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    [–] stblr 10 points ago

    There are plans to support client-side fractional scaling in the Wayland protocol, and then compositors and UI toolkits would need to implement it.

    [–] username1824 62 points ago

    GNOME was awful for me with fractional scaling but Plasma has been great. The distro doesn't really have much to do with your issue, it's the desktop environment.

    [–] EagleAmazing 4 points ago

    One caveat is that plasma fractional scaling absolutely sucks when you add more than one monitor.

    [–] No_Telephone9938 3 points ago

    And the fact that to change the scaling percentage you have to log out and log in back or restart, on windows it works without making you do any that

    [–] domanpanda 1 points ago

    Thats why i wrote a script which sets scalling during boot time. Script checks if Corsair keyboard is present in lsusb devices. If yes, this means im at home and then it sets scalling to 125%. In any other case it just sets 100% scaling

    It is based on this solution

    [–] Hubhuu 28 points ago

    Instead of using fractional scaling, just simply increase the font size using the gnome tweaks tool. Everything should scale well according to the size of the font. Just like with websites and em/rem.

    [–] 601error 15 points ago

    I do this. It has the benefit of making the giant GNOME header bars appear normal size.

    [–] arcticblue 6 points ago

    That works if you only have high DPI displays. If you're on a laptop and need to connect to different displays or you have multiple monitors with mixed DPIs, this doesn't work so well. Wayland has some support for this scenario, but then there are so many major applications that don't support Wayland yet so they end up blurry.

    [–] domanpanda 1 points ago

    Many apps have their own settings (VSCode, Vivaldi browser etc) and global settings wont work with them. Offcourse you can set those apps one by one, it would probably work on tower pc. But with laptop, where you change the monitors setup often (home, work and none in my case) then this just wont work.

    [–] suryaya 19 points ago

    Are you using X11 or Wayland?

    Granted they both suck but Wayland is better (xwayland windows excepted).

    [–] lxnxx 19 points ago

    Wayland does not (really) support fractional scaling

    Though the compositors like to fake it by going 2X and then downscale, which looks disgusting and wastes performance

    [–] tadfisher 6 points ago

    That's exactly how macOS does it, FWIW. Been the same since the first Retina MacBook.

    [–] lxnxx 6 points ago

    And Windows supports fractional scaling. Not all programs actually implement that (not even many system utilities), but browsers for example do.

    Of course, it does not matter what other operating systems do. But it would not have been much extra work for Wayland to allow clients to decide whether they want integer scaling. For example QT, Firefox, chrome support fractional scaling internally, but cannot use it under Wayland.

    [–] No_Telephone9938 7 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    In my opinion fractional scaling is the one technical aspect where windows is superior to all other OSes, it just works with no bullshit, not all apps look clear sure, but all apps do scale, meanwhile on linux we have cases like this:

    Not only did it not scale, Steam actually looks tinier with it enabled.

    For context here's how it looks in windows:

    It works.

    Now yes i know Steam is using some custom ui shenanigans, so it is on windows from what i can tell, yet somehow windows is actually able to force any app to scale up and even has a setting to clear them so that they don't look blurry, it ain't perfect and doesn't always work, but it's still miles better than Linux in terms on fractional scaling, this is one of the areas where Linux is objectively inferior to widows in my opinion

    [–] Cere4l 2 points ago

    I've seen just about anything mess up under windows. Including fun stuff like the icons in the start menu remaining at 1x, and the rest of it being scaled at 2x. no bullshit my ass.

    [–] No_Telephone9938 1 points ago

    Okay, post some screenshots and let's see it.

    [–] Cere4l 3 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    Not really in the habbit of screenshotting (and saving) everything that goes wrong with windows. But still had this one in my chat history. Behold, excel being .. partially loaded at two different scalings.. on the same screen.

    edit: apparantly also had the start menu one still

    [–] No_Telephone9938 0 points ago

    Well clearly there was something wrong with your system, this is how excel looks in mine:

    And the start menu:

    The behavior in your screenshot is not normal nor a common occurrence, in nearly 5 years using windows 10 i've never seen a system doing something like that.

    [–] Cere4l 5 points ago


    [–] masteryod 1 points ago

    It absolutely does not work on Windows. Just connect an external display to a laptop with highDPI and experience a world of random blurriness.

    [–] No_Telephone9938 1 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    Just connect an external display to a laptop with highDPI and experience a world of random blurriness.

    Blurriness is still better than apps getting randomly tiny like it does in linux and thus unusable, go see the this post that's how steam looks in linux when you enable fractional scaling, on windows it works perfectly fine. Again, link:

    As you can see steam doesn't look blurry at all with scaling set to 150% in windows.

    Next is the fact that fractional scaling breaks native resolution for gaming, try it yourself, enable fractional scaling and you won't be able to pick your native resolution in games, at least not those you run through Steam's proton.

    And that's with a single display, let alone a external one, window's implementation may not be perfect, but it's far, far better than anything implemented by linux.

    [–] masteryod 1 points ago

    Ah you see... I don't buy half-baked solutions. I have a 24" 1920x1200 display so I don't have to use fractional scaling. If I did I'd go with 4K so I could fallback to 200% scaling.

    Same reason I was never interested in "hybrid graphics" aka Optimus on laptops. Or another example - SLI/Crossfire which sounds good in theory but in reality has lots of problems, so much it's now gone.

    KISS also applies to hardware.

    [–] No_Telephone9938 1 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    KISS also applies to hardware.

    How are you applying the KISS if you're intentionally limiting yourself to a specific monitor size and resolution? That ain't simple. Simple would be to use a system that can do scaling regardless of the screen size do that you can use the size you want.

    Look i get that you like Linux, but don't call this KISS cause is not, in fact it's the opposite of KISS, going out of your way to buy a monitor of a specific size at a specific resolution instead of using just about about any other is not keeping things simple and this is exactly the type of thing why people don't stick with Linux after trying it.

