User interface almost illegible on HiDPI (“retina”) display #3492

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Oblomov opened this Issue Sep 20, 2014 · 226 comments

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Oblomov commented Sep 20, 2014

Hello,

I've recently acquired a Dell XPS 15 laptop sporting a 3200x1800 display, with an effective resolution of 234 DPI. The default skin in Steam has fixed-pixel sizing for elements and text, leading to an UI which is almost illegible. I'm aware of patches and hacks that can be used to (re)size the default skin elements into something more legible, but native support for HiDPI screens would be better.

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eligrey Sep 26, 2014

This also affects my 12.8" 2560x1700 Chromebook Pixel and 13.3" 3200x1800 Dell XPS 13 (2015). I have my scaling factor at 1.75 and Steam is the only application that doesn't scale for me.

eligrey commented Sep 26, 2014

This also affects my 12.8" 2560x1700 Chromebook Pixel and 13.3" 3200x1800 Dell XPS 13 (2015). I have my scaling factor at 1.75 and Steam is the only application that doesn't scale for me.

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soerengrunewald Sep 29, 2014

Same on Lenove Yoga 2 Pro (13.3" QHD 3200x1800)

Same on Lenove Yoga 2 Pro (13.3" QHD 3200x1800)

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JPLeBreton Dec 25, 2014

I'm also seeing this on a Samsung ATVI Book 9 Plus (3200x1800) with Ubuntu 14.10 64-bit.

I'm also seeing this on a Samsung ATVI Book 9 Plus (3200x1800) with Ubuntu 14.10 64-bit.

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ghost Jan 7, 2015

+1 on Macbook Retina 13"

ghost commented Jan 7, 2015

+1 on Macbook Retina 13"

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axfelix Jan 24, 2015

Ditto on a Dell Venue 11 Pro (10.8" 1080p; around 200dpi) under Gnome 3.14. doable but barely.

axfelix commented Jan 24, 2015

Ditto on a Dell Venue 11 Pro (10.8" 1080p; around 200dpi) under Gnome 3.14. doable but barely.

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stellarhopper Jan 31, 2015

+1 for HiDPI support - these screens are becoming increasingly common!

+1 for HiDPI support - these screens are becoming increasingly common!

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slowbro Feb 10, 2015

+1 - on my Lenovo Y50-70.

slowbro commented Feb 10, 2015

+1 - on my Lenovo Y50-70.

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ljwolf Feb 17, 2015

+1 on x1 carbon

ljwolf commented Feb 17, 2015

+1 on x1 carbon

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larsemil Feb 18, 2015

+1 on Asus ux303

+1 on Asus ux303

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+1

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stellarhopper Feb 20, 2015

While I'm guilty of the same, I must say adding +1s to this bug report (as with any other) will probably accomplish nothing.

We know this is a problem with steam on any HiDPI screen, and Valve probably has the numbers (or better numbers, rather) for exactly how many users have this setup through steam's own hardware reporting mechanism.

We would just have to wait till users of such screens gather critical mass and bubble to the top of Valve's priorities :)

While I'm guilty of the same, I must say adding +1s to this bug report (as with any other) will probably accomplish nothing.

We know this is a problem with steam on any HiDPI screen, and Valve probably has the numbers (or better numbers, rather) for exactly how many users have this setup through steam's own hardware reporting mechanism.

We would just have to wait till users of such screens gather critical mass and bubble to the top of Valve's priorities :)

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da2x Mar 1, 2015

+1 👍

da2x commented Mar 1, 2015

+1 👍

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+1

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xiaoqing-wei Mar 7, 2015

+1 for Thinkpad T540P with a 2880x1600 screen on Ubuntu 14.10
everything looked so perfect except Steam :(

+1 for Thinkpad T540P with a 2880x1600 screen on Ubuntu 14.10
everything looked so perfect except Steam :(

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knope Mar 10, 2015

yes +1 ... i too would love some sort of easy dpi switch.

15" @_2880x1800_

xrandr --output DP-2 --auto --scale .5x.5 lol .... . . . there has to be a better way... :(
(effectively makes the display 1440x900 as a quick work around for using the steam interface)

very painful

knope commented Mar 10, 2015

yes +1 ... i too would love some sort of easy dpi switch.

