Font DPI and screen scaling

Frank Steinmetzger Warp_7 at
Sun Jun 7 21:39:51 BST 2020

Hey ho fellows,

recently, when I was reading up on current Plasma developments on reddit and, I found a blog post with the following statement (from
memory, I can’t find the actual source anymore):

    “People usually scale their UI by forcing a DPI value in font settings.
    This is wrong and they should use screen scaling instead.”

Up until now I was using a normal PC with a monitor and a small laptop. Two
weeks ago I bought a used Tablet and set up a new system and user with KDE
on it. This makes my collection of devices look like thus:

Description       Size    Pixels      Resolution
Old PC monitor    17″     1280×1024    96 dpi
Current monitor   27″     2560×1440   109 dpi
Thinkpad          12.5″   1920×1080   176 dpi
Surface Go        10″     1800×1200   216 dpi

In your valued experience/opinion, what is the appropriate way of ensuring
that a 10 pt font has the same physical size on all screens if I use display
scaling exclusively? Is a screen scale of 100 % assuming 96 dpi?

I have been using a forced DPI value because even though screens report
their proper physical size and it is shown in xrandr, it is not obeyed in X,
which instead reverts to 96 dpi and shows fonts too small (pixel height too

Thanks for any insight you may have.

Gruß | Greetings | Qapla’
Why do Java developers wear glasses? – Because they don’t C#.
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