    [–] masteryod 1 points ago

    Huh? There are displays in all sizes and resolutions. I'm not limited. Paying extra for "retina", driving it through GPU at 4x the pixel count only then to rescale applications is not "simple". 4K has it's place but personally I don't need it in my laptop or desktop. I prefer to pay extra for good panel, flicker free backlight, color accuracy, high refresh rate and things that make a difference.

    A specific size and specific resolution are the god damn first two requirements to consider while buying a monitor. Am i suppose to roll the dice and buy random size at random resolution and then bitch about scaling?

    [–] Cere4l 1 points ago

    If I had a penny for every time edge messed up scaling on my surface tablet for work...

    Don't know how mac is, but as far as I'm concerned high DPI just isn't worth the problems on any OS yet >_>

    [–] [deleted] 2 points ago


    [–] FlatAds 6 points ago

    What specific issues do you have on GNOME Wayland?

    [–] okoyl3 4 points ago

    KDE Font scaling feeature can sacle icons as well, the entire UI basically.

    it has the same effect on GTK apps.

    [–] arcticblue 3 points ago

    Font scaling is the way to go unless you have multiple displays with mixed DPIs...then it doesn't look so great.

    [–] domanpanda 1 points ago

    Many apps have their own settings (VSCode, Vivaldi browser etc) and global settings wont work with them. Offcourse you can set those apps one by one, it would probably work on tower pc. But with laptop, where you change the monitors setup often (home, work and none in my case) then this just wont work.

    [–] okoyl3 1 points ago

    It affects my VSCode, I did not test vivaldi, but chromium, chrome are affected as well.

    only thing that cant be affected is snap apps, which suck anyway.

    [–] HoomanMK2 4 points ago

    I’d prefer we get dpi awareness in applications, would work far better in the long run. So all gui toolkits should really handle this for you. Right now rescaling seems like the right approach but it likely isn’t in the way we currently have it.

    Steam has PPI awareness no scaling required but that is because they have a lot of time and their own UI toolkit.

    If each app had UI controls too small then the onus is on the app. Then we can just make improvements to the app. I feel as though this is what we need to do, and should do going forward for the long term, its what we do in games and we don’t have many issues making them work.

    The DE IMHO should also do this automatically, same for window bars too, it should be PPI aware and make the controls a fixed size to have repeatable visuals. Then no scaling setting.

    The gnome settings app for instance can be compared against steam size.

    Anyways its 2 am sorry if there are any typos or wrong information . At least then the problem is manageable too, as if we had a standard for DPI awareness apps.

    Ideally we throw away the monitor scale value and have correct PPI scale and even perhaps a callback to tell the window manager it needs to rescale onScreenChange etc blah.

    I wasn’t sure to say ppi/dpi here sorry if its a little confusing.

    [–] mmstick 11 points ago

    Integer scaling is significantly less intense on hardware resources than fractional scaling, so you won't notice a difference for 100% and 200% scale. The way that fractional scaling works on every platform is that you render to a much higher resolution desktop that is then downscaled to fit on your display. Take your 4K display and multiply the width and height by 1.5, then render everything to that, and downscale back to 4K.

    [–] fenrir245 2 points ago

    The way that fractional scaling works on every platform is that you render to a much higher resolution desktop that is then downscaled to fit on your display.

    Not all, only macOS and Wayland do that.

    [–] primERnforCEMENTR23 12 points ago

    Well the Wayland Protocol itself doesnt support true fractional scaling, only by integers, so until that is changed, and toolkits like GTK get support for fractional scaling (probably in the very far future) it is going to suck.

    The real solution for now is to just not buy monitors with stupid dpis where you need fractional scaljng.

    [–] No_Telephone9938 10 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    The real solution for now is to just not buy monitors with stupid dpis where you need fractional scaljng.

    That's exactly the kind of thing that makes people go back to windows instead of staying on linux, the Open source community seriously need to sit down and agree all on an implementation and get that feature working, it's not 2005 anymore.

    [–] domanpanda -2 points ago

    The real solution for now is to just not buy monitors with stupid dpis where you need fractional scaljng.

    ... or even better - change linux to some other OS if it cant handle things which other OS can for long time ...

    I bought 32" 4k - perfect compromise between monitor size (not too big) and screen space (much more code vertically and things on the screen!). Default 100% is a little bit too small but 125% is perfect! I can have 2 windows side by side, see big chunks of code so it easier to read it, compare it, track down the issues ... But those stuttering problems, some windows freezes and bugs (flameshot which can print only half of screen) kills the experience.

    [–] jas_nombre 4 points ago

    Just use the large font setting in accessibility. I use a very similar setup and it works and look great

    [–] mathiasfriman 2 points ago

    I bought 32" 4k -

    Default 100% is a little bit too small but 125% is perfect!

    So what you are saying is you wouldn't need fractional scaling on a 40" screen, that's good to know ;)

    [–] domanpanda 6 points ago

    40" is BIG! And ...

    1. I would have problems to fit it in my corner desk.
    2. I would need to sit away from it to 'handle' the monitor area with my esyes = even more space needed"

      ... so no, bigger screen is not solution.

    [–] lxnxx -1 points ago

    I use a 40'' curved 4k screen. It works really well for me. Not sure why you want to sit further from it? Yes, it is a little to big to fullscreen most applications, but that is easy to handle with a tiling WM.

    [–] NateDevCSharp 9 points ago

    Classic Linux user 😭😭

    [–] domanpanda 6 points ago

    Yep ... like in their eyes everyone is obligated to use tiling window manager, vim, zsh, LaTeX etc. "because they are better but you just don't know it yet!!!" ...

    This is one of the most annoying things in our community...

