Google has packages for Google Earth in 32- and 64-bit .deb variants available for download, but they seemingly inexplicably don’t work once installed, assuming they install at all. The 64-bit version refuses to even attempt an install, while the 32-bit will make it in with a little effort. Clicking the icon results in nothing, though, and running
google-earth from the terminal results in an error like “./googleearth-bin: error while loading shared libraries: libGLU.so.1”.
The reason for this behavior is a dependency upon ia32-libs, which seems to be deprecated in 13.10. The workaround is to rebuild the .deb package for the 64-bit version of Google Earth with its awareness of this dependency removed.
Sound difficult? It’s not. Just do the following:
- Download the Google Earth 64-bit .deb package
- Let’s make sure everything’s sane. Open a terminal window (Ctrl-Alt-T) and enter
sudo apt-get install --fix-broken
- Now enter the following:
sudo apt-get install libc6:1386 lsb-core
- Right click the Google Earth .deb and select “Extract Here.”
- Open the extracted folder
- Open the DEBIAN folder
- Right click the “Control” file and select “Open With gedit” (or use your preferred text editor)
- Delete the line
Depends: lsb-core (>=3.2), ia-32-libs
- Save and close the “Control” file
- Delete the Google Earth .deb that you downloaded in step 1
- Open a terminal and use the cd command to navigate to the directory where your extracted folder from step 5 resides (e.g. cd ~/Downloads)
- Build a new .deb package by entering the command
dpkg -b ./google-earth-stable_current_amd64
- Finally, use dpkg with the -i flag to install your new .deb
dpkg -i ./google-earth-stable_current_amd64.deb
Google Earth should now be in your launcher, and should start right up without incident.