Linux Fractional Screen Scaling?

Aloha everyone! I’m in Batch 5, and will hopefully be getting my Framework sometime next month. I’ve read a lot of mixed things about fractional scaling on Linux, but a lot of it’s outdated or deals with very high resolutions like 4K. Therefore, I was wondering, how has fractional scaling been working out for you so far on the Framework, if you’ve needed it? If you haven’t, is it because things are still readable at 1:1, or do you use another workaround like bumping up the font and icon sizes?

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I’ve been running mine at 100% scaling. It makes reading text difficult, but I like the screen real estate.

On Firefox, I have the scaling set to 150% under Firefox’s settings, and it seems to handle it okay without blurring the text (using Wayland, with X11/XWayland it will probably be blurry). The text is a bit off-center in some menus, but that’s because the text is being aligned to where the actual pixels are (which is what makes it not blurry).

If having it at 100% is too small for you, you could set it to 200%, and make use of multiple virtual desktops for handling multiple windows. The text won’t be blurry, but it will look pretty big which you may not like.

I’m sure others have their own way of handling fractional scaling, but this is what works for me.

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I absolutely need it. I run a LoDPI external monitor with a dock so I chose Wayland so I could get mixed DPI working easily.

Docked I run the internal display at 175%, while I run it at 150% when not docked, and it’s been working great with all the usual Wayland caveats: not every application supports native Wayland rendering, the ones that do might not enable it by default and require fiddling, mixing KDE apps with Gnome is a PITA, etc.

But once I got everything working or worked around it’s been really very good!

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I have not found fractional scaling to be in a usable state.

Unless I am watching a full screen video or playing a game, and even then, really, everything I do on a computer involves text and text scaling in some way. Something I did not realize the full extent of until I tested the fractional scaling.

Blurry text that strains my eyes trying to focus on something that can’t be focused, or struggling to read the text because it’s too small are both non-negotiable deal breakers.

Having to recompile an essential every day application with an unstable experimental option cooked in just to see if it would work is honestly probably more negotiable than it should be, given that “essential every day application” thing, but isn’t something I’m open to negotiating right now. So, 200% it is for me.

This does however seem to be even more subjective than a lot of other things, because I too have seen people reporting at least usable/workable experiences and the only conclusion I can come to is that I have a far, far, far lower tolerance for how bad I’ll allow the blur or inconsistency to be.

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Fractional scaling seemed to work okay for most of my things… except my browser.
The blurry text is honestly really straining on your eyes. I switched back to 200% scaling for UI, and then just zoom @ 80% in browser + apps


In Cinnamon, I’m running with 100% scaling with the ‘Text Scaling Factor’ set at 150%. I’ve also made some of the interface items like the menu font, desktop icons, and main panel scaled up. FF is set for a scaling factor to 150% as well. No blurring here and everything looks nice.


Wayland or X?

If Wayland, support in Chrome-based browsers is experimental and requires a command-line option to be enabled.

If Firefox, you need the MOZ_ENABLE_WAYLAND environment variable set.

Otherwise both revert to X and fractional scaling in xwayland is a blurry mess.

Honestly, anyone here struggling should just go through the Arch HiDPI wiki page:

I’m extremely sensitive to blurry text, but under Wayland with apps that support Wayland, it looks clear and sharp.

Notably this excludes Electron apps by default (and they still don’t support CSD so they’re broken in Gnome), Firefox and Chrome by default, as well as some older apps that don’t support it at all (e.g. gvim).


I’ve been running X at 1920x1280:

xrandr --newmode 1920x1280  206.25  1920 2056 2256 2592  1280 1283 1293 1327 -hsync +vsync
xrandr --addmode eDP-1 1920x1280
xrandr --output eDP-1 --primary --mode 1920x1280 --pos 0x0 --rotate normal

I haven’t noticed text blurriness, and doing it that way avoids having to mess with different ways of scaling things in different toolkits.

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