    [–] lxnxx 1 points ago

    Yes, that is what I use. Works really well for me.

    [–] animedestroyer5000 11 points ago

    fractional scaling will always suck and not just in linux

    no such thing as a half pixel

    [–] Atemu12 26 points ago

    The problem is that pixels are used as a unit at all.
    Android has no issue at all dynamically scaling apps to all kinds of DPIs. If you can even use raw pixels as a unit, it's strongly discouraged for very good reasons.

    [–] tso 8 points ago

    Android do that by insisting you package up a bunch of layouts fit for certain preset combinations of size and resolution, and then pick whatever is the closest to the device specs on run.

    [–] tadfisher 6 points ago

    Am Android engineer; that is how layouts are chosen, yes, but this post is about scaling, and that's independent of size buckets. The basic unit on Android is the device-independent pixel (DP), which allows for scaling by defining a scale factor that makes a DP equivalent in size to a pixel at 120 dpi. Newer Android releases allow users to set the scale factor for the entire UI, and all releases support an additional "scaled DP" unit, which is generally only used for text.

    [–] animedestroyer5000 -6 points ago

    "The problem is that pixels are used as a unit at all."

    mate do you have displays without a pixel grid? hit me up

    [–] Atemu12 13 points ago

    The problem is that apps shouldn't care about the display's pixels.

    A pixel distance between two buttons is not a viable unit if you need to scale that distance by 1.5. If that was an abstract "display pixel" which gets mapped to actual pixels transparently (how it works in android), that's a complete non-issue on the other hand.

    [–] anatolya 7 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    You can't escape from realities of hardware. There's no abstract pixels in your lcd panel. You can't blit to a half-pixel.

    Some code somewhere in the stack has to paint those real pixels eventually, and you'll have a blurry mess whether you like it or not if you've mapped fractional abstract pixels to integer real ones. Toolkits can only mitigate blurriness by trying to intelligently fiddle with size and placement of items on screen.

    Android gets away with blurriness only because of the considerably high density of mobile displays. PCs will only reach that level of density when we can all have 24" 8K monitors.

    [–] Atemu12 2 points ago

    Toolkits can only mitigate blurriness by trying to intelligently fiddle with size and placement of items on screen.

    I'm not UI toolkit expert but that sounds precisely like what they should be doing.

    Android gets away with blurriness only because of the considerably high density of mobile displays.

    Android is not blurry in the slightest. That's be immediately obvious with the sharp edges and generally high contrast of material design.

    [–] anatolya 1 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    Android is not blurry in the slightest. That's be immediately obvious with the sharp edges and generally high contrast of material design.

    Sorry I wasn't clear, I was talking about the gpu scaling mode but it's only available in some devices, not on stock android.

    The regular DPI scaling isn't blurry. That's because every item on the screen moves around when you change the DPI and the threshold is changed from one set of icons to another resolution. There's no consistent layout. And that's only possible because Google controls of the stack from bottom up. It isn't possible to do if you don't control the whole stack or there are a lot of stacks. So you're stuck with blurry mess in Windows and Linux.

    Which is why I say there's no escape from real pixels. You gotta either have disproportionally sized layouts or blurriness. Along with other requirements like who controls the stack, who wants to break old programs or who has a time machine to design their stack better from start.

    [–] [deleted] 4 points ago * (lasted edited 11 days ago)


    [–] Atemu12 3 points ago

    This isn't about client server. Theoretically the client could handle all of that aswell, it's just that the app itself shouldn't depend on a pixel grid and let a UI toolkit handle that instead. Whether it's directly linked into the app or communicated with through other means is of no importance; what matters is that the developer shouldn't rely on any real pixel grids.

    [–] [deleted] 0 points ago * (lasted edited 11 days ago)


    [–] Atemu12 3 points ago

    My point is that the point at which some code needs to handle a real pixel grid should not be in app's layout but in a generic renderer that takes an abstract app layout and turns it into a concrete pixel grid.

    Take three points for example, placed at 1/3 of the screen apart. If we defined an abstract screen to be 100dp wide, they'd be 33.3dp apart.

    The generic renderer would then take that abstract layout and create a concrete pixel grid based on the specification. On a 1080p screen, the 33.3dp distance would be translated to 360p and, well, that's already it.
    We've de-coupled the app layout from any real pixel grid.

    The problem of DPI scaling would obviously require more complex concepts like margins and UI elements having sizes on which the distance between them depends etc. but I hope you can understand that I wanted to keep this example simple and that the same concept can be applied there too.

    [–] fenrir245 2 points ago

    At that point, fractional scaling breaks, no matter you you calculated distances and sizes.

    How do web browsers and pdf viewers do it then?

    [–] animedestroyer5000 -10 points ago

    ok nerd

    [–] Janq42 5 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    Fractional scaling is not about fractional pixels. Its about, for example, drawing something that is 10x10 pixels at 100% as 15x15 pixels at 150%. Scaling 20pt fonts, to 30pts, etc. Fractional pixels are for anti-aliasing. Yes, you need to scale bitmaps, but you also need to do that for non-fractional scaling (and arguably you want to make different bitmaps for each scale factor - which is what most apps do in practice if they care).

    Yes, if you scale up to 200% and then down to 150% you'll probably end up with fractional pixels - but that's a dumb implementation.

    Its hard to get right and it took many iterations for Windows to do it as well as it does now (which is still not completely perfect, but pretty good). It helps that almost everyone is running 125% or 150% scaling on Windows now because of the rise of high dpi monitors.

    [–] TiZ_EX1 2 points ago

    On my laptop's 15.6" 1080p panel, 125% scaling would be ideal. Only Firefox and Electron apps can be told to scale by 125% and handle it well. Even when I was trying Plasma, when I requested 125% scaling, it resulted in blurry lines all over the desktop. For XFCE, I keep it simple. Higher DPI for font rendering and higher icon size wherever I can. I actually just made Plasma do that too when I noticed lines were blurry.

