ROCK New Installation Questions

Hello, I’m new to ROON but a longtime audio/music lover and I’m looking forward to enjoying the integrated Roon experience for my personal collection and either Tidal or Qobuz for hi res streaming. I’m not a computer nerd…but I use them and iPads every day and I’ve previously done all the stuff necessary to run multi room audio over squeezebox Touch. I’m wanting to return to a dedicated server for music only applications running Roon rock. I’ve spec’d out an 8th gen NUC i5 for about $550 with RAM and SSD. I’m not interested in running an OS other than ROCK and this is where I become a bit unsure of things. Will I be able to set everything up and run bios to tweak fan speeds and such from my iPad using the ROCK software. I hadn’t planned on having a keyboard/monitor/mouse hooked up to the NUC…and I’m hoping that’s not going to be necessary. I guess I’m looking for reassurance from a NUC/ ROON ROCK veteran that my thinking is correct and that it’s all a fairly simple and straightforward process before I jump in and get over my head. My plan is to get everything set up and let this dedicated server run 24\7. It will initially serve 3 endpoints and generally be run from iPads or iPhones. I plan to hardwire the nuc to the router…and hardwire a dac between the Nuc my main stereo. The other endpoints will be chromecast audio pucks connected wirelessly on the network. I have a robust hi speed wireless network and use streaming services for audio and video currently. I think my only real worry is just the interfacing with the NUC Bios and ROCK software initially during setup. I’d hate to have to borrow a monitor & keyboard just to get things setup.

I’m pretty certain you will need a keyboard/mouse and monitor to do the install.

Well, there’s KVMUSB, to let you use a laptop as monitor/keyboard, but it’s pretty expensive for what it does, IMO.

Gen 8 NUCs seem to be a bit fussy as to set up if i remember reading the thread some people were having problems using TVs as set up screens, might want to read the threads.
I would recommend a keyboard, they are really cheap these days, or borrow one.

Yeah, you cannot use the ROCK web interface to configure the BIOS. You need a TV/monitor and keyboard for that. If you want a preconfigured BIOS, several NUC7s running ROCK are available in the Sales and Trades section. I have one listed:

The NUC7 generation is on the ROCK officially supported list. And if you do need to connect to a TV to tweak the BIOS later, that works on the NUC7s.


I recently installed Roon Rock on an Intel NUC8i5BEH and I can confirm that it was extremely easy.

As others have stated, you will need a monitor and a USB keyboard and mouse for the initial configuration. I already had a USB mouse which I use with my laptop when I travel away from home, but because the only keyboards I had were wireless, I purchased a USB keyboard especially for the configuration process. I recall it cost £7 or £8 from PC World - not a huge amount of money.

Downloading and installing Roon Rock was straightforward. I am only aware of 2 or 3 specific areas of the process that could potentially cause a problem if you follow the very clear instructions in the online Roon Rock installation guide:

  1. Check the relevant setting in the bios that the device is set up as ‘legacy boot’ rather than ‘UEFI boot’.

  2. Make sure that you download the appropriate codecs for your device. I found that this part of the instruction set was not at all clear, and I had to get some help from fellow forum members to identify which of the available codecs downloads was the correct one for me.

  3. The installation files that you download will be compressed and so you will need to have some means of decompressing them. The utility may already be available on a Mac (I don’t have one so I am not sure), but if you have a Windows 10 PC you may have to download a product such as ‘Winzip’

If you were to run into problems I am sure that someone on this forum would be able to resolve them for you.

By the way, the 8th gen NUC i5 is an excellent choice - very powerful and it runs very quietly.

Thanks for all the responses. After a little more research and considering options I think I may go to an HP laptop. I can get an 8th gen i5 with 8gb ram and a 256 ss hard drive for $469. Obviously the need for messing around with finding a monitor and buying a keyboard are eliminated. It’s basically the same machine I spec’d out as a NUC, but is over a $100 cheaper and seems like less of a hassle. There seems to be multiple ways to run ROON. I’d like to take advantage of the DSP features and i’ll Be integrating one of the hi res streaming services along with my personal library. The computer comes loaded with windows 10. What are the suggestions for the best Roon “system” to run on this laptop. Would it be best to load ROCK…or is that only for computers with NO OS, and if not Rock…then what? I’ve seen people talk about at least 2 other possibilities including RoonServer?

Stupid question maybe but I can’t the thumb drives I left a the office because of the lockdown. Can I install Roon OS from an external HDD (I’m thinking of potientally needed drivers)?
Thanks a lot

HI Abolive,

It’s well over a year since I installed my own Roon Rock setup, so I’m not as up to speed about the installation as I was then. Are you planning to install Roon Rock on a NUC, or install Roon core on another device?

I’m not absolutely certain, but I think that you will need a USB flash drive for a Roon Rock installation. I don’t think you will be able to use a USB HDD, but I might be wrong.

In any case, you won’t need a large capacity USB flash drive. Why not buy a cheap small USB flash drive from Amazon (around £6 for a 32 gig drive) and use that?

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Thank you for your reply.
I had the same feeling, but wanted to avoid buying another thumb drive while my drawer at work is full of them :smile:
I managed to borrow one and the install went smoothly.
Thanks !

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Great news!

Hope you enjoy Roon! :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ve been playing with Roon and it is exactly what I was expecting. I’m very happy.
2 things bother me though:

  • at idle I can hear the fan of my nuc8i5 working (not external library yet, still streaming only)
  • the HDD light blinks (I could not find any info about it)
    What do you think?

If you can’t move your NUC to another room, you might want to invest in a fanless case.

Hi @Jim_F. It is not that the noise disturbs me (I’ll indeed use a fanless case further down the road), it’s just that I’d like to know if it’s normal for the Nuc to need the fan at idle when Roon Rock is not used :thinking:

Only when it’s doing audio analysis or metadata updates.

Probably, it’s just indicating HDD activity.

Thanks @xxx,
How come, given that I am just streaming, ie no local library, and that the Nuc isn’t used (sorry if it’s a stupid question)?

Roon is still writing things to its library.

Alright, it’s surprising - and reassuring.
Thank you @xxx

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I just installed ROCK on a NUC 8 i5 and haven’t heard the fan once. I’m sure there are enough variables in the equation to produce different experiences but I would rule out an inherent issue with the i5 itself.

Yes I’ve noticed that too - but reassuring to know it’s alive and well :grinning: