HiDPI Support - Best Distro for HiDPI Alone

On desktop, I’ve forever had issues with HiDPI (particularly because I’ve got 3 monitors, one HiDPI and 2 not) in Linux. I’ve tried both Wayland and XOrg in various distros, and all seem to have some pretty bad failings (IntelliJ font smoothing bugs the hell out of me, virtualbox and other legacy UIs are a massive pain, Chrome font smoothing…). I’m really fussy about font rendering which doesn’t help matters.

Ignoring all other aspects, what is the best distro / DM combi supported for running on the framework? Really happy to go rolling release / hack about and not have it necessarily stable in other regards.

Fedora has been the “just works” distro for me with varying display configurations. It somehow automatically saves resolutions and scaling, and the native display is automatically recognized as HiDPI and set to 200% scaling. I use Xorg, but that functionality is cross server.

I don’t have a sensitivity to font rendering, but everything outside of WINE applications has been stellar, from browsers to libreoffice. One thing that might help is changing your system fonts with GNOME Tweaks: Apple (as much as I hate to say it) has had to engineer around the subpixel font problem to make their Retina displays crisp, and SF Pro seems to be a really well built font for that reason. Also make sure you actually enable subpixel font hinting.

IntelliJ is strange, JetBrains Mono is a really well regarded font. It’s also not an Electron app, but I haven’t done any research into how Java/Kotlin engines/apps fare more generally. Try installing their official binary from their website? That was the only one that ever worked compilation wise for me (snaps and flatpaks were both broken), can’t remember if that came with graphical issues as well.

Some people have issues with 200% on the Framework screen, and would rather use Wayland for the fractional scaling. This is where scaling gets to be much more complicated, as you need to use Electron hacks to make those apps not look absolutely awful. I don’t have as much experience with this because I use Xorg, but it is getting better. I haven’t seen complaints with the rendering of non-electron non-XWayland apps for a while now.

Don’t even try X11 fractional scaling. Half the time the command doesn’t work, and it looks blurry and awful.

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