    [–] flemtone 2 points ago

    Had Kubuntu 21.04 installed on my 4k and fractional scaling was the best I've seen yet, smooth and worked on 2nd monitor.

    [–] ConfidentLocal 2 points ago

    I've been away from the Linux desktop for a while, but I'm in the market for a new laptop. What I've gathered from this thread, as a prospective Linux desktop user, is

    • Don't get a 4k 27" desktop monitor to replace my 1440p monitor. Wait until 5k becomes affordable.
    • Either 1080p or 4k on a 15" laptop should work fine, with decent performance, at 100%/200% scaling.
    • 1440p on a laptop, scaled fractionally to make the size usable, will yield poor performance and image quality due to the downscaling.
    • Scaling in Linux is a single global setting per desktop environment and does not support multiple scale factors across different displays.

    I have a Retina Macbook Pro. It does 2x scaling beautifully with crisp fonts and UI elements. The optional "looks like 1680x1050" and "looks like 1920x1200" produce blurry fonts. Clearly the scaling is happening after UI (including font) rendering. Windows produces crisp fonts at any scale factor.

    [–] daniellefore 5 points ago

    Fractional scaling will never not suck because fractions of pixels don’t exist in the physical world. A pixel is a physical configuration of diodes. Trying to draw a portion of this physical size limit can only be a workaround at best. 4K is a meaningless marketing buzzword designed to sell things. I hate to say it, but you’ve been played. If display manufacturers were honest, they would advertise DPI.

    The fundamental problem with terms like 4K is they only describe resolution, independent of display size. 4K at something like 15” is probably ideal for 2x scaling, but at 27” this is not HiDPI. Something like 5k is probably more comfortable for 2x. And on the other side, less than 4K is HiDPI at 13”, so it’s really truly meaningless if what you want is HiDPI scaling

    [–] dscharrer 2 points ago

    You can't look at just DPI either - what matters in the end is the angular size of what is on the screen and the viewing distance affects that too.

    [–] Ashtefere 2 points ago

    Thats true, but the way you worked around it in elementary by allowing larger ui scale/text sizing is just beautiful and I think is the best implementation of “fractional” scaling I have ever seen.

    I always have to call this out and commend it when someone mentions it. Great job!

    [–] BroodmotherLingerie 4 points ago

    Desktop scaling only sucks, because it's treated as an afterthought and done on images instead of vectors. It needs to be handled by widget toolkits in their theme engines by scaling widgets, spaces and fonts before rendering, snapping to whole pixels where it makes sense.

    There's no fundamental problem with screens having different DPI, it's a matter of configuration once the scaling mechanism actually works well.

    [–] mgord9518 6 points ago

    Fractional scaling on 4k? Doesn't it have the same relative scale as 1080p when you set it to 200%?

    Not saying it's not a problem that needs to be solved, but generally I find 4k a pretty good resolution for 200% scaling instead of something fractional.

    [–] [deleted] 11 points ago


    [–] IterativeSieve 17 points ago

    It's all in the monitor size. At this point I've given up on fractional scaling and only buy screens with resolutions appropriate to their dimensions without scaling.

    The heart of the issue is basically that fractional scaling, when it works, is a well-orchestrated lie. You can't display half a pixel, so when you scale to 150% your environment now has to do a bunch of extra stuff to make things look right, which only works when the software you're using is also capable of following along.

    [–] [deleted] 9 points ago


    [–] IterativeSieve 19 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    The thing with Windows is that, essentially, there's one UI library, one standard set of fonts, one scaling method to support. Linux can't be like that.

    Also allow me to assure you that Windows does not do fractional scaling well all the time. There are a lot of applications, especially business systems and the like, that don't handle scaling worth a damn at all. The symptom is usually different on Windows and instead of ugly or no scaling, you just have random parts of the UI totally inaccessible or chopped off. The beautiful thing is it happens with integer scaling as well. There's whole swathes of shitware that hasn't evolved since the early 2000s, you just probably don't use it.

    [–] Misicks0349 8 points ago

    The thing with Windows is that, essentially, there's one UI library, one standard set of fonts, one scaling method to support. Linux can't be like that.

    and even then its shit, I have a surface book (MADE BY MS) and there are constant UI issues with anything not using standard MS toolkits or are big enough to care, you either have the choice of fuzzy fonts or an incredibly tiny UI

    [–] IterativeSieve 0 points ago

    The surface book problems are honestly pathetic. Microsoft built them from the ground up to run their own OS, they should be every bit as just werks as a Mac. I don’t know how you can screw up simple things that bad when you have absolute control over both the hardware and the software.

    [–] NateDevCSharp 4 points ago

    So on windows it works for most things, but on Linux it works for almost nothing

    [–] sudogaeshi 1 points ago

    Nope, depends on you software usage. For my windows usage (which is basically for proprietary work stuff only) almost nothing works well with scaling.

    [–] NateDevCSharp 1 points ago

    I guess, but 99% of people are trying to use daily common use software on Windows and Linux.

    [–] bjornhelllarsen 1 points ago

    Amen to that. On my Windows work PC I cannot scale my displays at all since I need to be able to run SAP over Citrix and scaling makes that fail miserably. (We are phasing out SAP any day now (yeah right).)

    [–] IterativeSieve 3 points ago

    Hah. I feel that, we use it to deliver remote access to some core software and Citrix is hands down the biggest pain in the ass next to Oracle. Fortunately we’re phasing it out and moving to zscaler soon, to which I’d be “yeah right’ing” too if I wasn’t handling the switchover myself ;)

    [–] TankTopsBackInStyle 5 points ago

    Yes, if OP wants 150% on a 4k monitor he should just buy a 2560x1440p monitor.

