Getting Google Earth working in Linux Mint 18.x

I had been delaying an upgrade from Mint 17.3 to 18 because when I tried 18.0, Google Earth stopped working. Things were no better with Mint 18.1 or Mint 18.2. The problem was, Google Earth would install and start to run, but hang on start-up and go into a mostly unresponsive state. It would look something like this:


Google Earth blowin’ up in Linux Mint.


I did some research, tried safe mode, checking that all dependencies were satisfied and different video drivers. This was happening on any machine I installed on so I knew it wasn’t hardware.

To make a long story short, as of October 2017 the best solution I’ve found is to install an older version of Google Earth. It appears that Google Earth Pro build date 1/17/2017 installs and works as it should. Even the Photos load. There’s a thread on the Mint forums discussing this issue:


And according to said thread, the GE support team made version 64bit (.deb) available for download at:


Use this source at your own risk. I got it and it appears legit. If it was bogus, I tend to think the Linux Mint forum people would flag it. Might be a good idea to keep that .deb file backed up for future use.  🙂


Google Earth Pro working in Linux Mint 18.2. Life is good again. Unless that’s your RV.


  • Kenn Ranous


Update, 1.19.18 Linux Mint 18.3:

The same problem still exists and the same solution still applies. Use version

Caution! If you perform a ‘sudo apt update/upgrade from the command prompt, GE will get updated to the newer non-functioning version. If that happens, use Synaptic Package Manager to completely remove GE then reinstall using the .deb file you downloaded earlier (and hopefully saved). When update manager prompts you to update, right-click and select ‘ignore …’. Also go into SPM and type google earth in the search bar. Left-click it once and click Package > Lock Version. This will prevent Update Manager or Synaptic from accidentally upgrading you to the newer non-working version, however, performing a sudo apt upgrade from the command prompt will still force the upgrade.



7 thoughts on “Getting Google Earth working in Linux Mint 18.x

  1. Thanks for this great tip. I had exactly the same problem with Mint 18.3 on 2 different PCs using the repository Google Earth pro package. Did a complete uninstall of GE and then installed the old version you described. Works perfectly. TIP: if you run sudo apt update/upgrade it will install the latest repository version of GE over this old version and you are back to square one! However using the excellent MINT update tool you can de-select GE from the update and then blacklist it for future updates

  2. Installing GE is the best solution for Mint 18.3. With the other choices using the Software Manager, and using direct .deb download and installing with a terminal my screen looked exactly like your first one at the top of the article. Thanks for leading the way to an easy solution.

  3. FINALLY! Have tried what feels like dozens of routes to get this working again and all it took was this — thank you and well done.

  4. Thanks for your helpful advice, am am trying to download the usable version for my Ubuntu 16.04 machine, as it too won’t run the newer version,cheers

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