"10 Foot Interface" for use with TV?

Can anyone recommend a desktop theme or package that provides something like a "10 Foot Interface" similar to that seen on Kodi or set-top boxes, but is a UM Desktop?

I'm homeschooling my son, which requires a lot of time with him on a computer for research & on-line classes & lecture recordings. Rather than huddle together around my desktop's monitor in my cramped home office, I wanted to be able to display on a TV in a different room using a spare PC. My other systems are on UM, so I thought I'd try to stick to that if possible.

A stock UM desktop will work of course, but I thought I'd ask if there was an option that was more tailored to viewing from a distance on a TV.


If you're on Ubuntu MATE, try the Mutiny interface, and just crank everything as big as you can.

You can also use and install extra-large cursor themes for the mouse, and if you need to see something super-tiny Compiz's magnifier works excellent for that. I assume since you are using a super-big monitor, you have the video processing to use a fancy compositor like that.

Just starting off, you can't go wrong with the 0.9 branch from Ubuntu's repos but going with the 0.8 branch from Scott Moreau has way more fancy stuff. Just search how to install Compiz Reloaded and you'll get to my work about installing that.

Another option, depending on your use-case, you can increase the scale
factor as though your screen was HiDPI (or higher).

An easy way to test sizes is to open up a terminal and type:

GDK_SCALE=3 GDK_DPI_SCALE=1 mate-calculator

The first variable changes how much the interface is scaled. The second
variable changes how much the font DPI is scaled. You can play with
those values until the calculator (or whichever other program) looks
good, then you can lock those values by adding them to a ~/.xsession
file preceded by the export keyword:

export GDK_SCALE=3
export GDK_DPI_SCALE=1

This is effectively the same as setting the HiDPI option in mate-tweak,
but insted of 1 or 2, you get a lot more flexibility.


My primitive approach to this, on the HTPC in my bedroom, was to simply bump the font sizes up to 12 or 14 (don't remember exactly). That works well enough for me to be able to use caja etc from in bed without any trouble, so that's literally ~11' away on a 32" TV.
(That said, I do have new glasses: before that I had to sit up and lean forwards a bit to be able to read things! :P)