Roon Optimized Core Kit (previously reported as Roon OS)

RoonOS is just a container for running Roon. The API will not extend to RoonOS (I’m not sure what you can do besides poweroff/reboot).

But then is RoonOS like roonserver, i.e. headless and to be controlled via a Roon remote device?

I am running Roon on a NUC65i…ubuntu studio 16.04…output to HQ. Player…
I think I must subscribe…no going back to anything else I have used before (I tested almost everything out there)

Looking forward to this RoonOS…I am waiting for subscription till RoonOS is released…

Happy to try some beta releases…but cannot find any…just saying…:slight_smile:

@Danny…will I be able to output to HQPlayer when I switch to Roon OS?

would love to test a pre release…
I have a NUC NUC6I5SYH, 8Gb DDR4, M2 Sata SSD 250Gb EVO…NAS storage…
and some experience installing software like this…

Now I am using Roon Server (Trial) on this machine/configuration with Ubuntu Studio 64 LTS, output to HQ Player, upsampled everything to DSD 128.
Works perfect, no flaws or hick ups…

cannot wait till this is released…

I was waiting for this…a tight integration between RoonOS and RoonServer, don’t have to worry about Windows updates that sometimes screw up the playback process. Can RoonOS run on existing hardware that already run well on Windows 10? Does RoonOS has a separate licensing deal or lifetime membership users need to purchase again? I’m very excited to see this, it is a game changer for Roon!

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I should clarify what “Roon OS” is, since everyone is asking questions that seem to be revolving around what they think this thing is.

First, it is going to be renamed to “Roon Optimized Core Kit”, as it will not be a typical operating system.

This is is what it offers (and what it doesn’t offer):

  • it is completely free ($0)
  • it is an alternative to Windows/MacOS/Ubuntu/Arch/etc…
  • it runs Roon (The stock Linux RoonServer to be exact), but does not come with a Roon membership. You need to bring that yourself.
  • it is an extremely lightweight Linux-based operating system. Much more on the scale of an embedded machine than a desktop or server operating system.
  • it is a turn-key image with all required pieces to make a Linux based Roon appliance without any prior knowledge of Roon or Linux
  • it should be near silent or completely silent, depending on hardware
  • it runs on a few hardware configurations that are easy to purchase worldwide, reliable, and perform at a level at which we think provides a good Roon experience for libraries of various sizes, taking into account future enhancements (to the best of our abilities).
  • any hardware configurations not sanctioned (owned, built-for, and tested) by the Roon Labs team are unsupported, and although they may work, they may also stop working at any time due to updates.
  • it will auto-update in an experience similar to Roon, integrated fully into the Roon Remotes’ Settings->About page.
  • it will provide a web browser based configuration for networking setup, factory reset, power/reboot, etc…
  • it will not be able to run additional software, nor will it support any customizations or modifications to the operating system
  • it has beta level support for some WiFi chipsets, including the one built into the 6th generation NUCs.
  • it has support for multiple USB based ethernet adapters, plus the built-in ethernet.
  • it supports the NUC5 and NUC6 Core i3 and i5 series machines, with 1 internal m.2 SSD (64GB or larger)) and 4GB (or more) of RAM. No additional internal drives are supported.
  • it uses some of the M.2 SSD for the environment and Roon, but the rest is for Roon’s databases. You can not store music on this SSD.
  • it can use your existing USB hard drives and NAS for music storage, and you can migrate your Roon databases over to it. Filesystems supported: EXT2/3/4 VFAT/FAT32/FAT16/EXFAT NTFS HFSPLUS HFS and it can mount SMB shares.
  • it exposes your USB drives as an SMB share (micro-NAS!)
  • Roon 1.3 supports a new filebrowser and backup system (for you Roon database, not the actual music content) that works well with truly headless appliances
  • It supports USB and the built-in NUC audio outputs – in exclusive mode.

If you ask more specific questions, I will update this list and delete your question to keep this thread more focused.

I know this meets some of your needs, and others are going to be disappointed by the limitations. Those people can run their own Linux based distribution and do anything they want.


Someone has to ask: do you plan on a backup facility for the data drive (say an incremental backup from drive A to B)?

not yet… but we are thinking about it… amazon cloud drive is cheap enough to do off-site backups now. We have requested approval to use their API.

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You would need to run HQP on a different machine because the Core Kit will only run Roon. As with any Roon Core you can configure an HQP Network Zone by entering the IP address of the machine running HQP.

So this is actually a Linux distribution like Volumio right?
I suppose the RoonServer in Roon Optimized Core Kit is like the MPD in Volumio. What are other differences by comparing to popular audio Linux distributions?


You can’t compare it to Volumio. Volumio runs quite a bit of software written by various third parties that don’t know about each other. This thing is Roon only, all throughout.

  1. The performance is incredible. Boot in <2 seconds, full update (post-download) in ~30s. Everything is snappy and built from the ground up for Roon.
  2. It doesn’t feel like Linux, or any other operating system. It feels like Roon. There is no point in hooking up a keyboard or display – you can’t do anything. The web UI is small and clean, and does a few tasks very well, and with a lot of information. It is really hard to mess up, and if you do, it’s easy to recover. This is a DIY embedded appliance system, not an user controllable operating system.
  3. The entire OS is VERY small – this is including a giant ffmpeg binary for MP3/AAC codecs:
Filesystem                Size      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root                 1.9G     93.4M      1.7G   5% /
/dev/sda3                 1.9G     82.7M      1.8G   4% /roon/app
/dev/sda4                55.0G    182.3M     54.8G   0% /roon/data
  1. kernel and modules optimized for audio, and everything is configured to work best with Roon. There is nothing else in the system, so all middle men and hooks are removed. Roon -> kernel -> hardware. That’s it.

Thanks, sounds good. Seems like this is more like an appliance solution for audio.


yes, \HOST\Data\Storage\ will contain 1 folder per partition

You can do it with the share, or you can do it by drag/dropping files/folders to Roon Remote on Mac/PC.

no option for the share, it just is always there, with guest login and full read/write support.


it doesn’t at the moment, but I know what needs to be done to do it.

possibly… our team are not fans of spinning down spinning disks as it causes massive delays in accessibility

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DoP works fine – it doesn’t require anything more than bitperfect delivery of PCM data.

Depends on the time of inactivity setting. If it spins down after one hour or even two hiurs or so it would be active almost all of the time you use it and will be idle for the rest of the day. I’m not a big fan of running harddrives 24/7 but maybe that’s no problem anymore for modern harddrives.

Yes, all 3 should be supported. There may be some minor peripheral things about the i7 version, like thunderbolt ports, that may need some tweaking… I don’t have one, but I am happy to work with someone who does.

3 posts were split to a new topic: Roon Core Kit machine support