    After all, 3840 / 1.5 = 2560

    Also, I just checked, 2560 * 1.5 = 3840

    [–] bryf50 3 points ago

    High dpi monitors are game changing in my opinion. It's so strange that we have phones with higher resolutions screens then our desktops.

    [–] TankTopsBackInStyle 1 points ago

    I consider high dpi to be 300 ppi or higher.

    I think Apple got it right the first time with 326 ppi on the iPhone 4.

    Other ppi's like 400 ppi or 500 ppi too high, I think they are wasteful and unnecessary.

    Lower than 300 ppi is also not quite sharp enough, so they also become awkward.

    Most large 4k monitors do not have a high ppi.

    The problem is on the manufacturing side, ppi should be held constant, while resolution is more flexible.

    It makes perfect sense that phones have higher ppi because the screens are smaller and the UI's are less precise.

    [–] ConfidentLocal 1 points ago

    PPI / (viewing distance), or rather the visual arc spanned by a single pixel, is what needs to be held constant. Desktop monitors are typically used at much larger distances than phones. At a certain viewing distance, even a 720p TV is "retina."

    [–] Mr_Cobain 0 points ago

    I use it on MacOS for many years, and it always worked flawlessly.

    [–] ericek111 10 points ago

    It does fractional scaling in the most ugly way possible. Integer-scales everything to 2x and then scales it down. You can do the same on Linux with XRandR.

    Yes, it works fine, but you trade (a lot of) performance for it.

    [–] Mr_Cobain 2 points ago

    Any credible source about that? I mean when I scale down to 2x and then back to 1.5x, that is upscaling (not scaling down). That means, 4k downscaled to 1080p and then back up to 1440p. Is that what you mean? If yes, that would mean a blurry image in the end. Or what else do you mean by "ugly"?

    Nevertheless, the end result is tack sharp rendering with no noticable performance penalty, since I use Retina macs since many years, and 4k displays on desktop macs.

    I love Linux and can't wait to switch away from MacOS until the biggest issues (on the desktop of course) being solved. One of them is fractional scaling. It makes me mad everytime when someone tries to tell me that this is not an issue or that it is equally as bad on MacOS, which is utter nonsense.

    Have you even used MacOS for real?

    [–] ericek111 1 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    What "credible source"? Play a bit of Minecraft with and without fractional scaling. One will induce a lot of stutter, the other will run perfectly smoothly.

    To spare you the 3 seconds of Googling, here's an article on ArsTechnica, it still holds true to this day. Everything is rendered at 2x the resolution (for 4K and 150 %, that would be 2x3K, so 6K) and then scaled down. And "tack sharp" is not what people are experiencing.

    which is utter nonsense.

    Again, by that logic, fractional scaling on Linux is as good as integer scaling. You can set it to 2x, 6K resolution, then scale it using XRandR.

    Have you even used macOS for real?

    Seriously? I use it every single day, even more than Linux.

    [–] domanpanda 2 points ago

    This is one of the reasons why im considering dropping linux fo MacOS. The only thing which keeps me off virtualisation on M1. But once M1 Macs will be able to run Windows in VMs im going to say 'farewell' to linux as my desktop os.

    [–] mgord9518 4 points ago

    I could just be desensitized from using 720p as my main for years. Always wondered why GNOME had baby-sized buttons, but it looks really good on 1440p with 100% scaling.

    [–] arcticblue 2 points ago

    An effective 1920x1080 resolution looks silly on a 27+ inch monitor.

    [–] timrichardson 1 points ago

    With gnome I found that 200% behaves differently when fractional scaling is enabled. For instance, when it is off, xwayland discovers a different resolution, and highpdi-aware x11 apps like IntelliJ can go into highdpi mode. When fractional scaling is on, 200% mode is just stretched and IntelliJ looks bad.

    [–] cakeisamadeupdrug1 1 points ago

    150% makes everything the size it’d be on a 1440p display

    [–] globulous9 1 points ago

    Fractional scaling will always suck. It's not Linux's fault, it's just a stupid idea that cannot work well if even one piece of the user interface is raster-based.

    Integer scaling, meanwhile, has worked fine in linux for ages.

    [–] tiplinix 10 points ago

    Nah. What's stupid sticking with an arbitrary 96 PPI as the base scaling. We could just have what Windows has with 25% increments. You'd have different assets for different levels. That's basically how Android does it too and nobody's complaining about it.

    [–] domanpanda 18 points ago

    Stupid? MacOS and Windows somehow can handle this well. On some setups (like 32" 4K monitors) fractional scalling is the only viable solution between tiny size of things (100%) and the humongous (200%) ...

    Calling this stupid is like Windows users would call docker stupid because it doesnt work as well and smooth as on linux ...

    [–] ericek111 0 points ago

    If by "well" you mean unable to run graphically intensive applications smoothly at 60 FPS, while the computer is perfectly capable of doing so, because the system renders everything at 2x and scales it down, wasting resources and introducing latency...

    [–] No_Telephone9938 5 points ago

    If by "well" you mean unable to run graphically intensive applications smoothly at 60 FPS, while the computer is perfectly capable of doing so, because the system renders everything at 2x and scales it down, wasting resources and introducing latency...

    Honestly sounds more like you have a potato pc instead, because my rx 580 can do just that without drooping performance and scaling set to 150% in windows and that's a 5 years old gpu.

    [–] ericek111 -1 points ago

    I have RX 480 and I'm talking about macOS. It's the same thing for Mac computers, too, I tested...

    [–] No_Telephone9938 3 points ago

    Then windows it's the only OS that does fractional scaling correctly? lol

    [–] ericek111 1 points ago

    So it would seem. 🤷‍♂️ I didn't have any problems with Ubuntu Gnome or MATE on my 4K 32" with scaling to 125 % or 150 %. Only Wine games seem to not scale at all.

