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Making mixed dpi usable

Registered Member

Making mixed dpi usable

Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:34 pm
Dear KDE developers,

I'm interested in whether there is any effort in making mixed DPI usable under KDE?

There are 2 issues:
  • If one uses Xorg, most of the HIDPI stuff works well after some tweaks, but when an external monitor is connected, one must restart the whole session. And one must set the scaling manually in the menu. Would it be possible to autodetect the scaling, and to make KDE restart without actually killing the session? Under Gnome this works really well in the last ~2 years.
  • Wayland. Here the mixed DPI works well, except that XWayland apps are super blurry. So basically all the apps I use daily (Chrome, PyCharm, VSCode) are unusable. There are forum threads back from 2018 with the same issue, but nobody seems to care. Again, the same thing works perfectly under Gnome, so somehow it is doable.

I really like KDE, but in its current form, there is too much effort to use it with an external monitor.

Additional comments to the HDPI support:

  • Why is that display scaling is not detected? Again, under Gnome it works well from the first login
  • Why one needs to set PLASMA_USE_QT_SCALING=1 environment variable to get icon scaling in the system tray? I would plasma use a different scaling from the rest of the desktop ever, and if it is needed for some reason, why is that the default?
  • SDDM doesn't care about DPI settings, so the login screen is always tiny.
  • KDE crashes if the external monitor is disconnected under Wayland.

I use Plasma 5.17.4 on Manjaro, display scaling of 2x.

Is there a chance to get this working in the next year or so, or just stick with a low dpi screen laptop for my next machine?

Registered Member

Re: Making mixed dpi usable

Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:52 pm
I would recommend filing bug reports for these issues at to get the devs involved in making the needed changes.

airdrik, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Dec.

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