How to install Google Earth on Ubuntu/Linux?

I am sure Google Earth will be among the first few things you will want to install on your Ubuntu machine. The installer which you get online is not a regular installer which Ubuntu default installation will be happy with. You can’t just double-click to install it.
That’s why I thought of providing the steps to install Google Earth on your Ubuntu or any other linux machine for that matter. Steps are as follows:

  1. Download Google Earth to your desktop.
  2. Go to Applications > Accessories > Terminal.
  3. Type in cd ~/Desktop
  4. Type in sh GoogleEarthLinux.bin
  5. Follow the on screen prompts to complete the installation.
  6. You will see Google Earth icon on your desktop after the installation is complete.
  7. At the same time it will also give you an option to launch it for the first time after the installation is complete.
  8. Google Earth should have been installed in the default location “/usr/local/Google/Google-earth“.
  9. That’s it. Enjoy the cool Google Earth features.

TIP: By the way, you might have already guessed the trick. To install any software on Ubuntu with a *.bin extension you can do the same to install it. Just browse to the directory, at the terminal type sh *.bin. Your software should be installed properly.

Keep reading Technomania for more tips and tricks on Ubuntu, Linux and Open source community updates. You can subscribe to the feed or receive email as and when I update anything on this blog.
Cheers…
Anurag Bansal

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99 thoughts on “How to install Google Earth on Ubuntu/Linux?

  1. THANK YOU! Finally some directions for someone who is brand new to Linux but desperately wants to learn… windows is EVIL! Linux is a miracle.

  2. I agree!!!! This is EXTREMELY helpful….I tried making it a .tar.gz, and even an executable, and it didn’t work! Thanks for the info! I still use Windows, but very rarely.

  3. Worked perfectly!
    I cut the commands from the instructions and pasted them in the Terminal session to make sure I don’t mistype.

  4. Thank you so much! Very helpful. Love, love, love Ubuntu! Have moved from Windows and Mac. Will only use them if I have to. Once again, thanks!

  5. Hi thanks a lot; I looked all over the place trying to find a good explanation. Im sure from now on it will be easy for me to install bin files.

    However, I got a small problem. When I try running google earth it crashes.
    My graphics card is not so good. It is a sis650 and it does not allow me to use visual effects, do you think that would be the problem.

    Do you think it you could give me a little help?

  6. Ya, it might be because of Graphics card. Latest application require more out from the graphics card. I suggest to have at least 256MB card.
    Definitely it will be time for you to look for change.

    Thanks for dropping by.

    If you like this blog article, then you might like my other blog as well which contains lots of articles on Technology, Check it out @ http://www.knowliz.com

    Cheers
    Anurag Bansal

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  12. Thanks from Mexico!!!
    Linux is great!
    Im a new user!
    glad to be it

    THANKS FOR THIS! i didnt know how to install :D
    thanks!

  13. hi,
    is there any way to install flashplayer, or something like it, and google earth to an instinct phone?

    please help…….. thanx!!

  14. Hello everyone,

    I’ve installed google earth by doing:

    sudo sh GoogleEarthLinux.bin.

    installed perfectly in /opt/google-earth/ but, it runs well if if I run carlos@mylaptop/opt/google-earth$/sudo googleearth then root password. If I run it with my regular account, it opens google earth but, no planet on it nor places or layers but you have menu, tabs… basically is google earth empty.

    Any Ideas?

    Carlos

  15. Thanks for explanation. I first tried but failed due to I copied and got a . after bin.

    But then after installing on Ubuntu 8.04 the screen crashed, but the reason was you need Nvidia proprietary drivers to have support for the 3D in Google Earth !!

    • Brilliant advise. In future I will remember to leave off the . at the end of bin
      Now all works well using Ubuntu 9.04 on an Acer Travelmate 3212
      Thanks

  16. I followed instructions and install seemed to go correctly. But, when I run installed Google Earth, I get splash, then tip window in front of another window, then after about 1 sec, the two windows close out.

    I am running Asus Rampage mb with Intel quad 4 processor, 6 gig ram, and nvidia geforce 280 video.

  17. Oh, I should probably mention os is Ubuntu 8.04. Also, I ended up with utility in Synaptic Package Manager that supposedly makes it possible to build package of Google Earth, but no explanation. I’ve installed 4.3 successfully but was really trying to get the newer version so I removed it. I’m pretty confused at this point.

