Setup advice for a Linux based Roon system?


I have just ordered a mini pc, I intend to run headless with Roon Core/Server and a Backup utility. I have purchased a bare bones PC, 16GB of RAM a 250GB SSD and two 3TB HDD. I intend to run a Linux OS, possibly Ubuntu.

Am I correct in thinking I should install the OS and Roon Core / Server / Backup utility on the SSD and music files on the HDD’s? If so, is there a need to partition the SDD to separate the OS from the Program Files?

My objective is optimal performance and stability. As close to run and forget as possible. Please note I am a Linux newbie.

Any advice gratefully received


Run the OS, Roon Server and the Roon data on the SSD. Pretty much everything except your music. You don’t need to partition the SSD. I got mine running on Ubuntu Server 16.04 LTS, added a missing dependency and ran the script for Roon Server. All I needed was something like SMB to expose the music files to your network and SSH to allow you on to the computer for admin. It took me a couple of hours first time, 30 minutes thereafter (lots of experimenting).

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I would also be considering moving on to ROCK once that is launched. Now that 1.3 allows easy back ups you will be able to restore any initial database edits more easily.

Yes, maybe wait a bit for ROCK and see the ROCK requirement for reference

Many thanks to all, Especially Henry_McLeod. Unfortunately Hardware is purchased and its not ROCK complaint, from what I have read. Maybe next time round.

As this is my first bite of Linux, I think I am going to try a Desktop OS, not a Server. Do people agree Unbuntu is a good choice for first time Linux experience for a non Techie?

It is popular, so it will have plenty of support from other users. It is probably worth pointing out though that even if you go with a Linux desktop environment, you will not be able to do anything with/to Roon with it. The only true Roon desktop apps run on 32 and 64 bit Windows and MAC OSX. And you will still need to be installing and adding any necessary dependencies using a console window. For that reason I would still go with a server version if you intend to go headless.

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Thanks Henry, I take on board your comments, will look into the server option before committing.

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If you are a Linux newbie, why chose it over Windows?

From my personal perspective I chose Linux over Windows due to cost and overhead. Ubuntu is a lot leaner than Windows. Only issue I’ve had is getting bootable drives sorted for it. Once I’d achieved that it’s been relatively simple to maintain.

Cost yes. Hard to beat free. Overhead? No, not really. While Linux certainly has Windows beat in the “install only what you want” category; when it comes to actually running Roon, Windows has the slight edge due to it being native Window .NET code.

If your goal is to also learn Linux, then go for it. However, if you want an easier environment then Windows hands down. I have used Ubuntu server 16.04 with no GUI. But, my everyday main is still a high powered i7 running Windows.

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There’s a step by step guide for installing Arch Linux in the Linux subforum. I’d go with that over Ubuntu…it’s leaner and snappier. My setup has Arch Linux installed and running on a 16GB Kingston DataTraveler USB 3.1, Roon installed to it as well, but with Roon’s database written to a dedicated SSD and music stored on mechanical drives installed on same machine.

I’d be happy to assist with getting it set up.

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Lets not ignore the OP’s stipulation. He wants “optimal performance and stability. As close to run and forget as possible”.
You’ll have to forgive my directness but that isn’t Windows 10. Not with anti virus and malware programmes that have to be run, even if you use the native ones. Not with that clunky update process that again has to be run and certainly not with the amount of communicating Windows does to the Internet. If the penalty for unloading all of that or doing some of it more elegantly in Linux is the overhead of having to use code written in .NET then so be it. Also to install Ubuntu Server or an alternative like Arch you need to figure a different way of administering an OS but you don’t need to “learn Linux”. Once installed to your liking you need less than a dozen commands for various bits of housekeeping like a monthly or quarterly update and reboot. Security updates can be automated.
There is some work to do to begin with but it isn’t hard, just different and there are plenty of guides on the Internet.

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All said, if ROCK becomes hardware agnostic and allows local drives I’d switch to that as its objective is to be turnkey.

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Why I am even considering Linux is exactly what Henry has mentioned, the need for regular anti virus scans, the seemingly endless updates, essentially the ongoing maintenance. My desire, if achievable, is setup and forget. For that, (I think) I am prepared for some pain at the outset with Linix. If Linux ends up beyond my capabilities, I’ll fall back to Windows.

Thanks Evan. I’ll take a look and may call on your offer of assistance.

FYI, I picked up a cheap MSI Cubi. i3 processor, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM, and 2 off 3TB USB drives. I’m sure its not perfect, but its a start. My collection inst massive ~ 300 albums in uncompressed FLAC. I intend to use a Hifiberry as end point, at least to start.

Has anyone specifically told you the Cubi won’t work with ROCK? If it is mSATA instead of M.2, it would be interesting to see how different that makes it and if that would stop an attempted ROCK install assuming it is a gen 5 or later.

It’s msata. Not sure about Gen. Fingers crossed it’s ROCK compliant. That could be perfect. Am I correct that ROCK is not available yet?

Nope not yet. ROCK is being tuned to specific hardware. It was postponed because they wanted to add support for internal storage. The first iteration only supported storage on attached devices. When they release ROCK they will also announce the supported hardware. See.

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I have recently installed Ubuntu, following the guides from Roon on a NUC 4th gen.For me it was also the necessary endless updates of Windows that made the difference. If you take the version a graphical interface ( I used Mint) it is very simple and actually windows-like. The installation of Linux itself is easy, when you have it on a USB stick, and the command lines for installing Roon can just be copied. I have my music on a server, which was recognisable like it is in windows. I haven’t touched it since installing it. I can only recommend going this route.