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Pillarboxing on Wayland + AMDGPU; is it possible?
ridge 26 Nov, 2022
Been trying to search around the internet for this, I sometimes like to play older games which I think simply look better in their intended 4:3 aspect ratio, and would like to do so without stretching the image to the full width of my 16:9 monitor. Some are native, some run under Wine.

I'm using an RX 6700 XT and Plasma Wayland, is it possible to display these games in fullscreen with pillarboxing? (Black bars on the sides)

Last edited by ridge on 26 November 2022 at 6:55 pm UTC
whizse 26 Nov, 2022
I think gamescope is the usual solution for this:
https://github.com/Plagman/gamescope

Another option is to use Proton instead of Wine. It is patched to upscale (with the correct aspect ratio) games that run at a lower resolution.

(I'm still on X11 but I use this as I prefer to run everything at native resolution and upscale rather than deal with slow mode changes.)
ridge 26 Nov, 2022
Quoting: whizseI think gamescope is the usual solution for this:
https://github.com/Plagman/gamescope

Thank you, however for some reason I get horrible input lag when I use gamescope, whether the games run natively or not. Tried twisting and turning all kinds of knobs but same result regardless. (Edit: Been a solid half year since I used Gamescope, so I oughta give it a shot again, thank you for the reminder ^^)

Quoting: whizseAnother option is to use Proton instead of Wine.

I say Wine, but I am using GloriousEggroll's "protonified" Wine fork
Makes me wonder if I'm missing some kind of setting to use the correct aspect ratio with this fork. I don't use Steam, so that's out of the question.
I currently only have native Linux games that I would like to enjoy in 4:3 aspect, but I remember (reluctantly) playing through Red Faction in 16:9 earlier this year.

Last edited by ridge on 26 November 2022 at 9:49 pm UTC
whizse 26 Nov, 2022
Looks like SDL plans on adding support for aspect ratio corrections. There's a work in progress patch to try if you like that sort of thing.

There's some talk about adding something similar to Xwayland too:
https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/xorg/xserver/-/issues/942
Shmerl 28 Nov, 2022
Quoting: ridgeBeen trying to search around the internet for this, I sometimes like to play older games which I think simply look better in their intended 4:3 aspect ratio, and would like to do so without stretching the image to the full width of my 16:9 monitor. Some are native, some run under Wine.

I'm using an RX 6700 XT and Plasma Wayland, is it possible to display these games in fullscreen with pillarboxing? (Black bars on the sides)

You can try Wine-wayland: https://gitlab.collabora.com/alf/wine/-/commits/wayland

I think it handles resolution and scaling better than Wine running in XWayland.
ridge 28 Nov, 2022
Quoting: ShmerlYou can try Wine-wayland

I oughta! It's come a long way since last I checked on it, would at least solve scaling for Wine games when I play those.

So in general, I take it nobody knows, or there's just no way to do this on the driver level? I thought I remembered the Catalyst Control Center software on Windows being able to do this, and I looked up it, sure enough.



This would be really nice to have, it sort of baffles me that AMD hasn't implemented a driver config GUI on Linux like Nvidia has. I know Nvidia's GUI looks like it's stuck in the early 2000s but at least they got one. All I can find online for AMD are X.org configs and I don't use that.

Last edited by ridge on 28 November 2022 at 10:38 am UTC
whizse 28 Nov, 2022
Quoting: ridgeI oughta! It's come a long way since last I checked on it, would at least solve scaling for Wine games when I play those.

So in general, I take it nobody knows, or there's just no way to do this on the driver level? I thought I remembered the Catalyst Control Center software on Windows being able to do this, and I looked up it, sure enough.

On X11 sure. It's something like:

xrandr --output DisplayPort-1 --set "scaling mode" "Full aspect"

But considering that Wayland doesn't allow resolution changes something similar needs to be implemented in Xwayland.
whizse 30 Nov, 2022
I decided this was a good excuse to try out wine-wayland for myself. Especially to see where thing stand when it comes to older, low-res, games and up scaling. Here's my full report!

Good news and bad news. The good news, wine-wayland does do upscaling! The bad news, it neither centres nor pillarbox...

Pharao upscaled from 640x480. Note the upscaled dialog box!

Croc upscaled from 800x600.
Maybe if you scoot over to one side and cover the other side of the monitor with masking tape? No?


Xwayland in comparison does not actually do any upscaling at all. Sadly there's also other issues with a missing main menu in Croc and Pharao actually hangs after the intro video. I'm pretty sure this used to work so it might be a regression or a problem with the wine-wayland patches.

Croc in 800x600, not upscaled. Note missing menu.

I did actually find a workaround for these problems. But again, good news and bad news. You can actually change the "resolution" and by setting the monitor to the same resolution as the game get an upscaled, centred image with correct aspect ratio:


Croc with monitor set to 800x600. Screenshot captured in same resolution but upscaled when on-screen.

The difference to X11 is that this seems to be completely handled by the compositor. My monitor is still running at the native resolution. This works equally well for wine-wayland, Xwayland (and presumably) native games too.

The bad news? I assume this is specific to GNOME/Mutter unless Plasma implements something similar?
Shmerl 30 Nov, 2022
Feel free to report this to Wine-wayland developers (right now you need e-mail them directly). I actually asked them to open a bug tracker if they aren't close yet to upstreaming it. They said they are considering opening one indeed if they aren't going to upstream it soon, but for now bug reports should be sent to them directly.

Last edited by Shmerl on 30 November 2022 at 9:28 pm UTC
whizse 1 Dec, 2022
Quoting: ShmerlFeel free to report this to Wine-wayland developers (right now you need e-mail them directly). I actually asked them to open a bug tracker if they aren't close yet to upstreaming it. They said they are considering opening one indeed if they aren't going to upstream it soon, but for now bug reports should be sent to them directly.
From skimming the SDL and Xwayland bugs it seems to be less than straightforward to implement the pillarboxing stuff on Wayland so I'm guessing it's more of a work in progress rather than a bug.

I'll keep an eye on the progress and file a bug later if the issue lingers.
Shmerl 1 Dec, 2022
I think they are using a bunch of heuristics for scaling and positioning, since Wayland indeed handles coordinates not like X11. Hopefully they'll iron this out.
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