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I just installed ubuntu on my 15 inch (1920x1080) laptop, and things look very small. It is displaying things as if I had a larger monitor.

Things looked fine in my windows partition, and when I checked the seetings I noticed that the display scaling setttings was set as "150% (recommended)". But Ubuntu only lets me do 100% or 200% scaling, which is abnormally large.

When googling, everyone recommends using the following command:

gsettings set org.gnome.mutter experimental-features "['scale-monitor-framebuffer']"

but it is not working for me, I still only have 100% and 200% scale settings.

Setting the "Large text" setting on universal access, makes things better, but it still doesen't look perfect, and only affects font.

Is there a solution which actually solves the problem as opposed to work around it (e.g. increasing font size) ?

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I think that you can modify a lot of thing using the gnome-tweak-tool.

Install it using:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool

Then search it in the search bar as tweaks and open it.

Click on the Fonts section and modify everything you want that is customizable for example the text scale factor.

You can find also a lot of advanced customization that aren't normally visible in Settings, it's a very useful GUI for custom the system view.

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    Yea, that solution seems to be the one that works best, but I still feel like there should be a better solution for this. Because when I see my friend's laptops with Ubuntu, they look just fine by default, but mine looks comparitively tiny. Something must be wrong with my Ubuntu. – Marco Nov 12 '19 at 16:53
  • I don't know, if it's a fresh install you can try to download driver for that specific video card. I have a dell xps 9560 and initially I had lots of problem issued from video card driver that wheren't present and I had to download directly from nvidia. – giague Nov 12 '19 at 17:06
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You can do that with xrandr.

Get identificator of your builtin screen: xrandr --current You should get something like this:

LVDS-1 connected primary 1366x768+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 277mm x 156mm
   1366x768      60.02*+
   1280x720      60.00    59.99    59.86    59.74  
   1024x768      60.04    60.00  
   960x720       60.00  
   928x696       60.05  
   896x672       60.01  
   1024x576      59.95    59.96    59.90    59.82  
   960x600       59.93    60.00  
   960x540       59.96    59.99    59.63    59.82  
   800x600       60.00    60.32    56.25  
   840x525       60.01    59.88  
   864x486       59.92    59.57  
   700x525       59.98  
   800x450       59.95    59.82  
   640x512       60.02  
   700x450       59.96    59.88  
   640x480       60.00    59.94  
   720x405       59.51    58.99  
   684x384       59.88    59.85  
   640x400       59.88    59.98  
   640x360       59.86    59.83    59.84    59.32  
   512x384       60.00  
   512x288       60.00    59.92  
   480x270       59.63    59.82  
   400x300       60.32    56.34  
   432x243       59.92    59.57  
   320x240       60.05  
   360x202       59.51    59.13  
   320x180       59.84    59.32  
VGA-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI-2 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI-3 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP-2 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP-3 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

So now we know that LVDS-1 is connected and it is builtin screen (because I do not have external monitor).

And now just scale it: xrandr --output LVDS-1 --scale 0.66x0.66.

Why 0.66? Because 100% is 66% of 150%.


If you want this to run on startup, add it to your ~/.Xsession

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  • Thank you for your response! I think this is close to what the correct solution. I ran the command, and it turned out that 0.66x0.66 made things too large, so I did 0.8x0.8 (125%) instead, and while things look ok size-wise, they were all blurry. – Marco Nov 12 '19 at 17:57

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