Adjust KDE Plasma scale without restarting (X)

My main machine is currently a 15.6" laptop. As such, for things to not be too tiny, I have set the global scale to be a bit higher.

There are a few situations where it shouldn’t be, though, for example when i plug in an external monitor. While using GNOME Desktop, the could easily adjust scaling, either through the Tweaks app or Accessibility. In KDE Plasma under X server, however, it requires a restart, which i did not want to do, so here’s a probably not so good workaround!

Let’s start with a few disclaimers:

Xrandr is used to set the size, orientation and/or reflection of the outputs for a screen. It can also set the screen size.

Looks like xrandr can be used to adjust the scale. i had to install it on Fedora, but most other distributions should have it installed by default.

xrandr --output HDMI-A-0 --scale 1.3x1.3

You can find a list of displays by simply running xrandr, or this mess: xrandr | grep connected | grep -Eo '^[^ ]+' 😂

Looking at the man page, values greater than one lead to a compressed screen, and values less than 1 zoom in. With my default global scaling settings set in the settings, 1.3x1.3 was fine on a 24 inch monitor.

Finally, restart the plasma shell.

plasmashell --replace &

Things will go blank for a few seconds, and then the screen and programs should be scaled correctly. This doesn’t require a logout, restart, or close apps! When i disconnected the monitor, my laptop was still the correct scale.

Thanks to these posts on various forums, which i pieced this thread from:

Please let me know if there’s a better way to do this, of course! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in a few days with a March status update. 💜


Emails are sent about once a month instead of per post. Of course, I won't send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Otherwise, you can also subscribe via Atom or RSS, Telegram, or Mastodon.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please consider supporting me 💜