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Google Earth v4 Released - Linux Support at Last 433

chrisd writes "We're very happy to announce that the a new version of Google Earth has been released. It features 3D textured buildings, some neat UI updates, better internationalization and, with this release, a native Linux version is available for download as well. The Google Earth team (with the help of Ryan Gordon) worked very hard to make this possible. Please see the Earth support site and check out the BBS for more information."
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Google Earth v4 Released - Linux Support at Last

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 12, 2006 @05:07PM (#15519655)
    For finally making a Linux version. Downloading it right now...
    • Specifically (Score:5, Insightful)

      by danielk1982 ( 868580 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @05:18PM (#15519735)
      "Thanks so much Google" - for finally making a Linux version .... of anything.
      • Re:Specifically (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ggvaidya ( 747058 )
        *Cough* []

        It's a bit slow (because my poor lappie has no graphics acceleration to speak off), but between it and Flickr [], I'm all set.
        • Re:Specifically (Score:3, Interesting)

          by filesiteguy ( 695431 )
          Well, I haven't downloaded Google Earth yet, but Picassa isn't a native Linux client. Though it works it is a WINE applicaiton embedded in a Crossover Office wrapper. I'm curious to see if Earth is native.
          • Re:Specifically (Score:5, Informative)

            by Compholio ( 770966 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @07:36PM (#15520516)
            I'm curious to see if Earth is native.

            It is, I just downloaded it and it installs and runs beautifully without any Wine (even checked for them hiding it with ps).
            • Re:Specifically (Score:4, Informative)

              by Directrix1 ( 157787 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @09:21PM (#15521034)
              It uses Qt. Gives it that nice cross-platform property. Additionally Picasa was ported to linux using wine-libs not necessarily wine the program itself. The Linux Picasa does have some native dependencies such as libgphoto for direct access to cameras, and it integrates into your notification area in Gnome (and I believe KDE also [untested for me]). Also, they committed over 200 patches [] to the wine codebase which is great. Furtheremore, thank you Google!!! It works great on Gentoo with ATI 9600. I requested it a long time ago, and it was a long time coming but it works and looks great. googlegoodwill++
          • Yes it is native... (Score:3, Informative)

            by nacs ( 658138 )
            Yes it's native. Google Earth was originally coded using the QT(opia) library so no WINE stuff was needed.

            I've installed it and it runs amazingly smooth and looks great.
        • Re:Specifically (Score:5, Interesting)

          by DJStealth ( 103231 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @06:19PM (#15520101)
          I don't think it's your system that's slow. It appears that Google Earth has been slashdotted.
    • by emeb2 ( 536129 )
      Has anyone actually tried it? A few observations:

      * On the download page, there's no option to download the stable version 3 for Linux, even though system requirements are mentioned.

      * So, I just downloaded & installed beta version 4 on my FC4 Athlon64 system and while it runs OK, the actual map data is all scrambled. As I zoom in/out it is constantly 'twinkling' with the wrong images. City names are dropping characters as well, so you can't even tell where you're looking when you get in close.

      Nice try

      • The new overlay feature is causing twinkling (and brief lockups) for me on Windows too.

        Something was tricky here. This is the feature they needed. Hopefully it includes support for webcam overlays, so we'll be able to get some Snow Crash style CIC Globe action up in here.
      • Swithc it to DirectX mode ;)

        I found it cured all my running problems.
      • * So, I just downloaded & installed beta version 4 on my FC4 Athlon64 system and while it runs OK, the actual map data is all scrambled. As I zoom in/out it is constantly 'twinkling' with the wrong images. City names are dropping characters as well, so you can't even tell where you're looking when you get in close.

