ROCK Hardware Primer

The OS drive is setup to only be able to boot and run the system. I"m guessing one of the first support suggestions if a ROCK device goes wrong will be to wipe the drive and re-install. So allowing users to put files they care about on the OS drive would just complicate that process.

And let’s remember that support isn’t free to provide, so the more options / permutations that need to be supported, the more complicated and costly it becomes for ROON to support.

I seem to recall reading some time back that ROCK is intended for folks with a degree of comfort providing self support. The more ROON tricks ROCK out with features and options, the more it costs in development and in support, and the less feasible it becomes overall as a freebie for the community.

While I agree with you in principal…let’s not forget that we are paying (in particular those of us who subscribe annually) for future development and support. I would not call ROCK a freebie by any stretch. That being said, I signed on before I knew of ROCK and I would sign up again even if they decided to drop support for it tomorrow.

You are paying for Roon, not ROCK. We could have charged for ROCK on top of Roon, and that would be within our right. We are choosing to give it away at no price to end users because we feel it’ll help reduce our support burden in helping users get to a great quality server.


I know exactly what I signed on for and I don’t have any regrets. Like I said, I signed on before I knew of ROCK and I would sign up again even if you decide to drop support for it tomorrow. That being said…

I do find your response slightly combative. Perhaps it wasn’t meant that way. Or maybe you misunderstood my point. I understand that buyer and seller often see things very differently especially when it comes to subject like services rendered vs services due…and I’m cool with that. I believe I’m paying for a “service.” You call it Roon. Under that service umbrella, I expect stable software, updates, tech support and to benefit from future enhancements. If you told me (or any other paying customer) at your current pricing model today that you plan on dropping any one of those components of said service, or decided to charge additional fees for certain installer, you would almost certainly lose many of your annual subs and alienate new customers…those who paid for a lifetime sub would revolt. That is a fact. You would be within your right, but it would be a poor business decision. All I’m suggesting is that I, in my humble paying customer opinion, feel it disingenuous to somehow suggest ROCK is a “freeby,” as though your paying customers are somehow not entitled to an expanded list of installers and especially if it is being developed to reduce overhead (support burden), which obviously requires you having to pay folks to do. As you said, you are well within your right to charge customers for a new software installer, or each and every major update, for DSP funtionality, or for each support ticket. But you don’t…at least for now it seems. That’s why I, without reservation, will continue to pay you each year and precisely why I’m skeptical about going the lifetime membership route. Lifetime memberships, at least based on my experience, don’t keep developers honest or on their toes. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll probably get a heck of a lot more money out of me in the long run :wink:

All that being said, I am loving Roon and anxiously awaiting ROCK :slight_smile:

What you felt as a combative tone, was actually me being defensive… let me explain…

To call ROCK an “installer” for Roon is to grossly mischaracterize both what it is and the amount of effort that went into creating it. ROCK is a turnkey hardware platform minus the hardware part :innocent: Most hardware vendors don’t put as much energy into their operating systems as we did with ROCK. This, coupled with the fact that there was an inherent expectation that ROCK would be free, offends me.

You are spot on when you said:

I agree with all of those points, but ROCK is not an enhancement or update to Roon. People pay for products like “AudiophileOptimizer” to get a trimmed down Windows system for their audio experience, and that is just an installer/uninstaller for Windows. ROCK is a full operating system built for audio, from scratch, optimized for Roon, streaming audio, digital audio, and to be an appliance in the home.

So why am I arguing all this when we have no plan to charge for ROCK? I want to accurately set expectations. I’d like to make it clear that what members pay for is Roon at the time of purchase + what you said above (stability,updates,support,enhancements). It is does not automatically include every piece of software/hardware/service that Roon Labs creates in the future. It is exactly our plan to provide more products/services for sale, some related to Roon, and some not.

Re-reading your first post, I think I misread what you were saying. You were saying you were paying for support and not that ROCK should be a freebie. I apologize for my defensive posture – it’s been a long day.


What they propose will in the minds of many add value to a service they already are prepared to pay for. The payoff for Roon is fewer people needing support because a lot will be on ROCK which means hardware that will behave predictably when updates arise due to extensive testing. There isn’t any more to it than that surely? There is a benefit to them, there is also a benefit to users who adopt ROCK. Is it free? Perhaps not, but is it going to cost me any more than I have already paid? No.

Great primer on ROCK requirements. I guessed my current NUC is already ready for it.

So… let’s ROCK!

@danny @guerph I regret my use of the term “freebie” which probably set this all in the wrong context.

