Using xrandr to scale screen along vertical direction

Cooper, Douglas A. (GRC-FTK0) douglas.a.cooper at
Tue Mar 6 19:12:18 UTC 2018

Use Case: I have a stretched LCD panel where the manufacturer literally "cuts" the display such that the vertical resolution it reports is greater than what's visible. Rather than adapt my software to fit a particular resolution I thought it would be interesting to scale the entire desktop along the vertical direction to within the physical constraints of the monitor.

I'm trying to configure my screen to occupy the upper half of a single monitor such that the entire desktop is still displayed. The following command successfully shows only the upper half of the screen (1080p resolution):

xrandr --fb 1920x540 --output VGA1

I would expect the following command to then scale the screen while still occupying only the upper portion of the monitor:

xrandr --fb 1920x540 --output VGA1 --scale 1x.5

However, this ends up scaling the display and occupying the entire monitor.

I've tried several monitors (using VGA) with no change. I've also tried adding new modes with half the vertical resolution, with and without halving the refresh rate.

How can I do this with xrandr? If not, Is there some other method to go about achieving this?
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