Archive for November, 2013

Setup 32-bit Google Earth on 64-bit Ubuntu/Debian

Posted in Uncategorized on November 4, 2013 by voline

I remember the Google Earth 6.0 days.  It was rock solid.  Worked as advertised.  Then 7.0 rolls around and all I get is grief.  To be fair it may have less to do with the version number than the fact that I’m now trying to run the 64-bit version.

So, why can’t one just run 64-bit Google Earth on 64-bit Ubuntu?  That would be ideal.  However, it is my experience and has been widely reported that the 64-bit version is highly unstable.  I can’t get it to run for longer than 10 seconds.  Its also well reported that the 32-bit version is fairly stable.


Ok, so installing a 32-bit should be easy if it were packaged well.  Namely, it only depends on lsb-core, which is not architecture dependent.  So when one uses dpkg to install the 32-bit deb on 64-bit Debian, everything will install without complaint.  But then Google Earth will refuse to run because it can’t find the 32-bit libs (mostly x11 libs).

Luckily, its pretty easy to install the 32-bit version of a package with apt, just append :i386 to the end of the package name when using apt-get.  The next trick is figuring out exactly which packages are needed for the binary to run, not difficult.


So, finally, here’s the simple solution:

apt-get install libglu1-mesa:i386 libgl1-mesa-dri:i386

After which, Google Earth should run just fine.  Make sure that you’ve installed the 32-bit deb and removed the 64-bit one if necessary.