A long overdue update to Google Earth for Linux

Google has finally released Version of Google Earth for Linux, fixing various crashes and the infamous empty Panoramio window. The last version of Google Earth for Linux that worked properly ‘out of the box’ in Gentoo Linux for me was, and that was several years ago.

The current version of Google Earth in the Portage main tree is That version does not display Panoramio photos in Gentoo Linux (Stable Branch) on my Clevo W230SS laptop (NVIDIA Optimus), and Version crashes at launch more often than not. So I was keen to try the new version. Below are the steps I followed to install Version in the Portage local overlay on the laptop. If you don’t already have a local overlay, see the Gentoo Wiki article Overlay/Local overlay. Don’t forget to copy the files directory and its contents from /usr/portage/sci-geosciences/googleearth/ to /usr/local/portage/sci-geosciences/googleearth/ as well.

1. Download the file google-earth-stable_current_amd64.deb from the Google Earth Web site (Download the latest version of Google Earth for PC, Mac or Linux).

2. Edit the file /etc/portage/package.use/googleearth and add the line:

=sci-geosciences/googleearth- -bundled-libs

3. Edit the file /etc/portage/package.unmask/googleearth and add the line:


4. Edit the file /etc/portage/package.accept_keywords/googleearth and add the line:

=sci-geosciences/googleearth- ~amd64

5. Copy the downloaded binary package to the distfiles directory and rename the package:

root # cp /home/fitzcarraldo/Downloads/google-earth-stable_current_amd64.deb /usr/portage/distfiles/GoogleEarthLinux-

6. Create an ebuild for the new version and generate a manifest:

root # cd /usr/local/portage/sci-geosciences/googleearth/
root # cp /usr/portage/sci-geosciences/googleearth/googleearth- googleearth-
root # ebuild googleearth- manifest

7. Install Google Earth

root # emerge =googleearth-

The package was installed without any trouble:

root # eix -I googleearth
[I] sci-geosciences/googleearth
     Available versions:  {M}(~)^m {M}(~)^m[1] {+bundled-libs}
     Installed versions:^m[1](00:02:27 02/10/16)(-bundled-libs)
     Homepage:            https://earth.google.com/
     Description:         A 3D interface to the planet

[1] "local_overlay" /usr/local/portage

Google Earth for Linux launches quickly and without trouble on this laptop, and Panoramio photos are indeed now visible again (finally!). The only issue is one I also came across over a year ago after hacking an earlier version of Google Earth for Linux: If you click on a photo icon and the Panoramio window that opens displays several thumbnails, clicking on a thumbnail results in a white Panoramio window without any photo and thumbnails. Apparently this only happens in KDE. Anyway, the work-around is to right-click on the desired thumbnail and select ‘Open in New Window’.

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

5 Responses to A long overdue update to Google Earth for Linux

  1. Followed the steps and it seems to work. Linux hostname=HPQuad 4.5.2-gentoo #6 SMP Sun May 22 18:32:29 2016 x86_64 AMD A6-3400M APU with Radeon(tm) HD Graphics AuthenticAMD GNU/Linux.

    Thank you

  2. Fitap says:

    It’s a shame, no longer more googleearth in portage.

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