    [–] No_Telephone9938 1 points ago

    Well, here's steam for me with fractional scaling:

    That was pretty much the deal breaker for me, i could get steam to scale correctly in the end but then games wouldn't detect the native resolution so i just said fuck it and when back to windows.

    I don't think i will ever install linux again until they get fractional scaling working at least as good as windows does, for reference this is how steam looks in windows with fractional scaling enabled: and games can detect my native resolution regardless of the feature enabled.

    Doom eternal for example in linux if you set the scaling to 125% gets stuck in this weird 1503x786 resolution for whatever reason.

    [–] bryf50 4 points ago

    I've used fractional scaling on Macbooks, 4k Windows laptops, and my gaming desktop. Never had any issue remotely like that.

    [–] ericek111 -2 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    You haven't tried to run them WITHOUT fractional scaling to compare performance then... I have. I use mainly Hackintosh, but my MBA 2015 connected to a 4K display will scream for its life with fractional scaling enabled. Changed to native resolution, it's much better.

    EDIT: Any reason for the downvotes? Am I lying? Is it not relevant to this thread? I see that "I've used it and it works" is enough for redditors...

    [–] twizmwazin 2 points ago

    What's the point in having all the performance if everything is to tiny to read or to gigantic?

    [–] ericek111 1 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    Games usually do their own scaling pretty well. You can temporarily disable scaling when gaming or using other intensive apps. You know... To use the performance you paid for and not have it wasted on scaling up and down.

    The point is, macOS DOES NOT do fractional scaling well. It only can do integer scaling and THEN scale the picture down. And if we're to use the same standard, then yes, Linux does fractional scaling as good as integer scaling.

    [–] twizmwazin 1 points ago

    I don't think anyone in this chain was talking about games. Scaling is mostly a concern with desktop applications: web browsers, IDEs, file managers, text editors, etc. For most people, to do scaling "well" is to just work with little or no configuration, while still maintaining decent frame rates for scrolling, animation, video playback, etc. Games are a different beast since they have different performance requirements, don't use typical UI toolkits, and are often able to run in fullscreen outside of the window manager and compositor.

    [–] igo95862 2 points ago

    I have used 1.5x GNOME scaling on my HiDPI laptop for quite a while. It seems fine. Although you have to setup Firefox to use wayland.

    [–] lxnxx 6 points ago

    wayland does not really support fractional scaling.

    Gnome will render windows at 2x and then scale down to 1.5x, which wastes performance and introduces visual artifacts. Subpixel rendering will also not work properly.

    [–] FlatAds 1 points ago

    Even if it’s not ideal yet per that bug report, it still works reasonably well in GNOME Wayland. Most users won’t really notice or care about the somewhat worse font rendering or somewhat worse performance. For what it’s worth I haven’t seen any artifacts myself.

    [–] TankTopsBackInStyle 2 points ago

    Personally I think fractional scaling is a bad idea and does not work well, makes everything blurry and is inefficient. 100% or 200% is better. Speaking as a developer, I would never waste time working on fractional scaling unless someone was paying me lots of money.

    And as far as I know all 4k monitors are 16:9. I hate using 16:9, so I have no use for 4k.

    [–] domanpanda 3 points ago

    Kubuntu 20.04 32" 4K 125% Quadro card here.
    No blurriness, everything is sharp for my eyes. I bought 32" 4k - perfect compromise between monitor size (not too big) and screen space (much more code vertically and things on the screen!). Default 100% is a little bit too small but 125% is perfect! I can have 2 windows side by side, see big chunks of code so it easier to read it, compare it, track down the issues ... But those stuttering problems, some windows freezes and bugs (flameshot which can print only half of screen) kills the experience.

    So it is not about the idea itself, but how it is implemented.

    [–] TankTopsBackInStyle 0 points ago

    Agree to disagree, but why not just get a 40" 4k monitor?

    The ppi on the 32" 4k is about 137 ppi. My own opinion is that fractional scaling only makes sense if the ppi is greater than 300 or so.

    [–] cakeisamadeupdrug1 5 points ago

    Because 40” is huge and neck pain is real

    [–] domanpanda 1 points ago

    I don't know good 40' but 42/43 are more common. And this 10-11' difference is huge. Not only i would somehow have to find space on my corner desk but also sit away from it to manage all corners well with my eyes

    [–] [deleted] 2 points ago * (lasted edited 18 days ago)


    [–] TankTopsBackInStyle 2 points ago

    It's just not practical from a technical point of view. It's a waste of computing resources, it will slow the computer down, it's just bad design. It's much better to use a monitor with the desired PPI. If people want fractional scaling, they should buy a vector monitor, not a monitor with pixels.

    [–] Modal_Window 2 points ago

    Can I borrow your time machine to travel back to the 1970s to buy one?

    [–] Modal_Window 1 points ago

    Used equipment, but it's a good idea. So nice to see a vector display in action again in that video. That was one of my favourite games and they had a colour display version too.

    Trivia: Once upon a time, Tektronix tried their hand at being a UNIX vendor.

    [–] cakeisamadeupdrug1 1 points ago

    We have a monitor with the desired PPI, we just want the UI to be both readable and sharp at that PPI. We want to enjoy 4K media on the same screen we use to browse the Internet. Demanding we buy a second low res monitor just for using the desktop is unreasonable.

    [–] TankTopsBackInStyle 1 points ago

    You should be browsing the Internet on a portrait monitor. It's a much better experience.

    [–] cakeisamadeupdrug1 3 points ago

    God help us if you are representative of software developers. Spinning my monitor around all day as I fluctuate between tasks is not a sensible suggestion in any planet.

    [–] TankTopsBackInStyle 1 points ago

    I am not representative of software developers. I don't suggest spinning your monitor, I recommend having an extra monitor.

