Install Google Earth on Ubuntu 8.10 “Intrepid Ibex”

By | 2008/11/14

Recently I blogged about “What Do You Do Post-Install?” to find out what little tweaks everyone applies to their systems on a fresh machine.  It appears that a lot of you enable the Medibuntu repository right away and take advantage of that for media and codecs.  Did you know there are also other applications available, like Google Earth?

This post is an update to a previous article I wrote, this time specific to Ubuntu 8.10 “Intrepid Ibex”.

Configure the Medibuntu Repository

As mentioned above, the first thing that you’ll need to configure is the addition of the Medibuntu repositories.  Setting up this third-party repository can be done by way of a few quick commands:

sudo wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list

sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude install medibuntu-keyring && sudo aptitude update

This will add the Medibuntu repository, import the Medibuntu GPG key and make the new packages available.

Install Google Earth

To then install Google Earth simply use:

sudo aptitude install googleearth-4.3

You should now have Google Earth added to your “Applications > Internet” menu and, assuming your video card supports the requirements, you’re ready to virtually travel the planet!

Depending on your video card you may want to disable the atmospheric rendering, which can greatly increase performance. This can be done by unchecking the following setting:

View > Atmosphere

If, for some reason, Google Earth doesn’t load properly or crashes on your machine you could try to revert to an older version which seems to have less issues. To do that remove the 4.3 version and try the 4.2:

sudo aptitude remove googleearth-4.3 && sudo aptitude install googleearth-4.2

38 thoughts on “Install Google Earth on Ubuntu 8.10 “Intrepid Ibex”

  1. wahoobob

    I wonder about installing as sudo. seems to open your machine to mischief.

  2. jerkface

    I would love to know what wahoobob does to install without using sudo

  3. Vadi

    You need to use sudo to install a program on Ubuntu. Learn the basics please before trolling.

  4. Sage

    Well, it IS possible to install some programs without sudo, like, with chroot’ing into your home dir etc, but it is hardly worth the hassle.

  5. Jonathan Lozinski

    You don’t make a mention of what you do about compiz and uglyness with google earth. Do the wikipedia references etc.. work right for you? If so, how?

  6. wahoobob

    I was referring to the need to enter my password everytime google earth starts. Have I missed something in the install?

  7. aura

    It not possible to not to use sudo to install package or do other admin stuff. You have to enable root account and do things as root itself.

    To enable root account:
    1) Open terminal and type sudo passwd root
    2) Set new password for root.

    Next time you want to do admin stuff or need root privilege, type su – and enter root password.

    You don’t need to sudo anymore. Perhaps wahoobob did that 🙂

  8. Blaine

    Please… I installed just fine with sudo. Why do so many people have issues with sudo???

  9. john

    Well this didn’t work for my 8.10 amd64 ver.
    All I have is a bunch of broken packages.

  10. Steve Withers

    On my Acer laptop, Google Earth 4.3 and Ubuntu 8.10 do not play nicely. The part of GE that shows the Earth is broken up into patches with distubed video and each time it updates in wants to appear “above” the GE gui…..It simply isn’t usable. It doesn’t crash…..but the display of the Earth is a mess and the map is a mixture of inappropriate pieces… western Australia isn’t really in South America….

  11. vatoer

    on my dell latitude D820 ,googleearth 4.2 doesnt work. show for second than cling….. magically its disappear again,.. somebody help me pls

  12. Jalal

    I have the same problem with my Dell Lat. D820

  13. maja

    same problem with SONY Vaio and 64bit IntrepidIbex… hlp pls!

  14. ScottyJavea

    Thanks for info.

    Tried 4.3 and 4.2 but both crashed my laptop using Ibex.
    Have Acer Aspire 5715Z with Duo-CPU 1.86 GHz and 3 GB RAM.
    OK with Compiz CUBE etc.


  15. Joh

    Same problem with messed up graphics on Compaq Presario V3000. Now the earth is completely gone and I only see stars!

  16. Rich

    I had a fairly similar problem, where google earth was having problems rendering images. I did the following and it cleared everything up.

    If you go to


    then click on the Visual Effects tab, and select none.

