How To Install Google Earth On Ubuntu 10.10

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme
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In previous Ubuntu versions, there was a Google Earth .deb package available in the Medibuntu repository; unfortunately there is no such package for Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat). While it is possible to install the Google Earth package for Ubuntu 10.04 on Ubuntu 10.10 (as described in chapter 13 of The Perfect Desktop - Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat)), there is another way of installing Google Earth on Ubuntu 10.10. The method described in this tutorial will create a Google Earth .deb package for Ubuntu 10.10 from which Google Earth can be installed.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Building The Google Earth .deb Package

Open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal)...

... and install the package googleearth-package (this is a utility to automatically build a Debian package of Google Earth):

sudo apt-get install googleearth-package

If you are on an x86_64 system, you must also install ia32-libs:

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs

Now you can build the Google Earth .deb package as follows:

sudo make-googleearth-package --force

[email protected]:~$ sudo make-googleearth-package --force
Package: googleearth
Section: non-free/science
Priority: optional
Maintainer:  <[email protected]>
Architecture: amd64
Depends: ttf-dejavu | ttf-bitstream-vera | msttcorefonts, ia32-libs (>= 20080808), lib32gcc1 (>= 1:4.1.1),
 lib32stdc++6 (>= 4.1.1), lib32stdc++6 (>= 4.2.1), lib32z1 (>= 1:1.1.4), lib32z1 (>= 1:1.2.0),
 libc6-i386 (>= 2.0), libc6-i386 (>= 2.1.3), libc6-i386 (>= 2.3), libc6-i386 (>= 2.3.2),
 libc6-i386 (>= 2.4), nvidia-current , lib32nss-mdns
Description: Google Earth, a 3D map/planet viewer
 Package built with googleearth-package.
dpkg-deb: building package `googleearth' in `./googleearth_5.2.1.1588+0.5.7-1_amd64.deb'.
You can now install the package with e.g. sudo dpkg -i <package>.deb
[email protected]:~$

If you don't see any errors, then you should find the googleearth package in the current directory:

ls -l

[email protected]:~$ ls -l
total 62876
drwxr-xr-x 2 falko falko     4096 2010-10-22 13:47 Desktop
drwxr-xr-x 2 falko falko     4096 2010-10-22 13:47 Documents
drwxr-xr-x 2 falko falko     4096 2010-10-22 13:47 Downloads
-rw-r--r-- 1 falko falko      179 2010-10-22 13:39 examples.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root  root  32932632 2010-11-10 15:35 googleearth_5.2.1.1588+0.5.7-1_amd64.deb
-rw-r--r-- 1 root  root  31406473 2010-09-02 18:30 GoogleEarthLinux.bin
drwxr-xr-x 2 falko falko     4096 2010-10-22 13:47 Music
drwxr-xr-x 2 falko falko     4096 2010-11-10 15:26 Pictures
drwxr-xr-x 2 falko falko     4096 2010-10-22 13:47 Public
-rw-r--r-- 1 falko falko      910 2010-11-10 15:36 setup.txt
drwxr-xr-x 2 falko falko     4096 2010-10-22 13:47 Templates
drwxr-xr-x 2 falko falko     4096 2010-10-22 13:47 Videos
[email protected]:~$

As you see, my package is named googleearth_5.2.1.1588+0.5.7-1_amd64.deb.


2 Installing Google Earth

Instead of using dpkg, I want to use gdebi to install the package because gdebi also takes care of missing dependencies (dpkg doesn't). Therefore I have to install gdebi before I install googleearth:

sudo apt-get install gdebi-core

Now I can install googleearth as follows:

sudo gdebi googleearth_5.2.1.1588+0.5.7-1_amd64.deb

That's it!

Afterwards, you can find Google Earth under Applications > Internet > Google Earth:

Here are a few screenshots of Google Earth in action:


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22 Comment(s)

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By: fedelep


In an attempt to make installing programs that are not in the repositories easier, I created BleedingEdge.

