NUC / ROCK newbie install questions

After researching ROCK requirements, I purchased a NUC10i7fnh.

I got ROCK downloaded, created the install USB stick loaded, and successfully installed Roon on the NUC.

At this point, however, I’m stuck. I need to install CODECs, as I understand it, from another machine that has internet access. I’ve tried entering the NUC’s HTTP address from my MacBook etc to Pro’srr Safari browser, but I only get a message saying that the server isn’t available. I tried disconnecting the Ethernet cables from my switch and directly connecting the NUC & the MBP. No difference.

What am I doing wrong?


You don’t want the NUC and the MBP directly connected. It’s fine if they both are on the same switch

Note that for installing the codecs you would not use the browser but Finder, by entering smb://ROCK/ in Connect to server. As described here (which is linked from the ROCK installation guide):

The “ROCK” in smb://ROCK/ is the network name that the Rock uses by default. It will work with many routers. However, some routers don’t provide a local name service (DNS) and then the name does not work and you would have to use the Rock’s IP address instead.

You can test this in a browser. Can you access the Rock’s admin interface by using http://rock/ ?

In addition: Note that the codecs are only necessary for playing mp3, AAC, or similar. The rock as such should work without them, and be accessible for remotes just fine (and play FLAC as well). Does it work if you start a remote, can it find the rock?

This might help

You can add the codec file using a smartphone as well.

Thank you all most kindly. My entire library is .wav and .flac, so I shouldn’t need additional CODECs. I discovered the ailment with ROCK access to the internet - All my computer room devices were plugged into the same switch, but the switch wasn’t connected to the cable-modem/router (instead, they were all connected by wi-fi). Once I made the Ethernet connection from the router to the switch, the NUC hooked in automatically.

Additional questions -

Does the NUC automatically enable its wi-fi network? If not, how do I go about doing so? OR, perhaps more significantly, should I enable the wi-fi network?

My setup is as follows:

My cable-modem / router / wi-fi base is in a computer room at one end of the house. My NUC will be at the other end of a house in the living room. I could connect the NUC to the router by Ethernet (I have a cable run), but then the iPad with Roon Remote would have to connect to the NUC through the router at the other end of the house. The wi-fi signal is adequate, but I thought that having the NUC also connect via wi-fi might be more reliable? Maybe? Maybe not?

If I leave the NUC in the computer room, then I’d need an additional device in the living room (a streamer) to convert the wi-fi or Ethernet signal into a USB output that my DAC can use. I’d just as soon avoid the extra expense by placing the NUC on the audio equipment rack in the living room. What are the positives and negatives of using this approach?

Thanks to all of you most kindly for answering my newbie questions. I appreciate it!


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It is always better to connect the NUC (or any Roon Core) by ethernet cable. The bandwidth of wifi is shared between all devices on the wifi (and possibly the neighbor’s), so each device has less than the nominal, and wifi is prone to temporary fluctuations as well.


The built-in wifi of some NUCs is supported by ROCK, but only NUC7. Some external adapters might work:


The NUC’s wifi may or may not be enabled by default in the BIOS of the NUC, I don’t recall. I deactivated it to save on power usage and because I don’t use it anyway (and you shouldn’t if you can avoid it)

There is not much downside to placing the NUC on the hifi rack. If you have a regular NUC with fans, you might occasionally hear them, but for many people they don’t turn on, ever. If your NUC has a spinning HDD for internal music storage, you might hear that as well.

But…. If it is on the rack, it’s still got to be connected by Ethernet, and ideally with a “home run” of cat5/6 all the way back to your router or primary switch. If it’s not on a cable that is close to the “core” of your network, that can be a real bummer (potential for dropouts, all kinds of slowness issues). If those issues don’t manifest, that’s great. But you’ve been “warned” (not in a threatening way, seriously) that your system will be happiest or at least most likely to be happy if:

  1. Your core is “topologically close” to the “center” of your network, meaning that it is directly connected by ethernet to your router or the “first switch past the router”. The length of the ethernet cable doesn’t matter unless it’s really long. But it has to be a “home run” or direct connection.
  2. Your music should be close to the core, ideally on an internal or USB connected drive.
  3. Your endpoints are connected by ethernet, though they don’t have to be “topologically close”, meaning it’s ok if they have another layer of switch between them and the central switch/router, depending on the complexity of your network.

These are kind of “descending order of importance”. You may run fine ”breaking” any of these. But if you have issues, these are the first things anyone will tell you to take care of. Network is paramount, you’re running a server inside your network that is highly sensitive to latency.

Good luck!

Yeah, sure, it can be inconvenient if one does not have a networked streamer. I recommend those, everything becomes so much simpler.

