Squeezelite on Alix board as a Roon Endpoint - How To

I had an old Alix board (3D2) picking up dust and decided to install squeezelite and try it out as a Roon endpoint. Works great ! I had trouble finding instructions to set it up, so even though this may be somewhat of a “niche” interest, I thought it could be useful to post a “how to” here.


Advantages of this board:

  • cheap (can be found new for around 100$ and on ebay regularly for around 50$)
  • robust
  • very low power consumption, can be left on all the time
  • good sound quality !

Prior to this, I had set up RoonBridge on an Olimex A20 card and was disappointed with the sound quality. Could be the Olimex card is not so suited to USB playback. I also use TinySqueeze on an Intel x32 board, and find the SQ on the Alix board is equivalent to the “highly optimized” TinySqueeze distribution…

Step 1: download debian from this link: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B9AGLVDYncLIYlU3SjBVSENXRTg&usp=sharing. I downloaded the latest version (v3).

Step 2: write the image to a CF card (I used Rufus, but any program will do).

Step 3: insert the CF card in the board, connect the board to the network, and power it on.

Step 4: connect via SSH (using Putty, for example). Login is: user alix, password 123456. Type “sudo su -” to switch to root privilege. You can find the IP address of the board on your network using any IP scanning software.

Step 5: update the system

apt-get update

Step 6: compile and install squeezelite. I followed most of the instructions, with some omissions and changes, from this link http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?98152-HOWTO-Install-squeezelite-for-logitech-media-server-on-Debian-Squeeze-as-a-service. Please note that the github link referenced is no longer valid, and I managed to find another one. Here is what I did:

apt-get install nano (optional, you can use the vi text editor, I just find nano to be easier)
apt-get install alsa
apt-get install git
apt-get install build-essential libasound2-dev libflac-dev libmad0-dev libvorbis-dev libvo-aacenc-dev libfaad-dev libmpg123-dev
cd /opt
git clone https://github.com/ralph-irving/squeezelite.git
cd /opt/squeezelite

plugin your dac to the USB output of the board

./squeezelite -l
nano /etc/init.d/squeezelite
in the file, change the lines
OUTPUT=your device as listed in ./squeezelite -l
NAME=anything you want
I also changed the start instruction to this (you can add aditional parameters):
start-stop-daemon --start --quiet -b -m -p /var/run/squeezelite.pid --exec /opt/squeezelite/squeezelite – -z -o $OUTPUT -n $NAME
Save the file and continue with the following instructions
chmod 755 /etc/init.d/squeezelite
/etc/init.d/squeezelite start
insserv squeezelite

That’s it ! Activate squeezelite compatibility in the Roon settings, and enable the endpoint, which should appear under “Squeezbox” endpoints. You may need to reboot the board every time you remove/change the USB connection.


Great guide, but for anyone that doesn’t already have one of these boards it’d be a lot cheaper to simply buy something like an ODROID-C1+ ($32) and install Roon Bridge on it.

Agreed. As I said, I was disappointed by the SQ of my Olimex card (also around 30$). I have no explanation for what I found to be a somewhat “digital” (harsh) sound. Perhaps the Odroid is better suited, I read Archimago’s blog on the C2 (http://archimago.blogspot.fr/2016/05/measurements-odroid-c2-with-volumio-2.html) and was really tempted to give it a try. However, I was really suprised by the performance of the Alix. I would love to compare it to other boards. I have a feeling that the “no frills” approach of that board makes it particularly suited for this type of usage, but one would have to compare to know.

I was using the Alix with MPD before switching to TinyMPD (Intel based), and then to Roon.

I’ve been pleased with the SQ on my BeagleBone Black.


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One thing that seems to be confirmed by some other feedback (for example, on ComputerAudiophile.com) is that Roon with squeezelite is very stable and seems to offer sound quality on par with RoonBridge.

Technically, RAAT (Roon’s underlying streaming protocol) is way more advanced than the Squeeze protocol. RAAT really wants to talk to whatever’s on the other end of the line on its own specifics and wants to own its clock as accurately as is possible, while Squeeze is more like ‘let’s throw a stream at it and see if it sticks’.

Whether or not this leads to audible advantages is a subject I’ll gladly avoid.

OK, but it would be nice to have RAAT available on a wider range of platforms ! Why only AMRv7 and x64 ?

Roon for Linux (including Roon Bridge for Armv7) was released just six weeks ago… Currently, Armv7 is the most widespread platform for boards like these by far – but of course this will change.

Give it time… Lots of exiting things to come from Roon. And it does not hurt interest is expressed in threads like this one. Roon devs take duly notice, as has been proven many times before.

I just followed the steps but failed. /etc/init.d/squeezelite file does not exist after “make” which appeared to have been done without problem. When I type “nano /etc/init.d/squeezelite” an empty screen pops up. I expected to see some of pre-existing lines. I got a roon ready equipment (sotm sms200), but I was trying to find a way of utilizing the legacy equipment (alix) since I have invested so much into this small thing. As I have no knowledge in this area (linux, compiling, etc.) at all, I have no clue what went wrong… I just followed each of the steps without any issues until I found that there is just empty page for /etc/init.d/squeezelite…

I also tried to install Roon Bridge for Armv7 on alix knowing that it would not be successful. Just confirmed that alix is not compatible with the package.

Is there any way to use such “old” alix board in terms of Roon system as squeezelite box acceptable to the system or fully functional and superior Roon bridge? Or is it just too old to learn a new trick?


I have not used the Alix board in a long time. I had problems with squeezelite not being recognized by Roon in a subsequent release and just gave up on this.
I have been using RaspberryPi since, and it works fine (DietPi distribution). If you have a sotm then there is really no point in using the Alix board!


Thank you for your feedback. I fully agree with you. sotm is a great device and there is no point of using alix other than that I can have one more end point which actually I do not need.