Roon Core on Windows Server 2019 in headless mode - Music Library Box

Hi All,
Good day
I need help and inputs please.
I am a newbie to Roon software, ( have very limited experience )
I want to build my music library Box, using Roon core ( prefer to run Roon core on Windows 2019 Headless mode )
using a fanless PC with linear Power supply
USB card will be SOtm tX-USBexp, this card output to an external DAC
PC will have a 4TB SATA SSD drive to hold my existing music connection (I want to house music here to reduce transport over network )
I will control my music library using Roon on my iphone ( thus I will have access to my Tidal and my music collection on SSD )

thanks so much, and have a great Xmas.


I have seen some postings mentioned that Roon core can be install on Windows 2019 headless mode but not too much details

Ultimately, driver availabitlity for SOtm driver of tX-USBexp ( Linux or Windows drivers ) may dictate a different direction for me of Linux or Windows deployment .

I can’t see any issues with your suggested setup.
I am actually running a very similar setup myself.
Asus Prime z-590 mb, 16Gb DDR4 Ram, Samsung 250Gb 980 Pro m.2 NVMe for Win11 and Roon Server (this is the package you want, Core and Bridge, but Control is left to other devices).
I dont use SSD in this one, but 10Tb WD Red for media.
I use the SOtM txUSB Ultra separately powered by a 9V LPSU but the PC is using a custom built Longdog Audio filtered switchmode PSU and a 400W Nano ATX-PSU.
The Intel Core i5-11400 consumes a lot of power on some occasions, hence the need for a switch mode PSU.
It is built into a Streacom FC-10 fanless chassi, and it’s extremely stable and good sounding.

PS It’s on IsoAcoustics pro feet and its ground plane is connected to an Entreq Olympus Ten, two great tweaks with good effect per cost!

Hello Steven, Merry Christmas and welcome to Roon.

By default Server 2019 will have the firewall set to “Public”. Will need to change it to “Private” to be seen on network and of course setting it up with a Static IP. The Static is not required but highly recommended.


Are you planning on running any other software on this box?

hi Mikael

good day
thank you for your time, to reply, I am very grateful.
at this stage, it is a feasibility study ( technically and budget wise ! )

have you ever considered of switching from W11 to Windows 2012/2016/2019 headless to reduce OS to a minimum in order to keep the noise down ?

I am not even sure if Sotm has windows server drivers to make this choice possible.
I need to google a bit more ! LOL

Have a safe and wonderful new year.



you have had any experience with the use of sOtm sCLK-EX ? together with the txUSB card ?

btw, 10TB drive… you must have huge collection of music… ! ever consider to replace it with SSD drive ?.. 2x 4TB SSD SATA … to reduce noise and increase speed

1 Like

hi xxx

good day
no, this will only run Roon Core



Why Windows Server is my next question.

Did you install Server itself and do you have the install media?

Have you considered using ROCK?

If i’m not totally misguided i think that won’t be a problem. It’s a pretty generic USB Controller logically:

I haven’t tried the Ultra Clock, i don’t even think it’s compatible with my card? (No BNC/clock entry)
Regarding OS choice and SSD for media, i have an 8Tb SSD in my alternate Roon Server (Also a Streacom but a slimmer FC-5 Evo with an Intel NUC10i7 transplanted into it, fanlessly.)
I have a low powered Win 10 running Audiophile Optimizer also but to be quite frank, i don’t hear significant differences. I actually feel that the bigger real estate of the ATX mobo provide a less noisy environment for my “precious bits”! :wink:
SSD is not my first choice for media storage as they draw more power on the 5V rails and have way bigger dynamically demands on the power supplies on board, which you know are switched ones? No, the very slight mechanical noise is not an issue for me, and the sound quality as a streamer is sufficient as is! :smiley:
(It’s mostly used as a server to networked endpoints)

hi Mikael,

good day
you have given me some very good information, eg, streacom cases… , they look so good !
i love the look of them, FC10

i have good networking and general PC skills, but very little experience in the audiophile area.
there are so many creative and helpful minds on this forum, it is wonderful to see.

My initial objectives are: ( to cut down as much noise as possible )

  1. storage on the roon core server as a music library , to avoid streaming across my NAS , thus all the storage will be on here.
  2. Roon server will stream to my DAC ( I dont have a DAC yet and still looking around )

so far, this is where i am at
my silent " beautiful" PC is the streamer,
all the noise that we are trying to minimise on this PC … ( if I can hear the difference ! )
ultimately , it comes down to USB output

do you have any experience with USB reclockers… this and that

Can you pls also share what you have as a DAC ?

the 2-3 possible components that i need to get
( PC, usb reclocker , DAC )
this can be an expensive exercise…

what you have shared with me was also interesting, eg SSD drive are noisier and more demand on power than traditional drives… , I would have thought the opposite ! ( LOL, show you how much experience i have )

Hi xxx,
thanks for your post.
re, Why Windows ? , I am more familiar with Windows, ( but also have limited experience with Linux )
I have Windows install media.
i have not considered using ROCK, this option locked me in with Intel NUC ?

are you using ROCK ? this is based on cutdown Linux right ?


