desktop ui scale is huge even though the setting is set to a scale of 1

Bug #1282847 reported by Craig Magina on 2014-02-21
This bug affects 6 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gtk+3.0 (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I just updated and restarted the laptop. When it started, the gtk widgets are all huge. The unity shell is not scaled. I opened up the Display settings to find a new scale widget, which is currently set to 1. Lowering it did not change anything. This is all experienced on a Macbook Pro Retina 11,1.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 14.04
Package: ubuntu-desktop 1.321
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.13.0-11.31-generic 3.13.3
Uname: Linux 3.13.0-11-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: wl
ApportVersion: 2.13.2-0ubuntu5
Architecture: amd64
CurrentDesktop: Unity
Date: Thu Feb 20 20:56:18 2014
EcryptfsInUse: Yes
InstallationDate: Installed on 2014-02-14 (6 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" - Alpha amd64 (20140211)
SourcePackage: ubuntu-meta
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Craig Magina (craig.magina) wrote :
Craig Magina (craig.magina) wrote :
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in ubuntu-meta (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Iain Lane (laney) on 2014-02-21
affects: ubuntu-meta (Ubuntu) → gtk+3.0 (Ubuntu)
Iain Lane (laney) wrote :

That slider only arrived in Ubuntu very recently and I'm afraid it's not fully hooked up yet (when it is shortly it'll control the interface scaling & hopefully the gtk one too).

For now, take a look at: gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.interface scaling-factor - if this is '0' then the scaling factor is being autodetected. You can override it with e.g. gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface scaling-factor 1.

gtk can only scale by integers...

medb (medb) wrote :

Thanks Iain, it works for me.
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface scaling-factor 1

Stephen M. Webb (bregma) wrote :

There are two GTK scaling factors that interact in odd and unexpected ways. To reset you system to a know good state, issue the following commands.

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface scaling-factor 1
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface text-scaling-factor 1

Craig Magina (craig.magina) wrote :

Thanks, that fixes everything except lightdm. You can login, but you can't make use of any of the indicators. It appears that lightdm is refusing to scale and ends up filling only the top left corner of the screen, leaving the rest black.

Craig Magina (craig.magina) wrote :

The slider scale config under Display seems to be working correctly now although I have not tried a clean install to see if the automatic config works correctly out-of-the-box.

It impacts accessibility of a core package.

Changed in gtk+3.0 (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
Marvin Janosch ( wrote :

It seems like the slider only changes scaling-factor. In my case also text-scaling-factor was set really high but, I still don't know why.

Charles Green (chick) wrote :

I'm having a related problem - the text-scaling-factor is being reset at some point during the reboot process

Loïc Minier (lool) wrote :

One thing I've noticed is that the actual org.gnome.desktop.interface text-scaling-factor setting is overridden by something; when I set it to e.g. 1.5 I get 1.125, when I set it to 2.2 I get 1.650 etc.

I guess some clever magic somewhere needs to be disabled too to truly set it by hand.

Loïc Minier (lool) wrote :

Ok, setting "com.canonical.Unity.Interface text-scale-factor" to 2.0 sets "org.gnome.desktop.interface text-scaling-factor", and that seems stable and good looking for me.

A friend of mine has the problem too. He first used his monitor over VGA and scaled it up. Then got a new graphic card and connected it through HDMI. Even when the scale factor was set to 1, the desktop was too big, so that some buttons like the "power cog" wasn't visible at all.
We reconnected the monitor through VGA and to our surprise, the scale factor wasn't 1 as expected, but higher. After resetting the scale factor to 1 and switching again to HDMI the scale factor was correct and all the display widgets visible.

He is now affected by this bug. The settings show scale factor 1 but the font is huge.

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