        Actually, mine's way more scrambled than that - initial display is all screwed, with redraws not erasing properly, on my fairly generic Dapper system (ATI Radeon card, open-source drivers). P

  • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Monday June 12, 2006 @05:07PM (#15519661) Homepage
    What, I'm supposed to trust Google's binary?
    • by Nahooda ( 906991 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @05:20PM (#15519747) Homepage
      Whatever you do, you can obviously never please a Linux user. First they complain about the missing support from software companies, then when some company ports their application to Linux, they complain about missing sources.

      I've been using Linux for years now and I love open source software but I don't expect a software company to open their sources if it's not part of their business model.

      So, thanks Google for the great job!

      • Wrong.

        For a Windows user, you provide the binary.
        For Linux/BSD people, you provide the source.

        Quite simple for me. And, the results are pretty clear -- if you run that random gizmo you found somewhere, you're guaranteed to get pwned in no more than several of gizmos. And even the very OS keeps sending your private data everywhere (WGA anyone)? In the opposite corner, you have sources you can review. Of course, it's really unlikely you'll look inside, but in the case of problems, someone will. And, than
        • by grolschie ( 610666 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @08:08PM (#15520668)
          Perhaps some Linux users want software that installs and just works, without having to figure out crap about compiling versions, missing libraries, etc. Joe Sixpack don't care for Stallmanism, he just wants his software to work. Hence, believe it or not, there is a market for Linspire's "Click N Run" service, no matter how abhorent the concept is to some. SuSE Linux for years included software that was proprietary and closed sourced on their production CDs. People still used SuSE. If people want to follow Stallmanism anally, then they have the freedom to choose not to download and install the Google Earth software.
      • by blixel ( 158224 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @05:44PM (#15519906)
        Whatever you do, you can obviously never please a Linux user. First they complain about the missing support from software companies, then when some company ports their application to Linux, they complain about missing sources.

        I have a complaint. I have all this Linux kernel source code crap on my system and I can't understand a damn word of it.
      • Just don't overgeneralise everything :) Some people somehow are kind of different reality or just have stuck in some cycle. Yes, I prefer Free Software and usually use it, but it is good to see commercial software to come to Linux. It provides more choice and thought it is not free software, it is still good to have that choice.

        Yes, fans and very concervative free software users usually stick with "f you won't provide source, you got nothing from me" and sometimes they are right. Sometimes they are wrong. J
        • f you won't provide source, you got nothing from me"

          To which I wish Google would reply: "Then don't download the program you pains in the asses." If you ask me, that would be the proper response. Hell, it might even be too nice.

          I run linux, I like open source--but I don't have a public cry about it if somebody who puts a ton of work into giving me a native port of their already-free software doesn't feel it is in their best interests to also release the source.

          They'll whine in considerable detail a

      • by Kelson ( 129150 ) *
        Whatever you do, you can obviously never please a Linux user. First they complain about the missing support from software companies, then when some company ports their application to Linux, they complain about missing sources.

        Sure you can. Provide the source and either maintain it, or hand it to someone who will. Problem solved.

        Of course, you are oversimplifying things. There are two camps of Linux users on this issue: those who are OK with binary apps, for some purposes at least, and those for whom Free
        • I bought VMWare for Linux a couple of years back and the supplier actually phoned me to make sure I hadn't selected it by mistake, and hadn't I really meant the Windows version? Nice of them to ask, but for once I knew what I was doing.
      • by spitzak ( 4019 )
        And non-Linux users are easily identified by their complete inability to detect sarcasm in a post.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 12, 2006 @05:15PM (#15519712)
    $ googleearth
    Segmentation fault
  • Mac Sketchup (free) (Score:5, Informative)

    by morcheeba ( 260908 ) * on Monday June 12, 2006 @05:16PM (#15519724) Journal
    Also today - Google's free version of Sketchup for the Mac is available: Download here []
    More info on Sketchup [] - it's basically a super-intuitive CAD program for quickly getting 3D ideas down on paper.
  • by Leomania ( 137289 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @05:16PM (#15519726) Homepage
    Please see the Earth support site

    Well, it finally happened... Google took over. But it's one thing to take the planet over, but quite another to provide support for it too. Man, I'd hate to be be at the other end of the support line... wonder if you need to run the standard Google employment gauntlet to be first-tier support?
  • by also-rr ( 980579 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @05:18PM (#15519734) Homepage
    (Mod company) +1 Not Evil
    • Re:Linux support? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KiloByte ( 825081 )
      Not really.