I imagine ROCK’s origins being an alpha test platform for Roon code development, but whatever the origins, I think it’s awesome for a company take something like this and choose to forgo the option to monetize it in some way, whether directly or through 3rd party licensing. To me, that demonstrates an uncommon level of goodwill to the customer base.

I’m as excited as anyone about getting to use it, and appreciate the value it will add to the Roon ecosystem.

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@danny @HTTP_404

Very excited myself!

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OK. I am getting the NUC i purchased online today. Bundled with RAM and SSD. The only thing “missing” is the HDD to store the music, but I may skip that, as my music is already in a NAS.

Question becomes: how close are we to the ROCK launch? Do I wait (and seat on the new NUC) or go ahead an install some operating system to put the Roon Core in?

Thanks. I believe I understand the value prop a little better now. :slight_smile:

My enduring concern is that ROCK is tiny (probably less than 200MB on disk). The DB can easily chew up a gig (mine is 1.1GB at present), but it is destined to reside in its own partition, and thus should be safe from all but the most drastic of recovery scenarios.

Assuming for a moment that we have at least 128GB on capacity in the NUC’s SSD, about 115 of which should remain useful after partitioning and formatting, we’re still going to be left with well over 100GB of untouchable, empty space even with a gargantuan library in place… doesn’t that seem wasteful?

I’d like to suggest that it would be awesome if the drive could be further partitioned for user music (for example) and if ROCK’s installer was smart enough to recognize its system partitions and only manipulate / overwrite / format them if they are found and verified, similar to how Windows can recognize itself and its Setup will let you blow away just its partitions you feel need to be refurbished, leaving the rest intact.

(And if the drive is completely uninitialized or the partition layout can’t be grokked, then warn the user that the current scheme is invalid and the drive needs to be completely reinitialized to make forward progress. Let them decide whether they need to recover their data via other means or if it’s ok to nuke it from orbit and start over).

This kind of flexible solution gives us access to all that extra room while still allowing for drastic recovery options that involve paving the OS partition (and even the database partition). :slight_smile:

ROCK is about providing users an easy tech-light user-friendly path to a good/great stable RoonServer for the user and less repetitive support questions for Roon’s forums.

ROCK is not about being a tinkerer-friendly flexible solution, if that is what you want, then you should use the Linux install package. The quick installer packages make installing Roon on a linux distro very easy.

I’m not suggesting we present the user with a tinkerer-friendly platform. :slight_smile:

I’m suggesting that the installer could be more intelligent with its use of space and thereby give the user more value for their investment. I’m also suggesting that by being a little smarter it would create less technical debt for the customer as it would obviate the need for many to either physically install a second hard drive (an intimidating task for some) or to set up a NAS and get it properly configured so that Roon Server can see it (these are becoming more turnkey all the time, but every external hardware component you add to the system makes it more fragile). USB is probably the most approachable option for adding storage, but now we’re dealing with adding an extra box and possibly an extra power supply to what is otherwise a tidy, single-box music server solution.

Suppose the user has a pre-assembled NUC with a single hard drive. That single drive can now be partitioned as the starting place for music storage, making ROCK a turnkey solution for every user… which would seem to be what it wants to be.

This is after all merely a suggestion. I think ROCK is going to be amazing regardless of how smart its installer is, and where there’s a will, there’s a way. People will figure out the right way to store their music for themselves, or they’ll get someone (such as the many friendly folks here) to help them figure out. :wink:

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Does Rock has drivers for Realtek Lan ??

I’ve read the thread and tried to understand what ROCK actually is, but most of the posts presume a knowledge of what ROCK is. However I don’t fully get what it is and how it integrates with Roon. Can someone point me to a full explanation please or take the trouble to define what it is in reply please. It sounds good. I think. Thank you.

I’ll try but I thought this thread did it pretty well?

You want Roon?

You don’t know what HW to run it on?

Roon will provide the Intel NUC HW specification and even Amazon product id’s to simplify ordering.

You purchase a Roon subscription.

ROCK will be a downloadable Roon supported operating system that will be your Roon core, you will be able to download it free of charge and install on an Intel NUC Using a USB stick.

Typical storage for your library of music will be a USB drive attached to your NUC

All this is based on what I have gleaned so far, note ROCK has not yet been released so details could change?



This topic is focus on the hardware to run ROCK, for more information on ROCK itself (what it is etc.) have a read this post by Danny:

Can the music be stored in a NAS (hard drive connected to router via Ethernet, and not to the NUC where ROCK will be)? Then simply point NUC with ROCK to the NAS?

Also, if the NUC is also equipped with a HDD for storing music (in addition to the SSD needed for the OS), would this be OK?