Help scaling the desktop on Lubuntu

Hello guys, I was wondering if anyone had any ideas about scaling the desktop in lubuntu.

I understand lxqt is based on qt…

the feature I want works with gtk desktops…
mainly xfce, might work on lxde, cant remember.

This feature is so important to me, I consider it a gamebreaker that it’s not working in lxqt.

To be clear, I am talking about scaling the entire desktop to a larger resolution, not upscaling ui elements.

So I know this feature works with qt based desktops and wayland, with the scaling feature in display settings on those desktops, in newer versions of distributions…

I know it works with xfce, openbox, gtk based x11 desktop environments, I think it semi works on lxde.

So the way I scale the desktop in x11 is like this with the nvidia-settings u.i…

X server display configuration →
ViewPortIn: 1920x1080 →
ViewPortin: 2400x1350

And that upscales the resolution of my
desktop 1.25x

On wayland/qt I can just go to display settings. with x11/gtk desktops I use nvidia-settings

On lubuntu the desktop is locked to 1920x1080. I figured out why this happened in the past, but now I can’t remember the exact reasons why it’s like this with some desktops but not others… like with xfce I can scale the entire desktop, and it’s ui, immediately no problems.

With lubuntu this is what I get…

For me this is a total gamebreaker with lubuntu, since this setting allows me to multi-task, and do lots of things simultaneously.
Switching desktops isn’t good enough.

What is the resolution of the monitor (number of pixels horizontally and vertically)?

It’s a 1920x1080 display, which is a typical display resolution.
I spent some time trying to figure this out when I was using kde neon,
which is the custom distribution based on ubuntu kde developers produce,
and I realized after all the typical customization I like to do, that I couldn’t scale
the desktop’s resolution. You could scale U.I. elements, in x11 KDE and it’s display
settings, but not the entire desktop itself. For that capability on KDE, you have to
switch to a wayland session, which for basic desktop use is fine. Wayland is not
fine however for gaming, and I’m skeptical that it ever could be since I spend all my
time looking for older software, older everything, except for hardware, and drivers basically, to get stellar gaming performance.

I know for a fact it works with xfce perfectly. And I think with openbox the desktop ends up like in my screenshot above, I’m gonna test it now with the openbox session in lubuntu…

Yea so basically it just works with xfce properly as far as I can remember,

we get similar results with openbox/lxde/lxqt desktops where the resolution of the desktop,
is unable to be scaled because of their unique design considerations I can’t remember fully.

I can’t even test it on openbox here, because the openbox session is totally broken for me, but I remember in another distribution that had a complete openbox DE I had the same results like I am
getting with lubuntu.

It makes me sad, because I was really enjoying lubuntu, but for me when I’m not doing full screen gaming, the way I like to do general desktop tasks is to have lots of different processes working at the
same time simultaneously, right in front of me. So on xfce I can scale the whole desktop, on my 1920x1080 monitor to 4k resolutions, or even higher if I wanted, and the entire desktop scales, and
everything renders properly. And I can literally take my 16 GB’s of ram, fill it with tasks, and put them
all right in front of me, simultaneously. Part of me is starting to reach for an xfce live usb I have sitting
behind me ; d because I like that capability so much.

and also… all at 120+ FPS, I have a gaming monitor, and gaming setup, and run the whole desktop
at 120+ FPS, that’s another issue I have, some programs wont run at higher refresh rates than 60 hz, which is like hypnosis mode, whereas I need Hyper Speed mode to enjoy my computing, which requires 120+fps.

With firefox, I can edit the UI’s frame rate(to 120+) in about:config
with kwin on a kde desktop I can edit the frame rate of U.I. elements to 120+ fps
videos obviously are limited by their hosting provider, such as youtube, they limit videos to 30 and 60 fps,
but anyways it’s a large subject matter I’m not gonna start rambling about…

I think with gtk, they will get up to 60 fps, on their UI elements, and that might improve in the future,
but anyways all these details, are a big deal ultimately. Increasing firefoxes ui’s refresh rate from the default, to 120+ FPS literally makes interacting with it twice as fast, as if the app had been entirely recompiled for speed…

Maybe I can try it with xfwm4 instead of openbox as the window manager,
if I can figure out how to switch them painlessly on lubuntu.

I want to keep a lightweight environment really badly though because for me and my setup,
every single inch of system resources I can reclaim from the operating system produces
immediate results, I can actually see right in front of me… It’s a bit addictive, when every single
setting I can possibly discover literally makes using the entire computer faster

Okay so I switched the window manager real easily, and it does change the situation significantly…

Here’s how I did it…

sudo apt install xfwm4

The following additional packages will be installed:
libwnck-3-0 libwnck-3-common libxfce4ui-2-0 libxfce4ui-common libxfce4util-bin
libxfce4util-common libxfce4util7 libxfconf-0-3 libxpresent1 libxres1 xfconf
Suggested packages:
devhelp xfce4
The following NEW packages will be installed:
libwnck-3-0 libwnck-3-common libxfce4ui-2-0 libxfce4ui-common libxfce4util-bin
libxfce4util-common libxfce4util7 libxfconf-0-3 libxpresent1 libxres1 xfconf
0 upgraded, 12 newly installed, 0 to remove and 2 not upgraded.
Need to get 1,105 kB of archives.
After this operation, 6,949 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]

Prefrences->LXQT Settings->Session Settings
->Window Manager->drop down menu->xfwm4

on arch they have a package for xfwm4-settings, to alter it’s settings,
for debian/lubuntu maybe we need the whole xfce desktop environment to get the
various settings apps for configuring xfwm…

sudo reboot

htop reading 589 MB’s of ram taken up by the OS after reboot, and here’s what it looks like now…

  1. Do you want to see all virtual pixels (2400x1350) at the same time, I mean make the virtual pixels smaller? Please realize that you will probable lose some quality due to interpolation approximation that way.