      Running unknown Windows binary blobs -> qemu[1], or you'll get pwned.
      Running unknown Linux binary blobs -> qemu, or you'll get pwned.

      [1] Or vmware, if you somehow prefer them. At least, they don't have any business relationships.
      So, uhm, what's the difference?

      And, as Google self-admittedly _does_ send home whatever data it can find about you, I'm not really rushing to install their binary on my box. Outside of a sandbox of some kind, at least.
  • by Rude Turnip ( 49495 ) <[valuation] [at] []> on Monday June 12, 2006 @05:20PM (#15519742)
    Did anyone follow the link over there to Google SketchUp? I am amazed that this program hasn't gotten any publicity. Some details from the site:

    "SketchUp is a simple but powerful tool for quickly and easily creating, viewing and modifying your 3D ideas.
    * Click on a shape and push or pull it to create your desired 3D geometry.
    * Experiment with color and texture directly on your model.
    * Real-time shadow casting lets you see exactly where the sun falls as you model.
    * Select from thousands of pre-drawn components to save time drawing.

    And once you've built your models, you can place them in Google Earth, post them to the 3D Warehouse, or print hard copies. Google SketchUp is free for personal use. No registration is required."
  • Its a binary. I had an idea that if I created a new user, and ran the binary as the new user, then everything would be alright, right?

    Its not that I don't trust google, but I run Gentoo and don't have many binaries install at all. This might become more common in the future, so how should I protect myself from malicious binaries?

    • by Lxy ( 80823 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @05:31PM (#15519813) Journal
      how should I protect myself from malicious binaries?

      Don't them as root.

      How is a binary unsafe but somehow source code is? I have a hard time believing you audit the code for everything that Gentoo installs. Why is a mirror offering up source code somehow trusted, but binaries aren't?
      • How is a binary unsafe but somehow source code is?

        Because in Gentoo, a hash of the source tarball is integrated into the package system. The tarball might be downloaded from anywhere, but if the hashes don't match you have a different file than the package maintainer used, and it won't be installed.

        • by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Monday June 12, 2006 @06:33PM (#15520179) Homepage Journal
          The tarball might be downloaded from anywhere, but if the hashes don't match you have a different file than the package maintainer used, and it won't be installed.

          That doesn't tell you that it's safe, it tells you that it's the same thing the package maintainer used. All it means is you're passing the responsibility for auditing up the chain to the package maintainer.*

          Now, the package maintainer for your distro may audit the code themselves, or they may rely on similar hashes/signatures to make sure that the source they use is the same as the source the project itself provides. In which case that's passing the buck up once again.

          So really, what you're doing is relying on the original source to be it's not much different than relying on the original binary to be safe. It comes down to this: Do I trust the provider of this software? Inclusion in a distro can be seen as a vote of confidence: Gentoo includes app X, implying that Gentoo believes X is not going to take over my machine. You can choose to believe that anything included in your distro is likely to be safe, or rather that anything unsafe in it is unsafe by accident and not deliberately. (Choosing otherwise makes it a hell of a lot harder to build and maintain a system, though it can certainly be done.)

          But hash checks and GPG signatures don't tell you that an app is safe, whether you download it as source or as a binary. They only tell you that it hasn't been altered.

          *Note that the same is true for RPM-based distros like Fedora or SuSE -- packages are signed with GPG, and it won't install if the signature doesn't validate -- and I would assume for Debian-derived distros as well. This isn't a distro war issue.
      • How is a binary unsafe but somehow source code is? I have a hard time believing you audit the code for everything that Gentoo installs. Why is a mirror offering up source code somehow trusted, but binaries aren't? Just because I don't audit the code personally, doesn't mean one of our 1 million users wouldn't, and thats just in the Gentoo community.

