Roon software requiring ROCK in the future?

In reading the current Stereopile review of the Innous Statement the review stated that Roon would be requiring ROCK as the OS in the future. I would like to understand if that is true and what it means for everything from macOS to all of the Linux variants out there.


Any link to the review? Doesn’t sound like something roon would do as rock is a Diy core installation for non Linux/windows/Mac setups. I run rock but I doubt the other builds will be going away.

That isn’t feasible. It alienates a pretty large part of their subscriber base. It doesn’t matter to me as a ROCK user but I’d be very surprised if Roon decided to abandon their cross platform philosophy. I’ve also had a good poke around the Stereophile website and not seen anything going all the way back to mid November.

got a link or photo?

I take it from Danny’s question…the he is as perhaps surprised as the rest of us.

Did a quick search. Only recent link I could find was this:


On the bottom right although I don’t read it in the same way, reads more 3rd parties will have to use Rock not end users?

Agreed - and I can understand that having this in place for 3rd parties would be advantageous for Roon (particularly from a support perspective). The 3rd parties might push back though - will they be able to add their own bells and whistles?

Addendum: I see that the reviewer writes of using Grand Prix Apex support feet and Nordost Odin power cables etc. I suspect I’m from a different planet.

Danny someone below put up a photo of the page. The article is confusing and I thought that you all should see it.

This, stated as you did, is not true. There is no planned requirement for Roon to be run on ROCK. In fact, ROCK doesn’t even make sense as it is our free DIY distribution of Roon OS, and our even our own product Nucleus does not run ROCK; it runs a slightly different version of Roon OS.

If you alter “ROCK” to be “Roon OS”, it also is not true. We have no plans to deprecate the Linux/MacOS/Windows options.

All that said, the article (which a photo of is shown above) does not state either. It makes a claim that “all Roon Server partners will be required to run ROCK”. This is also false, as we explicitly do not allow partners to redistribute ROCK. Some manufacturers do it anyway, but it is against our software distribution policy. They are not our partners (nor our friends).

We killed the “Roon Core” partner program years ago. It was a soft program, with no certifications or endorsements. We basically allowed some manufacturers to redistribute the RoonServer software for Linux on their machines.

For years now, this granting of access to redistribute RoonServer has been denied to all newly inquiring manufacturers. It was nothing but pain for our support team, and while many end-users have been happy, our largest group of complaints also come from buyers of third-party servers. Innuos and a handful of others are from before the killing of the program.

One exception to this was Merging Technologies, which ships a customized version of Roon OS (they add Ravenna support) on their NADAC+PLAYER. Those machines are stable, fast, sound great.

Recently, we have decided to allow others to also ship Roon OS in a manner that is more fitting proper certification, including having our teams sign off on the integration and have the physical products in-home for support purposes. This should bring up the quality of the experience to the levels you see from Roon Ready partners.



I was confused by the article and I am glad that you helped us understand what is going on. My statement was to “echo” what I read. I was not sure it was right so I came here to the source to validate it.

Thank you for your kind responses.

I am a very happy use of your software, Thank you


PS I think Stereophile needs to “retract” that section of the review.

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Well spotted, I missed that.

All that said ROCK is a great solution given the price point of the hardware its designed to run on and Roon should be very proud of it as it removes many of the variables associated with running you core in a multitude of different platforms and physical setups that have many other programs and settings that can throw spanners in the works when something isn’t quite as it should be.

It does have a slightly higher technical expertise required but really is the way to go if you can deal with the setup.

I quoted the memory playback discussion in response to the previous post that referred to an:

intriguing reference to “Roon Experimental Mode which uses the memory playback of the Innuos”.

It seemed to me to be related. The discussion is about whether there is any audible advantage in holding entire tracks in RAM as opposed to using RAM to buffer the playback in smaller chunks. Perhaps someone could clarify what this Innous “experimental mode” actually is?

Just seeing this now.

Here’s a quote from the guidance we received from Roon when we attempted to sort this matter out prior to the article’s publication. I’m quoting selectively to leave out the name of the other company involved. Those coming from the article will know who it is, but I see no point in involving them in this discussion.

[G]oing forward, Roon Server will no longer be packaged with any new products from any manufacturer, . . … Existing products that were bundled (so to speak) with Roon Server will still function, and as long as those existing products continue to be sold, those products can still be sold with Roon Server. New or replacement products will not be authorized to run Roon Server, not will manufacturers be authorized as resellers/bundlers of Roon Server.

The full Roon OS provides a better user experience, …

So, we mistook “full Roon OS” for “ROCK”, not realizing that, apparently, there is more than one Roon operating system, or more than one version.

Also, from the last line, we surmised that any partner that wished to implement Roon in their products would need to run “full Roon OS” (which, as previously stated, we mistakenly interpreted as “ROCK”) instead of only running Roon Server. It certainly does seem implied. But perhaps we misinterpreted that part, too?

I take full responsibility for the errors, and will print a correction if it seems warranted.

Jim Austin, Editor

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Roon Server is not ROCK…its most likely the Linux build that’s being distributed against roon wishes. Even packaging Roon Bridge is not allowed and plenty have maybe been doing that too.


There are people who are quite explicitly offering ROCK on silent NUC type builds. Look at the Cirrus7 thread to see what I am talking about.

Im sure there are those too…but Roon Server is still not ROCK

No, that’s the correct interpretation. One clarification: this is for server partners, not audio partners. Roon ready and Roon Tested programs still apply to them (Roon Bridge is not available as always).

This basically formalizes the server program to the same place where Roon Ready is. Manufacturers have never been allowed to run Roon Bridge, they must do a proper Roon Ready integration.

A post was split to a new topic: endorsing Allo?