15" @_2880x1800_

xrandr --output DP-2 --auto --scale .5x.5 lol .... . . . there has to be a better way... :(
(effectively makes the display 1440x900 as a quick work around for using the steam interface)

very painful

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axfelix Mar 10, 2015

The interface is very scalable as is (if you look at the themes folder, the entire UI is comprised of different numerical parameters for window and font sizes), and it'd only take someone like an hour or two of work to go through it trial and error and find good hiDPI settings that could then be shared. Granted, that's a lot more work than being able to just say, e.g., scale interface 1.5x.

axfelix commented Mar 10, 2015

The interface is very scalable as is (if you look at the themes folder, the entire UI is comprised of different numerical parameters for window and font sizes), and it'd only take someone like an hour or two of work to go through it trial and error and find good hiDPI settings that could then be shared. Granted, that's a lot more work than being able to just say, e.g., scale interface 1.5x.

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knope Mar 10, 2015

@axfelix : +1 #found the spot to do the skins thing.. going to play with making the 'air theme' hiDPI if its not already.

~/.local/share/Steam/skins/

knope commented Mar 10, 2015

@axfelix : +1 #found the spot to do the skins thing.. going to play with making the 'air theme' hiDPI if its not already.

~/.local/share/Steam/skins/

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nofxx commented Mar 12, 2015

+1

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larsemil Mar 16, 2015

Does it scale properly on osx?

Does it scale properly on osx?

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benley Mar 16, 2015

yes, but the implementation details on osx will be completely different than on linux.

benley commented Mar 16, 2015

yes, but the implementation details on osx will be completely different than on linux.

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TurkeyMan Mar 21, 2015

+1!
4K Dell XPS15 is unusable!
Ubuntu/Unity and Mint/Cinnamon have excellent HiDPI support otherwise.

+1!
4K Dell XPS15 is unusable!
Ubuntu/Unity and Mint/Cinnamon have excellent HiDPI support otherwise.

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MoriTanosuke Apr 4, 2015

XPS 15 9530 here, too. The client hurts my eyes. I started to look for good themes with larger fonts, but it looks like there is no decent HiDPI theme available.

So, 👍 for a real HiDPI steam client!

XPS 15 9530 here, too. The client hurts my eyes. I started to look for good themes with larger fonts, but it looks like there is no decent HiDPI theme available.

So, 👍 for a real HiDPI steam client!

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+1

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chrcoe commented Apr 6, 2015

+1 👍

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jdoss Apr 25, 2015

+1 X1 Carbon

jdoss commented Apr 25, 2015

+1 X1 Carbon

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evilsocket Apr 28, 2015

+1 Razer Blade 14 2015 QHD+

+1 Razer Blade 14 2015 QHD+

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lammel May 6, 2015

+1 Dell XPS 13 (2015)
Did someone adjust a theme to HiDPI that could be shared?

lammel commented May 6, 2015

+1 Dell XPS 13 (2015)
Did someone adjust a theme to HiDPI that could be shared?

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axfelix May 6, 2015

There's this but it's very kludgy; if you put the font up too high it breaks a lot of the other UI elements: https://gist.github.com/guymann/9690913

axfelix commented May 6, 2015

There's this but it's very kludgy; if you put the font up too high it breaks a lot of the other UI elements: https://gist.github.com/guymann/9690913

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MoriTanosuke May 7, 2015

I started my own theme at https://github.com/MoriTanosuke/HiDPI-Steam-Skin so I can at least read the most important stuff. Not pretty and only larger fonts at the moment, but it works for me. I'll be happy to accept pull requests I'd someone knows how to resize the UI elements too.

I started my own theme at https://github.com/MoriTanosuke/HiDPI-Steam-Skin so I can at least read the most important stuff. Not pretty and only larger fonts at the moment, but it works for me. I'll be happy to accept pull requests I'd someone knows how to resize the UI elements too.