As you say, wifi might work depending on the quality of the wifi installation, number of concurrent wifi clients (other people in the household streaming movies, more than one Roon zone, etc.) but it’s never the better solution. And as you also say, if it does not work, that’s the first thing to look for the problem

A cheap and cheerful way of getting a Wi-Fi networked steamer is to get a Wiim Mini (currently $80 at Amazon US) or a Chromecast puck and feeding the output via Toslink into your DAC. The most discerning folks will point out that this (a) is not very audiophile gear, and (b) throttles sample rate to a still very respectable 192/24 if you’re doing Qobuz direct, and as long as Chromecast is in the loop (which is how you have to run it for now until they release Roon Ready) I think you’re limited to 48/24. I think these concerns are overblown personally, and if I were you I’d (a) put your core next to your router, and (b) buy a Wiim streamer and try it out and return it if it doesn’t work.

(Yes, and @Glenn_Young , I should say with @Suedkiez that this is doing exactly the opposite of what I said in #3 above and exposing you to WiFi on your endpoint, but it’s a simple way of trying it out, and keeping your core close to the middle of your network without faffing about with ethernet; #1 above is most important, so if this solves that at the expense of maybe having an issue with #3 I say give it a try)

@Glenn_Young, see above post by @Johnny_Ooooops, it was meant for you

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Ok, guys - now we’re in a completely different discussion - specifically about “streamers.”

To my (admittedly inexperienced) evaluation, a streamer is another mostly useless and potentially expensive accessory UNLESS you’re running multiple zones. It does absolutely nothing but convert an Ethernet or wireless network signal to something your DAC can use.

Since I’m not running multiple zones, and never anticipate doing so, the ONLY potential benefit of a streamer to me would be the ability to:

  1. Get the NUC (with its fan noise) and the USB library drive (with its occasional rotation and head movement noise) out of the listening room and

  2. Physically place the cable- modem / router / wi-fi base station in close physical proximity to the NUC.

In exchange for these two dubious advantages, I’ll not only have to pay between 80 and several thousand dollars but also will have yet another potentially trouble-prone and possibly sound-quality-degrading device in my signal chain. Really?

If there are other advantages to a streamer that I’m unaware of, please edumocate me.

Thanks again - Boom

Yeah, that’s what it is. The upside is zero headaches about setup :slight_smile:

How can setup possibly be simpler than having the DAC plugged directly into the NUC?

It’s just more flexible with cabling. But use what works for you in your situation

And in fact, I do have other specific questions about the NUC itself…

The thing has only three USB ports. The list of USB devices I’ll need to plug in includes:

  1. external library HDD
  2. Occasional backup drive for above
  3. Keyboard
  4. Mouse
  5. Output to DAC
  6. Input from CDRW (when ripping)

Which of these are best connected directly to the two available NUC USB ports, and which to the external (powered) USB-3 hub (that will occupy the NUC’s third port?

Should not matter with a decent USB hub. However, if there is anything you plug/unplug often or need access to, I would put it in the hub. If only to avoid breakage of the NUC’s USB ports. Usually you don’t need the keyboard ever again after setup, and a mouse not at all because there is nothing you can do with a mouse on ROCK

Awesome! Thanks so much for all the valuable info. I will first try using my NUC on the equipment rack. If the noises, lights, or performance bother me, then I’ll consider a streamer. Should I go the streamer route, what does one get for increasing amounts of money? My needs are simple:

All my music is .wav or .flac format
I don’t do high-rez
I don’t do MQA
BUT I want no signal degredation

The most important thing with Roon is that it is Roon Ready. Otherwise, the task it has to do is very simple. If your your DAC reclocks the USB input, the only thing the streamer has to do is accept ethernet traffic via Roon Ready and play it out via the USB-to-DAC (assuming that this will be your setup). If you want to use it via wifi, the wifi should be good. Otherwise I would go with whatever has the features I want and is cheap.

An Raspberry Pie with Roon Bridge installed is probably the cheapest option. Or an iFI Zen Stream, more plug and play and more expensive

Maybe some ideas here:

More questions, please…

  1. Assuming my NUC is networked via Ethernet, can I access it from my MBP in the computer room and make backups of the USB library HDD connected to the NUC?

  2. Can I rip discs on the MBP and transfer them over Ethernet to the USB library HDD connected to the NUC?

Thanks so much for being tolerant of my newbie questions!


Glenn the answer to both questions is yes.
This how many us us have our Roon setups working.

You will need to set up a network share on your Mac for this backup to work.

Also a good idea to plug a USB external drive into your NUC and have two sets of backups.

Many of us keep our main copy of our music on our PC’s and Mac’s and synchronize it to the Roon server on demand.

Yes, the /data directory of your ROCK (including externally connected USB drives) will be visible as network shares to your MAC. May be a little annoyance if you’re not regularly working with IP-addressed network shares but once you spend five minutes figuring it out the first time you’ll be fine. And then anything you can do with a “regular” network share you can do here.

Personally I have a backup job running from my ROCK’s externally-connected USB to a NAS, and then I a couple times a year take a physical copy off-site (actually to a safe-deposit box, tho I admit that’s a little ridiculous, I just have one so say “screw it why not”). But my collection is growing more and more slowly over time as I stream more and more.