Installing the Windows version of Google Earth in WINE

Some Gentoo Linux users have reported that, although the native Linux release of Google Earth crashes, they can run the Windows version successfully under WINE. However, those users have also reported that the Windows installer for Google Earth did not work under WINE and so they copied the C:\Program Files\Google\Google Earth\ directory from a Windows PC to the virtual C:\ drive in their .wine directory (it would be ‘Program Files (x86)‘ in a 64-bit Windows installation, as Google Earth is a 32-bit application).

Now, if you download the Windows Google Earth installer from the Google Web site, what you get is a file GoogleEarthWin.exe that is 534.6 KiB in size (the size may vary depending on the release). However, you can instead download the Offline Installer using the following URL:

http://dl.google.com/earth/client/advanced/current/GoogleEarthWin.exe

and then you get a file GoogleEarthWin.exe that is 24.3 MiB in size (the size will vary depending on the release), which does run in WINE and does install the Windows version of Google Earth in WINE.

So, you might like to try that if you cannot run Google Earth in Linux but you have WINE installed. However, note that you will be wasting your time if the native Linux version of Google Earth crashes because of its incompatibility with the closed-source ATI or NVIDIA video driver. For example, Google Earth 7.1.2.2041 for Linux crashes on my main laptop using the 14.3_beta version of ati-drivers (AMD ATI Catalyst driver, a.k.a. FGLRX).

Anyway, if you want to install the Windows release of Google Earth under WINE here’s how to do it in a Konsole/Terminal window:

$ cd
$ export WINEPREFIX=$HOME/.wine-googleearth
$ export WINEARCH="win32"
$ winecfg
$ cd ./.wine-googleearth/drive_c/
$ wget http://dl.google.com/earth/client/advanced/current/GoogleEarthWin.exe
$ wine GoogleEarthWin.exe

And, to run it later:

$ env WINEPREFIX="/home/fitzcarraldo/.wine-googleearth" WINEARCH="win32" wine C:\\windows\\command\\start.exe /Unix /home/fitzcarraldo/.wine-googleearth/dosdevices/c:/users/fitzcarraldo/Start\ Menu/Programs/Google\ Earth/Google\ Earth.lnk

(Of course replace “fitzcarraldo” with your user name.)

But, as I wrote above, if the native Linux version of Google Earth crashes due to its incompatibility with the closed-source video driver (ATI or NVIDIA), it is highly unlikely the native Windows version will work under WINE.

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About Fitzcarraldo
A Linux user with an interest in all things technical.

3 Responses to Installing the Windows version of Google Earth in WINE

  1. Hi there.

    Thanks so much!! Finally, after 12 months, I now have a fully functioning up to date version of Google Earth now running on my Sabayon laptop. For the last twelve months I had to run the obsolete version 5.2. However, that started to fail when I got the message that it could not connect to the Google server. I uninstalled it, but when I tried to reinstall it, for some reason the script failed, and I then had no functioning Google Earth. As Gentoo ebuilds had failed, and the GE Sabayon version also crashes, and my previous attempts to install GE from wine had failed, it looked like I was left with the dubious option of using the online GE version with its vastly reduced functionality. Luckily I stumbled upon your blog!

    One thing however, when I first tried your method, I thought it failed, as I again got the message that GE could not connect to its server. Luckily though I was bale to fix this problem. Its centres around the fact that the link “kh.google.com” which GE uses is now a dead link. Try typing it in your browser. However, when you “ping kh.google.com”, I still get the IP address “220.244.223.163”. Type this in your browser, and you get the Google homepage.

    My solution was to add the following line to my “/etc/hosts” file:

    220.244.223.163 kh.google.com

    Now the wine installation of GE that you have suggested, which I originally thought had failed, now works perfectly. Even the panoramio photo links work which has been a curse in the latest Linux GE versions (from version 7x).

    I must say, I really wonder if Goolge, when they write the Linux version of GE, do they even test it on a LInux machine. It seems since version 7, they are only committed to the most token development of GE in Linux. Given this, there hardly seems to be any point in Gentoo and Sabayon even bothering to keep GE in their repositories. Running GE from Wine I feel is now the only viable option for Linux users, certainly if you want a fully functioning GE in Linux.

    Again, thanks so much as I use GE extensively in my research. I would utterly loathe being forced into using Windows from Virtual Box to run GE.

    • Fitzcarraldo says:

      You’re welcome. I also use Google Earth extensively, both for work and personal purposes. Another approach is a hack I devised to install the 32-bit Google Earth in 64-bit multilib Gentoo via a Portage local overlay: see my blog post following this one. As Sabayon Linux can also use the Portage package manager (if one knows what one is doing), that might work in SL too. But if you have got Google Earth for Windows working via WINE to your satisfaction, it’s better to stick with that as Panoramio photos are not displayed in the current version of Google Earth for Linux. Google’s support for Google Earth in Linux is awful.

      • Yes, Goolge’s support for GE in Linux is token at best, and more to the point; awful, especially over the last 12 months or so. The bug reports I sent to them they have paid no heed to. Your hack of installing 32 bit GE in a 64 bit Gentoo I think I tried once but it did not work, or at best very poorly. It would only work I think if I disconnected my Internet, then started GE, then reconnected my Internet. GE would then work for a limited period with no Panoramio photos of course, but would sooner or later, well more like sooner, crash again. Definitely, the WINE option is best, as you know Goolge will always properly support the Windows version. This attitude of Google to GE for Linux though is a bit strange in one sense, because they seem to diligently support Chromium, their open-source browser which I have used as my primary browser now since very late 2011.

        Cheers

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