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zhulik May 8, 2015

+1 4k Lenovo y5070

zhulik commented May 8, 2015

+1 4k Lenovo y5070

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ajthompson May 9, 2015

+1 Dell XPS 13 Dev Edition (2015)

+1 Dell XPS 13 Dev Edition (2015)

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odcinek May 11, 2015

+1 Thinkpad X1 Carbon

odcinek commented May 11, 2015

+1 Thinkpad X1 Carbon

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gdrewb-valve May 12, 2015

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It only "works" on Windows because the Steam client is not DPI-aware so Windows scales the application. Similarly on OSX the system handles DPI issues. The Steam client itself does not have a scaling system so this isn't something where Steam fixes have been held back on Linux.

I've changed the tags but unfortunately that won't impact the timing of fixes.

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gdrewb-valve commented May 12, 2015

It only "works" on Windows because the Steam client is not DPI-aware so Windows scales the application. Similarly on OSX the system handles DPI issues. The Steam client itself does not have a scaling system so this isn't something where Steam fixes have been held back on Linux.

I've changed the tags but unfortunately that won't impact the timing of fixes.

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darkbasic May 13, 2015

Doesn't Valve make enough money to fix such a major usability issue at least on their major platform (Windows)? It looks quite ugly because of the scaling...

Doesn't Valve make enough money to fix such a major usability issue at least on their major platform (Windows)? It looks quite ugly because of the scaling...

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gdrewb-valve May 13, 2015

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As the internal toolkit does have a concept of DPI scaling it's not an easy thing to retrofit. Big Picture should handle this better.

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gdrewb-valve commented May 13, 2015

As the internal toolkit does have a concept of DPI scaling it's not an easy thing to retrofit. Big Picture should handle this better.

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gruz123 commented Dec 8, 2017

+1

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umpirsky Dec 18, 2017

Big picture mode is one option to make it usable.

Big picture mode is one option to make it usable.

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3vi1 Dec 18, 2017

Big picture mode is one option to make it usable.

It's not an option when you're trying to do things like adding game activation codes, chatting with friends out of game, or launching games in windowed mode or on a second monitor.

Big Picture Mode lowers the desktop resolution, so this "option" to making it usable with HDPI is to disable HDPI. We can do that without big picture mode if it were acceptable to users, which it is not.

3vi1 commented Dec 18, 2017

Big picture mode is one option to make it usable.

It's not an option when you're trying to do things like adding game activation codes, chatting with friends out of game, or launching games in windowed mode or on a second monitor.

Big Picture Mode lowers the desktop resolution, so this "option" to making it usable with HDPI is to disable HDPI. We can do that without big picture mode if it were acceptable to users, which it is not.

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umpirsky Dec 18, 2017

Sure, just one more workaround which may work in some use cases.

Sure, just one more workaround which may work in some use cases.

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yassinei Dec 26, 2017

You make tons of money, please hire someone to fix this shit. This can't be possible. This is a 3+ years issue. If you can't then just open-source this goddamn client or make alternative clients possible through an API or something.

You make tons of money, please hire someone to fix this shit. This can't be possible. This is a 3+ years issue. If you can't then just open-source this goddamn client or make alternative clients possible through an API or something.

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davidhaley Jan 7, 2018

+1 - Dell XPS 13 9343

davidhaley commented Jan 7, 2018

+1 - Dell XPS 13 9343

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marcushultgren Jan 10, 2018

More than three years have passed. Is Steam an indie company?

More than three years have passed. Is Steam an indie company?

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Plagman Jan 26, 2018

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The new client Beta should fix this, can people affected re-test?
http://steamcommunity.com/groups/SteamClientBeta#announcements/detail/1655505073049286411

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Plagman commented Jan 26, 2018

The new client Beta should fix this, can people affected re-test?
http://steamcommunity.com/groups/SteamClientBeta#announcements/detail/1655505073049286411

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Adonai Jan 26, 2018

Thank you. Let's call it Steam 3

Adonai commented Jan 26, 2018

Thank you. Let's call it Steam 3

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michaelnew Jan 26, 2018

Oh my god, 3 years and I can finally use Steam without pressing my face up against the screen.

Oh my god, 3 years and I can finally use Steam without pressing my face up against the screen.

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mnn Jan 26, 2018

Wow, Steam is now actually usable on 4k. I hope next time this kind of enormous issue will not take years...

mnn commented Jan 26, 2018

Wow, Steam is now actually usable on 4k. I hope next time this kind of enormous issue will not take years...

