Scaling problems with dual-monitor setup with different resolutions?

I'm running Manjaro with Cinnamon on a laptop with a 4k display and have hooked up an external monitor with a lower resolution. As a result, everything looks way bigger on the external monitor. Is there any way to alleviate this in a simple way? (by 'simple' I mean: I've found some solutions that involved defining special commands to launch applications in a way that looks good only on the external monitor, which is not an option for me).

As i understand it, XORG is setting a single "Screen0", a single "Device0" and the monitors will abide that even if there is a metamodes option there. Probably you can tweak and have Screen0 (for one monitor) and Screen1 (for the TV), but better description is here:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Multihead

Please describe what is the expected result, in view and in simplicity.
It would help if you gave more objective info about your owned hardware.
When you connect the external monitor, issue these commands in terminal and post them here (in code blocks)

mhwd -li
inxi -SGxxz
cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/*.conf
xrandr
[ahura@xps ~]$ mhwd -li
> Installed PCI configs:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  NAME               VERSION          FREEDRIVER           TYPE
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           video-linux            2018.05.04                true            PCI


Warning: No installed USB configs!
[ahura@xps ~]$ inxi -SGxxz
System:    Host: xps Kernel: 4.17.0-1-MANJARO x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 8.1.0 Desktop: Cinnamon 3.8.3 
           dm: lightdm Distro: Manjaro Linux 17.1.10 Hakoila 
Graphics:  Card-1: Intel UHD Graphics 620 driver: i915 v: kernel bus ID: 00:02.0 chip ID: 8086:5917 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.19.6 driver: intel unloaded: fbdev,modesetting,vesa 
           resolution: 3840x2160~60Hz, 1920x1200~60Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel UHD Graphics 620 (Kabylake GT2) v: 4.5 Mesa 18.0.4 compat-v: 3.0 
           direct render: Yes
[ahura@xps ~]$ cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/*.conf
# Read and parsed by systemd-localed. It's probably wise not to edit this file
# manually too freely.
Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "system-keyboard"
        MatchIsKeyboard "on"
        Option "XkbLayout" "us"
        Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
EndSection
[ahura@xps ~]$ xrandr
Screen 0: minimum 8 x 8, current 5040 x 2160, maximum 32767 x 32767
eDP1 connected primary 3840x2160+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 290mm x 170mm
   3840x2160     60.00*+  59.97    48.00  
   3200x1800     59.96    60.00    59.94  
   2880x1620     60.00    59.96    59.97  
   2560x1600     59.99    59.97  
   2560x1440     59.96    60.00    59.95  
   2048x1536     60.00  
   1920x1440     60.00  
   1856x1392     60.01  
   1792x1344     60.01  
   2048x1152     60.00    59.90    59.91  
   1920x1200     59.88    59.95  
   1920x1080     59.96    60.00    59.93  
   1600x1200     60.00  
   1680x1050     59.95    59.88  
   1400x1050     59.98  
   1600x900      60.00    59.95    59.82  
   1280x1024     60.02  
   1400x900      59.96    59.88  
   1280x960      60.00  
   1368x768      60.00    59.88    59.85  
   1280x800      59.81    59.91  
   1280x720      59.86    60.00    59.74  
   1024x768      60.00  
   1024x576      60.00    59.90    59.82  
   960x540       60.00    59.63    59.82  
   800x600       60.32    56.25  
   864x486       60.00    59.92    59.57  
   640x480       59.94  
   720x405       59.51    60.00    58.99  
   640x360       59.84    59.32    60.00  
DP1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP2 connected 1200x1920+3840+0 left (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 520mm x 320mm
   1920x1200     59.95*+
   1920x1080     60.00  
   1600x1200     60.00  
   1680x1050     59.88  
   1280x1024     60.02  
   1280x960      60.00  
   1024x768      60.00  
   800x600       60.32  
   640x480       59.94  
   720x400       70.08  
VIRTUAL1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

Nice report. Now go ahead with the rest. What do you want to achieve? What use?

I'm not sure how to put it differently than in the original post. Right now, if I drag a window from my laptop's monitor to the external monitor, the size of the window and everything in it doubles. I would like things to be the same size on both monitors.
If I set the resolution on both monitors to HD, things are the same size on both, but I'd like the laptop's monitor to be in 4k without the size difference.

Have you read this

1 Like

@bogdancovaciu sorry if I'm missing something but I only see information in there on using specialized launch commands for differene monitors, and:

I was making sure on what special commands you refer too as "not an option" ... As described could mean some, a few more, or all of them ...
Now, why do you think there where just proposals that involved scripts or even vnc, and no proper solution for your case?
Maybe you can add the scaling factor to xrandr for each monitor

xrandr --output eDP1 --scale 1x1 --pos 3840x0 ;
xrandr --output DP2 --scale 2x2 --mode 1920x1080 --fb 7680x2160 --pos 0x0

maybe you have to add to your .Xresources
Xft.dpi: 185

Let us know what you have tried so we don't repeat or advice something you already tried ... :slight_smile:

I haven't tried anything thus far, as I haven't found any solution that fit my needs.
Entering the suggested commands had the effect that on my external monitor (the low-resolution one) that only about one fourth of it was used for display, i.e. the main part of the monitor went black and only a corner of it displayed a shrunk-down version of what it showed before.
Adding Xft.dpi: 185 to ~/.Xresources and rebooting didn't change anything.

If you install arandr, you can make better settings for xrandr, maybe there is something missing in that config.

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