Roon Server on Raspberry Pi 5, please

Hi Room Team,
I believe the time may have come to make Roon Core available for Linux on Arm64. It’s been available for Intel/AMD on Windows, Mac and Linux for a good long time, and an Arm64-native build has been available to run on Apple Silicon for more than a year now.

A previous topic raised this for Raspberry Pi 4 a couple of years back, but at the time, two main objections were raised: (1) perceived performance gaps on RPI4 platform (mostly around speed to storage), and (2) “Roon Core only available on Intel”.

Re. item (2), since that first post, Roon Core has been available on a native Apple Silicon build for more than a year now, so we know it runs beautifully on Arm64. Code base should no longer be a major obstacle.

And, re. item (1), we know Raspberry Pi 5 already provides (a) significant performance improvements to MicroSD card storage, and (b) upcoming support (via NVMe HAT) for direct 1x PCI Express channel to high speed NVMe 2230 or 2242 storage.

I believe the time may well have arrive where it is feasible to run a fully fledged Roon Core on a RPi5, with all the advantages this will bring: low power consumption (vs. my Macbook), always on (and my Macbook can go to sleep and stay asleep), decoupling my home Roon audio and hifi setup, and keeping it functional, from my Macbook, which may be away from home when I am at work, etc.

What say you, Roon Team?

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I’ve moved your post from the Linux category to the Feature Suggestions category where it can be voted on by other customers and will be read by the Roon team.

Don’t forget to vote for your own suggestion using the Vote button at the top of the thread. Thanks.

Thank you Geoff :slight_smile:

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Hi,

I’m eager to become a subscriber of Roon as I think it would add a lot of value to my system. The hurdle that’s preventing me from doing so is that I currently don’t have an always-on server which meets the specs for Roon Server. Is there any update on the prospects of being able to install Roon Server on a raspberry pi?

I know this was previously discussed here Roon Server on Raspberry Pi but it seems to have reached a bit of a dead end. I wondered if there was any update following the release of the pi 5?

My setup:

  • I have a Synology NAS with a bunch of my music which I’d like to explore with Roon, but it’s armv7l and very underpowered so not suitable
  • I have a raspberry pi 4b with a TOS audio output (via a hifiberry Digi+) into my hifi. I was hoping to use this for Roon Server but it seems that it’s incompatible with current versions listed here https://help.roonlabs.com/portal/en/kb/articles/linux-install#Overview
  • I have a laptop which could run Roon Server but it will often be off/unavailable when I’m streaming so it’s not well suited to acting as a server.
  • I wouldn’t mind buying new hardware if it’s modestly priced (i.e. a pi 5) but the budget will definitely not stretch to anywhere near a Roon Nucleus.

Cheers,
Andy

Unlikely it’s still underpowered and running Roons database off an sd card is asking for performance issues and likely corruption. Roon isn’t a light application like a simple UPnP server or LMS it has far more moving parts, needs a decent amount of power to run smoothly hence why they have minimal specs of an intel i3 processor. Until the pis processor can match it for single core speed and have ssd as default it’s just not viable.

Welcome to the Roon community, @Andy_H.

Presently, there is no support for a Linux/ARM Roon Server. Although this may change it is unlikely to support the Raspberry Pi, which isn’t suited to running the server (although it is ideal as a streamer.)

Before buying any new hardware for Roon, I recommend you take up the free trial, and use this with your laptop.

The community has many suggestions for running a cost effective Roon server.

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yes there is, an SD card is not suitable for hosting a Roon Database and a major clog point. Whilst you can add one its not its standard method for storage.

they dont even get near Roons base minimum spec

https://www.cpu-monkey.com/en/compare_cpu-intel_core_i3_10100-vs-raspberry_pi_5_b_broadcom_bcm2712

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I’m sure it will. Harman will sell you a Harman server; which will not be Pi based.

@Franciszek_Piekuta, this statement is not true and is misleading. Please do not express your opinion as fact.

Some years ago, Roon ruled out the ARM architecture for Roon server. Since then, they have been using ARM on macOS and say that Linux/ARM will come later when better hardware is available. No timetable was mentioned.

This information is available in the forum, if you wish to search for it.

Nevertheless, the Raspberry Pi, including the most recent model, is not suitable for running the Roon server.

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Hi, consider a NUC running Linux, I use Debian successfully, it allows me to run Plex server as well. My music is also on a NAS

These days, you can build a NUC11i7PAH ROCK machine with 16GB ram for less than $500.

I’d use your laptop for a trial, and if you are happy with that just build a Rock.

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If you are so convinced that everyone but you is wrong, then you should post proof that you are right, as this would be very easy for you and the fastest way to settle it

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You don’t want to run Roon Server on a Pi. It’s not just about CPU power.

Roon is many things to many people. The feature list is long and convolution (see what I did there?) and there is no way to identify or stop a user from thrashing a Pi setup into oblivion with a combination of those features. It’s not just about the CPU but the memory bus, the way storage is connected, the stability of that storage, network speed, etc. etc. etc. At minimum, Roon needs a NuC type device with “server grade” memory bus and a robust storage solution. Things, without very very careful set-up and a few add-ons, you cannot achieve with a Pi.

Don’t go cheap with Roon. You’ll pay for Roon monthly. Don’t make it a monthly server maintenance exercise.

And I’ll add power now that I’m thinking about it. The power rails on the Pi are very unstable (at least on the 4, I’ve not done anything with a 5). This requires adding additional power supplies and… I mean… Can a Pi work as a server? Sure, and that’d be a fun project, but by the time you added all the extra bits you’d need to make it stable you’d be in NuC price point anyway and you’d be CPU limited while also overclocking it to death. It’s just a bad idea… fun project / bad idea.

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Yes, and I’m sure that Roon Labs will see it as a perfectly reasonable business decision to devote resources into developing and supporting Roon Server on a RPi5 for that handful of users.

Please - this is beginning to look like axe-grinding, which is contrary to the Community Guidelines. Please stop.

https://community.roonlabs.com/faq

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It would work super for a streaming only, no Muse, very limited grouping, Roon server. But that isn’t the product Roon wants to support (my opinion of reading the support threads for many years).

There are plenty of alternatives on the market that do a very adequate job and will run on a Pi.

I think you should calm down

It happens in the heat of the moment, all good

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Before anything gets ugly here I’ll put an official spin on this.

Roon is, and always has been, platform agnostic. As long as the hardware and operating system can provide a good user experience over an extended period of time and there is sufficient demand from our user community we are absolutely willing to investigate support of anything.

I’ll be the first to say that ARM has come a long way and some of the modern implementations absolutely have the compute power to run Roon Server with a high level of performance. Roon requires more than raw CPU power and it’s important that the overall platform have the memory and I/O bandwidth required as well.

Regardless, adding support for a new architecture isn’t as simple as compiling the code and releasing it. There would be a significant investment in terms of engineering, QA, and support resources. In order to justify that expenditure there would need to be significant customer demand.

If you want to show us that this is important to you then head over to the Feature Requests category and let us know! If there’s an existing thread then vote for it, otherwise create a new thread.

Tl;dr – We are always evaluating new ways in which to expand the availability of Roon and if / when generic ARM devices look to be a good investment of resources then we’ll be all over it. Right now there are some technical hurdles and insufficient demand to pursue this.

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Hell, I’ve whacked proxmox on mine with a Linux container running Roon (amongst a heap of other VMs and containers). Gave it crap all resources and runs perfectly fine - runs better than on my main Windows 10 / i7 6770k machine. Roon doesn’t take much in my experience in Linux. Rasp Pi 5 8GB model would probably be fine.

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