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I installed Oneiric on a clean system, and found that the font tab is gone from the Appearance settings. This is a problem, because by default the text in Ubuntu is too large.

I changed the text from normal to small in the Universal Access settings, but then it was way too small.

I also tried it this way, but it doesn't appear to have any effect.

How can I get back the fine control and change my DPI from 96 to 90?

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You might be able to start the settings program "by hand". – Martin Ueding Sep 3 '11 at 13:09
see also: – Takkat Sep 3 '11 at 13:42
Since Ubuntu 14.04 there is a setting for the Screen DPI Scaling: – user294881 Jun 19 '14 at 8:07
@BartVanHeukelom: Please explain, why do you want to change the FONT DPI and not the whole SCREEN DPI? as @user294881 said, this is possible now in System Settings->"Displays"->"Scale for menu and title bars" Screenshot – rubo77 Jun 19 '14 at 18:42
up vote 16 down vote accepted

Gnome Tweak Tool

This is a common issue on the forums - the move to gnome3 has dumped many of the customisation features that were available in gnome2.

One GUI tool that exists in Software Center is gnome-tweak-tool - its a partial solution to allow you to customise some aspects of fonts.

The "Text scaling factor" is the option you are interested in - its unfortunate that it is a sliding bar so you will not be able to enter the actual DPI value. Click on the sliding bar and use the left/right arrow keys to decrease/increase the font size. enter image description here


Using dconf-editor which is available in the dconf-tools package allows you to set the "Text Scaling Factor" numerically i.e. changing the default value by fractions of numbers (1.2, 0.9 etc) changes the overall screen font size:

enter image description here

Universal Access

If you just want to adjust the text size universally without need detail you can do this from the universal access tool:

enter image description here

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This doesn't change the DPI, does it? It looks like it just adjusts font sizes to compensate. – ændrük Feb 10 '12 at 14:35
Its the closest that I found - I haven't found anything closer to the old gnome-2 functionality.... unless you know of something? - doesnt appear to be anything in precise either :( – fossfreedom Feb 10 '12 at 14:55
Appendix: Nowadays one can use Ubuntu Tweak. – Bart van Heukelom Jul 4 '12 at 15:01
Where in Ubuntu Tweak is that setting? – Olathe Jun 12 '13 at 2:12
You can also adjust individual fonts with gnome-tweak-tool; notably you'll want to increase window title font which is unaffected by Text scaling factor. – Beni Cherniavsky-Paskin Nov 17 '13 at 5:10

Just open gconf-editor Install gconf-editor, navigate to the key /desktop/gnome/font_rendering/dpi and adjust to values you need.

enter image description here

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If the key text-scaling-factor is missing from gconf-editor, check alternatively:

 gsettings list-schemas | grep org.gnome.desktop.interface
 gsettings list-keys org.gnome.desktop.interface
 gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.interface text-scaling-factor
 gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface text-scaling-factor 0.9

(replace 0.9 with the desired value).

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Too bad it's changing only scale factor. Not dpi – Yuriy Voziy Oct 27 '11 at 17:41
Why downvote? the first answer also doing the same thing – Anwar Shah Jun 11 '12 at 6:03
According to , “scaling-factor only allows whole numbers to be set. 1 = 100%, 2 = 200%, etc...” – Denilson Sá Jan 31 at 10:26

gconf-editor is applicable to gnome shell only.

If you want to change DPI for unity shell, use dconf-editor . (It comes with dconf-tools)

The procedure is same as detailed above.

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did you try setting the DisplaySize in xorg.conf? I added to /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d a file with the size in mm, let's see how it works:

Section "Monitor"
  Identifier "myMonitor"
  DisplaySize 223 125
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