Why are Linux and MacOS discourged with very large libraries?

On the Roon System Requirements page (https://help.roonlabs.com/portal/en/kb/articles/faq-what-are-the-minimum-requirements#Remote_Requirements, it mentions that for the very largest libraries (>250K tracks) that “we do not recommend standard Linux or macOS Cores for this”. It suggests instead a “beefy Roon OS or Windows setup”.

I’d like to understand the rationale here. I have about 40K tracks, so considerably under this description of the largest of libraries, but run it happily on a 10-year-old entry-level Supermicro server running Linux. I can’t imagine why it couldn’t be scaled to a few times its current size.

MacOS and Linux (and pretty much any modern operating system) are capable of handling large amounts of data (on appropriate hardware, of course). That’s why I’ve been unable to understand why they’re not recommended for these large libraries. (And isn’t Roon OS Linux?)

Thanks in advance for any of the background on this.


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While I don’t know this for sure, it could well have been related to the old Mono requirements as a runtime for DotNet. This has mostly gone with the availability of DotNet 6 and that has been rolled out and it seems to have stablised the memory leaks and improved performance.

There are plenty of people who have large libraries on Linux and Mac so maybe that needs updating or maybe there are still other reasons that mega libraries should stay on Windows.

Very interested to find out as well.

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I too think this recommendation is outdated and that it had to do with the fact that for a long time Windows and ROCK were the only supported platforms based on native .NET. On Linux and Mac OS, Roon depended upon the Mono libraries which showed bad memory management behavior in comparison with .NET and in general were not as performant.

While several months ago Roon for Linux was released with native .NET 6.0 support and is now behaving much better than before, this is still not the case for Mac OS. There are lots of users who run very big libraries on Linux (best on a minimal Linux server installation), but until Roon can deliver the port to .NET 6.0 on Mac OS, I wouldn’t intend to run a big library on it.

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Yes there are enough stories of memory ballooning on Mac still. I have used Rock for the last four years and I have been much happier with it’s reliability and uptime in the last year or two.

Hopefully the Mac version comes soon and then people who have bought M1acs can be happy too

You can use Linux for a large library now since the inclusion of .NET for Linux by Roon. Originally it was Windows only, then added for Nucleus (and by extension, ROCK). Mac is next and should improve matters and make them all suitable for the largest collections.

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40k tracks is probably fine for any of the three platforms but, as has been mentioned, Roon will struggle on Mac OS until it’s switched to .NET 6.0. This work is underway.

Thanks for the explanation; I understand this much better now.

I had assumed the problem was perceived limitations of the operating systems, which is why I questioned the suggestion to limit large libraries to Windows or ROCK. Now that I see the issue is one of differing software implementations on the various OS’s, it makes much more sense.