconsole

Any help appreciated. Please let me know if you need any other info. I am comfortable on the command line, if there is something I can run to debug or fix pls let me know.


Hi Jack, welcome on the forum!

If you carefully read Roon’s download page you’ll find that there are three different aspects to Roon:

  1. Roon Apps: this is the user interface you use to interact with the server functionalities.
  2. Roon Core: this is the server per se; this is the software which maintains a database of your audio files, which manages the metadata, and which sends audiostreams to output devices.
  3. Output devices: this is the software functionality needed to output audio streams on any particular output device.

So, given all that, the Roon Server download only includes the Roon Core and Output Devices functionality. There is no user interface with Roon Server.

What can you do? There are two main options:

First, you can install the complete Roon package on your Mac Mini… this would include the Core functionality, the Output Devices functions as well as the user interface.

Or you can use any other device to install the Roon package or, on Android or iOS devices, install the respective Roon Remote software. This will give you a user interface to connect to the server you’ve installed on your Mac Mini.

Hope this helps you along.


Oh wow, how ridiculous. I assumed the core/server config would be done via the core/server, and the remote would just be for controlling playback. Thanks very much for enlightening me, this is not clear from the docs or download page at all.


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