Roon Bridge for ARM: a beginner’s guide to Raspberry Pi and Cubox-i

Hello, after building Roon Bridge based on Raspberry Pi 3 (BTW, despite all those usb/ethernet on the same bus discussions - rasppi played extremely well; I would say better than my fanless Intel NUC6i3) decided to go Cubox route.
Today my Cubox-i4 pro arrived, I followed instructions and…

  1. Cubox is so much batter than Raspberry Pi 3. It’s almost day and night when it comes to dynamic.
  2. One unpleasant surprise: no native DSD.

Cubox is conected to my iFi iDSD Micro (via iUSB Power). DSD is only DoP.

Can anyone help me? Should I upgrade kernel? Install extra pakages? Thanks in advance for any help.

Which distro & kernel version are you currently running on your Cubox?

If I’m not mistaken, Armbian Legacy did do native DSD with my iDSD.

I followed your tutorial. Armbian Jessie, Legacy line, server version.
I was a little bit surprised 'cause the other day I followed your tutorial for Rasp Pi - everything went smooth, with native dsd playback. Tried to install archphile but I wasn’t able to ssh after installation (via ssh). So I’m stuck at the moment.

Ok, after 2 intensive days with Google, Linux forums and about 20 my microSD formatting - I found solution.
Maybe it’s not the most elegant solution but…

  1. My goal was to use Cubox-i4 Pro along with iFi iDSD Micro
  2. DoP was not an option, only “Native DSD Playback”.

Here is what I did (very short version)

  1. Follow the Cubox tutorial provided by Rene RBM
  2. But when you reach the part “A little housekeeping” issue the following command:
    sudo apt-get install linux-image-next-cubox linux-dtb-next-cubox
    This will update Kernel from 3.14 to mainline Kernel (for now it’s 4.8.4)


  1. Maybe installing Vanilla version of ARmbian instead of Legacy will do the trick. But beacause it’s working solution as described above - I’ll stick to that
  2. I was not testing SPDiF output of Cubox. So maybe it’s not working like in Vanilla version description.
  3. I was interested in USB output to iFi iDSD Micro with native DSD playback support. And it works like a charm.

Thanks Rene for inspiring me to discover beauty of Cubox. It’s perfect. Always thought that Intel NUC with all the audio scripts, Fidelizer etc. gives the best sound. I was wrong. Period.



Just wanted to pile on the thanks for this great tutorial… all in all, it took me less than an hour and my pi 3 is now a wonderful Roon endpoint feeding my stereo.

Thanks so much for the work!

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Thank you for persisting and posting the update. I’ve dabbled with a Cubox and a DSD DAC only shortly – and it is entirely possible I was running Vanilla at that time – for that purpose. Anyway – new users wanting to play native DSD now know what to do. :slight_smile:

There is an extra step needed since the November 2016 update to Jessie Lite:

You now need to create a file with no extension called ssh in the root of the boot image.

If you don’t, you won’t be able to ssh into the Pi.

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Help needed - Linux newbie here so I’m following Rene’s instructions word for word.

Basically I can’t connect to the Pi through PUTTY (on my Windows 10 laptop); I get the error message ‘Network Error; Connection Refused’.

Googling the topic most people say it’s because of an IP address conflict. I’ve had problems with IP addresses through my powerline adapters so moved the Pi and connected it directly to the router. still no connection.

I’ve also gone through my McAfee firewall settings and added in a Port 22 as there wasn’t one in place. This made no difference (should there have been one defined in the firewall settings?)

So I’m stuck, any suggestions?

Thanks, Phil

Always helps if you read the post immediately before yours.

This would seem to be the problem. How do I ‘create a file with no extension called ssh in the root of the boot image.’

Raspbian has made an important change since the last release: SSH is now disabled by default.

It can be enabled at boot:

For headless setup, SSH can be enabled by placing a file named ‘ssh’, without any extension, onto the boot partition of the SD card.

Since you’re on Windows, you could save an empty text document without extension to your boot image, I guess.

Rene - how do you do that - the instructions you reference don’t go into any more detail.


That’s because they were written before this was necessary – and posts over here lock themselves for editing over time. :slight_smile:

See my post above. I don’t what your exact plans are with the Pi, but things have moved on since this thread – you may be better served by using DietPi.


I want to use it as a Roon endpoint, nothing else, so looks like DietPi is the way to go.

To get to where I am at the moment presumably I download DietPi, burn to SD card, then SSH using Putty into the Pi? ie basically the same as with Jessie Lite.

If so are there any step by step instructions as per your first post on this thread - they may be in the DietPi thread, I haven’t gone through all 200 posts yet

Thanks for your help, much appreciated


Once you’ve SSH’d in with Putty, you’ll see Dietpi updating and showing you with a menu based system.

If you have a HAT soundboard for your Pi, you can select this in 2. Audio options. In 6. Security options, you can reset your password and your Pi’s hostname. And in the software selection, your can just choose RoonBridge in Software Optimized – everything you’ll need for Roon will be installed automatically.

That’s all! :slight_smile:


I’m using it into a USB DAC so no HAT needed.

Right - I was doing well, got DietPi installed and it was well on the way to installing Roon Bridge when the server lost the connection. I’ve logged in again, will it have completed the installation of Roon in the interim?

I’m also bound to have a few more questions (probably not tonight), should I move them to the DietPi thread?

Rgds, Phil

Most probably – you may want to give your Pi some time to finish the install though. After 10 mins just reboot: if all went well, you’ll see your new RoonBridge in Roon (if the DAC is connected and turned on). If not – just redo the install.

And yeah – let’s move over to the DietPi thread. :slight_smile:

Going to bed now…triumphant…it’s playing Roon.

I have a few more questions but thanks very much for your help



Has anyone used an ifi ipower supply wiht these? If so, can you hear an audible difference?

Not an ifi, but an eBay 5V linear, and it stopped the hifiberry DAC+ buzzing. So it was an improvement for sure, but couldnt do a meaningful test in terms of SQ.