The approach for installing was not mine, but works fine on both 32 and 64 bit Ubuntu.  Here is the code from the script:


sudo chmod a+x ./GoogleEarthLinux.bin

./GoogleEarthLinux.bin --target GoogleEarthFixed

mv ./GoogleEarthFixed/ ./GoogleEarthFixed/

sudo ./GoogleEarthFixed/

rm ./GoogleEarthLinux.bin

rm -Rf ./GoogleEarthFixed

But a person running the script really does not need the details.  They just need to download the script, run it, and check the radio box next to Google Earth.

By: NotSantaClaus

 Thank you for this needle-in-the-haystack solution!

 Love the google earth. Will look into the free version too. 

By: Anonymous

very good job ... :D 



By: K.Jayadev Das

Excellent, I tried many things, none of them worked, it is this method given by you alone that finally did the job. [I installed it in Ubuntu 10.10, 32 bit]

By: cmcanulty

2 issues:

1) if you have a 32 bit system the last command has to be altered to the correct version ie like ending with i386 rather than amd64

2) even so it produces the same result on my system-it appears to install and when I click on the icon the splash screen appears and immediately crashes, in other words no go. I have been trying things all week to get this installed and am totally frustrated. This is a basic functionality that needs to be doable in a Ubuntu system. I do appreciate all your work and hope this can be fixed.

By: Superluke

Same here... 

By: Whitby

Likewise now I'm confused on how to uninstall it

By: sliksoft

I’m using ubuntu 10.10 you must install lsb-core!!

sudo apt-get install lsb-core

go to

and download GoogleEart for your OS and install that’s all

By: Anonymous

You need to have graphics acceleration.

Install/reinstall the proprietary graphics driver for your card or for free drivers install libgl1-mesa-glx and libgl1-mesa-dri 

By: Tips Fan

I wonder why we are not provided with a .deb file to install Google Earth like with Google Chrome?


Finally I got Google Earth installed on my 64 bit Maverick desktop. :)

By: David

You can find Google Earth in Ubuntu Tweak.  It's in the Applications menu and is easily installed.

By: Craig Brigley

Thank-you Falco, excellent guide, worked like a charm !


By: Anonymous much as you can.

Consider Marble, that is Free Software, and if you find it inadequate, help improve it or give some money to developers.

Having a proprietary program in my system would make me feel very insecure and no more completely Free.

Hope people start value freedom in software and stay away from non-free ones (and don't argue that you are "free to choose whatever program you want", because you are missing the point, like "I'm free to make me in slavery" , that is not a bright tactic at all :))


Hi I just installed Google Earth using the above instructions except I compiled the package on the desktop . Then I just clicked on the file folder and the installer came up . It installed perfect. Hope this helps.

By: Anonymous

What is the point? Why cannot you just download .bin from the Earth web-site and install it? 


I followed your instructions but when I tried to run Google Earth I received the following error:

/usr/bin/googleearth: 14: /usr/lib/googleearth/googleearth-bin: not found

Note the file actually exists and is set to executable. It turns out I also needed to install the lsb-core package. The following did the trick:


sudo apt-get install lsb-core


Now Google Earth runs fine. Thanks for the help!


By: Anonymous

Thanks Duane!

I had this problem for a while, and installing lsb-core finally fixed it!

 How on (google) earth did you figure this out?


- Lars

By: kakond

First I had to install lsb-core :]

sudo apt-get install lsb-core

Then this tutorial works

By: Anonymous

After installing lsb-core and gdebi the installation was flawlessly in Ubuntu 10.10 64b, but when i try to run the program it cannot connect to the server and a lot of options of the program are grayed like I would started it with sudo in a previous version (which I never did). This is a pc without proxy, with dual boot and Earth in Win7 works O.K.

There is no error message in the Terminal or anything that can help and in the net there are a bunch with the same puzzling problem but no real solution... so sad.

Well, thanks for at least show me gdebi (I had several problems with dpkg and Google Earth before, and the --force option is not something I like). Finally I had a flawless installation.

By: Netra

Yea...perhaps a better way would be to simply download the .deb from google maybe? Just a thought.

By: Ross

I just installed it onto this Mint 17 O/S with this final command:

sudo gdebi googleearth_6.0.3.2197+1.1.0-1_i386.deb

And appears to be working fine.

Thanks, Ross