Installing Google Earth on 64 bit Debian Jessie

Written 2015-02-14

Tags:GoogleEarth Google Debian 


Due to the multiarch transition, a package, ia32-libs, is no longer included with Debian-Jessie. Google-Earth depends on this package. This post will show you how to remove the dependency and produce your own deb file without it. Interestingly, Google-Earth appears to be built in 64-bit mode, so ia32-libs shouldn't be needed.


  1. Pull down the latest direct from Google.
  2. Extract it with "ar vx google-earth-stable_current_amd64.deb". This should produce the following files:
    • debian-binary
    • control.tar.gz
    • data.tar.lzma
  3. extract control.tar.gz with: "tar xvf control.tar.gz". This should unpack the following:
    • prerm
    • postinst
    • postrm
    • control
  4. Open control in an editor and remove ", ia32-libs" from the Depends:" list
  5. Repack control.tar.gz with: "tar cvf control.tar prerm postinst postrm control && gzip control.tar"
  6. Repack the deb file with "ar cr ge-noia32.deb debian-binary control.tar.gz data.tar.lzma"
  7. Install the deb file with dpkg: "dpkg --install ge-noia32.deb"
  8. Run google-earth from a command-line to make sure you aren't missing any dependencies. If launching reports an error about finding a library, you'll need to install the corresponding debian version


Until google updates their package or someone adds an ia32-libs to Debian Jessie, you'll have to uninstall google earth, then pull down the latest, then patch it for each revision.