        Being able to examine the code is far better than not being able to at all.

      • My problem with a .bin install is that it doesn't work with my package-management system, and that I don't know (without taking it apart) what the install is doing. Who knows where it's installing or what other files it's modifying during the install process?

        I generally don't worry about malicious code when I'm getting it from sources I trust, but I do worry about the "helpful" or "smart" installation code that thinks it knows better than I do about how I want something set up on my computer. Also, what ha

    • how should I protect myself from malicious binaries?

      Close your eyes, click your heels together three times, then pretend that you've blindly compiled these binaries from source yourself, like you normally do, and proceed from there.

  • IF you go to this WindWindCentral page, you'll learn that Google Earth's open source competitor is readying Linux and Mac versions of NASA World Wind []. You can learn a lot about WW here [] and a lot about GE here [].

    "NASA is currently making plans for World Wind 1.5 []. This version will be available for multiple platforms, including Windows, Linux and the Macintosh."
  • If anyone knows of a good source for high quality buildings & overlays, I am all ears. These features will be great if someone else wants to do all the work.
  • Google Lists the following tested+working distributions:

    Ubuntu 5.10
    Suse 10.1
    Fedora Core 5
    Linspire 5.1
    Gentoo 2006.0
    Debian 3.1
    Red Hat 9

    I just tested it and it works but sporadically crashes under RHEL3 (Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3). The crash said that it would be sending details to google regarding the crash, but I didn't see any notice about it when I next started googleearth.
    • Well it's a disaster on my Mandriva 2006.0 system. It doesn't crash, but the mosaics have bits and pieces of land and sea scattered seemingly at random all over the globe.
    • It works well installed by a user in Debain AMD64 sarge, had to install it under 32 bit chroot, but will run in both 32 and 64 bit sides after unpack. It seems to want to use software gl, not accelerated graphics with my properly installed fglrx module (ATI driver) but thats ok, its plenty fast as is for my needs.

      Nice going google.
  • Yes it IS native. (Score:5, Informative)

    by gukin ( 14148 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @05:37PM (#15519861)
    When run "sudo GoogleEarth . . . " it creates a directory in /usr/local/google-earth. That directory is chock full of .so files, not .DLL files. Also Icculus (Ryan Gordon) is "not a big fan of wine". Ryan and most of the folks who hang their hats at are former employees or had connections to Loki Software, a company that made NATIVE PORTS of games.

    One other chap who worked at Loki then moved on to Epic Software and brought us NATIVE ports of UT2003 and UT2004.

    It's definitely native.

    Thanks to Gordon and I hope you had fun working with the folks at Google.

    This is indeed a great day, google earth was the only app I ever used on my laptop under Windows.

    Yeah, it's not perfect yet, read the forums, play around with it, tweek it and it'll go.
    • When I run sudo GoogleEarthLinux.bin it tells me "command not found"...???

      Really... Linux newbie here and I've no idea how to actually get the .bin file to install or run.

      Google itself provides absolutely no instructions on installing or running. I guess they assume that if you know Linux, you know how to install it and don't need instructions.

    • It's definitely native.

      Only native x86. I don't see any native amd64/x86-64, sparc etc. versions.

      NASA's World Wind [] offers some hope for non-x86 platforms, but it's a way off yet.
      • Re:Yes it IS native. (Score:3, Informative)

        by pherthyl ( 445706 )
        Use a chroot environment for x86. Then it'll work. Some distros also ship with the required libs to run x86 binaries out of the box, so you might not even need that.
    • Can you please execute 'ldd' on the binary for us and post the output? I have no desire to download this stuff but would like to know what dependencies it has.
  • BSD? (Score:3, Funny)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @05:45PM (#15519916) Homepage Journal
    What about bsd and osx support? any chance?
  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @05:46PM (#15519926) Journal
    I think that the reason so many people do not care about Privacy issues is because they relish the idea of spying on their neighbors. I have had more than one person ask me a question which strongly suggested that they thought Google Earth was using real time imagery of their neighborhood.