  18. I have followed allthe instructions for the installation of Google Earth and,it looks like it has done ok but, when I try to start it initializes and stops. Can you help on with some hint?
    Thanks a lot

  19. Same problem here. I’ve moved to Ubuntu on my desktop and laptop. I’m having the same problem on both machines. Start, splash screen, tips, then everything closes.

  20. Damian,

    I had the same problem.

    do this:

    ~/google-earth$ sudo mv libcrypto.so.0.9.8 libcrypto.so.0.9.8.old

    then do this:

    ~/google-earth$ ln -s /usr/lib/libcrypto.so libcrypto.so.0.9.8

    Voila…

    Carlos

    • hey carlos, when i run your code it says google-earth$ no such file or directory… i tried taking off the $ and it says google-earth: is a file or directory, google earth still dosnt work

  21. I just installed linux and when I try and load google earth I get this error in the Terminal

    ./setup.sh: 284: setup.data/bin/Linux/amd64/setup.gtk2: not found
    ./setup.sh: 299: setup.data/bin/Linux/amd64/setup.gtk: not found
    The setup program seems to have failed on amd64

    Fatal error, installer failed to run at all!

    any thoughts?

  22. I installed Google Earth as above as above, when I try to run the program an initializing screen comes up and nothing else! Google Earth did work on the MS Vista before I installed Ubuntu about 2 or 3 weeks ago.

    The computer is an off the shelf (from Walmart) Dell Inspiron 530.

  23. I just installed google earth on ubuntu and all seemed to go smoothly.. Now I get a small google picture, but no writing and can go no further. Desktop says :
    Warning: Unable to create prefs directory ‘/home/sally/.googleearth’. File exists.
    Can you help please? Thanks

  24. I tried the install above, noted a couple of “suspect lines”.

    loki_setup: Suspect size value for option option

    loki_setup: Suspect size value for option option

    Installing mimetypes…
    Installing desktop menu entries…
    Installing desktop icon…
    Warning: Unable to create prefs directory ‘/root/.googleearth’. File exists.
    ./googleearth-bin: relocation error: /usr/lib/i686/cmov/libssl.so.0.9.8: symbol BIO_test_flags, version OPENSSL_0.9.8 not defined in file libcrypto.so.0.9.8 with link time reference

    And when I tried second suggestion:
    root@mike-desktop:~/Desktop# ~/google-earth$ sudo mv libcrypto.so.0.9.8 libcrypto.so.0.9.8.old
    bash: /home/mike/google-earth$: No such file or directory

    This leads me to believe I am missing something in the install.

  25. Carlos Gonzalez Says:

    February 7, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Damian,

    I had the same problem.

    do this:

    ~/google-earth$ sudo mv libcrypto.so.0.9.8 libcrypto.so.0.9.8.old

    then do this:

    ~/google-earth$ ln -s /usr/lib/libcrypto.so libcrypto.so.0.9.8

    Voila…

    Carlos

    It works, Thank you

  26. Can someone tell me what I’m doing wrong?
    I downloaded GoogleEarth to the Desktop,typed in the first steps and below is the result.

    p@p-desktop:~$ cd ~/Desktop
    p@p-desktop:~/Desktop$ sh GoogleEarthLinux.bin
    sh: Can’t open GoogleEarthLinux.bin
    p@p-desktop:~/Desktop$

  27. There is a simple way to resolve the problem:

    1 Put the router (or modem) OFF
    2 Open Google Earth
    3 Go to “TOOLS”
    4 “OPTIONS”
    5″GENERAL”
    6 Undo “SHOW STARTUP TIPS”
    7 OK
    8 Close the program
    9 Put the router on
    10 Open Google Earth… and have a nice tour..!!

  28. March 5, 2009 at 5:59 am

    Carlos Gonzalez Says:

    February 7, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Damian,

    I had the same problem.

    do this:

    ~/google-earth$ sudo mv libcrypto.so.0.9.8 libcrypto.so.0.9.8.old

    then do this:

    ~/google-earth$ ln -s /usr/lib/libcrypto.so libcrypto.so.0.9.8

    Voila…

    Carlos

    —————————————–

    Thanks Carlos, followed your directions and now it works! You’re the bomb dude, thanks!

    -Steve

  29. I have done all the steps, but program crashes after displayng welcome splash image and the first screen with tips and the space…
    1. How to uninstall(if it is possible)
    2. Will the older version work better (I have downloaded 5.0 beta)?

