Look out for improved fractional scaling support in Xfce 4.16 when it arrives later this year.

The feature is one of several betterments the nimble desktop environment will boast in the upcoming release, alongside the switch to CSD we ferried word on back in January.

Adaptive screen handling on high-resolution displays is a basic ask of any modern desktop environment. Alas, some manage it better than others. GNOME, for instance, still only offers ‘experimental’ support for fractional scaling in Xorg sessions (though Ubuntu has patched the relevant settings into its GUI).

The latest pre-release of Xfce 4.16 carries additional scaling values in the Display module. These settings range from 100% (1x), 150% (1.5x), and 200% (2x) scaling. There’s also a ‘custom’ option for manually entering values in-between. I find 125% (1.25x) to be the sweet spot in most DEs on my 14-inch laptop.

xfce 4.16 fractional scaling
The new options

Xfce 4.16’s support for fractional scaling with XRandR also includes “better fallback in case of mis-configuration”.

How well does scaling work? Does enabling it impact on Xfce’s otherwise well-regarded performance? Uhh, I couldn’t tell you; Xfce 4.16 hasn’t been released yet. Deft though I may be at the command line I didn’t fancy compiling the upcoming release by hand to give it a whirl nice and early.

Thankfully I (and you) won’t have to wait much longer to find out. The Xfce 4.16 release date (i.e. when it goes stable) is scheduled for sometimes in November.

Other new Xfce 4.16 features include a bevvy of new icons (seemingly inspired by GNOME’s recentish refit); a more informative About dialog; a new Status Tray plugin; and bundles and bundles of bug fixes, UI polish, and general fit n’ finesse.

Are you an Xfce aficionado looking forward to this feature?
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