    They wanted to see what their neighbors were doing, or see where their kids were, etc. Nevermind the sunbathers behind the super high fence.

    But they still liked the product even if they didn't have those features. I imagine it would be very popular if they could get the features they thought they had.

  • by bhunachchicken ( 834243 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @05:49PM (#15519946) Homepage

    Just tried it with Fedora Core 5 (with ATI radeon drivers). Installed with no issues, works fine and works fast. I'm impressed! Thanks Google.

    (note - I don't think it's using Wine... couldn't see any Wine related stuff in the process list...)

  • Thank you Google! Now my users will be happy, some have complained about google earth not being avaliable on the desktops of our linux terminal server. This really makes my day. :D
  • by j1mc ( 912703 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @06:09PM (#15520046) Homepage
    Ok, so now we've got Ubuntu Dapper Drake 6.06 (among other excellent distros), FireFox, Thunderbird, and now Picasa and Google Earth. In the foreseeable future we'll have an OpenOffice suite that runs a little faster and we'll have a legitimate iTunes competitor, Songbird.

    Things are looking up for the Linux desktop, and for best-in-class software that runs on it. It's an exciting time to be a Linux fan, no? :-)
  • Crashes on startup (Score:3, Informative)

    by obender ( 546976 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @06:12PM (#15520066)
    ./ vll3APIE+0x4b) [0xf65177bb]
    ./ ateWidgetEv+0x8a) [0xf64ff6ba]
    ./ 9showEventEP10QShowEvent+0x7d) [0xf78b180d]
    ./ [0xf6f8cdb7]
    ./ P7QObjectP6QEvent+0xa1) [0xf6ee0731]
    ./ P6QEvent+0xc9) [0xf6ee1219]
    ./ [0xf6f8bd16]
    ./ [0xf6f8ba6b]
    ./ [0xf6f8bcb7]
    ./ [0xf6f8ba6b]
    ./ [0xf6f8bcb7]
    ./ [0xf6f8ba6b]
    ./ [0xf6f8bcb7]
    ./ [0xf6f8ba6b]
    ./ [0xf6f8bcb7]
    ./ [0xf6f8ba6b]
    ./ [0xf6f8bcb7]
    ./ [0xf6f8ba6b]
    ./ [0xf6f8bcb7]
    ./ [0xf6f8ba6b]
    ./ [0xf6f8bcb7]
    ./ [0xf705e513]
    ./ [0xf6f85383]
    ./ eInfoEv+0x621) [0xf7876e61]
    ./ runEiPPc+0x1569) [0xf789e2d9]
    ./ 1EiPPcb+0x923) [0xf78a02c3]
    ./googleearth-bin [0x804c73d]
    /lib32/ [0xf6279ea2]
    ./googleearth-bin(__gxx_personality_v0+0x41) [0x804a961]

    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:

    .googleearth/crashlogs/crashlog-0B103505. txt

    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.
  • by kesuki ( 321456 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @06:21PM (#15520110) Journal
    Finally! we got through :)

    Well it seemed funny to me anyways.
  • When I first tried it, I blew it up to 1600x1200 and it wasn't happy. When I get it down to about 850x600, everything works great, no blinkies or uglies. This is with my (ahem) work PC with the EXTREME Intel graphics.

    So, I can't go to 1600x1200, I could even be stuck at 800x600 until the next stable comes out. I'll cope, it's a mighty effort made and I appreciate the heck out of it.
  • by dinther ( 738910 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @07:14PM (#15520409) Homepage
    sjeesh, leave a hint about Linux support and the Linux zealots stamp it into the ground. "Oh doesn't look nice", "Where is the source", "It doesn't run on my really really exotic Linux distribution", "How can I trust a binary distribution".

