Roon Bridge setup on NUC

Can someone give me step-by-step instructions to put Roon Bridge on my NUC?

I have a NUC Intel NUC7PJYH with 8gb memory.


First you need to say what operating system you are running on the NUC…

I was running Windows 10 from a USB saved to memory, but I want to erase all that because my DAC did not recognize the Roon Bridge sometimes. I tried other fixes and I want to restart the process. Can I just download a new operating system or just use LInux?

Hmm. Second I think you should say why you want to put Roon Bridge on to the NUC. What are you trying to achieve here? What is the rest of your Roon ecosystem like, and how do you see Roon Bridge fitting in?

I have the Roon Core on a mac mini. My music is on a NAS. I have a NUC connected via Ethernet to the NAS. The NUC is connected via USB to a DAC. I want the Roon Bridge to play music on the DAC. Is that not the right format?

Well, when you say “I have a NUC connected via Ethernet to the NAS”, you may be thinking that the music files are being streamed from the NAS directly to the NUC. They aren’t.

It’s the Core that does the streaming to the Roon Bridge on the NUC, using the RAAT protocol over ethernet. The Core will read the music files from the NAS, and then stream them to the NUC.

Which leads me to my next question: how is your Mac Mini connected to your network? Not by WiFi, I hope, because for best results, the Core should always be wired to the network.

Now back to the NUC. You have a DAC connected to it, and you want to set it up as a Roon Endpoint zone. You have three options:

  1. Install Windows and Roon Bridge for Windows on it.
  2. Install Linux and Roon Bridge for Linux on it.
  3. Install ROCK on it. This will give you both a Roon Core and a Roon Endpoint for your DAC. You just don’t use the Core on the NUC - leave it alone, and continue using the Core on your Mac Mini (if that’s what you’re happy using).

You don’t say what your DAC is. Be aware that not all DAC manufacturers support Linux, they only provide drivers for Windows or MacOS. If your DAC is from one of these manufacturers, then options 2 and 3 above are ruled out for you.

The Mac Mini and NUC are connected via Ethernet to a Ethernet switch.

Endpoint, that’s the word!

I have a Lampizator DAC it supports Linux and Windows.

Would you recommended installing ROCK on the NUC? If so, how do I do that?

Well, it’s your decision. If you’re familiar with Windows or Linux, you can go with whichever you are most comfortable with.

Personally, I like the “appliance” nature of ROCK - I don’t need to play sysadmin as I do with Windows and Linux. On the other hand, your Intel NUC7PJYH has a Pentium CPU, so it’s not in list of Roon’s supported NUCs. Since you would be using it just as an endpoint, the Pentium is more than adequate for this role, and others in the community have used these NUCs successfully.

So you could always try installing ROCK, and I think it would be perfectly fine. But, as I say, it’s your decision.

I would like to try ROCK. How do I do that? Is it as simple as following these instructions:

Should I clear out the NUC from saving the old windows program first?

Installing ROCK will wipe your SSD - so if there is Windows data that you need to save, do that first before installing ROCK. Follow the Install Guide…

Ok. Thank you for your help, Geoff.

If you don’t need the NUC for anything else but Roon, then ROCK is the way to go. Maybe then you will also want to transfer your Roon Core to the NUC+ROCK to get rid of the Mini Mac from the chain, or only to use it as a controller, or along the mobile remote control app if you want…

Many LampizatOr DAC uses Amanero USB module. If it is not running a recent Amanero firmware, ROCK or other Linux distributions will not output native DSD256 to it, assuming your DAC supports DSD256 or DSD512.

That is interesting. Yes, my DAC does support DSD. How would I get the most recent firmware? I guess from LampizatOr.

I would like to prevent the most noise entering the system so I would run the NUC as the end point and still use the mac mini in another room as the core. I heard this is a good way.

How would that be a better solution? I thought it’s always best to have as short and simple signal/data path as possible. If I understand your setup correctly, then today you have mac mini as your core, that downloads and streams all the data. The data then go to your router, then to your NUC and then to DAC via USB. If you make your NUC with Roon OS a Roon core, all the data will be downloaded and processed there, sent by USB directly to DAC. You will only control the NUC with mini mac, or with a mobile app (removing the need of turning the mini mac on to listen to music). That’s a shorter data path and more logical setup to me, but I might be missing something. If you’re worried, that the NUC could introduce some noise to the DAC, well that would happen in either way and in fact with Roon OS, the potential for that is also lower, since it’s a stripped down ‘appliance level’ OS dedicated for Roon only.

You may be right, Jakub. Right now my music is on a NAS. The mac mini runs the program. If I setup the NUC as just the endpoint it is not doing all the processing. Is that correct on how Roon works: the core does all the processing, which can introduce noise into the data stream? I am under the impression, which may be wrong, that the endpoint doesn’t really do any processing and that is what would be feeding the DAC.

I think the data processing part, or the amount of it, is least of a problem when considering what can introduce some noise. Even if the NUC serves only as an endpoint / data transport to DAC, it will still do some data processing, maybe less, but still. The noise usually comes from the hardware itself or in a combination with the software that is running on it. Stripped down appliance level dedicated OS running on it will reduce the risk. So I believe NUC + Roon OS is the best solution as a source with the least potential for noise that you can get with what you have.

Yes, I agree. That is what the mac mini does now. I don’t use it for anything else, except Roon. All other functions are turned off or deleted. The Mac Mini is not connected to any music device and is connected through the house by an ethernet switch. It is about 10 years old and I would like to use it until it functions no more. I will use the NUC now with ROCK as an endpoint until I need to use it as a Core as well.

Understood. Actually, unless you have some issues with noise, or super high-end setup that would give you some audible benefits from reducing the data path (if that’s even a thing), or unless you have some networking issues that could disrupt the streaming from your core to the endpoint, it’s totally fine :slight_smile: