Fedora 26 / Gnome 3 Hi DPI Settings and Quirks

Thursday, August 24th, 2017 | Insights, Linux, Quirks, Tech-savvy | No Comments

I was about to release another “post-installation tasks” post when I thought it might be a good idea to focus on a specific topic first: Hi DPI (aka 4k resolution monitors) and how Fedora, my weapon of choice, is performing. Fedora ships with Gnome 3 on Wayland. So this will be my starting point.

Set-up Gnome to use Hi DPI mode

This sounds to easy. But rest assured, this is only the first general steps as a lot of apps, even Gnome (3.24.2) itself, does not respect / support this setting consistently. (here are two native Gnome examples of mixed Hi Res and Low Res components Example 1 Example 2)

Still, for me the overall experience is finally worth setting up a Hi DPI desktop environment.

Install Gnome Tweak Tool

$ sudo dnf install gnome-tweak-tool

Fire it up, go to “Window” and set the Hi DPI mode to 2x. (In the near future Gnome wants to support arbitrary scaling factors, on a per device i.e. monitor basis. Looking forward to that!) You may need to log in and out of your session for the setting to take effect.

Update 25.08.17 There is another Gnome setting, and after that Gnome itself renders just fine! Bliss! Thanks Michael Reinartz for pointing this out!

$ gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface scaling-factor 2

Apps that work well out of the box (on my machine)

Firefox 55.0.1
Thunderbird 52.2.1
Opera 47

and after the “Update 25.08.17” hint:
Audacious 3.8.2 (Winamp Interface)
Terminal 3.24.2

Apps that scale well after some handiwork

Chromium 60 (maybe Chrome – I don’t use it right now)
Chromium needs a special parameter: --force-device-scale-factor=2, just add it to a copy of the .desktop file in your personal user space.

cp /usr/share/applications/chromium-browser.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/

Put that parameter just behind the executable:

Exec=/usr/bin/chromium-browser %U --force-device-scale-factor=2

eclipse 4.7 Oxygen

I use a launch script for eclipse, just add export SWT_GTK3=0 to it. The export UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 fixed a problem with disappearing menus in eclipse. I can omit the entry without problems, I just leave it here in case you might need it.

export SWT_GTK3=0
./eclipse/eclipse -showlocation

Apps that do not scale at all (yet)

Audacity 2.1.3
They say you need to recompile it with wxWidgets --with-gtk=3
@see http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Linux_Issues#Hi-DPI

Gimp 2.8
There are themes available with hi res icons but I will just wait for 2.9 as it should support Hi DPI natively.

At least the full screen mode looks nice πŸ˜‰


As you can see Hi DPI is still work in progress. Still, I figure Hi DPI usable by now and will not go back. Looking at a “printed screen” is just too amazing.

Hope I gave you some insights and if you have something to add just leave a comment. Thanks!

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Fedora 20 / Ubuntu GNOME 13.10 Post Installation Tasks

Friday, January 24th, 2014 | Linux, Tech-savvy | Comments Off on Fedora 20 / Ubuntu GNOME 13.10 Post Installation Tasks

Again, some post installation tasks. I figure Fedora is a little bit too trigger happy on kernel updates, so I went back to go for the “default” Linux, but GNOME flavoured. Unity is not my cup of tea. It did not work as well as expected, so in the end I went back to Fedora. /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup anybody?

› Continue reading

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Goodbye Fedora, Hello Ubuntu

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 | Gadgets, Linux, Tech-savvy | No Comments

Fedora pretty much blew my mind until recent updates rendered the system unusable. After a kernel update VirtualBox stopped working (had to install recent header files by hand) and my FreeMind had some dependency issues I didn’t even bother to solve. I like to have a system that is as versatile as any modern Linux, yet I need a stable environment as well. So I thought fudge it, let’s give *the* “standard” Linux a try – I installed the recent Ubunutu 12.04.1 LTS and man it rocks! πŸ™‚

    Ubuntu 12 at a glimpse:

  • Unity is a Desktop Environment that is easy and pleasant to work with.
  • The dash is pretty kewl as well. I don’t know how much I like the tight integration with pretty much everything, but it seems to be a nice concept.
  • Terminals come with a decent colour scheme – may sound petty, yet a sloppy set-up terminal is a major annoyance to me.
  • Ctrl-Alt-T – how come it never occurred to me that a terminal shortcut will make life so much easier?!
  • Ubuntu’s default font is a feast for the eyes – love it!
  • bash history size is already set to 2000 (instead of Mint’s 500) – no need to pimp this one as well
  • ls aliases already present, yet needed some personal flavour tweaking

I have to say that Ubuntu 12.04 has been the most flawless and out-of-the-box experience in quite some time. Awesome!

    Brief post-installation task as a reminder to self:

  • fix vim movement issue
  • echo set nocompatible >> ~/.vimrc

  • hide windoze hdds in nautilus @see http://www.nick-prosch.de/?p=4265
  • fix .local name resolution in /etc/nsswitch.conf if you are on a m$ driven network
  • hosts: dns files mdns4_minimal mdns4

  • we like to be united – my wife and me use the same usergroup and still like to have 002 umasks instead of non-username group’s umask of 022 @see https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/umask-to-0002 for more info
    • all beloved ones shall use the same group
    • sudo usermod -g users username

    • edit /etc/login.defs s/UMASK 022/UMASK 002/
  • install Adblock Plus, Firebug
  • install VirtualBox + extension pack and add users to vboxusers group
  • sudo usermod -a -G vboxusers username

  • install Audacious
  • install TrueCrypt
  • set up ssh environment, keys and the like

I am about to get a new shiny device at work. I am looking forward to see how Ubuntu subsists in every day’s developer’s business. Stay tuned.

