The horror and allure of the diagonal monitor

On Windows and Mac, you can rotate your monitor 90 degrees, or even 180 degrees if you’re a vampire, but that’s it. Well, macOS lets you pick 270 degrees, too, but that’s just 90 degrees in the other direction, so don’t get too excited. Linux, on the other hand, has no problem with chaos, so you can rotate your display to any degree you’d like.

Tom’s Hardware published a story about this in late December, pointing to a blog from a developer called xssfox, who said there was one perfect monitor rotation for developers, and it’s not the regular landscape view, nor is it portrait, AKA 90-degree rotation. 22 degrees, they insisted, is perfect — at least on an ultrawide display.

This, they said, is because it “provides the longest line lengths,” and gets rid of “that pesky 80 column limit.” They added that one disadvantage is that your webcam will slide away, but I’d imagine a little duct tape could handle that. There are instructions in the blog on achieving it, but needless to say, even on Linux, it’s not totally straightforward and requires a tool called xrandr and the input of lots of numbers.

Here’s a fun Instagram reel showing what this looks like:

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