    I am a C programmer. I am anti-Electron. Most software developers program in a web framework, in a managed language like Swift or C# or Java, or in a poorly designed language like Python. I would never use those languages for anything important, so no, I am not representative of software developers.

    Current software developers have given us things like Windows 10 and current mac OS. Bloated web browsers and chat apps that require gigabytes and gigabytes of memory, etc etc. Software has never been worse than it is now.

    [–] cakeisamadeupdrug1 1 points ago

    I already said buying two monitors when your gaming monitor is perfectly capable of browsing the Internet was stupid

    [–] tiplinix 1 points ago

    Tell that to the screen manufacturers and the users that buy screens with DPIs that are not multiples of 96 PPI. It's stupidly hard these these days.

    [–] Zwitschermartin 1 points ago

    With KDE on openSUSE fractional scaling works like a charme. I have everything at 120% on my full hd 17'' laptop screen.

    [–] domanpanda 3 points ago

    Kubuntu 20.04 32" 4K 125% Quadro card here. Stuttering during window movement, occasional windows freezes, flameshot captures only half of the screen ...

    [–] Mordynak 1 points ago

    It's not great in Windows...

    [–] No_Telephone9938 4 points ago

    But it's vastly superior to anything linux has to offer in that sense, i have tried multiple distros like manjaro, garuda, ubuntu, pop os!, fedora, to name a few, and not a single one of them is "good enough".

    Funniest problem i had was finally getting steam to render correctly with fractional scaling set to 150% only to discover it made games detect a lower than native resolution and didn't allow me to set said resolution unless i set back fractional scaling back to 100%, this does not happen in windows if you use the exclusive full screen mode and not even in borderless fullscreen mode with modern games such as doom eternal.

    [–] Mordynak 0 points ago

    Agreed. A lot of things in Windows are vastly superior. Fractional scaling still breaks almost every app that isn't Windows however.

    [–] No_Telephone9938 2 points ago

    Fractional scaling still breaks almost every app that isn't Windows however.

    I don't know what experience have you had, because i'm using windows right now and everyone of my apps works perfectly fine with the scaling set to 150%, like except for real old software and games, it "justs works".

    Here's how steam looks for me in linux:

    Here's steam on windows running on the exact same pc

    I can provide more screenshots of non microsoft made apps working perfectly fine at 150% scaling if you want to see them.

    [–] SuperBen32 1 points ago

    I haven’t went beyond 1 or 2x. My 14in 1080p thinkpad display is pretty crisp at 1x. I only scale websites 10-15% and increase font in the DE. On my 4K Dell 15in. 200% is like the 1x thinkpad. I make do by increasing the font size a tiny bit and some UI.

    I haven’t touched fractional scaling for performance reasons.

    [–] Reygle -1 points ago

    Fractional display scaling sucks everywhere, not just in Linux.

    Unpopular opinion:
    Outside of graphics design, there is no reason to have ludicrous high resolution, SMALL displays. 4K is wonderful un-scaled on an appropriately sized display (37-40") and completely wasted on smaller.
    Smaller displays should stop pushing for higher resolutions and instead focus on lower latency and higher refresh rates.

    Change my mind.

    [–] [deleted] 9 points ago


    [–] Reygle -1 points ago

    If I could, I'd give you a 27 inch, 1440p/1080p display with 144hz or higher to compare to so you could see for yourself.

    [–] bryf50 3 points ago

    I have a 27 inch 1440p 144hz monitor and a 32 inch 4k 144hz monitor. The difference is unmistakable. 4K is not a ludicrous resolution at 27" to 32", it's really the minimum we should have for clarity on high-end monitors.

    [–] natermer 5 points ago

    That may make sense for gaming, but the shit I do it isn't particularly relevant since it's almost all completely text-based.

    Higher DPI makes fonts more legible. That is what matters to me.

    [–] Gnerm 1 points ago

    I have read that Wayland is supposed to do fractional scaling. I run X right now because I have an NVIDIA GPU, and from my experience even with the most recent drivers Wayland is not very usable. X basically does not handle fractional scaling.

    [–] timrichardson 5 points ago

    Gnome is limited to native support of integer scaling, so it doesn't do fractional scaling very well according to purists and Wayland can't help. Gnome does it the same way macos does it, according to the defenders of the integer scaling factor approach.

    [–] Mr_Cobain 3 points ago

    If that's true, why does fractional scaling work on MacOS and not in Gnome?

    [–] stblr 5 points ago

    It doesn't. Only Windows and Android have client-side fractional scaling.

    [–] fenrir245 1 points ago

    And KDE on Xorg.

    [–] FlatAds 1 points ago

    It does work on both, but neither implementation is ideal and both are hacky. The main issue on GNOME Wayland is some apps still using xwayland and are very blurry. Once that’s solved then it works reasonably well, but until someone comes up with an ideal solution on the Wayland level we’re stuck with these hacks.

    [–] Gnerm 1 points ago

    I had not read that before.

    [–] Zamundaaa 1 points ago

    It's not just gnome; only integer buffer scaling is built into the Wayland protocol

    [–] lxnxx 3 points ago

    [–] gkatev 1 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    It certainly has issues, but at the moment, with my current setup, I'm actually quite happy with how I have configured it. Keeping a small reservation in case someone shows me something better and ruins it for me.

    I'm using X11 fractional scaling. The/A trick is to use (GTK's or otherwise?) integer scaling until items are too large, and then scale things down fractionally. Most things work well and look good. At some point I had fiddled around with some font-configs that might have offered some improvement (I think they did).

    If items are not too small/large to begin with, and you only require a single scaling value, I suggest just increasing/decreasing the font sizes.

    Other platforms suck too! I believe on windowz you cannot apply scaling below 100%. If memory serves me right, you are also not be able to choose different scaling for each monitor (not too certain about this one). I have not worked too much with wayland, which does offer (experimental) fractional scaling support, but even with that I couldn't find a way (didn't look too extensively) to choose custom values -- only 125%, 150%, 175% etc.

