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Ask Slashdot: Good Linux Desktop Environment For Hi-Def/Retina Displays?

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the time-to-start-thinking-about-this-again dept.

Portables (Apple) 234

Volanin writes "I have been using Linux for the last 15 years both at home and at work (mostly GNOME and now Unity). Recently, I gave in to temptation and bought myself a Macbook retina 15". As you can read around, Linux still has no good support for this hardware, so I am running it inside a virtual machine. Running in scaled 1440x900 makes the Linux fonts look absolutely terrible, and running in true 2880x1800 makes them beautiful, but every UI element becomes so tiny, it's unworkable. Is there a desktop environment that handles resolution independence better? Linux has had support for SVG for a long time, but GNOME/Unity seems adamant in defining small icon sizes and UI elements without the possibility to resize them."

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234 comments

KDE (5, Informative)

Lobachevsky (465666) | about a year ago | (#42147211)

Use KDE, and the retina display will look beautiful.

Re:KDE (4, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#42147237)

Bolour with a K? Silly bunt.

Re:KDE (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147365)

Thanks for elevating the discussion and making us all look good. I can't wait to tell my wife.

Re:KDE (1)

noh8rz9 (2716595) | about a year ago | (#42147831)

since osx is the linux kernal, using a mac is already using unix. why run unix within unix? the best retinal display machine is a mac anyway.

Re:KDE (2, Informative)

WillKemp (1338605) | about a year ago | (#42147881)

OSX isn't the Linux kernel. It's the OSX kernel - which is based on one of the BSDs, not Linux. But it's not the kernel that's important, it's the software that comes.with it - and OSX is very different to, say, Ubuntu.

Re:KDE (4, Informative)

elfprince13 (1521333) | about a year ago | (#42147979)

Thankfully, the Mac Ports package manager lets me run an enormous number of Linux and BSD software packages without too much difficulty.

Re:KDE (1)

WillKemp (1338605) | about a year ago | (#42148061)

Yeah? Is there a list of what works with it?

Re:KDE (1)

noh8rz8 (2716593) | about a year ago | (#42148007)

Yes, but OSX comes with the terminal, which gives you a cli (command line interface - what you use with unix). This is in addition to the gui (graphical user interface).

Re:KDE (4, Informative)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about a year ago | (#42147379)

Yup, all the icons are in svg, and all the UI elements scale. So you'll get all the beauty at a very high resolution -- and those icons are little works of art.

Re:KDE (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147735)

Basically, you just set the DPI, and use a slider to set how big you want things to be. And everything scales to size. Widgets, fonts, icons, everything.
(Of course requires the programs to actually be KDE applications.)

But I'd rather say that Gnome is the only exception, and that this functionality is considered standard for Linux DEs by now, no?

Re:KDE (4, Informative)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about a year ago | (#42148017)

Not really: GTK desktops like, say XFCE don't do that. Also traditional WM weren't designed for that, and the themes were typically made by l33t hackers who were somehow convinced that minimising the number of pixels in the bitmaps they used to draw their windows was cool.

Re:KDE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148027)

Do they have to be KDE Apps or will Qt suffice?

Asking out of ignorance since I'm not a KDE user.

Re:KDE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147769)

I totally agree. KDE is gorgeous and so much better than guh-nome.

Re:KDE (-1, Offtopic)

mystikkman (1487801) | about a year ago | (#42147465)

Is the blurry fonts issue fixed yet?

https://trac.macports.org/ticket/36410 [macports.org]

The applications using Qt (all KDE apps) are not rendering correctly on a MacBookPro with Retina screen. The text is blurry like if it was upsized with a very bad filter

Re:KDE (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#42147911)

That's running Qt on OS X -- he's running Linux on a Retina Mac. Big difference. Of course, the bug may rear its head in there too, but since a completely different compositor and windowing system is being used, it's probably not.

Re:KDE (2)

dlenmn (145080) | about a year ago | (#42147959)

The suggestion is to run KDE on Linux -- not OS X, so that link is irrelevant to this discussion.

...because of SVG. (5, Informative)

gentryx (759438) | about a year ago | (#42147569)

KDE got a lot of flak for the early 4.x versions, because they felt terrible. But what they did (replacing many internals, reworking the architecture) did yield us now a very flexible UI. Plasma (KDE's UI) is fully based on SVG and looks good on pretty much any screen, be it a notebook, workstation, or even tablets. And its not such a CPU/memory hog as the people generally claim.

