Upcoming Linux Performance Improvements

What’s happening?

In an effort to increase performance on Linux platforms, our engineers have been working on moving Roon from its current Mono runtime environment to Microsoft’s .NET runtime. These changes should result in performance improvements for anyone using a Linux Core.

These improvements will require new dependencies on your system, so it’s important that you prepare your Core before the update is released.

You can also sign up below if you’d like to beta test these changes once you’ve ensured your system meets the new requirements.

Note: No action is needed for Cores running on Roon OS devices, including Nucleus and ROCK. They already use Microsoft’s .NET runtime.

How can I prepare for these changes?

Linux Systems

With this change comes some updated dependency requirements for Roon to work. The most common problem we’ve found is that libicu needs to be installed, so we recommend installing this ahead of the release.

For Ubuntu 20.x the command to do this is:

apt-get update && sudo apt-get install libicu66

For other systems, the name for libicu and the specific package manager might be different. To find the .NET dependencies you need, click on the version number of your Linux distribution in this Microsoft article and scroll down to Dependencies.

So far our QA team has tested these improvements successfully with the following Linux distributions:

  1. Ubuntu 20.04
  2. Debian 10
  3. Fedora
  4. ArchLinux
  5. CentOS 7 and 8
  6. LinuxMint

Other variants of Linux may require additional changes to ensure that all dependencies are met.

Roon Server on NAS: QNAP, Synology, and Asustor

If you’re running Roon Server on a supported NAS device, just follow the instructions below.

  • Synology
    No action required.

  • QNAP
    A new Roon package will be available in the QNAP store soon. Once it is, take the update and you’ll be all set.

  • Asustor
    Make sure you’re updated to ADM 4.0+.

Roon Core Partner Systems

If you’re using a Core device from one of our partners that runs on Linux, you may need to get in touch with the manufacturer to confirm these dependencies have been met. We’ve reached out to all of our partners to let them know so they have time to address these dependencies before the update is released.

If your device is from one of the manufacturers below, we have confirmed that the dependencies have been met and your device is ready to go for the update.

Partners who have confirmed dependencies are met:

  • Innuos
  • Exasound
  • Small Green Computer

If your Core’s manufacturer is not on the list and Roon is failing to start, we recommend contacting them directly if you have any issues starting Roon after the update.

When are these improvements being released?

We are expecting to release on November 3. If you’d like to get early access and help with our testing efforts, please consider joining the beta!

Join the beta! (CLOSED 10-28)

Our QA team has been testing these changes for some time, and our community of Alpha testers has also been testing for several weeks. So far our testing has been very promising, but in order to be sure that this change works across a wide range of systems, we are thrilled to announce we will be launching a beta for anyone who is interested in giving these changes a try!

In order to be considered for testing, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You are using Roon with a Linux Core machine
  • You have installed the libicu dependency mentioned above or if you are using a Core device that runs on Linux and the dependencies have been met (please contact the manufacturer to confirm this with them directly).
  • You must have an active Roon license.

While testing has gone well so far, this is pre-release software and there is a greater potential to experience bugs and crashes. If you’re not comfortable with this, beta might not be right for you. If you’re okay with this possibility, please sign up here (CLOSED 10/28).

What about Roon OS?

Any devices running Roon OS (ROCK and Nucleus) have been using .NET runtime for some time, and so you won’t see any changes if you’re using these devices.


2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Roon Labs action required?

Is a current subscription required in order to assist in the BETA test? I have not renewed my annual subscription because of these exact issues but I am interested in testing. If these issues are resolved then I would be very likely to restart my subscription.

Yes, you’ll need an active subscription to participate in the beta.

Thanks, I will hold off then and see what the community finds out.

1 Like

A post was merged into an existing topic: Roon Labs action required for qnap/synology users?

What issue do you speak of? This change shouldn’t be fixing anything, it’s just making things run a bit faster and use a bit less memory. It’s also so we can be in parity with Roon OS.

cc @evand (i know you have been waiting for this)

1 Like

Has audiolinux been made aware of the changes? They just came out with new versions, so it makes sense, but I wanted to ask specifically. I also just asked them directly. Kinda excited to see smoother performance - my audiolinux core can get a bit bogged down from time to time (reboot always takes care of it). Thanks for any info you might have.

I have Roon running on a machine that uses Sonicorbiter. Have they been informed?


Memory usage growth, leading to interface slow downs and ultimately becoming unusable until the process is terminated and restarted.

The Lib update for Ubuntu outlined above, will this be in the form of a 1.8 build update (I assume)? IOW, will my current core continue to work (in its current build) without the libicu update?

I disable auto update as I usually like to wait a bit to see how new builds turn out.

Great news!

How does one install libicu on Debian 10?

1 Like

Yes. They will release a new version if necessary.

I use roon in docker. Is action needed?

1 Like

Yup, we’ll be releasing a new build and Build 831 will continue to work without libicu.

You need libicu63.

Yes, you’ll still need to make sure you have libicu, see original post below.

1 Like

It looks like Debian 10 (buster) only supports libicu63 (Debian -- Package Search Results -- libicu).
Is there a minimal version requirement?

1 Like

Pretty sure this will leave my Antipodes Edge dead in the water.
I presently use it as streamer, Roon Core and server.
Which it does a fantastic job of.
Antipodes have already told me from a previous inquiry that they will not be doing any further updates to this old of a product line.

Ouch. Mental note: don’t buy Antipodes products…

Pretty sure it only applies to my admittedly old Edge unit.
However I have sent Antipodes an email asking how they will be responding to this change on newer units.

1 Like