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#1 2019-12-18 06:08:15

John Jason Jordan
Member
Registered: 2019-11-22
Posts: 31

UHD monitors

Being a bleeding edge kind of guy (more bleeding than edginess) I recently bought a new laptop with a UHD monitor. There are issues that Xfce developers might find useful to be aware of.

I did not do a fresh install. The new computer has a 1TB NVMe drive, so I used dd to clone the root partition from my old computer. Then I used GPartd to expand the resulting partition to 97G, and then create a /home partition with the rest of the drive. Then I copied everything from /home on the old computer to /home on the new computer.

It took a bit of boot repair to get it working, but it was not a big problem. However, the old computer's screen was 1920x1080 and the new computer's screen is 3840x2160. Needless to say, everything came out tiny - like fonts were so small that they were unreadable.

I have fixed most things, but there are a couple issues that are apparently not fixable with Xfce on Xubuntu 18.04.3:

1) Window buttons panel applet - the icons are so small that they are indistinguishable from each other.

2) In all the options in Settings Manager there is no option to change the font size for one item. Unfortunately I don't know what it is called. It is the option that creates the font size in the address bar in Chromium, and similar toolbars in several other apps. In Chromium I can type an URL in the address bar, but I can't see what I'm typing because the font is about 2mm tall. I literally have to use a magnifying glass to read it. This also happens all over the place, e.g., in LO Writer the icons for the Styles toolbar are the same tiny size as in Window buttons. I am frustrated that I have no way to control these things. Since this happens all over the desktop I can only conclude that it is something that is hard-coded in Xfce.

I post this minor rant in hopes that developers will read it and be able to fix some of these issues for the next release. UHD displays are becoming more and more common, so sooner or later we must adapt to them.

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#2 2019-12-18 07:57:25

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 6,158

Re: UHD monitors

The Arch HiDPI wiki has some good information. Have you set the Window Scaling option to 2x?

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#3 2019-12-18 17:47:17

John Jason Jordan
Member
Registered: 2019-11-22
Posts: 31

Re: UHD monitors

ToZ wrote:

The Arch HiDPI wiki has some good information. Have you set the Window Scaling option to 2x?

Thanks for the link. I changed the style from Default-hdpi to Default-xhdi based on their recommendations, but I can't set the window scaling to 2x because my Appearance > Settings window offers only Toolbar Style, Menus and Buttons, and Event Sounds; no Window Scaling. I am on Xubuntu 18.04.3; maybe this option is not in my version of Xfce. The Archwiki listed the possibility of using the command line to change the scaling to 2x, so I tried it, but it failed:

xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Gdk/WindowScalingFactor -s 2
Property "/Gdk/WindowScalingFactor" does not exist on channel "xsettings". If a new property should be created, use the --create option.

I'd use --create option if I knew what to create.

I remain curious about why I cannot change certain things that seem immune to all settings. I am speaking of icons in Window Buttons, icons and text in Chromium browser URL bar, the font in Gedit, the icons in Applications Launcher, the main login window (Plymouth?), and several more items. Each of these things is in an identical tiny size - so small that I must use a magnifying glass. Note that the items are always just a small part of an application's window. The size of each item is identical, leading me to surmise that they are all part of the same setting.

Last edited by John Jason Jordan (2019-12-18 18:26:28)

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#4 2019-12-19 00:30:07

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 6,158

Re: UHD monitors

John Jason Jordan wrote:

but I can't set the window scaling to 2x because my Appearance > Settings window offers only Toolbar Style, Menus and Buttons, and Event Sounds; no Window Scaling.

Okay, you are still using the GTK2 version of Xfce. GTK2 does not support GDK scaling - you need to be using a GTK3-based version of Xfce (4.14). It is much better suited for HiDPI screens.

I remain curious about why I cannot change certain things that seem immune to all settings. I am speaking of icons in Window Buttons, icons and text in Chromium browser URL bar, the font in Gedit, the icons in Applications Launcher, the main login window (Plymouth?), and several more items. Each of these things is in an identical tiny size - so small that I must use a magnifying glass. Note that the items are always just a small part of an application's window. The size of each item is identical, leading me to surmise that they are all part of the same setting.

Xfce 4.14 handles this much better. Here is an older thread that talks about setting up HiDPI on a 4.12 install.

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#5 2019-12-19 01:42:42

Skaperen
Member
From: right by Jesus, our Saviour
Registered: 2013-06-15
Posts: 506

Re: UHD monitors

is the OLD laptop still available? probably what i would is on the OLD one, set the fonts to double the size, then rsync the files from OLD to NEW.  rsync will look through all the files and send only what has changed (better than dd-ing all over, again).

my laptop (HD) let me run the video with a UHD buffer while displaying in HD (or smaller) so i can at least test how things will behave in UHD.  it even let me view a 4K video on youtube by doing fullscreen (i could only SEE 1/4 of it at a time, but i could move that around).  maybe there is a way your laptop can temporarily run in HD mode.  i hope a UHD laptop. i plan to get, can.

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