Installing Google Earth on Ubuntu 13.10 64-bit

Google earth cannot be installed on Ubuntu 64-bit systems anymore. It requires the ia32-libs which is unfortunately deprecated in Ubuntu 13.10. Luckily I found a solution by mc4man on the Ubuntu Forums. For my own, and perhaps your convenience, I am repeating the instructions here.

Update: for instructions for Ubuntu 14.04, see here.

1) First, make sure you have installed the packages libc6:i386 and lsb-core. You can do this e.g., by typing the following on the command line:

sudo apt-get install libc6:i386 lsb-core

2) If you did not do already, download Google Earth x64 .deb. After downloading, extract the folders and files from the deb package using any unzip program. Easiest is probably to right click on the deb file and in the context menu and select ‘Extract here’.

3) Open the folder google-earth-stable_current_amd64 and than the folder DEBIAN. There you can find the file Control. Open this file in your favourite text editor and remove the line containing: Depends: lsb-core (>= 3.2), ia32-libs. After that save the text file.

4)  Delete the downloaded .deb file. Now you have to rebuild the .deb package. Open the terminal and go to the folder that contains the extracted google-earth-stable_current_amd64 folder and run:

dpkg -b google-earth-stable_current_amd64

5) Now you can install the .deb package you just created by double clicking it (that should open the Ubuntu software centre and install it automatically) or by using the following command in your terminal (assuming you are in the folder with the newly created .deb file, otherwise, include the path to the .deb file):

sudo dpkg -i google-earth-stable_current_amd64.deb

Now you should be able to run Google Earth as usual.

13 thoughts on “Installing Google Earth on Ubuntu 13.10 64-bit

    1. pvanb

      I am not sure about your problem. After I installed GE this way, it worked, but it seems to be a bit buggy. Sometimes when opening the first time, it crashes, but runs without problems when opening again. In the same email threat I linked to above, there are reports of people who have installed the Google Earth 32bit version successfully using gdebi. Otherwise, you might want to report your problems in more detail on that email list

    1. pvanb

      In the package I downloaded just now from here both the folder Debian and the file Control are there. Did you get it from the official Google Earth page?

      1. I had the same problem, there are 3 files: control.tar.gz, data.tar.lzma and debian-binary. The file Control (and other files) is inside the control.tar.gz package.
        To make it work, just extract the contents of control.tar.gz into a DEBIAN folder, then it works as described.

      2. pvanb

        Seems like we are talking about different deb packages here. The one I downloaded from the previously provided link (google-earth-stable_current_amd64.deb) contains four folders, including the folder DEBIAN. Within that folder there is a file ‘control’.

  1. momist

    Hi, I’ve got a very similar problem here. The folder DEBIAN is in the folder with the extracted files, and DEBIAN contains a file called “control”. However, when I’ve edited this file as instructed the command dpkg -b google-earth-stable_current_amd64 returns the error:
    dpkg-deb: error: failed to open package info file `google-earth-stable_current_amd64/DEBIAN/control’ for reading: No such file or directory

    The odd thing is, I can still see the file control:
    $ ls
    control postinst postrm prerm
    So what’s going on here?

    1. momist

      Aha! I had to give the full path to the place where the files had been unzippped, even though the terminal was currently in that place. Worked this time.
      However, GoogleEarth still crashes immediately after it has started, so no different than before, when installed from the repository.

  2. Karin

    Hi, I’m a complete newbie and not good at this at all, but I did follow your commands I got problems at nr 4) Delete the downloaded .deb file. Now you have to rebuild the .deb package. Open the terminal and go to the folder that contains the extracted google-earth-stable_current_amd64 folder and run: (I took out the comand not sure if that is why it didn’t want to post my comment….)
    I don’t know how to open the file in terminal (Thanks for your patience!) and am stuck here and not sure what to do…?
    If you can give me some more instruction how to proced that would be great! :)

    1. pvanb

      Suppose you have extracted the deb file in the folder /home/karin/temp (with /home/karin being your home folder). That should mean you have the folder google-earth-stable_current_amd64 in your folder /home/karin/temp. You can go there in your terminal as follows: Type in the terminal:

      cd temp
      You should now be in the temp folder. You can check if it contains the google earth folder you can type:
      You should get a list with folders, including the folder google-earth-stable_current_amd64. If so, you can just type in the command given in step 4, i.e.,

      dpkg -b google-earth-stable_current_amd64

      After that, continue with step 5.

      1. Karin

        Hi, Thanks for replying! the first command came up with an error. I extracted the google earth folder into my download folder… I did the ls that one shows a few folder one of them being the download folder but I don’t know what the command is to find my programme in the download folder… hope that made any sense…

  3. Ashoke

    Hello pvanb,

    I followed your tutorial to install Google Earth (GE) 7, 64 bit, on my Intel i5-4440 processor based on Intel DB85FL motherboard. I have installed Ubuntu 13.10 on the whole HDD.

    It worked like a charm. Unfortunately after few days it has started crashing when opened, either clicking the GE Icon or entering command through terminal.

    I saw these pages, but being a novice, I could not make out anything from these. Are these of any help?
    Please help, if possible.
    Best wishes.

  4. Pingback: Installing Google Earth on Ubuntu 14.04 | Ecostudies

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