4K with Qubes, HiDPI, Scaling Problems


#1

[significant edits] Originally posted as a question, have founds some good documentation for help.

The new 15v4 is a 4K screen with very high DPI (PPI); bright; and very non-reflective screen!! Awesome! Just one problem: 4K HiDPI requires some extra work to look nice in Qubes dom0 and the VMs. And even after configuration, it’s still a bit rough around the edges due to some remaining tiny icons, cut off fonts, and other oddities. THIS DOCUMENTATION on Github is a good summary of what to do.

Here are the dom0 values and settings I thought were in the neighborhood of useful:

  • DPI at 288. A nice 3x integer of 96, which is recommended to avoid scaling problems with some programs
  • Font size at 7pt
  • Window Manager, Style, “Default-xhdpi”
  • Settings Editor, Xsettings, GTK, IconSizes:

gtk-large-toolbar=96,96:gtk-small-toolbar=64,64:gtk-menu=64,64:gtk-dialog=96,96:gtk-button=64,64:gtk-dnd=64,64

I even tried installing KDE to dom0, which seemed to cause issues, and looked like on its way to a system crash. Perhaps it was user error, I was changing a lot of settings. Finally, it looks like help is on the way, with XFCE 14.4 likely to be production released in a few weeks; hopefully quickly to be integrated into dom0. Supposedly it has been years since a major release, and they claim to have fixed the 4k and HiDPI integration problems.


#2

Good to know.
I intend to install Qubes on my Libremv4 at some point, but I think I’ll wait until these issues are sorted out. My eyesight isn’t that great so “small unreadable fonts and icons” sounds like a nightmare to me.


#3

I dabbled with Qubes for a month or so on a 15v4 and had the same issue. My solution, which worked reasonably well, was to:

  • change dom0 to KDE and scale the interface
  • using GNOME in my template VM’s, I scaled the resolution in gnome-control-center and/or increased font sizes with gnome-tweaks (i cant remember if it was one, the other, or both)
  • a note about the second one: i had to install gnome-tweaks into the templates, and then set the scaling within the AppVMs to get the settings to stick.

I will say that it was very usable with this configuration. I only moved away from it mainly for performance / speed reasons.


#4

Part of your performance problems could be related to KDE in dom0. Qubes docs indicates that could happen. Of course, everything is more difficult and slower in Qubes.


#5

LOL it sure is. I do love the security it brings, and KDE enabled some configuration that lessened the need to think about what VM you used for what, which was nice. In the end, I found that using a hardened version of another distro satisfies my concerns enough.