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JLP Jan 26, 2018

High DPI was not detected automatically here on my 4K setup in GNU/Linux. I have OpenSUSE Tumbleweed with Linux kernel 4.14.14, Xorg 1.10.6, Mesa 17.3.3, KDE Plasma 5.11.5 desktop. And runingXorg/xdpyinfo does properly report DPI as "resolution: 193x194 dots per inch"

JLP commented Jan 26, 2018

High DPI was not detected automatically here on my 4K setup in GNU/Linux. I have OpenSUSE Tumbleweed with Linux kernel 4.14.14, Xorg 1.10.6, Mesa 17.3.3, KDE Plasma 5.11.5 desktop. And runingXorg/xdpyinfo does properly report DPI as "resolution: 193x194 dots per inch"

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diversys Jan 26, 2018

Does it work on macOS now? Can't check myself right now.

Does it work on macOS now? Can't check myself right now.

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dgutov Jan 26, 2018

Finally. Auto-detection works fine (Ubuntu 17.04, 4K monitor, xdpyinfo actually reports 96x96).

The settings window positioning is wonky, though.

dgutov commented Jan 26, 2018

Finally. Auto-detection works fine (Ubuntu 17.04, 4K monitor, xdpyinfo actually reports 96x96).

The settings window positioning is wonky, though.

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@dgutov Since when?

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dgutov Jan 26, 2018

@umpirsky What since when?

dgutov commented Jan 26, 2018

@umpirsky What since when?

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umpirsky Jan 26, 2018

@dgutov It works fine on Ubuntu 17.04, 4K monitor, I tried a month ago and it didn't work. Will try again soon.

@dgutov It works fine on Ubuntu 17.04, 4K monitor, I tried a month ago and it didn't work. Will try again soon.

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dgutov Jan 26, 2018

Read the comments here. It's the new beta.

dgutov commented Jan 26, 2018

Read the comments here. It's the new beta.

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SmellyGeekBoy Jan 26, 2018

Tested on Fedora 27, Gnome 3.26.2, Dell XPS 15 9560 internal display @ 3840 x 2160 with 200% scaling. Beta client works great with no tweaks required!

Tested on Fedora 27, Gnome 3.26.2, Dell XPS 15 9560 internal display @ 3840 x 2160 with 200% scaling. Beta client works great with no tweaks required!

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SmellyGeekBoy Jan 26, 2018

I'm running the RPMFusion build of Steam btw

I'm running the RPMFusion build of Steam btw

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zorael Jan 26, 2018

Dell XPS 9360 at 3200x1800, 1.5x scaling via KDE and kwin 5.11.5. Arch/Manjaro 64-bit.

Beta client does not automatically scale, has to be passed GDK_SCALE=2 manually.

Window resizing does not work. Initially you can resize the window but it bounces back to the original dimensions when you release the mouse button. It is possible to successfully resize it sometimes, though very rarely after many failed attempts.

After maximizing and then restoring the window it returns to its previous size, but it no longer displays the resize handle mouse cursor when you hover near the edges of it. Ignoring that and pressing anyway as if they were there seems to work, though it's difficult to place the cursor well without any visual hints. The little dotted triangle "grab me" symbol down at the very bottom right of the window goes missing. Minimizing and restoring brings it back.

Enabling the "Resize Window" kwin desktop effect fixes resizing at the desktop-wide cost of visuals.

Resizes windows with a fast texture scale instead of updating contents

zorael commented Jan 26, 2018

Dell XPS 9360 at 3200x1800, 1.5x scaling via KDE and kwin 5.11.5. Arch/Manjaro 64-bit.

Beta client does not automatically scale, has to be passed GDK_SCALE=2 manually.

Window resizing does not work. Initially you can resize the window but it bounces back to the original dimensions when you release the mouse button. It is possible to successfully resize it sometimes, though very rarely after many failed attempts.

After maximizing and then restoring the window it returns to its previous size, but it no longer displays the resize handle mouse cursor when you hover near the edges of it. Ignoring that and pressing anyway as if they were there seems to work, though it's difficult to place the cursor well without any visual hints. The little dotted triangle "grab me" symbol down at the very bottom right of the window goes missing. Minimizing and restoring brings it back.