Re:...because of SVG. (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year ago | (#42148005)

The KDE gang was wise enough to tell everyone not to use the early 4.x series until it was more mature. Not that many people listened.

Re:...because of SVG. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148415)

But they were not wise enough to save major version number until their software gets more mature.

Re:...because of SVG. (1)

distilate (1037896) | about a year ago | (#42148701)

But they were not wise enough to save major version number until their software gets more mature.

What so you would have them put major changes in the previous version as minor versions... ? there is only so much testing you can get on a branch

No one cares (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147247)

No one cares about Linux and Retina support because Retina is Apple and no one uses Linux that cares about Retina/Apple.

Re:No one cares (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#42147269)

No one cares about Linux and Retina support because Retina is Apple and no one uses Linux that cares about Retina/Apple.

A hypothesis which is proven false by virtue of the question it is a response to.

Jackass.

Re:No one cares (-1, Flamebait)

_xeno_ (155264) | about a year ago | (#42147545)

I think a much fairer statement would be "no one who develops Linux software gives a rats ass about Apple proprietary shit."

Don't forget, when you whine about free software not running well on your $3000 Retina MacBook, what you're really saying is "why don't those free software developers, who work on the software I use for free, who provide me the software for free, who demand nothing from me, immediately run out and spend $3000 to validate my $3000 purchase."

Until high-DPI displays are no longer only available on a vastly overpriced piece of Apple shiny, you're not going to see any serious open source support for it: there's simply no reason to run out and spend $3000 for the tiny crowd of whiners who demand that the software they don't pay for support their stupid purchasing decisions.

Or, to put it another way, if you want good "Retinal" support under Gnome, you're more than welcome to donate, say, $12,000 to get some Gnome developers some shiny but otherwise useless high-DPI displays. Otherwise, stop complaining that not everyone wasted money on their computer.

Re:No one cares (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147689)

Why do you think everything Linux has to be low-end shit? Some folks want higher res. and OP took one of a couple of routes to it. Sorry his choice of hardware struck such a nerve. At what price point do you say money isn't wasted or do you just not like high end hardware?

Re:No one cares (0, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#42147787)

His whole purpose is just to hate what Apple does; he actually doesn't care about Linux whatsoever, nor would he understand how or why or when to run it.

He's probably just a bored teen that can't afford an iPod.

Macbook Pro Retina $1699, not $3k (4, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#42147705)

I think a much fairer statement would be "no one who develops Linux software gives a rats ass about Apple proprietary shit."

Fairer still would be to say "Apple Haters would self-mutilate if it put Apple in a bad light".

immediately run out and spend $3000 to validate my $3000 purchase.

You may not be aware, but Slashdot is just chock full of technical users who can use the web.

When they do so they would find the MacBook Pro Retina to be $1699, not your absurdly inflated figure.

They also, being technical users, would be asking themselves "could not a developer wanting to test resolution independence simply buy a high DPI desktop monitor and test that way also?"

Why yes. Yes they could. Too bad that you, a non-technical Apple Hater Troll, will be unable to even comprehend that question or think of similar cases before you post in the future and beclown yourself yet again.

You are kind of like the court jester who comes in and spills grape juice on your shirt on purpose. Every. Single. Day. Did you not notice the people stopped laughing long ago? And that the looks you get know are all ones of pity and horror?

Re:Macbook Pro Retina $1699, not $3k (-1, Flamebait)

_xeno_ (155264) | about a year ago | (#42147825)

When they do so they would find the MacBook Pro Retina to be $1699, not your absurdly inflated figure.

Oh, right, Apple released a 13" model. I forgot about that. Too bad to spec that 13" model up so that it's comparable to a $1000 Windows Ultrabook, you'll be paying $2500.

The $3000 figure is accurate for the 15" model with acceptable specs.

They also, being technical users, would be asking themselves "could not a developer wanting to test resolution independence simply buy a high DPI desktop monitor and test that way also?"

And again, we're back to "buy shit to support the shit I bought." I have a better idea, if you're willing to blow money on overpriced hardware, you fix it. It's open source, after all.

