Ubuntu 17.10 review. Running with hidpi, touch screen and wayland support

Ubuntu GNOME 17.10

I think Ubuntu GNOME is the best flavor of Ubuntu if you are running in HiDPI mode 3200x1800 with a touchscreen. All screen captured images are at HiDPI resolution.

Since I prefer the standard gnome-session experience, I installed the "gnome-session" package and rebooted the system. And on the cog icon next to the sign in button, select the "GNOME" instead of ''Ubuntu" option before clicking the sign in button.

sudo apt install gnome-session


I increased the speed, enabled "tap to click", "two finger scrooling". and on gnome-tweak enabled click method to "fingers".

Touch support

Ubuntu gnome support for touchscreen is pretty good on the desktop.
Chromium browser supports touch screen very well and much better than Firefox without any plug-ins.
In my Yoga pro 2, the windows key on the screen panel works as the windows key on the keyboard.
Screen rotation is supported on the new gnome and disables the keyboard when the yoga is used as a tablet, but not the touchpad, side lock rotation button works to lock the screen in a certain rotation.

Screen HiDPI support

Ubuntu will boot with full resolution HiDPI and touch screen support enabled, brightness keys, resolution keys and, option keys to turn off the screen, all work.

You can change the resolution in the settings to another resolution in case you don't want to use HiDPI, selecting 1920x1080 that should give you a good scale ratio on the Yoga Pro 2.


Ubuntu uses Firefox as the default browser, I installed chromium since I like it better, I also changed the default to be the native gnome experience which I think is better than the Ubuntu changes made to gnome-shell.

I also installed most of Gnome apps, Gnome games, gnome-boxes and Virtual Machine manager, described in the last section to have some relaxing and productivity apps. I have done a blog post earlier on how to install windows on gnome-boxes and make run as fast as possible with virtio drivers.

I also installed Skype, Spotify and Google Chrome browser and all applications work well in the new Ubuntu 17.10.

I setup Cisco VPN using open connect with support for "Cisco Secure Desktop trojan" to access my company VPN, all is working great.

Ubuntu is using Wayland graphical server by default and I don't notice much difference between Wayland and Xorg, seems a bit slow with 2 monitors, but It might be because of hi-dpi on both screens since before I was using 1080p resolutions.

I also installed gnome-tweak and added the minimise button to all windows, as you can see from the screenshot.

Camera, Sound, Keyboard, Sleep, WifiBluetooth, USB3

Camera, sleep, wifi, Bluetooth, USB3, side sound button up/down, keyboard background light works, Special Fn key mute, volume up, volume down, turn off screen, refresh, brightness up and down, menu key, keyboard light, airplane mode, all work as expected.

Fn key to show all screens works but it is a shortcut to Activities menu so you don't have to use the touchpad.

Tweaks to make some Apps work better with HiDPI 

Firefox, Chromium, Google Chrome, Skype, Thunderbird, Cheese, totem work great in HiDPI.

Blender, Gimp, Spotify, VLC, Pinta do not support hi-dpi properly.

Download links for Chrome, Spotify, Skype:


Work arround for Spotify:

Add --force-device-scale-factor=1.5 (or whatever fits your UI scale) as a command line option.

You could edit /usr/share/applications/spotify.desktop or wherever the .desktop file is located and change the line with Exec= to:

Exec=spotify --force-device-scale-factor=1.5 %U

Signal Messenger:
curl -s https://updates.signal.org/desktop/apt/keys.asc | sudo apt-key add -
echo "deb [arch=amd64] https://updates.signal.org/desktop/apt xenial main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/signal-xenial.list
sudo apt update && sudo apt install signal-desktop

Get Chrome, Skype, Spotify from their websites, the download is well supported on Ubuntu.

Chromium supports the touchscreen better than Firefox if you wish to use it with the touchscreen, Chromium is the better choice,

If you use a HiDPI monitor such as Retina display together with another monitor, you can use AutoHiDPI add-on in order to automatically adjust  layout.css.devPixelsPerPx setting for the active screen.

If you use the touchscreen you should install Grab and Drag add-on to make Firefox more tablet friendly.

Reference for other applications on HiDPI

archlinux HiDPI documentation


Configure larger font on tty console, leave all settings as they are, but for font select Terminus, and on the last one, where you can choose the size 16x32, and then reboot.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-setup

Reference: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/HiDPI

Does not work out of the box

The Fn key to disable track-pad function on my Yoga Pro 2 does not work on Ubuntu.

Ubuntu extras and tools

sudo apt install ubuntu-restricted-extras

### DVD support
sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

### Gnome utilities
sudo apt install pithos adwaita-icon-theme-full vlc bijiben polari gnome-weather epiphany-browser p7zip-rar p7zip-full unace unrar zip unzip sharutils rar uudeview mpack arj cabextract file-roller htop dconf-editor gnome-backgrounds gnome-bluetooth gnome-boxes gnome-calculator gnome-calendar gnome-clocks gnome-color-manager gnome-contacts gnome-control-center gnome-dictionary gnome-disk-utility gnome-documents gnome-logs gnome-maps gnome-music gnome-online-accounts gnome-photos gnome-session gnome-settings-daemon gnome-shell gnome-shell-extensions gnome-sound-recorder gnome-sushi gnome-system-monitor gnome-terminal gnome-themes-standard gnome-tweak-tool gnome-weather frogr vinagre ghex chromium-browser gnome-todo solaar

### Simple Games
sudo apt install gnome-chess five-or-more four-in-a-row gnome-klotski gnome-nibbles gnome-robots gnome-sudoku gnome-mahjongg gnome-tetravex iagno lightsoff quadrapassel swell-foop

### Video Editing, Flowblade video editor,Blender
sudo apt install openshot openshot-doc flowblade blender
sudo apt install kdenlive

### Video Editing Openshot
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openshot.developers/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install openshot-qt

### pitivi
### As user run 
flatpak install --user http://flatpak.pitivi.org/pitivi-master.flatpakref

### Install cinelerra
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cinelerra-ppa/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install cinelerra-cv

### Lightworks
### https://www.lwks.com/
### download and get the deb from the website
sudo dpkg -i lwks-14.0.0-amd64.deb
sudo apt --fix-broken install

### Other tools
sudo apt install clementine  picard

### Image editing
sudo apt install darktable gimp krita pinta blender

### Run windows or other linux versions inside Ubuntu
### See my other blog post on how to run Windows 10 inside gnomes-boxes
sudo apt install gnome-boxes
sudo apt install virtualbox

### Gnome development tools
sudo apt-get install gnome-builder glade gitg ghex

# flash
sudo apt install flashplugin-installer