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Fedora 17: post installation tasks

Monday, September 3rd, 2012 | Linux, Tech-savvy | 1 Comment

Okay, as promised, my personal Fedora 17 post-installation tasks are:

  1. Change terminal environment
  2. First thing I do is open a terminal and wonder who likes to work on a small piece of paper? This is a terminal, not a word processor. Edit -> Profiles… -> Default, 132×43 size, colour scheme: Gray on black, transparency 10%, Scrollback 5120, done.

  3. Install Adblock Plus
  4. Adblock Plus seems to me like the essential FireFox plug-in in any kind of browsing environment.

  5. Hide unwanted devices in Nautilus
  6. Get rid of windoze partitions and the like showing up in Nautilus. See my previous post on this topic.

  7. Install Fedora Utils
  8. Fedora Utils is a script that lets you install essential (proprietory/closed-source) software. Use it to get access to multi-media codecs and DVD playback or software like Google Earth and Skype. Nice! Save a lot of handiwork. There maz be better alternatives around, but as this is my first Fedora run I cannot say which one does the job best.

  9. Install TrueCrypt
  10. Nice encryption tool. Make sure you disable the requiretty option in the sudoers file for GUI support.

  11. Install Audacious
  12. My favourite Linux Winamp clone. Love it or leave it.

    sudo yum install audacious
  13. Install Nautilus Open in Terminal extension
  14. Fiddling in Nautilus and need a Terminal? Right click -> Open in Terminal. Done.

    sudo yum install nautilus-open-terminal
  15. Install VirtualBox
  16. If you installed Fedora Utils you should already have a current VirtualBox in your repositories.

    sudo yum install VirtualBox

    Download and install the extension pack for USB support.
    Make sure you are a member of the vboxusers group:

    usermod -a -G vboxusers username
  17. Install Thunderbird
  18. Fedora ships with Evolution, I prefer Thunderbird.

    sudo yum install thunderbird
  19. Install Office suite
  20. I guess Libre Office is the suite to go with.

    sudo yum install libreoffice
  21. Install Gimp
  22. What? No Gimp? That@s pretty darn “pure” too me πŸ™‚

    sudo yum install gimp
  23. pimp Gnome
  24. I only install a bare minimum of Gnome Extensions, namely

    1. Windows Alt Tab
    2. A replacement for Alt-Tab, allows to cycle between windows and does not group by application. First I tried AlternateTab, but that gave a small preview of the window instead of the program’s icon. It can be quite tedious to search for a window’s content rather than an easily recognizable icon.

    3. Native Window Placement
    4. Arrange windows in overview in a more compact way.

    5. Remove Accessibility
    6. Remove the accesibility button from the top panel.

    7. Status Icon Fixer
    8. Fixes Dropbox, Skype, vlc and others into the status bar; not perfect, but ok
      I like this little devil a lot. I used it to fix Audaciuos status icon to appear where I want it to. Edit ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/status@gnome-shell.2jk.org/extension.js to suit your needs.

  25. increase terminal history size
  26. From a previous post: Remember that wicked command you entered a few weeks ago? No? Increase your history size to something that lives up to the term β€œhistory”. Open your ~/.bashrc and enter something like export HISTFILESIZE=10000

I’d like to point out one more time that Fedora 17 ships with working multi-monitor support and vi movements are working out of the box as well, no more echo set nocompatible >> ~/.vimrc needed. I also already encountered a few problems, like VirtualBox no longer working after Kernel update or FreeMind having some dependency issues at some point. I have to say that it seems bleeding edge comes with a few characteristics that render the OS not work-compliant. Maybe next time I’ll go for a plain Ubuntu LTS and hope it just works…

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Goodbye Mint, Hello Fedora

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 | Misc | No Comments

Seems Mint 13 finally finished me. I have to say that Mint 10 was the last “flawless” version of Mint (I’ve been there since Mint 4 “Daryna”). Right now I am still using Mint 12 on my home machine, tried 13 on my business laptop – and decided that I don’t want to take part in the desktop environment wars any more. Again, the multi-monitor setup in Mint was a pain and trying to preserve the Gnome 2 / XP way of working is a huge step back IMHO. I am okay with Gnome 3 (didn’t try Unity yet) and I was looking for a “pure” unfiddled Linux experience. After checking some major distros I decided to give Fedora 17 a more serious go and I have to say I did not regret it. “Mint” Linux, no clutter, bleeding edge (wow, finally including a mulit-monitor setup that seems to work). You could argue that setting up the system takes longer, because Fedora does not ship with things like proper multimedia support or propitiatory software like Flash, VirtualBox or Skype. I think that’s pretty kewl. You should understand why mp3 playback is not available out-of-the-box and that you have to explicitly install it at your own will.

Anyway, right now I am compiling a few Fedora 17 post installation tasks that will show there’s a bit more to do (no Gnome 3 extension installed by default – very pure indeed πŸ™‚ ), stay tuned.

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