    Basically people, "beep beeeeep" and get a life. You guys grab any opportunity to tell the world you are "cool" because you use Linux but all you do is complain while playing Windows games in a dark corner when nobody is looking and if you don't like Google Earth....

  • by SimHacker ( 180785 ) * on Monday June 12, 2006 @07:22PM (#15520447) Homepage Journal

    Why does the Google Pack EULA [] ask me to agree not to do something that's physically impossible?

    From the Google Pack EULA []:

    NAV 2005 may contain enforcement technology that limits the ability to install the software on a computer to not more than a finite number of times for a finite number of computers, and you consent to the use of such measures.

    Who in this universe has an infinite number of computers, or would install a piece of software an infinite number of times? Why don't also they require me to agree not to perform an infinite number of other impossible tasks? Why are so concerned about preventing people with infinite numbers of computers and patience installing their software?


  • A few observations (Score:3, Informative)

    by owlstead ( 636356 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @08:13PM (#15520693)
    Hi all,

    - This seems to be a binary package only, which uses a few common libraries beneath it
    - Installs without a hitch on my system, defaults to /usr/local/google-earth
    - Runs very smooth in Ubuntu 6.06 AMD 64 bit with nvidia driver, but it seems to need root permissions to start (installed with sudo on the 'binary' installer)
    - No real desktop integration yet (at least with Gnome)
    - Asks to install symlink in /usr/local/bin, but does not say which command (googleearth)
    - Probably not a good idea to run with nv driver in X, chech your /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    - Comes with nice Icon that works in Gnome in root of installation folder

    Oh, I got a rather new 3GHz AMD 64/1 Gig, budget (fanless) videocard and 6 Mbit download. Not top of the bill, but quite nice anyway, your experiences may differ.

    Unfortunately, it does not seem to be open source. A bit of a shame, the real work is in the infrastructure and obtaining the maps anyway.

  • $ strings ~/Apps/google-earth/ | grep Version
    LIBTIFF, Version 3.7.3

    From CVE-2006-2193 []:
    Buffer overflow in the t2p_write_pdf_string function in tiff2pdf in libtiff 3.8.2 and earlier allows attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) and possibly execute arbitrary code via a TIFF file with a DocumentName tag that contains UTF-8 characters, which triggers the overflow when a character is sign extended to an integer that produces more digits than expected in an sprintf call.
    While I doubt Google Earth will be calling this function, this goes to show the danger that users place themselves in when they run software that takes it upon itself to bundle together the libraries that it depends on.
  • I'm curious... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ConceptJunkie ( 24823 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @09:22PM (#15521040) Homepage Journal
    I've used Google Earth since it was version 1 by Keyhole and only worked on nVidia cards... and you had to pay for it. It's a cool piece of software, but of course version 4 wassn't actually released, it's a beta.

    Knowing Google, however, version 3 probably never left beta.

    In fact, is anything Google makes besides the search engine NOT beta? Google Groups has been beta since what, 2001? Their use of the word has completely lost any meaning, other than the obvious lawyerese intent of absolving them of any responsibility in case the stuff doesn't work. Like anyone ever takes that responsibility anyway (Microsoft?).

    Still, it's cool software.

  • by multi io ( 640409 ) <> on Monday June 12, 2006 @09:28PM (#15521060)
    Thanks Google for this amazing program.

    What I'm interested in -- how hard was it to port this over to Linux? What about the DirectX->OpenGL transition? How was this done? How much of the source code could be reused? Is there a common code base at all, and if so, will future Windows/Mac/Linux versions of Google Earth be developed (and released) based on that from now on? And how hard would it be to provide binaries for non-x86 Linux, and/or other Unixes?

    Any non-classified information on those things? :-)

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.