OS X screen sharing sluggishness only with Roon

I have Roon core running (El Captain) on my 2012 2.3 Quad core i7 mac mini and screen sharing with my macbook. Screen sharing is frustratingly unusable because it lags and shutters and freezes up. My library is stored on a NAS everything is hardwired. As soon as I close Roon and use only HQplayer there is no problem. Quitting can usually only be done with force quit and often I can’t even get the cursor to that side of the page. I thought maybe there was a screenshare setting to smooth everything out but I feel like I have tried every resolution and adjustment. I purchased the hdmi adapter to trick the headless mac into thinking there was a monitor connected but still having issues.

Any thoughts or suggestions why this is only happening with Roon running?

A better solution is to run Roon as a Remote on your MacBook. Here’s how.


You will probably have you go into Roon on your Mini and go into Settings > Setup and turn Accept Connections from Remotes to Yes.

Cheers, Greg

Hey, cool thanks for the quick reply. I do have allow remotes checked. I am running smoothly as of now. Could it be that at start up, and for the first 10-20 minutes its updating data and causing a slow down? My library is 40k tracks? I was wondering if your suggestion would be best. I also have a Mac Pro that is constantly running so I could run that as my core? My current set up works so I’m a little intimidated to change things around. I feel like my set up with HQplayer was simple compared to some.

I want to add. I have for years argued that the file and folder system was the simplest and best for my kind of listening. Because I think, I know what to listen to. Since using Roon I have discover so much music I forgot I had , connections with other musicians. I’ll have a new love for my library. Thanks!

Yes, definitely Roon is doing a lot of analysis while its importing your library. After the import, it will still be doing an Audio Analysis that you can see in Settings > Setup. It could take hours.

It’s up to you if you want to change the computer you use as a core. If it’s working, you might want to leave it on your Mini.

One thing you might want to consider (and it’s what I’ve done with my headless Mini) is to run Roon Server on the Mini instead of Roon. Here’s how to change it:


Cheers, Greg

i’m in the process of the change…If i’m correct i will need to now run HQplayer, since i use that, on the same machine as the Roon core? And also screen share into the Roon core machine? And the mini running the server will only have the small icon running and all my contact and work with be done with the Core machine? is this correct? Thanks!


I have the very same Mini and setup (with a little over half your tacks though) and have no issues using Remote Desktop

I’m running Roon Server on the Mini and Roon as controller on my MBP
definitely get one of those HDMI dongles for the Mini

also… never tried but HQPayer is told to be very resource intensive

You don’t really need screen sharing (to run Roon) if you install Roon Remote on the MacBook.

I don’t use HQ Player (but I’m thinking about it), but here’s info about running it with Roon.


Cheers, Greg

Well I’m getting music! I have Roon core running on my mac pro, sending it directly to hqplayer on the mini. So I guess there is no need to run Roonserver? Am I missing out on something by not having server installed? @greg you mentioned using Roon remote on the macbook but its an iOS app. I’m not aware of a way to run iOS apps in OS X.

Nope, you don’t need Roon Server in your current setup. Roon Server is the same as Roon, except it doesn’t have a GUI. Roon Server would have been better if the headless Mini was your Core machine.

So, the way you’re set up is fine.

You can still install Roon Remote on your MacBook. Just install the OS X Roon software and run it as a remote, when it asks. See the link above in my first post.

Cheers, Greg

I have also noticed that Roon Server causes headless (Mac) server to be lethargic, I am running Plex Media Server on the same box and I normally quit Roon Server if I want to get at the Plex client. Both of these on a souped up Hackintosh, quad core i7, 16GB of RAM, etc.

There is an HDMI dongle that fakes a display present signal that some headless servers use

try this http://www.fit-pc.com/web/products/fit-headless/ you might be able to DIY one too…perhaps via a DP to VGA cable adapter

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Server is actually only half headless, it is hooked up to a TV via HDMI (using with Plex Media Server). So just don’t have wired, or wireless, keyboard/pointer, using Apple Remote Desktop.