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Fly Your Penguin On Google Earth

Download and Go

June 13, 2006

Although Google Earth was impressive on Windows, I never used it because I do all of my work on a Linux laptop.

Hearing about the first-time release of Google Earth version 4 beta for Linux, I immediately pounced on the download and started exploring.

In a nutshell, this program is now truly cool and will save the everybody a lot of time and frustration with geography.

Downloading Google Earth for Linux was fairly painless. I browsed to the download page and clicked on the Beta 4 version. The "stable" version 3 is available for Windows and Mac OS X, but not Linux. But hey, when have I ever let a beta release stop me from checking out a Linux application?

I saved the file (GoogleEarthLinux.bin) to my /home/rreilly/software directory. Next, I simply changed the permissions to execute and began the installation.

rreilly> ./GoogleEarthLinux.bin

The installer ran and I was then able to start the Google Earth application using the KDE -> Internet -> More Programs -> 3D Earth Viewer (Google Earth) menu item.

It complained that I didn't have the Bitstream Vera Sans font. It could be easily fixed with with a download, so I just ignored the warning. I haven't noticed any funny letters on the screen.

My laptop is an HP Pavilion, model zv5460. It's an AMD Athlon 64 3200+ machine with an 80 GB drive and 1 GB of memory. It has an nVidia GeForce4 440 with 64 MB of dedicated video RAM. The machine runs SUSE Linux 10.0 64-bit edition.

The system requirements state that you'll need at least a 500-Mhz Pentium 3 and 128 MB of RAM. Obviously, smoother operation happens with the recommended 512 MB of RAM, a 3D capable video card with 32 MB of video memory, and a faster processor. My system worked very well using a cable broadband connection through my home WiFi network.