I'm running Mint 19 Tara, with Cinnamon 3.8.9, on a Lenovo P51 with a 3840×2160 graphics display.

Most apps, such as vim, Chrome, Libre Office, and everything that came pre-installed, work correctly. But some apps, like gimp, Zoom, InSync, and the Java-based VPN client that I've had to install to connect to one of my customer's networks, have tiny GUIs. (I doubt that gimp and Zoom run on Java, though, so this is unlikely a Java-specific issue.) The fonts and icons are barely big enough to read, and they're laborious to click on because of their size. The dialogue windows themselves are also very small.

I've improved gimp by installing a new icon set, but they icons and text are still a little small, and this doesn't help with the other apps.

I don't think this issue has anything to do with Cinnamon, because changing the text scaling factor in System Settings→Fonts only affects apps that already have a good font size.

I wonder if there's some other UI/window manager that the problematic apps are using, e.g. Qt, and if there's some other system-wide setting that I can tweak to fix it. Any ideas?

  • This is a similar question, but for a different OS, and it only concerns fonts, not whole dialogues. And anyhow, it doesn't have an answer: unix.stackexchange.com/questions/482306/… May 29, 2019 at 20:12
  • Hey, thanks for commenting on (and thus reminding me of) my question. I did eventually solve the issue, and answered my own question. Let me know if it works for you. May 29, 2019 at 22:33
  • @BradenBest: Thanks for that. I still haven't gotten it working (see my comment on your answer), but I appreciate your input. May 31, 2019 at 19:58

1 Answer 1


I've found a solution for Qt apps at least, and it turns out both Zoom and Insync are built with the Qt widget toolkit.

Setting a QT_SCALE_FACTOR environment variable to 2 made both of those apps look good to me. According to the Qt docs, setting QT_AUTO_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTOR=1 (a different environment variable) will make Qt respect the system DPI, but this made the dialogues a bit too big for my taste.

I'm still having problems with the other apps I mentioned, and I think they might have their sizes hard-coded as a number of pixels. I'll add another answer if I find a solution for those.

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