  30. Thanx!
    I did it my way. I downloaded OLDER version, installed it, I suppose on correct location, and then, it miraculously worked! Both versions…
    Old one starts from terminal, and new, from menu.
    I think older version have made correct changes to libraries.
    IMPORTANT!
    Do it on your OWN risk. I will take no responsibility if something goes wrong.
    Sincerely, Zlox

  31. Thank you! I’d been trying to figure this out forever.

    New to linux, and thanks to you, simple installation. Thank you!

  32. Ubuntu , stinks!! Windows, stinks!!!!,Mac,stinks!!! Can you make something user-TRUE-friendly.
    I can not install Brother mfc-240c,earth.google.com,
    People there is 21st century.Where is your logic, writing comand like Atari.I give you idea, make it like LEGO , or like pins in electronics elements male-fimale, same way how you installing hardware on motherbord.

  33. When starting Google Earth it abruptly closes…

    Uncompressing Google Earth for GNU/Linux 5.0.11337.1968……………………………………………………..
    loki_setup: Suspect size value for option option

    loki_setup: Suspect size value for option option

    loki_setup: Suspect size value for option option

    Installing mimetypes…
    Installing desktop menu entries…
    Installing desktop icon…
    ./googleearth-bin: relocation error: /usr/lib/i686/cmov/libssl.so.0.9.8: symbol BIO_test_flags, version OPENSSL_0.9.8 not defined in file libcrypto.so.0.9.8 with link time reference

  34. Got it installed ok, thanks for the help on that, but it will only run out of the install window, and not from the terminal. Starts up , but doesn’t load any maps. Fairly new ubuntu 9.04 user, and on a new hp G60 laptop. (.04 is the only one that would even install here. Help?

  35. When I type in the terminal cd~/desktop I get the response bash: cd~/desktop no such file or directory

    how do I progress from here?

      • Hi Anurag,

        Thanks, that was the issue. well actually I tried with and without the space but it was the capital letter on ‘D’ of desktop. didn’t reaslise it was this sensitive.
        However I run into the next snag: sh GoogleEarthLinux.bin. it rsponds sh: Can’t open GoogleEarthLinux.bin.
        Now I see a similar entry above but the responses below don’t resolve this helas…
        Thanks again, this is my first week in Ubuntu. I like what I see but need to find my way about a bit..
        Maarten (currently in Muscat Oman)

  36. All goes well, but when I try to start it from the terminal I get error:

    ./googleearth-bin: error while loading shared libraries: libGL.so.1: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

    If I try to start it by clicking on the desktop, nothing happenes at all. SUSE 11.1, 64 bit
    Any Ideas?

  37. I have tried to install GE 5-6 times now and am getting nowhere. Can any one help me? Here is what I got on my latest attempt, I did not reach Step #5.

    edlfrey@ubuntu:~$ cd ~/Desktop
    edlfrey@ubuntu:~/Desktop$ sh GoogleEarthLinux.bin
    Verifying archive integrity… All good.
    Uncompressing Google Earth for GNU/Linux 5.0.11733.9347……………………………………………………..
    Gtk-Message: Failed to load module “canberra-gtk-module”: /usr/lib/gtk-2.0/modules/libcanberra-gtk-module.so: wrong ELF class: ELFCLASS64
    loki_setup: Suspect size value for option option

    /usr/lib/gio/modules/libgiogconf.so: wrong ELF class: ELFCLASS64
    Failed to load module: /usr/lib/gio/modules/libgiogconf.so
    /usr/lib/gio/modules/libgvfsdbus.so: wrong ELF class: ELFCLASS64
    Failed to load module: /usr/lib/gio/modules/libgvfsdbus.so
    /usr/lib/gio/modules/libgioremote-volume-monitor.so: wrong ELF class: ELFCLASS64
    Failed to load module: /usr/lib/gio/modules/libgioremote-volume-monitor.so
    loki_setup: Suspect size value for option option

  38. This is the error I get, any ideas?! I have tried the video link, no help.

    kyle@Dell ~/Desktop $ ./GoogleEarthLinux.bin
    Verifying archive integrity… All good.
    Uncompressing Google Earth for GNU/Linux 5.0.11733.9347……………………………………………………..
    setup.data/bin/Linux/amd64/setup.gtk2: error while loading shared libraries: libxml2.so.2: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
    setup.data/bin/Linux/amd64/setup.gtk: error while loading shared libraries: libSM.so.6: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
    The setup program seems to have failed on amd64

    Fatal error, installer failed to run at all!