Re:Macbook Pro Retina $1699, not $3k (4, Interesting)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about a year ago | (#42148197)

Oh, right, Apple released a 13" model. I forgot about that. Too bad to spec that 13" model up so that it's comparable to a $1000 Windows Ultrabook, you'll be paying $2500.

Bullshit. The 13.3" Asus ZenBook UX31A-DH51 is $1050 on Newegg and has half the RAM, a slower i5 processor as the 13" MacBook Pro.

Re:Macbook Pro Retina $1699, not $3k (0)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42147995)

Fairer still would be to say "Apple Haters would self-mutilate if it put Apple in a bad light".

So not rushing out to spend $1800-$2700 on a laptop is "self-mutilation" now is it?

When they do so they would find the MacBook Pro Retina to be $1699, not your absurdly inflated figure.

Only for the 13" model, which by all reports has the Intel HD4000 struggling to keep up. And at $1699 (for the base model, mind you) you can get yourself a rather nice non-Apple machine. Not quite a retina display, but still very nice.

You are kind of like the court jester who comes in and spills grape juice on your shirt on purpose. Every. Single. Day.

And you are the knight, clad in shining armor, who comes to defend Apple's honor every time it is sullied by someone.

The point still stands. So long as the hardware is only available in a rather pricy niche it's unlikely to get attention from the greater Linux community. This is why I want these panels in something I can attach to a hefty GPU installed in my desktop. Much more likely to work acceptably and if I can get one, so can lots more people.

Re:No one cares (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147709)

Well, Linus Torvalds uses a Macbook Air...

Re:No one cares (2)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#42148681)

There were several major projects started about a month after Retina laptops came out. Retina for Firefox. Retina for OpenOffice (Libre Office had support day 1). Retina Ubuntu... So now you are just dead wrong. Everyone in the Linux community knows that Apple hardware is a pretty good guide to features they are going to need to support down the road for Linux. Moreover a huge percentage of Linux developers use Apple hardware.

As for the rest about "wasted money" and "shiny" I'll leave that to whomever wants to point out that the 15" retina was and still is a rather good deal compared to x86 laptops with similar features.

Re:No one cares (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147931)

Wow. That's just stupid.

I'm an embedded Linux developer and have been for years. Prior to that I was a senior Linux sysadmin. My computer of choice is a MacBook Air - and come to think of it, Linus Torvalds uses one too.

Re:No one cares (1)

markhahn (122033) | about a year ago | (#42148523)

especially because "retina" is just assinine Apple marketing jingo. almost every LCD panel produced is purely off-the-shelf and available to any customer who wants it. in particular, there are lots of devices that have pixel densities as high or higher than the particular models Apple selected from the catalog...

Re:No one cares (4, Insightful)

epiphani (254981) | about a year ago | (#42147369)

Yes, because apple is the only company that does high-dpi displays.

(Actually, that's unfortunately pretty true right now, but I hope to start seeing better displays out of the hardware makers soon.)

Re:No one cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147539)

lol, you dont' know a thing

Re:No one cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147797)

Asus has recently released some nice products with high DPI displays. The ASUS Zenbook Prime is 1920 x 1080 with a 13.3" screen, which is close, if not better, than the Mac books. Granted, their pricing is close to Apple's. Manufacturers are finally realizing that there are still consumers who want/need high resolution portable devices. Part of this is also being driven by the tablet market.

Re:No one cares (2)

Cid Highwind (9258) | about a year ago | (#42147913)

"The ASUS Zenbook Prime is 1920 x 1080 with a 13.3" screen, which is close, if not better, than the Mac books."

It's really not. The 13" MBP display is 2560x1600 pixels.

Stop being an idiot, you're making yourself look bad here, not Apple.

Re:No one cares (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about a year ago | (#42147997)

Asus has recently released some nice products with high DPI displays. The ASUS Zenbook Prime is 1920 x 1080 with a 13.3" screen, which is close, if not better, than the Mac books.

That's only 165 PPI. The 13" Pro is 227 PPI and the 15" is 220 PPI. Unless you use a different version of math than the rest of the world, 165 PPI is not better than either of the other numbers.

