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Which Linux distros have good multi-monitor support for differing DPI, scaling and resolutions?

I have 4 27" monitors with 3 resolutions between them: 1080p, 1440p and 4k. Windows handles per monitor scaling correctly (UI elements appear the same size on each monitor). Looking for a Linux distro which can do the same.

  • Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon supports per monitor scaling, but at such a large performance cost that the system is barely usable.

  • I haven't found any other distros which claim to support this

  • My understanding is that Wayland may handle this better than X11, but is not stable and works poorly with many applications, particularly WINE games.

  • Please don't suggest I buy new monitors :-)

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    Welcome to Unix and Linux Stack. Since your question is "opinion based", it's going to likely be closed as off-topic. A better question would be "What Linux distributions have ...", without asking which is the "best". I recommend modifying your question to remove requests for opinion. Jul 16, 2021 at 4:25
  • It doesn't seem like the linux community is at all interested in answering this :( I've searched high and low all over the internet, and there is a great lack of discussion on this. It's like people just aren't interested. I don't get it.
    – Johan
    Mar 18, 2022 at 11:29
  • @Johan it's a pretty hard question, and there's lots of flamewar potential, so peoply may be scared ;-) I'll step up though Apr 18, 2023 at 19:50

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The question is opinionated, so what follows is simply my opinion.

Quick Answer: Fedora KDE Spin

Why: Fedora is an up-to-date distro that uses Wayland by default and is relatively beginner-friendly. KDE seems to have the best handling for multi-monitors at different resolutions. Gnome is great for multi-monitors that are the same resolution.

Caveat: If you have a Nvidia card and need/want to run the close-source drivers, I'd probably recommend the latest version of Kubuntu or KDE Neon. You'll want to run Wayland if you can for best support, especially if you plan to use fractional scaling.

More Details:

The distro is less likely to matter as much as the desktop environment and display server stack. For example, KDE seems to have better support for this than Gnome, and Wayland more than X. Now that said, each distro has a different speed with which they ship updates, and you'll want something fairly up to date and ideally a Wayland by default. Fedora and Arch are the two (non-niche) options that come to mind. If you don't have much time or don't like to tinker with your system, I would recommend Fedora.

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    Thank you! Good summary, I think :)
    – Johan
    Jul 17, 2023 at 15:22

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