The 4K Desktop on Fedora

Seiki 4K on Fedora

Seiki 4K on Fedora

Like a lot of folks, I caught the “4K is for Programmers” post off Hacker News a few days ago (it’s here, but the link seems to be borked at the moment) and got to thinking about more desktop space. Much more.

My current setup, when not traveling, involves a 27″ 2560×1440 display – usually connected to my laptop. Even with that, I found myself tabbing through windows too often balancing terminal windows, browser windows, and mail.

Eventually I decided it was worth a shot, and ordered the Seiki 4K 39″ (SE39UY04) off Amazon. Unfortunately, didn’t seem to have much luck getting it going with my existing video card in the workstation or my laptop, so I wound up ordering a EVGA GeForce GTX760, and slapped that into the workstation.

It takes a few steps to get it going at its full resolution on Fedora 20, at least with my setup:

  1. Install the nVidia drivers as explained in this F19 nVidia install/un-install guide.
  2. As shown in this forum post, add a line to /etc/X11/xorg.conf in the Device section with several options that are needed to pass the right resolution:Option "ModeValidation" "AllowNon60hzmodesDFPModes, NoEDIDDFPMaxSizeCheck, NoVertRefreshCheck, NoHorizSyncCheck, NoDFPNativeResolutionCheck, NoMaxSizeCheck, NoMaxPClkCheck, AllowNonEdidModes, NoEdidMaxPClkCheck"
  3. Add the file /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-monitor.conf, with this content:
    Section "Monitor"
      Identifier "Monitor0"
      Modeline "3840x2160" 307.00 3840 4016 4104 4400 2160 2168 2178 2250 +hsync +vsync
    Section "Screen"
      Identifier "Screen0"
      Device "HDMI-0"
      Option "ModeValidation" "AllowNon60hzmodesDFPModes, NoEDIDDFPMaxSizeCheck, NoVertRefreshCheck, NoHorizSyncCheck, NoDFPNativeResolutionCheck, NoMaxSizeCheck, NoMaxPClkCheck, AllowNonEdidModes, NoEdidMaxPClkCheck"
      Monitor "Monitor0"
      DefaultDepth 24
      SubSection "Display"
        Depth 24
        Modes "3840x2160" "1920x1080"

And that’s really it. Once I logged out and back in, it automagically detected the highest resolution and set the monitor to it.

Is the picture as nice as the 27″ Cinema Display? No. But it works fine, and after some tweaking (turn the Sharpness to 0, use the User preset) it’s a respectable picture.

I also tested plugging in the 27″ display and the 39″ display at the same time… yep, they both work. So if I can clear enough space on the desk, I’ll have waaay too much desktop space to play with. It has four outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort, and two DVI. I may see if it can drive all four just for grins, though I can’t imagine using that setup all day.. or having space for it on my desktop.

Given that the 4K post seemed to spark a lot of conversation, I do hope we’ll start seeing some focus on higher resolution monitors in the near future. We’ve been stuck for a few years with stagnant pricing on higher resolution displays (e.g. 2560×1440 displays) and not many options. Looking forward to working with the new biggie-sized desktop.

8 thoughts on “The 4K Desktop on Fedora

  1. 4K is a lot of pixels, but it’s still cheaper to buy them in smaller chunks. Four 20-inch 1080p monitors will likely cost less than the single 4K panel, and leave enough to pay for a good 4-monitor stand. Plus you don’t have to worry about finding a graphics card (and interface) that can handle 4K at a suitable frame rate.

  2. The new Lenovo 28″ 4K screen is $799 (possibly with touch screen?), and with built-in android it is $1199.

    Dell have a new 4K 28″ at $699

    Asus also have a new fast 28″ 4K at $799.

    I am currently running a Lenovo Ultra Wide 29″ monitor with 2560×1080 resolution. Hooked up to the mini-DP connector of my Lenovo X1 Carbon laptop Fedora 20 autodetects it and runs it at full resolution without any problem. Intel drivers on linux rock. I look forward to getting a 4K screen for testing. 🙂

    • 2560×1080? That’s unusual. I thought the standard there was 2560×1440.

      I have a 2560×1440 that works just fine with my Lenovo ThinkPad (T530) as well. There really is a difference with the 4K, though. Soooo much real estate!

  3. I was struggling with getting the 39″ 4k Seiki running with an AMD/ATI Radeon HD 6450. The best I could do was 15 hz with a cut down dot-clock in a custom config file similar to the above. Turns out the problem was related to the graphics card and an older display controller version in the HD 6450 chip. Upgrading to a Radeon HD 7770 fixed the problem. I now get 30 hz refresh with an absolutely stock Xorg config. (The lag at 15hz was driving me crazy. Typing quickly meant that I’d be a few chars ahead of what the display was showing me.)

    Love the display size. The resolution is 113 dpi, which is just about right for me.

  4. Well… if anyone is still looking at this old thread… if (as I once did)… you believe that 4K is about more space on your desktop (rather than the crispness of your text and, hopefully… widgets…) you could have done what I did: I fired up a terminal and ran this command on my 1920×1200 display:

    $ xrandr –output LDVS-0 –scale 2×2

    … and I was immediately faced by a desktop with four times the space… without spending money on a 4K monitor.

    Of course it takes rather sharp eye vision (such as mine) to be able to see anything on my 17″ laptop screen… but hey… think of the money I saved… and the look on the faces of the Russian spies trying to look over my shoulder…!

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