The less-than-random ramblings of Scott Jackson, software architect.

No Such Comfort

High DPI on CentOS 7.2

Posted by scottj on December 8, 2016 in Uncategorized with No Comments


In VirtualBox on a Retina Macbook Pro, you can turn on HiDPI support. Your copy of CentOS 7.2 will have some microscopic text! Surely Linux can support HiDPI displays, right?

Well, I’d class it as “experimental” at the moment, but there are some things you can do. First, from ArchWiki comes a command that does wonders for the logged in user:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface scaling-factor 2

This does not affect the initial log in screen when first starting the VM, however. I’m not sure how to effect that, so if you know, please feel free to add a comment!

Next, from PCWorld, comes a utility that may help:

yum install gnome-tweak-tool

The PCWorld instructions will tell you to set the Window Scaling to 2 using this tool. In my experience, this does scale windows and desktop icons, but doesn’t appear to scale the Gnome toolbars. Your mileage may vary, but it doesn’t seem to be necessary if you use the ArchWiki command instead.

The tool does have some other tweaks that may be useful though, including text rendering settings and swapping around control, option and command keys, if these fits your preference.

I have not found a way to adjust the icon grid. It seems a little off with the new settings. Any tips there would be appreciated.

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Capricious Whim

“Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer.” —Fred Brooks