Audio On Linux

Audio On Linux


Roon uses ALSA to speak to audio devices on Linux. We only support situations where we have direct and exclusive access to the hardware (in ALSA terms, we are using `hw:X,X` device identifiers).

For an in-depth overview of the Audio Configuration in Roon, check out our Audio Setup Basics page. This page is for Linux-specific notes and documentation.

Native DSD Support on Linux

Roon supports Native DSD output on Linux, assuming:
  1. Your kernel supports Native DSD output on your DAC
  2. Your ALSA library is new enough to expose that support to Roon (1.0.29 or higher)
    1. If you are using DietPi, you need to use the "Stretch" image ("Jessie" is built with ALSA V1.0.28) 
See this page for more information on enabling Native DSD support in your kernel. Warning in advance: this stuff isn't for people who are new to Linux.

Crackles, Snaps, and Pops during playback on Raspberry Pi2/3

While stable high-resolution playback is possible on these devices, it often requires some tweaking to get there. In general, we don't have the answers to this kind of stuff. The best thing you can do if you're running into this sort of thing is to run recent kernels + firmware and to hunt through the Raspberry Pi communities and see if anyone has figured out the problem you are having.

In particular, we have noticed that the built-in WiFi chip on the Pi3 interferes with USB playback quite a lot. The Pi2 with a USB WiFi adapter does tend to do somewhat better, but we have not yet seen perfect results with DSD256 or 384khz PCM on a Pi device.

Issues with 88.2k and 176.4k S/PDIF output on iMX6 devices (CuBox, et al.)

The built-in S/PDIF on this device is kind of a dog--the clock rates aren't banged on, they don't zone-link well, and not all DACs like the signal. Oh, and out-of-the-box the support for 88.2k/176.4k playback is generally missing or broken.

Still interested in using it as an S/PDIF sender? We've heard that this kernel patch helps with the 88.2/176.4 issues. We don't support this--just putting this information out there in case it's useful. If it works for you, or you have better information we can publish here, let us know. 

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