Enabling the "Resize Window" kwin desktop effect fixes resizing at the desktop-wide cost of visuals.

Resizes windows with a fast texture scale instead of updating contents

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DerRidda Jan 26, 2018

@zorael I opened #5354 with a nearly identical issue.

@zorael I opened #5354 with a nearly identical issue.

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jmgomezpoveda Jan 27, 2018

XPS 9530, 3200x1800. It does not scale automatically. Launching it as "GDK_SCALE=2 steam" works beautifully; all the render seems fine, with nicely rendered letters.

Under Cinnamon there is no problem with resizing the window, but when trying to change its position goes back to nearly where it was before. The window looks fine when maximized.

XPS 9530, 3200x1800. It does not scale automatically. Launching it as "GDK_SCALE=2 steam" works beautifully; all the render seems fine, with nicely rendered letters.

Under Cinnamon there is no problem with resizing the window, but when trying to change its position goes back to nearly where it was before. The window looks fine when maximized.

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UltraFly Jan 28, 2018

On the latest beta version of the Steam Client, this bug is fixed for me (On both Ubuntu 17.10 and Windows 10).
Steam Client build: jan 25 2018, at 21:25:07
Steam API: v1080
Steam package versions: 1516948201
My screen configuration 3840x2160 with 200% scaling set in Gnome control panel

On the latest beta version of the Steam Client, this bug is fixed for me (On both Ubuntu 17.10 and Windows 10).
Steam Client build: jan 25 2018, at 21:25:07
Steam API: v1080
Steam package versions: 1516948201
My screen configuration 3840x2160 with 200% scaling set in Gnome control panel

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AntonMalyshev Feb 18, 2018

Hey you suckers, don't support retina in 2018? WTF?

Hey you suckers, don't support retina in 2018? WTF?

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Oblomov Feb 18, 2018

I can confirm that the interface scales in the latest builds when setting the GDK_SCALE environment variable. Oddly enough, GDK_DPI_SCALE is ignored instead, as is the actual DPI information provided by X11.

Oblomov commented Feb 18, 2018

I can confirm that the interface scales in the latest builds when setting the GDK_SCALE environment variable. Oddly enough, GDK_DPI_SCALE is ignored instead, as is the actual DPI information provided by X11.

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adomas187 Feb 19, 2018

I am really happy that things have moved. Now I can have 2x scaling on my HiDPI screen. That is way better than no scaling at all, but I would love to see non-integer scaling values, such as 1.5x, which I use on my desktop.

I am really happy that things have moved. Now I can have 2x scaling on my HiDPI screen. That is way better than no scaling at all, but I would love to see non-integer scaling values, such as 1.5x, which I use on my desktop.

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Oblomov Feb 20, 2018

@adomas187 if they are using GTK to do the scaling (which I assume because they are using the GTK settings for it) the deficiency is in GTK itself (which doesn't support fractional scaling, at least not yet).

Oblomov commented Feb 20, 2018

@adomas187 if they are using GTK to do the scaling (which I assume because they are using the GTK settings for it) the deficiency is in GTK itself (which doesn't support fractional scaling, at least not yet).

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realh Feb 20, 2018

GTK fractional scaling is being worked on and looks like it will be supported soon: https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=765011

realh commented Feb 20, 2018

GTK fractional scaling is being worked on and looks like it will be supported soon: https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=765011

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adomas187 Mar 13, 2018

@realh but this is for Wayland component, I'm unsure if Steam will soon benefit from it as it's only running on Xorg...

@Oblomov well a lot of other GTK apps scales depending on "Force Fonts DPI" settings on KDE Plasma on my machine. I have set 144 value, which would be 1.5x of scaling, and such apps as Chromium, Firefox, Lutris and so on, scales as expected. Just Steam scales to 2x.

As far as I know Steam does not use GTK (?), but I'm unsure about that. I was reading that Steam is using "VGUI": https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/VGUI_Documentation

So they are extending VGUI features to support HiDPi screens and I hope they will support this fractional scaling, as a lot of users would benefit from it, not only on MacOS or Linux.

@realh but this is for Wayland component, I'm unsure if Steam will soon benefit from it as it's only running on Xorg...

