Running Roon on Mac Mini Late 2009 - should I run OS X or Win 10?

Hi there - I’m currently running Roon Server on my 2011 iMac which is mostly fine but I’d like to off-load to a dedicated headless server.

I have a Mac Mini Late 2009 gathering dust in a box somewhere - I’ve seen posts from a couple of years back saying that Roon was working fine on those machines at that time.

I appreciate this is under spec but I don’t plan on doing much DSP and am happy to max out ram and put in a SSD to give it some oomph!

My question then is, would it be better to run Roon in native OS X or in Windows 10?

These are the unmodified specs:
The Apple Mac mini “Core 2 Duo” 2.26 (Late 2009) features a 2.26 GHz Intel “Core 2 Duo” (P7550) processor, a 3 MB on-chip level 2 cache, a 1066 MHz frontside bus, 2 GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM (PC3-8500) memory, a 160 GB Serial ATA hard drive, a slot-loading 8X double-layer “SuperDrive”, and a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256 MB of memory shared with the system.

Connectivity includes Mini-DVI and Mini DisplayPort, a Firewire “800” port, five USB 2.0 ports, combined “optical digital audio input/audio line in” and combined “optical digital audio output/headphone” minijacks, a 10/100/1000Base-T Gigabit Ethernet port, and built-in AirPort Extreme (802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR.

If you could add a SSD and make it up to at least 4gb RAM it should go but I can’t help but feel that it might be sluggish in searches and general operation. What I would consider is making it a Linux box running nothing but RoonServer and SSH. But all this is said with the proviso that it is under specified so you may run into performance issues.

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For a small sized library you might get away with it…try it (using OS X) if its not great then you will know…personally I won’t even run mine on a 2011 mini, barely on a 2014 i5…I have 300K tracks and use an i7-7700 windows Fanless PC 16GB and SSD. no complaints.

Hello @MrDenis,

A Core 2 Duo does not quite meet our Minimum suggested requirements and while the SSD and RAM upgrade will help, you still might run into some performance-related issues down the line, it’s hard to say.

How large is your library and where do you plan to have you library stored? Would it be on the SSD or an external spinning disk? How will the Mac Mini be connected to the network, are you planning to use Ethernet?


I have that vintage Mini w SSD and 8GB of RAM and it ran ROON like a dog. But I have a big library.

XThanks Norris - I have about 100K tracks - the library would be a directly attached hard disk drive with the server connected to network via wired Ethernet

Do you have any idea whether that machine architecture will run Roon better on OSX or Win 10 or even Linux?


Your os won’t matter…I’m betting with 100k tracks it’s not going to be a happy bunny, and nor will you.

Thanks for letting us know that info @MrDenis. With an SSD and enough RAM it may run but our recommendation is that you’ll probably want a faster machine. I’ve gone ahead and moved this thread over to #software so you can get more feedback from the community.

– Noris

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