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my question is about having multiple monitors with different density (DPI) to display the UI at approximately the same physical dimensions.

The feature is supported by Windows 8.1 and Mac OS 10.9. For an illustration of it please see this M$ blog (the calculator example): Optimizing Multi-Mon DPI Scaling in Windows 8.1

I use KDE (Kubuntu 14.04). My displays are:

  • 15.4in FullHD laptop (144dpi)
  • 23in FullHD laptop (96dp)

Everything looks too small on the laptop and too large on display. It's so funny because I use the laptop on the couch when I need to casually browse (need larger scale to see things easier) and I use the desk monitor when I need to work (need smaller scale to fit more stuff).

While this is not a problem on Windows and Mac (because of per-display scaling):

  • Mac scaling looks good on the retina display, but rather poor on the large monitor (blurry). It's still usable. The feature can't be turned off.
  • Windows scaling looks horrible: the display you used to login looks better - the other one very blurry. Also some important apps such as Chrome v36 are most of the time blurry (poorly scaled). Turning off per-display scaling solves the blurriness.
  • Linux - there is no support in any Window/Desktop Manager that I know of.

Any thoughts? Cheers!

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Good news for KDE Plasma users. It looks like the 5.11 BETA has this feature included and working on Wayland. If you use Kubuntu you can use the backports ppa to get the latest and greatest faster. Keep in mind though 5.11 isn't on backports ppa yet though. https://launchpad.net/~kubuntu-ppa/+archive/ubuntu/backports

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports
sudo apt-get update

If you are on KDE Neon well then you probably already know you will get it soon as well.

https://www.kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.11/dual-monitor-dpi-change-wayland.jpg

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There are workarounds: you can, for example, adjust dpi for the most dense screen, and use xrandr to downscale other screens (to keep it crisp). See my answer for a relative question:

Is it possible to have two different DPI configurations for two different screens?

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