Roon for Linux [done in 1.2]

I must admit that I overlooked the whole ‘proprietary’ technology aspect. Perhaps things could be obfuscated to complicate reverse engineering. Not sure how far that gets us.

There’s no reason the binaries cannot be packaged in such a way the server can be packaged for various distributions.

Have you set a release date for the Linux core server? I hope to set up my test system to evaluate Roon in the next few weeks once I get a Linux jail running on my FreeBSD server.

Any news on this?

The Linux work is pretty much done, and has been for a while, but we can’t release it until the RoonSpeakers software packages are ready, because unlike the other platforms, Roon on Linux never had a “built-in” audio stack of its own–it only knows how to talk to RoonSpeakers + other networked endpoints.

We decided to do something a little bit more ambitious than initially planned with RoonSpeakers–the new audio stack that we’ve developed for RoonSpeakers is going to replace the existing audio components on all of our supported platforms. From a practical standpoint, this enables new RoonSpeakers functionality like synchronized playback, digital volume, and a few other improvements to work for local outputs, too. It also guarantees a consistency in behavior across a wide range of configurations.

It was inevitable that this would happen eventually, the change in plans is that we decided to do it all at once instead of phasing it out over several months. We feel that some of the intermediate states during the phase-out would lead to a lot of confusion and artificial limitations, which would be difficult to explain and more difficult to support.

This more-ambitious piece of RoonSpeakers work is under active development right now, in parallel with supporting a bunch of manufacturers doing integrations of their own. Once that stuff is releasable, we will release RoonSpeakers+Linux together.


Thanks for the update Brian. :slight_smile:

Any decisions on which Linux platforms you will be supporting?

We’ll provide a tarball option, so any per-distribution packaging that we do is for convenience, not compatibility. Roon is very self-contained, and has very few dependencies (libc, kernel, alsa).

We will require x86-64. I suspect that we will require a relatively recent, but not bleeding edge kernel/libc. The same hardware spec recommendations as for the other platforms apply here too.

Roon will self-update after install using its own mechanism, just as it does on windows+mac, so any packaging is just about providing a smoother experience during the initial install. We haven’t made final decisions about which package systems we will support yet, but it’s likely that we will at least do relatively distribution-agnostic .deb and .rpm packages in addition to the .tar.gz.


Sounds brilliant. Will NFS mounts be supported?

Presumably that would be up to the OS. The reason it’s called NFS is because it’s a file system - at the system level there is really no difference to any other file system.

Not explicitly, but there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from setting up an NFS mount with the OS and then adding it as a watched folder.

@brian - it’s absolutely amazing to see a CTO getting their “hands dirty” on a public forum,

Really looking forward to trying out Roon once there’s a version that suits my OS sensibilities…


What distro(s) do you like Boris ?

Have you had any experience with AudioLinux ? It’s an ArchLinux variant optimised for audio.

@andybob I’m slightly dubious about people charging for GPL software…


Coming from Windows it all feels like a bargain !

I’m happy to pay a reasonable amount for media, tested installs and pre-configured third party software. I see it as a kind of insurance against my boundless capacity to stuff things up.

What Boris said… ! +1

Apologies if I’m showing my ignorance publicly, but is there ANY credible evidence that Audiolinux is ANY improvement over an appropriately (minimally) configured Arch Linux install? Or maybe this is a little like Windows Fedelizer criticisms - “works great, but nothing you can’t do yourself”. The trick is knowing what to do…

This is no different than Audio Optimizer + Windows Server 2012. @AudioPhil did a ton of work to make a Windows system about as minimal as you can get.

Trimming a Linux distro is easy if you know what to do, but knowing is the hard part :smile:

HI Steve,

I thought the latency measurements on the front page of the AudioLinux site linked in my post were interesting. But I have to confess that a lot of my interest is because I’m quite happy to leave it to others to minimise the configuration.

Why am I thinking of moving to Linux from AO optimised Server2012R2 ? Well there is that little matter of a licence fee to Microsoft at the end of the six month trial period…

He’s charging for the image and/or usb stick.

you can download all the real meat of the work here for free: and

but then you’d have to put together a OS to put on your disk.