Is Puppylinux 4K ready? The short answer is mostly, and here’s the proof.
The most important step is to simply increase your font size up from its default or whatever you have it set at to something that’s about 30% larger. This should be good for most people, but you may need to set it a bit higher depending on your personal preferences. This will also vary depending on the pixel pitch of your monitor. Monitors with a smaller pixel pitch may need to set it higher. Once you do this most of the time you’ll be good to go, there are however a few ‘gotchas’ that you will run into.
When you increase your fonts, windows themselves will increase most of the UI elements accordingly, but there are a few which you will need to manually go in and tweak in your GTK1 or GTK2 theme files. For those non Puppy users out there, yes I meant Gtk1&2 and not Gtk3. The other gotcha that jumps to mind initially is scrollbars, which can also be altered in your gtk theme file. When I first moved to using 4K screens this was my biggest initial annoyance, but one that was quickly remedied without too much trouble. Another thing to keep in mind is that your icons may not scale. Most Puppy releases do not include a full icon set for every icon. This is primary done for space saving purposes since Puppy tries to stay as small as possible. Due to this, you will most likely have mismatched icons; if this bothers you, simply track down the full icon set and fill in the gaps that you may have in /usr/share/icons. If savefile space is a concern, I’d suggest adding these into your install by building an SFS package. The ‘Edit-SFS’ utility is perfectly suited for such a task.
The largest issue for me is that there are certain hard elements that you cannot alter… or to be more specific, I haven’t figured out how to alter yet. Things like window pane dividers in certain programs and the window borders for resizing are elements that as of yet I have found no work around for. On a 1080P monitor, the two or three pixels that existed in the window were easy enough to grab at that resolution with some fine mouse movements. On a 4k screen this has become almost a matter of luck. On my older Samsung EX2220 monitors the pixel pitch was 0.24825mm on my current Acer K242HQK monitors the pixel pitch is 0.136mm. This makes it vitrually impossible to grab the window edge or window pane divider on first attempt, usually it takes me around 5 seconds to grab it to then resize. That’s just simple not practical or acceptable these days. Now, I admit that this may be something you can tweak in the appropiate GTK2/GTK3 theme file, but as of yet I have not figured out how. If you are aware how you can change this, please drop me a line and let me know.
I’m going to go ahead and leave my prior statement about window boarders here even though I’ve found a resolution. I’m unsure how this would be handled with any Puppy that uses JWM, but for those that are using Openbox based puppies, you will need to edit your openbox themerc file to modify the boarder size.
Under the section: “#Window geometry” change “boarder.width: 1” to something larger. I set it to 3 and it seems fine for the most part.
I also went ahead and changed the following values from “1” to “3” as well.