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Linux client barely usable on HiDPI displays


Linux client barely usable on HiDPI displays

I have a 4k display, and the Linux (at least?) client is practically unusable.

Is HiDPI support on the roadmap?

54 Replies

You need root access. Try running your editor with sudo, for example:

sudo gedit /usr/share/applications/spotify.desktop
Marked as solution

I made a Alias in my .bashrc


alias spotify="/usr/bin/spotify --force-device-scale-factor=1.5"


This works on Ubuntu 16.04



Thanks man! worked for me

Works for me on GNU/Linux. Spotify client version on Fedora 24, using a 4k monitor. although I had to bump up the scale to 1.8.


Here is my desktop file also attached.


[Desktop Entry]
GenericName=Music Player
Comment=Spotify streaming music client
Exec=/usr/bin/spotify --force-device-scale-factor=1.8 %U



In a 15.4" 4k i use a 2 has a factor.

Very happy with my archlinux (artengos), very easy to install with yaourt -S spotify.
easy like android instalation, or more easy than windows.

Problem still exist today, but this fix works like a charm. Using Mint 18, just added scale-factor command to spotifys startup command in launcher and that's it.

I'm a newbie in Linux... can you explain in detail the sequence for editing the file. I found the file but I have no idea how to edit it ! Thanks

Where ever you found the file it will be easier for you to use nano to edit
the file from the terminal.

Actually. Jump on Reddit and create a post in /r/linux4noobs. I (or someone
else) will answer your questions to edit the file.

Finally, I succeed doing it  by myself... learning a little bit of Linux in the process. Thank you !

This only works for running it from command line.

Updating /usr/share/applications/spotify.desktop didn't work

Updating /usr/share/spotify/spotify.desktop didn't work.

Not even after reboot.

What fixed it for me globally (command line and unity apps) was to replace /usr/bin/spotify with a script to force the scale:

sudo rm /usr/bin/spotify && sudo echo "/usr/share/spotify/spotify --force-device-scale-factor=2" > /usr/bin/spotify && sudo chmod 755 /usr/bin/spotify 

but seriously why is spotify the only ubuntu app that does not read this value from ubuntu's config?

That's the beauty of Linux Mint... I installed it directly from th Software
Manager of Linux Mint. 15 seconds later, it's running perfectly on my HiPDI
screen. No command line, no research to do... just playing music!

But the command line is where the fun is at. It's the most efficient way to interact with your computer.


As long as you got what you needed in the end, it's all good.

​Yes of course that's why we all start every single gui app from the terminal passing arguments like "--look-nice-in-my-screen". The terminal shouldn't be used to type "chromium --please-run-nice", that should be default, if you pass an argument to start a gui app from terminal it should not be obvious, it should be a special case.
So I don't think that typing "spotify --force-device-scale-factor=1.5" instead of just typing "spotify" is "most efficient way to interact with your computer". And I don't think you should add an argument to an application just to make it usable.

I realized, I have never answered this thread, but this is obviously a bug that should just be fixed by Spotify. There is also another related, not as important, but much more complicated problem. It needs to rescale on the fly when you move the window between screens with different resolution. That probably requires the user to run a different display server, like Wayland or Mir, which is also not supported natively. Both problems are bugs and filed internally in the spotify desktop client bug tracker.


This worked for me. Thanks!

For all y'all noobs like me who aren't too fancy with the Terminal, put the commands in one line at a time:

cd /usr/share/applications

sudo nano spotify.desktop


Then put in your password and press enter. You'll see your terminal enter text edit mode. Go down to the like that reads:

Exec=spotify %U

And change it to

Exec=spotify %U --force-device-scale-factor=1.5

Or if you want an even more scaled up version like myself:

Exec=spotify %U --force-device-scale-factor=2


Then press ctrl+O and hit Enter.

Then Exit the text editor by pressing ctrl+X

Then restart Spotify and you'll be able to read all the things finally!

How should one apply these command parameters for a HiDpi display on a FlatPak installed version? I can't find the spotify.desktop file in either of the following folders:




The flatpak .desktop is in:



that you can copy to your home and edit.

it works!! thanks a lot ❤️ 

Screenshot from 2017-07-06 16-24-38.png


Note that under Fedora / Gnome you need to set the scaling factor to 2.0 - Gnome Desktop does not allow for decimal scaling; 

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