Re:No one cares (4, Insightful)

TheGavster (774657) | about a year ago | (#42147801)

On consumer, desktop equipment, yes. Consumer mobile equipment is starting to see ludicrous DPI even in middle of the road devices, and commercial medical displays have offered very high DPI for some time.

Re:No one cares (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about a year ago | (#42148077)

On consumer, desktop equipment, yes.

The average consumer desktop comes with a 1080p display with a DPI usually in the sub 125 PPI range (17" or higher).

Re:No one cares (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about a year ago | (#42148509)

I think you misuderstood what he said. If you kept reading you would read,"Consumer mobile equipment is starting to see ludicrous DPI even in middle of the road devices".
Mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Samsung S3, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Kindle Fire HD, and so on all are providing very high DPI displays. It is a real shame that HDTVs have made 1080p displays so cheap that it is now the standard for most desktops.

Re:No one cares (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#42147999)

No but Apple and Apple users like to make a big stink about it.

It's probably less effective on Macs then on a Linux box running KDE apps (apparently).

Re:No one cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148717)

Yes, because apple is the only company that does high-dpi displays.

LG, Sharp, Japan Display and Samsung do high-DPi displays.

Apple contracts Quanta to put them in laptops.

Re:No one cares (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#42148733)

Medical monitors are high-dpi displays. But Apple is the only company aiming them at mainstream users.

Re:No one cares (5, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | about a year ago | (#42147427)

Hey troll, like Apple or not they're addressing a glaring problem by bringing out the retina display. Our screen resolution has stagnated and even regressed due to HDTV and the buzz word compliance of 1080i. I can only hope throwing down the gauntlet as they have will push other hardware makers to bring out their own 4K displays.

Re:No one cares (2)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#42147593)

you mean 1080p. Computers haven't had interlaced displays since forever ago.

Re:No one cares (1)

sp332 (781207) | about a year ago | (#42147699)

ATSC HDTV (all digital broadcast TV in the USA) can by 720i or 1080i (among others). In fact 1080p is not a supported resolution.

Re:No one cares (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#42147989)

What's your point? Computer monitors do 1080p, not 1080i and you were saying the industry was standardizing on HD buzzword compliance. Blu-Ray goes up to 1080p and works on HD TV's. Why are you bringing ATSC broadcast standards into this?

Re:No one cares (1)

Albanach (527650) | about a year ago | (#42147675)

ey troll, like Apple or not they're addressing a glaring problem by bringing out the retina display.

That or they're creating the problem by purchasing every high resolution computer display available on the wholesale market for their own devices, making them prohibitively expensive for other manufacturers.

Re:No one cares (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | about a year ago | (#42147807)

Wait, is that the work of the invisible hand of the market? Or does Apple have a patent on high resolution displays?

Re:No one cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147693)

Meh, Apple took the cheap/easy way out. They solved a software problem with Hardware. The effective resolution is the same as it was previously, They just double the amount of pixels used.

It'll take much longer for Linux to solve the problem, as I expect the linux devs won't be happy with the cheap/easy way, and will want to render at the real resolution, rather than the effective/actual split that Apple does.

Re:No one cares (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | about a year ago | (#42148137)

Meh, Apple took the cheap/easy way out. They solved a software problem with Hardware. The effective resolution is the same as it was previously, They just double the amount of pixels used.

...and use the extra pixels to show stuff at higher resolution except for some applications [apple.com].

"Low resolution" is a hardware problem - you want higher-res, you need smaller pixels and more of them, and the only software that would affect that would be the software in the machines used in the design and manufacturing process for the displays.

Re:No one cares (3, Interesting)

_xeno_ (155264) | about a year ago | (#42147695)

What glaring problem? The problem they're addressing is screen DPI, which is basically a non-problem, and not screen size, which is something I'd love to see get larger and is what you really mean when you say "resolution has stagnated."

Right now I'm stuck with a 1920x1200 monitor, and I'm glad to have that because no one makes them any more. If I were to "upgrade," I'd have to replace it with a 1920x1080 monitor. What I'd like to have is an even larger monitor, like the really nice but still way too expensive 2560x1600 monitors. (Still over $1000.)

What Apple did instead was up the pixel density, which is nice, I guess, but not really useful. Those high-DPI displays are great for a cell phone or other devices you hold in your hand, but not really great for a laptop.

