"stand alone" Mini Mac?

Could someone help an old duffer(me,perhaps)…I am running Roon core on my Imac (desktop) and have no issues…both Roon and Roon Arc work seamlessly,via my strong(for the U.K) WIFI bandwidth.
I know that for Roon Arc to work, the core needs to be “on”, but I am worried about possible screen burn to my expensive monitor if left on…was wondering if I purchased a Mini Mac for the Roon core exclusively, would it just be a matter of downloading Roon to the minimac, and giving it a new password, then just storing it somewhere out of the way,and left on round the clock?

Message sent.

Roon’s instructions about moving between machines are here: https://help.roonlabs.com/portal/en/kb/articles/migration

It’s a little more complicated than you suggest - but not too bad.

If you are buying a machine specially to run Roon - you could consider buying a NUC and running ROCK. ROCK is designed to be run headless without a screen, and needs almost no maintenance.

If you run a mac mini headless - you will occasionally need to login (probably via screen sharing) and update the OS software etc.

Running a Mac mini (or any Mac) headless is a bit of a pain, especially in the newer models with tight security. After a reboot, you cannot log in remotely. You must log in from an attached keyboard and mouse/keypad. Using a wireless keyboard/pointer will work, but you will still need a display of some sort.

I use a Mac mini Pro as my Roon endpoint and DSP engine (USB connection to DAC). I have the wireless Apple keyboard and mouse and I use my TV as a display. It works for me, but it’s a far cry from my truly headless Linux rackmount server where Roon Server runs. That server sits “lights out” in a network cabinet and never needs an attached keyboard, mouse, or display; in fact, it has no video output at all. If you want that level of unattended operation, Linux is a better bet than macOS.

With which model/generation did this start?

So you can’t get to the login screen with apple remote desktop? (And you couldn’t set it to automatically log in at startup?)

The problem is that if you enable FileVault, the entire boot disk is strongly encrypted. The system cannot get past the primary boot stage without your password to decrypt the drive. You cannot enter your password remotely because the system is too early in the boot stage to be running Remote Desktop services.

I haven’t tried not enabling FileVault. I know that with Apple Silicon, the boot drive is encrypted anyway, but I’m not certain if the decryption key is stored in the Secure Enclave on board the SoC.

Once the system boots into full macOS, remote access is possible.

So do not use FileVault, as I seem to do, as I have no such restrictions. MacMini M1 always boots directly into MacOS without any password. Password for remote access is also stored within RVNC Viewer on ipad. All works like a breeze, so I can highly recommend a headless MacMini for Roon Core.

I have a headless 2014 Mac mini running roon server seamlessly. It sits in a storeroom connected to a Synology NAS with music library. I never have to touch it except to enable periodic software updates. I have it go into sleep mode late at night and it wakes up ready to go in the am. When I have software updates I log into it via share screen or something like that, which is available on any Mac. Best of all, it sounds glorious thru a pair of 8c’s.

A machine that’s used only as a Roon Server hardly needs to be super secure, so not using FV is probably not a big issue for most.

And, as you say, Macs with Apple Silicon (or the T2 chip) don’t need it in the first place.

If you have a Mac with Apple silicon or an Apple T2 Security Chip, your data is encrypted automatically.

Couldn’t you just set the display on your iMac to power down when idle?

System Settings → Lock Screen → Turn display off on power adapter when inactive


That’s what my iMac Roon server is set up to do. Works fine for me