  17. giangtdh46

    Googleearth-4.2 and GoogleEarth-4.3 crashed on my laptop TraveMate 4720. I had tried so many times, but it still doesn’t work. Is any idea?

  18. nick

    Works! But; When I zoom in on a location where some has shared an image and a blue square marks a link, the cursor changes from an arrow to a finger indicating a link as I move the mouse over the link and then click and nothing happens, the link does not open.

    Any ideas how to fix?


  19. Ginu

    Installed Google Earth in Ubuntu 8.10.

    Followed these commands

    sudo wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list

    sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude install medibuntu-keyring && sudo aptitude update
    sudo aptitude install googleearth-4.3

    I could use google earth after installation. But it didn’t login afterwards when I opened it from Application>Internet.

    Also now I am getting these error messages in update manager and package manager

    E: Type ‘–2009-01-14’ is not known on line 1 in source list /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list
    E: Unable to lock the list directory

    E: Type ‘–2009-01-14’ is not known on line 1 in source list /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list
    E: The list of sources could not be read.
    Go to the repository dialog to correct the problem.
    E: _cache->open() failed, please report.

    I am new to Linux & Ubuntu Please help to recover.


  20. wijit

    I use Acer notebook with the same model as giangtdh46’s (see his posted messages above). After so many tries, I discovered that there is no perfect method of installation. seems to do better instalation but may not the same file structure as did by debian package. However, you may find the program stops functioning not long after. Don’t panic. Try:
    sudo googleearth
    in terminal and see what’s happening. I don’t know what causes the problem so no solution be presented. Someone who knows linux well may be able to explain and solve. I’ll bookmark this page for following up.

  21. giangtdh46

    The reason why i ask because i’ve searched on Google to find out how to fix my problem when i install googleearth on my TraveMate 4720 Laptop. Every time i try, i get the same errors. I hope someone can help me to fix these.
    [email protected]:~$ sudo googleearth
    Google Earth has caught signal 11.

    Stacktrace from glibc:
    /usr/lib/googleearth/googleearth-bin [0x804f403]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/googleearth-bin [0x804f916]
    /usr/lib/ [0xb6aea771]
    /usr/lib/ [0xb6bc2692]
    /usr/lib/ [0xb6703e5b]
    /usr/lib/ [0xb6704570]
    /usr/lib/ [0xb67017b0]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb3d9e5fa]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb3dd5345]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb39a2a4f]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb39a431b]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb3b6502f]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb6864fef]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb686fc82]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb73de350]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787c132]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb78404ab]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb784709e]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb7e39eda]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787e809]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787e567]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787e704]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787e770]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb7880dcb]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787e6ee]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787e770]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787e567]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787e704]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787e770]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb7880dcb]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787e6ee]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787e770]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb7880dcb]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787e6ee]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787e770]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb7880dcb]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787e6ee]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787e770]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb7880dcb]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787e6ee]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb787e770]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb7880dcb]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb7877150]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb73befef]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb736ea30]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/ [0xb73724e1]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/googleearth-bin(main+0x2ba) [0x8050bea]
    /lib/tls/i686/cmov/ [0xb7190685]
    /usr/lib/googleearth/googleearth-bin [0x804f231]

    We apologize for the inconvenience, but Google Earth has crashed.
    This is a bug in the program, and should never happen under normal
    circumstances. A bug report and debugging data are now being written
    to this text file:


    This bug report will be sent to Google automatically next time you run
    Google Earth. Its data, which contains no personal information, will help
    us correct problems without bothering you further. If you would rather
    this info not be transmitted, please delete the above file before running
    the program again. If you want bug reports to NEVER be sent, remove the
    above ‘crashlogs’ directory’s read/write permissions.