Really, I'd rather see a higher push for the larger sized monitors so I get more useable room out of the display rather than see the DPI pushed up. All "retinal" gives you is the same UI, just with four times the pixels. It may look "shiny" but it sure isn't any more useful.

Re:No one cares (4, Informative)

damnbunni (1215350) | about a year ago | (#42147871)

It's simply not true that 'no one makes them any more'.

Dell makes a few very nice 1920 x 1200 monitors. NewEgg lists more than 20 models.

They're not as common as 1080p screens, and they're not as cheap, but 'they still make them'.

And while 2560 x 1600 screens are still over a grand, you can get a 2560 x 1440 pretty cheap. $399 at Microcenter.

You can buy 2560x1440 for cheap (2)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year ago | (#42148117)

I just picked up a "WQHD" (Widescreen Quad-"HD" for values of HD meaning 1280x720, so a total of 2560x1440) 27" IPS LCD monitor online for $300 US. It's very bare-bones (DVI input only, no webcam or USB hub or anything, etc.) but considering a 1920x1080 monitor at 27" is hard to come by for $200, it's an excellent price for the much less common resolution.

They make them in Korea and ship them out under a handful of brand names. A search on "wqhd monitor" will find you several places you can buy them from. Make sure your video card has the correct output.

Re:No one cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147779)

Yes! Thank the gods for St Jobs and his holy quest to improve my life. Retina display has changed the way I use my computer. Why, all of my games look so much better now that I have a Mac with Retina Display.

That is, of course, they would if, you know, I could actually PLAY GAMES ON A MAC.

My god, retina display on a laptop is like go-faster stripes. WHO THE FSK CARES? No one uses a laptop for design work, there are no Mac games, what few games there are look crappy on Retina Displays and steaming television and movies look crappy no matter what you do. Holy fracking cup! THIS GUY IS AN APPLE TROLL.

Re:No one cares (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147767)

... no one uses Linux that cares about Retina/Apple.

Tell that to Linus and his Mac Book Air that runs Linux.

KDE (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147251)

I've never tried it in really high resolutions, but everything I've found online says KDE supports resolution independence.
And it's just so much better and usable in so many ways than those other environments you've been using.

Re:KDE (5, Interesting)

pecosdave (536896) | about a year ago | (#42147331)

Have to throw in my support here. Been using KDE since 1.x, I've tried other desktops but can't seem to use one of those without missing my KDE, and so much so that programs compiled to bring up GTK widgets (browsers) actively piss me off. The QT version of the file browser and so many other things are just more versatile and elegant.

Live with it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147267)

Basically, Linux sucks.

But it has the advantage that if you don't like it you're free to write your own graphics drivers and make it look as nice as you want, and then you can give it away for free and get a nice warm feeling.

--man, I think I'd better check that "anonymous coward" box here...

Re:Live with it (-1, Troll)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#42147311)

Basically, Linux sucks.

But it has the advantage that if you don't like it you're free to write your own graphics drivers and make it look as nice as you want, and then you can give it away for free and get a nice warm feeling.

--man, I think I'd better check that "anonymous coward" box here...

It is so pleasing to know that Windows and Mac apps do not have problems retina too. It must be that hippie OS

Re:Live with it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147361)

Is it pleasing to know that you're a retard? By the way, you're a retard.

Re:Live with it (1)

markhahn (122033) | about a year ago | (#42148591)

you know you're both wrong and trolling, so why did you press the "submit" button at all?

Linux does fine with high density displays. actually, the place it does worse is on extremely low-density displays. I have some 42" 1366x768 displays that take some painful tweaking to setup, since environments like KDE try to be smart about the ruler-size of fonts, not noticing that these screens really do have pixels big enough to throw a rubber chicken through...

Compiz? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147297)

KDE is too cluttered and bloaty. I've never used a retina display but since you can use Compiz/Emerald sans any pixmaps this should be moot.

Re:Compiz? (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year ago | (#42147415)

KDE is too cluttered and bloaty. I've never used a retina display but since you can use Compiz/Emerald sans any pixmaps this should be moot.

So? Unclutter and un-bloat it. Whats the problem?

xmonad (4, Interesting)

Robert Bowles (2733) | about a year ago | (#42147341)

I'm currently using xmonad as a desktop environment (almost exclusively), as it plays quite nicely on VHRDs (very high resolution displays). At most, you'll have to tweak the borderWidth elements.