ROCK will run on more than a NUC. When it’s on something else people refer to it as a MOCK. Yes, ROCK is a heavily modified Linux. Really, written from scratch using a sub-set of Linux routines. You don’t need any experience with Linux to run ROCK. There is nothing you can do, except an install. The OS itself is locked down. One can’t even SSH into it. So, no worries.

It will probably run on your PC. I asked if you had the installation media for Windows so if you try ROCK and it doesn’t work, then you can do a reinstall of Windows Server.

I don’t believe Windows Server is a good fit for ROON. It seems like an unnecessary hassle. IMO, ROCK is the only way to run Roon. If you do run ROCK, that can be the only software on the machine.

The only problem is the USB card you want to use. Don’t know if ROCK will recognize it. You can’t add any drivers to ROCK. Maybe someone else knows about that. @danny?

IMHO, this card is a waste of money. If you are (unnecessarily) worried about the quality of the USB port you can always connect thru a DDC (at about the same price as the card) or use a network connection to a streamer of some sort. An RPi is as good as any, although I’m sure people will disagree there. If you’ve already bought the card, then so be it.

My 2 cents.

Have fun building your system.

See this -

hi xxx,

good day
always grateful for your inputs.
are you saying that you can install ROCK on a generic PC ? I did not know this
and you more likely to be right, if one can not add drivers for the Sotm card… then I have to reconsider other option

Could you pls share your experience with DDC , is this same a USB reclockers ?

you also brought up a interesting topic
using a RPi…
there are more options nowaday…
top level view

RPi, with upgraded power supply ( somehow, using linear power supply )
running Roon end point
then, invest in USB reclocker to feed the DAC
this option involves me streaming my local music thru NAS ( trying to avoid this )
wonder if RPi can host a m2 drive, 1TB is sufficient for me at the moment

trying to avoid RPi … cause of limited power , however these are options to considered


Hi Steve,

A couple of things. Windows runs RoonServer just fine. As well as Rock, imho, and, if you are familiar with Windows than stick with it. Especially, if you want to add different hardware for your use case as ROCK is locked down and you cannot load or modify anything with the OS.

While it is true that you can load ROCK on PCs other than the specified Intel NUCs, MOCKs as you’ve been told; keep in mind they are not officially supported. So, if you have any issues you will ask for help in the Tinkering section.

1 Like

Try, it will probably work. Many people have MOCKs on less than appropriate machines.

I feed my DAC from the NUC’s USB port. I use a Denafrips Iris. I have a long run of USB cable, but even still I probably didn’t need to do it. Just a superstition and the price was negligible, relatively speaking.

BTW - Don’t mind @Rugby. Even though what he says is true, he’s a bit of a Windows fan boy. :laughing:

I wouldn’t spend money on a USB reclocker (or DDC) if i was using the SOtM txUSB Ultra in the first place. Like @xxx i was fairly sceptical about the benefits of the USB card, but i grabbed a used one.
And at first (internally powered, from the same PSU as the mobo) i wasn’t particularly impressed. However, i did find a good external 9V power supply and tried separating power.
Now, this is what this card is all about, the difference were clearly noticeable and i have kept this config since.

I am 90% sure i have successfully ran the SOtM txUSB card in a MOCK machine also btw. (It works with Roon OS)

Anyway, i have used the direct connection from my current server to these DAC’s:
Nagra HD DAC (does not need power from host, VERY good results)
Chord Hugo TT
Chord Hugo 2
Audiobyte Black Dragon
Auralic Altair G1 (USB input)

And there has been a few others on visit also, like the Rockna Wavelight, Chord Hugo TT2, Qutest and others.

A friend has built a highly specialized server, similar to mine and he swears by the Taiko power supplies and JCAT USB and Ethernet cards. Problem is, you’re spending a lot of money in the wrong end of the stick, IMHO. I would also recommend looking at an ethernet based streamer (or a streaming DAC) rather than going down the server rabbit hole, as the returns (on invested $) are somewhat sparse…
Yes, even a Pi (with a good power supply) will sound very good and first and foremost, be completely stable and functional.

Sorry for confusing with too many options, but that is the way of this world… choice, choice choice… :smiley:

ROCK on a NUC is definitely hands off, you spend maybe an hour putting it together along with your 4Tb SSD inside, the download the ROCK software onto a USB stick and load it .

Hide it in a cupboard and forget about it.

I moved from Windows 10 6 months ago, short of turning it on and off I haven’t touched it since other than plugging a USB drive in it.

It just works

However if you like to get at the innards of your PC who am I to comment :sunglasses:

Yup, you don’t need both.

So, in Roon, txUSB card is GTG.

I think this statement is a little misleading. You still need a server of some sort to run Core. The counsel, that @Mikael_Ollars is giving, is not to run from USB, but to use Ethernet.

@Steven_Tran, try ROCK. It is hassle free (and cost free) once installed. Yes, you won’t get any support from Roon if you have problems, but you probably won’t need any support, either.