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Portables (Apple) Displays GUI Graphics Software Linux

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

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  • Re:No one cares (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @04:58PM (#42147269) Homepage Journal

    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.


  • Re:KDE (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 30, 2012 @05:03PM (#42147365)
    Thanks for elevating the discussion and making us all look good. I can't wait to tell my wife.
  • Re:No one cares (Score:5, Insightful)

    by epiphani ( 254981 ) <epiphani@ d a l . net> on Friday November 30, 2012 @05:04PM (#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.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 30, 2012 @05:05PM (#42147395)

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

  • Re:No one cares (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pecosdave ( 536896 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @05:06PM (#42147427) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • Vmware Fusion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 30, 2012 @05:08PM (#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.

  • Re:No one cares (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 30, 2012 @05:26PM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheGavster ( 774657 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @05:34PM (#42147801) Homepage

    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.

  • by Jthon ( 595383 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @07:06PM (#42149361)

    Your comment shows a lack of understanding as to what DPI is supposed to be used for since DPI shouldn't control scaling.

    DPI stands for dots per inch, and you should configure that setting to match the actual number of dots per inch of your display. Then the SW environment should support some sort of sliding scale to let you change the size of any UI elements.

    Sadly most desktop platforms don't do this correctly and bind the DPI to the size of UI elements. I will admit that resolution independence isn't easy, Microsoft didn't really start down that path until Windows 7, and Apple didn't start to get close until Mountain Lion.

    Having used a retina display Mac it irritates me that they don't just have a slider to set UI scale, but instead you can select from several pre-set resolutions. I suspect this is because many applications still try to plot stuff pixel by pixel and so can't scale arbitrarily. It's not easy for most SW to be truly resolution independent and it seems most developers seem to skip handling that sanely on all platforms.

  • Re:No one cares (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @08:31PM (#42150381)

    It's not just about high dpi displays either. You can have a high resolution on a large screen while still wanting very large fonts and UI elements. It helps you see it better when your eyesight is not very good, if you have partial blindness, etc. So you can help both those with degenerative vision and those with amazing mutant vision at the same time.

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.