Optionally, if you're looking for a bit more eye candy, try twm and its derivatives. Most the the UI elements scale dynamically. (too flashy for my tastes however)

Re:xmonad (1)

sticks_us (150624) | about a year ago | (#42148313)

I'm also a full xmonad convert. I don't know how I ever got along without it, really.

Now you have me wondering how different life would be on a VHRD? Maybe it's time for a better monitor...

Tiling window manager (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147395)

Use a tiling window manager and do most of your stuff in console. i3 is my current personal favourite.

good luck (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147417)

Apple/NeXT has been working on this for 25+ years, dating back to their decision to use Display PostScript for rendering on screen.

Enlightenment (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147419)

You can choose the magnification ratio in the initial configuration wizzard. This affects everything, not just the fonts. It's the real deal.

Just don't do it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147435)

Keep your shit-stain Linsux off of Apple hardware. That's like putting spinners on a Bentley.

Re:Just don't do it. (2)

Zimluura (2543412) | about a year ago | (#42147599)

Car analogy, huh?

Bentley... Expensive, Heavy, Thirsty, Status symbol.

I think you're entirely correct.

Re:Just don't do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147725)

He's almost right except for the whole shit-stained part, wrong side of the argument, linux is great because of the community that supports it and the options it has. Your best option would probably be to throw away your shitty proprietary mac in the garbage where it belongs and get or build a PC that actually supports other options if you so choose to pursue them.

Re:Just don't do it. (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year ago | (#42147945)

No - it's more like dropping a small block Chevy 383 stroker engine into a 2-door fiat. You can squeeze one in there, but you might want to use a restrictor plate to limit its power.

Vmware Fusion (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147447)

HiDPI on Linux is a work-in-progress .. and even when it *does* work, battery life goes down the crapper. Also, thunderbolt hot-plug hasn't been figured out, but it will work as long as your Ethernet dongle is plugged in ahead of power-on. Wifi requires bw-fwcutter, etc.
 
It's the same as Linux on any other bleeding-edge hardware (and from a very Linux-unfriendly company) .. so the entire thing has to be reverse-engineered from scratch.
 
Want it done faster? .. buy rMBPs for the developers actually working on the drivers.
 
Like all things Linux, they'll get it figured out eventually. Until then, the best way about it is just run VMware Fusion and run Linux inside of that .. solves all the above issues and really isn't that big of a performance hit. Probably not the "purist" answer you were after but it's the easiest way to get it done in the meantime.

Change the DPI setting (5, Informative)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#42147589)

The DPI setting will scale your fonts and other items to look good on your screen.

Usually, I am reducing the DPI on high-definition screens so I can get smaller fonts and icons, but the opposite should also work.

TRANSLATION OF POST (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147671)

"I have been using Linux for the last 15 years both at home and at work (mostly GNOME and now Unity).

I have a PC that I installed something called Linux on and I sort of look at it once in a while, 'cause, you know, Linux.

Recently, I gave in to temptation and bought myself a Macbook retina 15".

I work for Apple and We at the fruit factory thought you should know about this 'problem' with Linux

As you can read around,

If you Google 'Retina display' and 'Linux' like I did,

Linux still has no good support for this hardware

Linux wasn't written by St. Jobs the First

so I am running it inside a virtual machine. Running in scaled 1440x900 makes the Linux fonts look absolutely terrible, and running in true 2880x1800 makes them beautiful, but every UI element becomes so tiny, it's unworkable.

Although I can use Google for some searches, I apparently can't be bothered to look for actual solutions, and that's not the point of my post anyway. The point is that APPLE IS THE BESTEST COMPANY EVERS!!!!!!!

Is there a desktop environment that handles resolution independence better? Linux has had support for SVG for a long time, but GNOME/Unity seems adamant in defining small icon sizes and UI elements without the possibility to resize them."

I guess I'd better ask a question so here's some stuff I came up with in my Google search, minus the obviouse KDE solution I stumbled across in the third response.

postscript display. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147717)

The solution is a vector 2d graphics based display. Forget 3d.

man xrandr (grandr for gnome) (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147745)

  --dpi dpi
                            This also sets the reported physical size values of the screen,
                            it uses the specified DPI value to compute an appropriate physi
                            cal size using whatever pixel size will be set.

