Graeme Hill's Dev Blog

Atom on Linux with high DPI display

Star date: 2015.218

I just became the proud new owner of a 3rd generation Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon. There are a lot of things I like about this computer but top of list is definitely the 2560x1440 screen resolution. The first thing I did when I got the computer was wipe the Windows install and replace it with Ubuntu Gnome. I chose Gnome because I like the way it handles high DPI screens but sadly Atom did not get the memo. I'm not 100% sure on this but it seems like Atom is smart enough to scale properly on Windows but that is definitely not the case in Linux (or at least in Gnome 3). It's easy to scale the actual text in the editor (just ctrl +/- as you would in your browser) but that does not scale anything in the file tree, tab bar, status bar, etc. For that you will need to edit your stylesheet.

To scale the tiny bits to 150% just go to Edit -> Open your stylesheet and add the following:

body {
  font-size: 1.5em;

.icon::before {
  font-size: 20px;
  width: 20px;
  height: 20px;

.list-tree.has-collapsable-children .list-nested-item > .list-item::before,
.list-tree.has-collapsable-children .list-nested-item.collapsed > .list-item::before {
  font-size: 18px;
  width: 18px;
  height: 18px;

.tab-bar .tab {
  height: 4.5em;

Save the file and all the text should immediately become readable and fabulous.

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