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DPI for Retina Display

You should now have Arch Linux running with the i3 window manager, but everything on the screen probably looks too small.

We’ll use xrandr to set the DPI. Install it:

sudo pacman -S xorg-xrandr

Next, call it in your .xinitrc to set the DPI to a more reasonable value for the Retina display. Your .xinitrc should now look like this:

xrandr --dpi 160
exec i3

Start X again, and you should see that the minimal decorations that i3 draws have been scaled. However, the font in urxvt will still be small. This is because urxvt is using a bitmapped font.


We’ll need to install a good terminal font and xrdb so we can configure urxvt to use the font:

sudo pacman -S xorg-xrdb ttf-dejavu

Add the following to your .xinitrc to load configuration settings from ~/.Xresources whenever X is started:

xrdb -merge ~/.Xresources

Then create your ~/.Xresources file with the following line to tell urxvt to use the new font, and while we’re at it, remove the scrollbar for an even more minimal feel:

URxvt.font: xft:DejaVu Sans Mono:size=10
URxvt.scrollBar: false

Start X back up, start a terminal, and the font should look much more reasonable.

Mouse Cursor

To change the cursor and size, you can use the xcursor-themes package:

sudo pacman -S xcursor-themes

That comes with three themes: redglass, whiteglass, and handhelds. If you’re curious, you can use pacman to see the files it installed:

pacman -Ql xcursor-themes

Add this to your .Xresources to change the theme and size:

Xcursor.theme: whiteglass
Xcursor.size: 24