Or maybe :
--scale xxy
                            Changes the dimensions of the output picture. Values superior to
                            1 will lead to a compressed screen (screen dimension bigger than
                            the dimension of the output mode), and values below 1 leads to a
                            zoom in on the output. This option is actually a shortcut ver
                            sion of the --transform option.

Doesn't GNOME already support SVG? (3, Interesting)

steevithak (1180195) | about a year ago | (#42147873)

Didn't the GNOME desktop switch to scalable SVG rendering way back in 2004 or so (starting from Raph Levien's work on Gill back in 1999)? There were all kinds of articles back then about how awesome SVG was and how all GNU/Linux desktops would be using it soon. I thought Nautilus was designed with SVG support in mind? What happened to all that work and when did GNOME switch back to pre-historic bitmapped stuff? That's kind of sad.

Re:Doesn't GNOME already support SVG? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148421)

It's actually working. The situation is messy, but workable. (As usal for Linux)

-- X.org people found out that automatic DPI detection is mostly useless because there too many monitors out there who report incorrect information. X supports a DPI override switch which would be a nice place to manually adjust this but...

-- The GNOME people decided to ignore what X reports and hard coded a 96 DPI definition.

-- On top of their hard coded DPI, GNOME has a "text scaling factor" property (default 1.0). Increasing it causes compliant applications to render fonts and other UI elements in larger formats. The main motivation for this was to improve accessibility for visually impaired people, but it also serves for people with high DPI screens. This value can be changed via the accessibility options or by installing the gnome-tweak-tool (or editing gconf).
Only GTK/Gnome applications will honor this and even then, compliance isn't perfect as some still use bitmaps for icons. But it's good.

So, for people with high DPI screens:
- Force the X DPI setting to a proper value. This will help with some applications (including most Qt/KDE ones, I think).
- Change the GNOME text-scaling-factor to something that matches the value above. Ie, if you set your X DPI to 200, then set your text-scaling-factor to 2.08 (200/96).
- For Firefox or Chromium, you'll need to manually adjust the zoom level.

Fix it yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147905)

If there is a problem with support for retina display why not fix it yourself? That is the beauty of open source, if you don't like it, then change it.

Re:Fix it yourself (2)

Phasma Felis (582975) | about a year ago | (#42148427)

Lulz. "If your head gasket is warped, instead of whining to a mechanic, why don't you forge yourself a new engine block?" Yeah, you can, and I'm glad the option is there, but coding your own drivers is absurdly impractical for the great majority of users.

XFCE Or WindowMaker+Thunar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148161)

Both should have good support for UI element scaling (maybe need some gtk-chooser work for gtk-based UI elements), and in the case of WindowMaker, it's already a NeXT derived interface (sans filemanager). Additionally, unlike some of the alternatives, it's relatively fast, has everything build in you'd need for dealing with a broken DE (F12 is the menu, including 'run' and by default 1+ terminal emulators), and has truetype font support, as well as various other options in the WMConfig settings program.

Added benefit for WindowMaker: Except for Thunar (for the file manager support), WindowMaker/WMConfig don't use GTK widgets, limiting various quirks of GTK from affecting your basic desktop experience.

Any PC laptops announced with similar screens? (1)

starseeker (141897) | about a year ago | (#42148439)

I'd really, REALLY like to get my hands on a powerful Linux laptop with such a high resolution screen... if I could afford it I might even settle for the virtual machine solution on the Mac, but a full-up Linux laptop with such a screen would be ideal.

During certain kinds of software development, it isn't uncommon to accumulate a dozen or more terminals and application windows displaying relevant content. Given good eyesight, there simply is no substitute for a high PPI screen when doing such work. Ditto for studying high resolution photos or working with computer aided design. If I could find an affordable IBM T221 monitor with the right adapters for modern graphics hardware, it would STILL be superior to anything I could buy at consumer PC monitor retail. (Unfortunately, the adapters and setup are apparently a tricky proposition even if you can find the monitor.)

I've looked now and then, but I still haven't been able to find any indication of when PCs will begin offering high PPI displays, or even whether the rest of the computer industry is *trying* to catch up with Apple in this respect. Has anyone seen any hints?

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