@Oblomov well a lot of other GTK apps scales depending on "Force Fonts DPI" settings on KDE Plasma on my machine. I have set 144 value, which would be 1.5x of scaling, and such apps as Chromium, Firefox, Lutris and so on, scales as expected. Just Steam scales to 2x.

As far as I know Steam does not use GTK (?), but I'm unsure about that. I was reading that Steam is using "VGUI": https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/VGUI_Documentation

So they are extending VGUI features to support HiDPi screens and I hope they will support this fractional scaling, as a lot of users would benefit from it, not only on MacOS or Linux.

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tjbp Mar 27, 2018

Latest beta release now needs the setting Interface -> Enlarge text and icons based on monitor size (requires restart) for this to work, it's not a regression :)

tjbp commented Mar 27, 2018

Latest beta release now needs the setting Interface -> Enlarge text and icons based on monitor size (requires restart) for this to work, it's not a regression :)

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aydaraliev Mar 29, 2018

Latest beta release now needs the setting Interface -> Enlarge text and icons based on monitor size (requires restart) for this to work, it's not a regression :)

Omg thanks! It finally worked for me. However I still have to manually pass GDK-SCALE=2 parameter, "gamer@bobik:~$ GDK_SCALE=2 steam"

Latest beta release now needs the setting Interface -> Enlarge text and icons based on monitor size (requires restart) for this to work, it's not a regression :)

Omg thanks! It finally worked for me. However I still have to manually pass GDK-SCALE=2 parameter, "gamer@bobik:~$ GDK_SCALE=2 steam"

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Oblomov Mar 30, 2018

Hm, seems to be broken again with the latest update?

Oblomov commented Mar 30, 2018

Hm, seems to be broken again with the latest update?

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aydaraliev Mar 30, 2018

Hm, seems to be broken again with the latest update?

Ubuntu 16.04, works fine for me.

For those on Linux:
It turned out that it is also possible modify steam.desktop shortcut located in /usr/share/applications. So you don't have to create environment variable for steam each time you launch.
Modify line 4 with:
Exec=env GDK_SCALE=2 /usr/games/steam %U
And it will always launch scaled.

aydaraliev commented Mar 30, 2018

Hm, seems to be broken again with the latest update?

Ubuntu 16.04, works fine for me.

For those on Linux:
It turned out that it is also possible modify steam.desktop shortcut located in /usr/share/applications. So you don't have to create environment variable for steam each time you launch.
Modify line 4 with:
Exec=env GDK_SCALE=2 /usr/games/steam %U
And it will always launch scaled.

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Oblomov Mar 30, 2018

Ah, I see, it needs both the environment variable and the Interface setting mentioned by @tjbp, otherwise GDK_SCALE=2 gets ignored. Still wished they didn't need the env variable, but I can live with that for the time being.

Oblomov commented Mar 30, 2018

Ah, I see, it needs both the environment variable and the Interface setting mentioned by @tjbp, otherwise GDK_SCALE=2 gets ignored. Still wished they didn't need the env variable, but I can live with that for the time being.

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The 2018-03-21 Steam stable client update added the initial cross-platform support for scaling the client's interface. The 2018-03-26 chaser update also added a UI setting to enable / disable the new behavior on Linux.

As noted in previous comments, in order to use this feature, go to Steam -> Settings -> Interface -> Check Enlarge text and icons based on monitor size (requires restart)

In addition to the checkbox, if the scaling logic does not behave as expected, the logic can be overridden with the GDK_SCALE env variable.

Follow up issues and suggestions regarding the HiDPI scaling of steam should be tracked separately from this issue report.

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kisak-valve commented Apr 4, 2018

The 2018-03-21 Steam stable client update added the initial cross-platform support for scaling the client's interface. The 2018-03-26 chaser update also added a UI setting to enable / disable the new behavior on Linux.

As noted in previous comments, in order to use this feature, go to Steam -> Settings -> Interface -> Check Enlarge text and icons based on monitor size (requires restart)

In addition to the checkbox, if the scaling logic does not behave as expected, the logic can be overridden with the GDK_SCALE env variable.

Follow up issues and suggestions regarding the HiDPI scaling of steam should be tracked separately from this issue report.

@kisak-valve kisak-valve closed this Apr 4, 2018

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