Google Earth puts a planet's worth of imagery and other geographic information right on your desktop. View exotic locales like Maui and Paris as well as points of interest such as local restaurants, hospitals, schools, and more.
Recommended installation methods
Installing the .deb file downloaded from the Google Earth Website
The Google Earth Website now has pre-compiled .deb packages for Ubuntu.
Open http://www.google.com/earth/download/ge/agree.html and download Google Earth for Linux. Select the .deb package for your CPU architecture (32 or 64-bit). If you click on Advanced Setup you can choose the latest version of Google Earth or the previous version. Note to 64bit users: The 64bit debian package depends on ia32-libs which is deprecated and no longer available as of 13.10 Saucy. Use the 32bit package and multiarch-support.
Make sure the lsb-core package is installed! Open a terminal from Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal (in the Panel) or from the Dash (in new Unity desktop) and type (or copy-paste) the following command into the terminal:
sudo apt-get install lsb-core
64bit users: You should use this instead if installing the 32bit package
sudo apt-get install libc6-i386 libglib2.0-0:i386 libsm6:i386 \ libglu1-mesa:i386 libgl1-mesa-glx:i386 libxext6:i386 \ libxrender1:i386 libx11-6:i386 libfontconfig1:i386 lsb-core
Double-click the downloaded .deb package to install it using the Ubuntu Software Center.
After installation you should find Google Earth in the Applications -> Internet menu or through the Dash.
For earlier versions of Ubuntu that don't have the USC, it is preferred that you use gdebi installer:
Make sure that gdebi is installed:
sudo apt-get install gdebi
Install Google Earth .deb package from the terminal
sudo gdebi path_to_the_google_earth_package.debor by opening the package with the gdebi's graphical interface.
Alternative installation method
Google Earth is also available from googleearth-package. This package installs a script called make-googleearth-package, which downloads the latest stable Google Earth installer from Google and creates a package for you. You can then install and remove the created package at will. You can find the googleearth-package in the multiverse repository.
Make sure the lsb-core package is installed:
sudo apt-get install lsb-core
Install the googleearth-package package:
sudo apt-get install googleearth-package
The instructions on how to use the script can be found by running
Use the script to download the latest binary and create a .deb package:
Please note that the Natty (11.04) version of googleearth-package no longer seems to require the "--force" option for 64-bit systems. The Natty version can be used on earlier Ubuntu releases. Note to 64bit users: make-googleearth-package depends on ia32-libs which is depreciated and no longer available as of 13.10 Saucy. Use the precompiled 32bit debian package from http://www.google.com/earth/download/ge/agree.html and the multiarch-support package from the repositories.
Be aware that a previously downloaded copy of the binary will not be overwritten, so manually delete any GoogleEarthLinux.bin file before running this command.
- Install the created .deb package and Google Earth should be available in your menus.
Hints and Tips
You can uninstall Google Earth as any other package. From the terminal you can do it using the following commands:
Find the exact package name:
dpkg --list 'google-earth*' | catwhich may show that the package name is google-earth-stable.
Uninstall the package:
sudo dpkg -P google-earth-stable
If you installed Google Earth by a method that included running sh GoogleEarthLinux.bin (now depreciated), the unistallation can be done by pasting the following command in a terminal:
This command is all on one line. Copy it and paste it in your terminal.
sudo rm -rf /opt/google-earth && sudo rm /usr/share/mime/application/vnd.google-earth.* /usr/share/mimelnk/application/vnd.google-earth.* /usr/share/applnk/Google-googleearth.desktop /usr/share/mime/packages/googleearth-mimetypes.xml /usr/share/gnome/apps/Google-googleearth.desktop /usr/share/applications/Google-googleearth.desktop /usr/local/bin/googleearth
You may also wish to remove your user preferences folder, although this is not necessary if you intend to reinstall later. This directory contains Google Earth settings and the cache:
rm -rf ~/.googleearth
Google Earth for Linux is still in beta. As such, many problems that you may encounter can be attributed to this.
Google Earth and Compiz
As with all OpenGL apps, Google Earth has issues running with Compiz. To resolve this issue, either run Google Earth in a normal GNOME session, or see this thread: http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=176636
Google Earth and ATI
Some people using the ATI fglrx driver have experienced a problem where Google Earth freezes at the splash screen and never starts up. See this post for a solution: http://n01getsout.com/blog/2006/11/21/google-earth-for-linux-freezing-with-ati
Google Earth and 3D acceleration
Ensure that you video driver has 3D acceleration enabled. Display Hardware Drivers by selecting System -> Administration -> Hardware Drivers Select the Enable checkbox next to your graphics card. This may require a system restart.
Google Earth on Ubuntu x64
As of 13.10 Saucy, ia32-libs is no longer available from the repositories. Use the multiarch-support package from the repositories and download the 32bit .deb from http://www.google.com/earth/download/ge/agree.html
If you get a "error 29", you may miss "lib32nss-mdns". Install this library like this:
sudo aptitude install lib32nss-mdns
You may also install other 32bit libraries. Note that google does not provide a 64 bit version of Google Earth. Thus installation on x64 system will take some extra efforts.
Accidentally left the 'start automatically after install' checked
If the installer was started with sudo, googleearth will be started as root, but still using the home folder of the normal user (who started sudo). Thus Google Earth will place its configuration files into the user's home folders, but with root as the owner. The normal user cannot use Google Earth, because the settings cannot be saved. The display will not contain a globe, but only a black space and some settings will be grayed out. To fix this problem, delete the Google Earth configuration directory:
sudo rm -Rf .config/Google .googleearth
This version has Qt libraries that appear to be old and incompatible, causing crashes. The stack trace will include: libQtWebKit.so.4(+0x747d18)
To fix this, install the repository's libQt libs:
sudo apt-get install libqtcore4 libqtgui4 libqt4-network libqt4-webkit
Then remove the bundled libs (assuming the default installation location):
cd /opt/google-earth sudo rm libQtCore.so.4 libQtGui.so.4 libQtNetwork.so.4 libQtWebKit.so.4
There is also apparently a buggy version of libfreeimage. The stack trace will include: libIGGfx.so(+0x1296c9)
To fix this:
sudo apt-get install libfreeimage3
then to start Google Earth:
cd /opt/google-earth LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libfreeimage.so.3 googleearth
After these, Google Earth worked very well on my system (ATI Radeon accelerated, Compiz off).
Using Google Earth - Official Google Earth Blog