HiDPI XQuartz

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XQuartz doesn't support HiDPI in any reasonable way, but you can sort of make it work on a temporary basis.


Assuming you want to run a remote X application, and you want that application to use HiDPI:

  1. install XQuartz
    for example brew cask install xquartz.
  2. enable full screen mode in XQuartz
    it doesn't work in non-root window mode.
  3. ssh -Snone -X z800.local
    -Snone is important because session multiplexing doesn't work very well with X forwarding.
  4. run xterm
    we need an X (non-native) terminal for later.
  5. in a native terminal (Terminal.app) run xrandr --output default --mode 5120x2880 --dpi 218
    unfortunately we can't make this permanent, after this, you will be in high resolution full screen X, with a very tiny xterm.
  6. run whatever application from that xterm
    you might need to force HiDPI mode for that application, but it should have all the pixels available.
  7. to get out of X, press CMD+Opt+A
    unfortunately this turns off the X resolution hack set above.
  8. to get back into X at the correct resolution, run xrandr --output default --mode 5120x2880 --dpi 218 again in the native terminal.

It's awful, but it works.