  2. Or do you want panning? See only 1920x1080 pixels at the same time, but scroll the virtual screen (can be done by moving the mouse cursor to the edges of the screen). This way you have the full resolution and quality.

The simplest command to get panning is

xrandr --output 'name of output' --panning 2400x1350

in my case

xrandr --output eDP-1 --panning 2400x1350

which puts the starting screen at the top left corner of the virtual screen. See man xrandr

I tested panning in the developing version, Lubuntu Noble (to be released during this month), and it works.

F11 (fullscreen) works correctly.

One (minor) bug is that the wallpaper only extends within the originally displayed area (and the rest of the virtual screen has a black background, but you can move windows there, and they can be seen correctly.

Another bug is that the panel at the bottom of the screen stays where is was originally and windows are behind it, but you can move the panel to the top of the window, and that will no longer be a problem.

No I just want to scale the entire desktop…

here’s 4k on my 1920x1080 monitor…(3840x2160)
in xfce I can scale the entire desktop environment
simply opening up nvidia-settings typing in my desired
resolution into viewportin under advanced settings and
clicking apply… wallpaper, panels, everything scales properly…

As far as quality goes, nothing could provide me with better quality, I can watch tv listen to music play video games write emails, read books, follow the news, use the command line… all the same time right on my desktop…

The following command line

xrandr --output ‘name of output’ --fb 2400x1350 --scale 1.25

might work for you in Lubuntu (after moving the panel to the top of the virtual window).

Edit: It seems better to use panning also in this case, even when it is only scaling

xrandr --output ‘name of output’ --panning 2400x1350 --scale 1.25

Well, with xfwm4, and moving the panel to the top of the screen, as is shown in my
last screen shot, windows render properly moved outside of the 1920x1080 square left
over in the top left corner of the screen, so using xfwm4 instead of openbox creates an environment I can work with, and strangely doesn’t read any difference whatsoever in ram used compared to openbox, but, the actual desktop environment itself, all the lxqt stuff or
lubuntu stuff does not scale properly which looks ugly to me. The literal solution to my
problem is just to switch to xfce. It makes me sad though, because I really enjoy how lightweight lubuntu is. Trimming 500mb’s of ram utilized on an xfce desktop shipped by
ubuntu or debian is like an impossible task. And trust me, I have tried, and do, pretty
much everything I can to achieve that goal.

I can’t even honestly tell you, after working with linux for the past decade what the major difference is, taking up system resources, compared to lubuntu and say xubuntu… or lxqt/xfce debian. Typically what you see in a lightweight distribution is that they use connman instead of networkmanager, alsa instead of pulseaudio, even sysv instead of systemd, and all those little differences are supposed to account for the reduced systems resources used.

But here on lubuntu, it has all of those heavyweight, called bloated, programs, and takes up half the ram xfce distributions do? I can’t identify the discrepancy apparently!

Well, I have no more ideas about how to make the scaling work in Lubuntu. Maybe someone else will see this thread and suggest something better. But right now, you have found better alternatives with other desktop environments (than Lubuntu’s).

So on lubuntu right now we can’t solve this problem?

I don’t think noble numbat fixes it either…

I know from experience KDE and wayland, the new stuff,
has this explicit capability.

So for lubuntu stable…

I can easily change the default window manager to xfwm4
which allows windows outside of the desktops default resolution,
to be rendered properly. But the scaling of the panel, and the desktop
wallpaper are locked at 1920x1080, my native resolution, and the default
resolution, and can’t be upscaled.

With that resolution have you tried using a scaling factor of 1.4?

1 Like

Does that that do what I’m asking for?

I’m actually showing exactly what I want in screenshots above…

I already reinstalled xfce so I can’t test it on lxqt anymore

I didn’t notice that setting with 22.04

and don’t use lxqt that much so im not familiar with all of it’s nuances

So what I’m hearing you say is that you don’t need help anymore and we should close this topic?

So what I’m hearing you say is that you don’t need help anymore and we should close this topic?

No actually…

This is what I’m saying

Does that that do what I’m asking for?

I’m actually showing exactly what I want in screenshots above…

I already reinstalled xfce so I can’t test it on lxqt anymore

I didn’t notice that setting with 22.04

and don’t use lxqt that much so im not familiar with all of it’s nuances

Does that setting scale the entire desktop? Instead of just sub-elements of the U.I.?

I’m curious to know, as a general linux enthusiast that uses all of the different desktop environments and distros frequently

That right there says “I’ve decided to solve this with XFCE.”

Because otherwise, I think you would check to see if it solved your problem.

Do you know if it scales the entire desktop environment?

because like I explained…

in kde they had a setting like that, with x11 I think it’s present, where it would only scale elements of the U.I.

not the resolution of the entire desktop, like the wallpaper and panels

Can’t guarantee, but I would expect it to scale in the manner it says: globally.