I'm currently using a 15" laptop which has a moderate resolution (1920x1080). The other day, I spent some time with a friend who owns a Macbook Pro Retina. Just looking at the screen made my eyes excited. The clarity of the display was amazing.

So it got me thinking. The Dell XPS 15" offers a high-DPI display. More specifically, a 3200x1800 resolution.

There are a few concerns that come up with high DPI in Linux: I've heard some issues with font rendering. But I also hear that Gnome 3 (and possibly KDE) can get things going nicely.

I am a big fan of i3wm, since I work mostly in the terminal (tmux, vim, mutt, etc). i3wm isn't as GUI-intensive as Gnome 3 and KDE. Gnome 3 and KDE seem to have a bigger community support around them. Which probably means more updates and support for more hardware.

What issues should I be concerned with, in regards to high DPI with i3wm or any tiling window manager in the same category (such as )?

Is it safe to assume that, since i3wm isn't as "heavy" as Gnome or KDE, no issues could come about?

P.S., slightly off-topic: for owners running a Dell XPS 15" on Linux, what kind of battery life do you get?


I am not an xmonad expert and do not have any experience with high DPI displays but I can imagine that if high-DPI does not cause problems in Gnome, you can safely assume that xmonad will also play nicely.

The rationale is that the applications all look the same, the only difference is that there's no icons (not true if you use dzen2 or similar but I think that won't be a problem either) and no window borders.

But I'm sure the applications will look the same 100%.


Apparently these kinds of programs (desktops, window managers, etc.) have methods to detect screen resolution and adapt accordingly. So if I were you, I wouldn't be worried. What I would be actually worried about is some text/elements in programs being too small to see. I've heard issues like these.

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