Scaling Gnome 3 HiDPI using xrandr
For work, I’m using a Dell M3800 notebook. Unfortunately, it comes with a HiDPI display (or retina as others prefer to call it). HiDPI on Linux is still not perfect, even though it improved a lot in the past. Especially Gnome 3 has good support for such displays. However, there are still two things bothering me:
- Some applications still don’t support HiDPI, leaving the UI in an inconsistent state.
- At least for me, everything seems to be much slower, making work not as snappy as it should be. Maybe it’s a bug, maybe screen drawing procedures are slower for HiDPI. I don’t know why.
Therefore, I still prefer to scale my resolution down. This can be done using xrandr’s
option. Because everything looks kind of blurry when using this option, there is a small patch for
xrandr to make things look crisp when
being scaled down.
Furthermore, scaling the display while Gnome is in use, leaves its interface in a HiDPI state, probably because of the resolution still being maximum, and not respecting the scaling. This is remedied by calling xrandr before Gnome is loaded. Create a global xinitrc script (I’m using Fedora but it should be the same for most distributions) which calls xrandr:
Don’t forget to make the script executable.
Last, Gnome’s internal scaling factor has to be reset to 1: