Linux client barely usable on HiDPI displays


Linux client barely usable on HiDPI displays

Casual Listener

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

Is HiDPI support on the roadmap?

54 Replies


searli not true. The GNOME DE will auto scale applications on an integer scale but you can force some individual applications to do fractional scaling.


Experiment:  force the resolution at 1.3, 1.7, 2.0, 2.5. You will see they all increase in size fractionally. I know this because I've done it on Fedora running GNOME.

Casual Listener
I have experimented and this was my experience on Fedora / Gnome - if you
use the fractional scaling when starting spotify in the terminal or if you
update spotify.desktop it did not work for me, it simply ignored the
scaling - it did work however setting it to 2.0 - so I shall leave it at
that 🙂


Baller, Thanks.

Casual Listener

I'm pretty new to linux, and this command worked for me, however, I want to understand why. Is putting that command after the Exec=spotify %U like running an execute command with the option of forcing the ui to scale up? Hopefully my question is clear. Just wanted some background info or knowledge on why this worked I guess. Thanks.


Yes, the command option --force-device-scale-factor=1.8 forces the UI to scale up. I don't know all the details but the Spotify app doesn't respect your desktops scaling settings on HiDPI screens. adding that option forces it to work. Just be aware when you get an update for the Spotify application you will need to do this again. An update means you will get a new desktop file as well. 


Debian 9 


sudo vim /usr/local/share/applications/spotify.desktop


Casual Listener

Anyone know how to set the --force-device-scale-factor permanently in the desktop app? I'm on Ubuntu 17.10, and Spotify is not using /usr/share/applications. It's apparently a "snap" application now, whatever that is.. so there's probably a different way of changing the parameters.


If you've installed Spotify via the Snap you could edit /usr/share/applications/spotify.desktop


Add --force-device-scale-factor=1.5 so that the Exec line becomes:


Exec=env BAMF_DESKTOP_FILE_HINT=/var/lib/snapd/desktop/applications/spotify_spotify.desktop /snap/bin/spotify --force-device-scale-factor=1.5 %U

Casual Listener

Like I mentioned, /usr/share/applications/spotify.desktop doesn't exist. I can't figure out where the desktop file is actually saved.


Oddly enough, it's in /snap/spotify/5/usr/share/spotify/spotify.desktop. This is read-only, however and I can't edit it, even as root.


What I did was copy that .desktop file to ~/.local/share/applications, where I edited it to add `--force-device-scale-factor=1.5`. This fixes the hidpi problem.


However, my new .desktop file was missing the icon, for some reason still pointing to /usr/share/spotify/icons, which no longer exists. So I had to edit the Icon entry in my new .desktop entry to Icon=/snap/spotify/current/usr/share/spotify/icons/spotify-linux-128.png.


Sadly, this means I have two results in the heads-up display when I search for Spotify -- my version and the snap version. Don't know how to fix that.


To avoid this double items, instead of copying the desktop file, the original snap app desktop file can be edited (with sudo) in /var/lib/snapd/desktop/applications/spotify_spotify.desktop (cf

Adding `--force-device-scale-factor=1.5` (or 2.5 in my case with a UHD screen) gets everything in order except the mouse size...


Casual Listener

Thanks for that, that solved it for me!



Great tip! Here's what I did on 17.10 in case it helps anyone:

  1. Open up Spotify snap desktop shortcut:
    $ sudo gedit /var/lib/snapd/desktop/applications/spotify_spotify.desktop
  2. Add --force-device-scale-factor=2.0 (or 1.5 or whatever scale factor you want) to the Exec line:
    Exec=env BAMF_DESKTOP_FILE_HINT=/var/lib/snapd/desktop/applications/spotify_spotify.desktop /snap/bin/spotify --force-device-scale-factor=2.0 %U 


View solution in original post


For anyone interested, for Elementary OS (Loki) the corresponding actions are below:

sudo gedit /usr/share/applications/spotify.desktop

Once you have the file open, change the Exec to:

Exec=spotify --force-device-scale-factor=2.0 %U

Change the scale to whatever suits you - 2.0 works for me on a 13" Retina Macbook...


I'm new to linux (I have the Ubuntu 16.04 version) and I tried to change the spotify.desktop file. I could do that by nothing has changed when I open Spotify again. All I get is the reply in the terminal:

ATTENTION: default value of option force_s3tc_enable overridden by environment.

Could someone help me, please?


P.S. I installed it via the command lines Spotify gives on the Download page for Linux, not via snap