    Thanks in advance

  22. wijit

    I posted a solution on 20090119 but shown to me “await(ing) moderation” about which I do not know. However, I guess it means “only me can see”. Until giangtdh46 posted his messages again on 20090120 one day after mine and readable to me on 20090127 (the date of this post of mine), my previous post still on await for moderation. What was wrong?
    During the mean time, I’ve been doing un-installation and installation both v.4.2 and 4.3 on both 8.10 (Acer TM4720) and 7.10 (ECS G733) machines, one version at a time on each machine. Also for each of the versions, I did install both by the installers downloaded directly from Google Earth site and by Synaptic after adding medibuntu to the sources list. For medibuntu you can try downloading debian packages and install them using gdebi. However, you are to install the data package before the program package or gdebi refuses to work. Results are as follows.
    1. Both versions of Google Earth runs on 8.10 machine without any of special configuration. Where directory structure of installed programs were different between the methods of installations, the contents of my customized configurations and data were kept and they seemed to be in different locations (in current user profile for the bin while Synaptic put them in root’s profile).
    2. None of the versions passed the direct installation – direct execution of the GoogleEarthLinux.bin on 7.10 machine. Both showed “invalid segmentation” or a kind of. Only Synaptic could do the job after adding medibuntu repository to the /etc/apt/sources.list file. Only G-Earth 4.2 is available today at Gutsy distro. There is a popup on every opening offering a download of the new version but I did not try.
    One more noticable difference between the two machines which now running different version of the OS is text quality in the main pane. Letters were missed-out from a word randomly on 8.10 machine regardless of the versions and installation methods. However, everything was perfect on 7.10 machine.
    For giangtdh46, why don’t you try removing all of the related hidden file(s) before trying another installation. Looking at your screen dump, you seemed to install by one of the dpkg frontends. If you did so, please check the home directory of root for removal of .googleearth and its contents before performing a new installation. If you have never made any change to your graphic controller I would suggest you to try to follow tombuntu’s method. Hope you’ll be find.

  23. yartsa

    1) Post the contents of your medibintu.list, i.e. execute the following in terminal:

    cat /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list

    The file is obviously corrupted. Quick fix is just to remove that file.

    2) Don’t ever run googleearth using sudo! You must run it as an ordinary user. Just type googleearth. (Only the installation is done using sudo. Therefore, you should remove the directory /root/.googleearth)

  24. mike

    I use
    Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid with Google Earth on a Asus M15S and it works great, way smooother than XP ever was and less resources used than XP. Make sure your vid card driver is up to date

  25. D Wright

    Google Earth does not play nice with compositing (I’m using Kubuntu 8.10). Turn off “Atmosphere” in GE itself and Desktop Effects to off or low in Kubuntu/Ubuntu respectively and you should have a useablr GE.

  26. Jeroen

    I installed the medibuntu repo using the manual that’s on the medibuntu website. After that I installed GE 4.3 using synaptic.
    I have the proprietary drivers for my NVIDIA card installed and working properly. It all works like a charm.
    It also works in Hardy heron and Linux Mint (that’s based on Intrepid) on the same machine. In Mint it is in the standard repo.

  27. Brother Phil

    the point of sudo is so that you have root privileges long enough to install and no longer.

    Logging in as root lets you do anything, even if it trashes the system – by explicitely enabling root privileges for the individual commands, you are protected from, for example, accidentally deleting important files.

  28. themotorman

    Whoever said just select none for special effects under System-appearances .. thank you.
    Google earth now works fine.
    Phew just was going to install new video drivers etc…

  29. wlgoode

    I followed your instructions re: Medibuntu, Uninstall, Reinstall GE4.3. No luck, continued immediate crash. I tried it all again, installing GE 4.2 . Again, immediate crash, any ideas?

  30. sabastianburger

    I cant seem to get it to work, when I use the command, sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude install medibuntu-keyring && sudo aptitude update I get the message,

    E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run ‘dpkg –configure -a’ to correct the problem.

    1. Christer Edwards Post author

      @sabastianburger – it sounds like some previous packages weren’t completely installed. I’d suggest doing as aptitude suggests and run:

      sudo dpkg --configure -a

      After that finishes you should be able to install the medibuntu packages properly.

  31. sabastianburger

    and now when I try to open synaptic manager I get this message and it closes
    E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run ‘dpkg –configure -a’ to correct the problem.
    E: _cache->open() failed, please report.

  32. sabastianburger

    I did this,
    [email protected]:~$ sudo dpkg –configure -a
    and it ended up saying this,
    E: I wasn’t able to locate a file for the googleearth-4.3 package. This might mean you need to manually fix this package. (due to missing arch)
    E: Internal error: couldn’t generate list of packages to download

  33. sabastianburger

    ok I got it now…. its just messed up visually…

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