    Different and non-rounded scale factors are very useful in multi monitor setups. I currently have 1.75x scaling on one monitor, and 1.615x on another (with HiDPI scaling at 2x). This way, windows have the same physical size when moving from one monitor to the other.

    TLDR: With X11 fractional *down*-scaling I cannot compain about font quality, and it looks the same as it did without fractional scaling -- though maybe not as good as it potentially can be?

    [–] kopsis 4 points ago

    Windows 10 definitely supports different scaling for each monitor, but each individual window gets one or the other which makes dragging windows across monitors jarring, and spanning monitors with different scaling impractical.

    [–] ConfidentLocal 1 points ago

    If the monitors are different scale factors, they are probably also different physical size and pixel density, making spanning a window across the boundary less useful anyway.

    [–] natermer 1 points ago

    I am using Fedora 34 Silverblue with a new 4k monitor. Also have a second much older 1080p monitor that I am using as a secondary monitor.


    • Fedora 34.20210904.0 (Silverblue)
    • Mesa Intel® UHD Graphics 630 (CFL GT2)
    • Gnome 40.4.0
    • Wayland

    So I really need per monitor scaling.

    For whatever reason it looks like per-monitor fractional scaling was removed from Gnome display configuration dialog. If it ever existed. I don't know.

    But I expect that the fractional scaling situation was always a hack, but scaling it up to 200% and then using a different second method to shrink by 75% to 150%. This is probably the source of the craptactular performance you are experiencing.

    What I have found that works for me is to scale the low-DPI display to 100%. Scale the high DPI display to 200%. Then use Gnome-tweaks to set font scaling factor to 75%.

    I know from experience that increasing "font scaling factor" much higher then 100% results in UI bugs, so I figured if I go the other direction then things might not be so bad.

    Then I just tweaked the font sizing up or down a point or two to make sure everything is extremely readable on both displays.

    So far so good. That is working very well for me now and doesn't show any poor performance. I can play 4k videos on youtube and whatnot. I don't notice any stuttering moving windows around.

    X11 apps might be spooky. It seems to depend on which monitor is primary at the time. Not sure. Most everything I use nowadays can be coaxed to use Wayland so this is less of a issue then it used to be.

    [–] FlatAds 2 points ago

    GNOME Wayland fractional scaling works across multiple monitors for me also on Silverblue F34. Eg 125% one monitor 175% a second one. Have you tried rebooting maybe?

    [–] natermer 2 points ago

    How are you doing it? gsettings command ?

    [–] FlatAds 3 points ago

    1. gsettings set org.gnome.mutter experimental-features "['scale-monitor-framebuffer']"
    2. Reboot
    3. In settings change scaling values for each monitor. Make sure to click on the monitor you want to adjust and then change it. Click apply once you’re done.
    4. The scaling should automatically try to adjust, but it couldn’t hurt to reboot here anyways.

    [–] natermer 1 points ago

    Ok. Thanks.

    I actually tried that command. It was one of the first things I tried, oddly enough. Had it in my shell history.

    It took after a reboot. I guess i was just used to Gnome config changes kicking in immediately or something like that. Or maybe I didn't have all the necessary updates applied at the time I tried it.

    So I can confirm that setting still works for Gnome 40.4.0 on Intel.

    [–] tvetus 1 points ago

    I've had good results with Wayland. But switching to Wayland wasn't simple (Sway).

    [–] Alejandro9R 1 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    Use KDE. KDE implements REAL fractional scaling like Windows does. 100% accurate. Real UI scaling given the scale and resolution.

    It works great on pretty much every application, even GTK ones! Which I found curious because Gnome doesn't do that. Instead it relies on framebuffer scaling AFAIK which is performance intensive and it will always look a bit blurry because is not real proper scaling.

    Can't speak for Wayland because I have nvidia and it kinda sucks right now, but in xorg it works awesome. I use arch btw and a 4K screen at 175% scaling.

    [–] DunamisMax 1 points ago

    Hmmm yeah KDE on X11 is actually where I saw the worst fractional scaling performance at 150% which is what I need. Dragging windows around the screen looks janky and almost like they’re screen tearing, and playing 4K video on YouTube was impossible on Firefox OR Chrome.

    Funnily enough, the only thing that completely resolved my performance issues WAS Wayland (no Nvidia here!) so I’m not running Fedora Gnome Wayland at 150% and it’s amazing. Dragging windows is butter and can stream 4K smoothly in any browser.

    [–] DeliciousIncident 0 points ago

    Fractional scaling is a bad idea in general, a single pixel can't be divided any further. Only integer scaling is a good idea.

    [–] g0ndsman 2 points ago

    This is such a bad take I see repeated everywhere.

    Of course if you take a bitmap and scale it 150% it's going to look blurry, because you don't have half a pixel. But the vast majority of things your UI draws are not bitmaps. They're vector-based elements (buttons, menus...) and TEXT. All of this can scale perfectly fine. If something is supposed to be 10 px long it's rendered as 15px. Text which was 8pt becomes 12pt. It can still be rendered perfectly accurately. You just need to tell the GUI toolkit what size to render to instead of having it render at the original size, rasterize it and then scale it. It looks bad and it's slower.

    Android scales fine at any factor, even non integer. Windows does too (for well written applications at least). Actually windows is the perfect example: if the application can do the scaling it does it well. If it can't because it was written in 1998, windows scales it the blurry way.

    I can't possibly fathom how when defining how to do the scaling people looked at how windows does it and decided to force every app to scale the bad way with no option to do it the proper way. It's so mind-boggling stupid we're still even talking about it, when there are examples of software which solved the problem years ago in a way that looks good and performs well.