  39. Installed GEarth in Ubuntu 9.04. Run for the first time and shut it off. When I tried to run it again….surprise! no icon in the desktop and the program does not show anywhere in applications. Intalled GEarth second time and same thing.
    The program is in /home/diaz/Google-Earth but I don’t know how to start it from there. Can you help?

    P.S. As you can easily guess, I am a newcomer in linux after being a Dos and windows user for many years ….Everything is new for me
    Thank you

    • “The program is in /home/diaz/Google-Earth but I don’t know how to start it from there. Can you help?”

      Start Terminal and go to /home/diaz/Google-Earth.Find the file googleearth and start it with

      ./googleearth

      This works for me.I am with Ubuntu 8.10-intrepid

      • You can just create a launcher for it on your Desktop.
        For that, just right click on your desktop -> Create Launcher and provide the path as you mentioned above.
        Hopefully it will be easy for you to use Google Earth.

        Welcome to Ubuntu world.

        Cheers

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    • That means you are in the same directory where the file is. Let’s say if you file is in /Downloads folder, then you need to do the following:

      foobar >: cd ~/Downloads foobar >: sudo sh ./GoogleEarthLinux.bin [sudo] password :

      That will start the installation. Let me know if it doesn’t work. I just installed it again on my box.

  43. Can anyone help me, i followed the steps but when i entered it into the terminal, it replied “can’t open googleearthlinux.bin” Please help!

    • P.S. i tried the post by Anurag Bansal posteed earlyer but the terminal replyed “foobar: command not found” or “Downloads: command not found”

  44. Yes great tip installing software with ubuntu.
    I normally don’t have much trouble. And I’ve even had g/e on another hd.
    But this one didn’t work for some reason.
    Anyway, Does anyone else have trouble reading the font? Can anyone fix it?

  45. Thanks Anurag Bansal
    I think my issue may have been the ( SPACE )
    “Are you sure there is a space between cd and ~/Desktop.
    May be that’s the reason, it shows the above error.”
    With that resolved it seemed to installed fine on Linux Mint 9.
    but this error on trying to launch it
    The application launcher “Google-googleearth.desktop” has not been marked as trusted. If you do not know the source of this file, launching it may be unsafe.
    and their is an error message on the installer in Terminal
    I did briefly see a splash screen like it installed ok

  46. I am new to Ubuntu (I now hate Windows)
    However I have no clue on how to install things in my computer
    I followed the instructions above and I got this answer:

    aeiou@aeiou-Satellite-L305:~$ cd ~/Escritorio
    aeiou@aeiou-Satellite-L305:~/Escritorio$ sh GoogleEarthLinux.bin
    Verifying archive integrity… All good.
    Uncompressing Google Earth for GNU/Linux 5.2.1.1588……………………………………………………..
    setup.data/setup.xml:1: parser error : Document is empty

    ^
    setup.data/setup.xml:1: parser error : Start tag expected, ‘<' not found

    ^
    No se pudo cargar 'setup.data/setup.xml'

    My ubuntu is in spanish!

  47. root@ubuntu:~/Downloads# sudo sh GoogleEarthLinux.bin
    Verifying archive integrity… All good.
    Uncompressing Google Earth for GNU/Linux 5.2.1.1588……………………………………………………..
    setup.data/setup.xml:1: parser error : Document is empty

    ^
    setup.data/setup.xml:1: parser error : Start tag expected, ‘<' not found

    ^
    Couldn't Load 'setup.data/setup.xml'

    So… what just happend? Im new to ubuntu and run ver 10.10

  48. i tried your code….

    bechtel@Bechtel:~$ cd ~/Desktop
    bechtel@Bechtel:~/Desktop$ sh GoogleEarthLinux.bin
    Verifying archive integrity… All good.
    Uncompressing Google Earth for GNU/Linux 5.1.3535.3218……………………………………………………..
    setup.data/setup.xml:1: parser error : Document is empty

    ^
    setup.data/setup.xml:1: parser error : Start tag expected, ‘<' not found

    ^
    Couldn't load 'setup.data/setup.xml'

    Any suggestions… Im using ubuntu 10.10

  49. Hey! I noticed that your news feed is down :( I thought I should tell you it. My RSS reader didn’t work for your site’s URL.

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