Issue with multi-monitor scaling - Ubuntu 23.10 on Dell XPS Laptop

Greetings, the issue I’m having is that items displayed on my external monitors is too large.

The laptop screen is 3840x2400 and is running at 200% 13 inch (size is about right)
Both external monitors are Acer V226WL (22 inch) that are running at thier native 1680x1050 at 100% and anything displayed on them is more than twice as large as it should be which limits what I can do with these monitors. When I try to use fractional scaling on the external displays, it disrupts the laptop screen. Is there a way I can set the external displays to something like 50% or smaller without disrupting the laptop display,
FYI, the displays are connected to a Dell docking port (along with the mouse and network connection)

Other info, the laptop was purchased from Dell with Ubuntu 20.04 installed. The laptop uses the internal Intel graphics and is a 13th gen i7 processor. I upgraded it to 23.10. I use the same type of external monitors on a Windows 11 desktop system and they are quite readable at 1680x1050 (a dpi issue?). I am still learning Linux. I also have an old XPS labtop running Debian 12.

Thank you
Dan Rhea

Hi again all,

I have been researching my issue on and off since I posted this and it appears to be related to Ubuntu 23.10, Gnome, and Wayland (latest versions). It appears that this combination doesn’t play well on multiple monitor setups expecially when there is a resolution difference between the primary laptop screen and the external monitors. It doesn’t look like it’s something I can work around.

I see the greatest issues with things like the Chrome browser. Some sources say the issue is x11 programs running on Wayland don’t follow scaling rules. I can’t verify this other than to say Chrome is one of the programs I can only use on my laptop screen, not the external screens (everything becomes way to large on the external monitors). I don’t have the depth of knowledge to be able to deternine this one way or the other.

Suffice to say, I have no intention (at this time) of changing the dispo or desktop. I will keep researching this and hope that some update down the line corrects this, or at least gives me a workaround. Definitely not going to switch to x11 (I used to use x11 on VMS machines 20 years ago). Nothing against x11, but research seems to indicate that Wayland is the future for Linux.

For now, I use my top screen for the resource manager, the lower screen for a terminal, and the important stuff stays on the 13 inch laptop screen/desktops.

Never give up, never surrender! :slight_smile:
Dan Rhea
(currently unemployed software developer)

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