Thursday, 18 December 2014

Linux or Ubuntu or Mint and Google Earth. Won't zoom in. Can't connect to server error. Graphics Card Error

First - the title of the post.  It has got to the point now where Ubuntu and Mint are almost synonymous with Linux.  Sorry to any dedicated Linux fanatics who stumble upon this post. 

For years I've had a problem where Google Earth would be working perfectly in Linux then suddenly start doing weird stuff.

For example it would begin to load and crash, then would refuse to load again until the process was manually killed.  Then when it did load again it might say it could not connect to the server.

Or it would begin to zoom in on an area then suddenly stop loading any more detailed zoom levels.

Sometimes it would display an error saying my graphics card was incapable of running Google Earth - which was ridiculous when I had earlier had almost good enough resolution to read a newspaper from the sky.  And when Google Maps in my browser worked fine, within its own limits.

I tried searching for information and there were all sorts of suggestions, many from Google itself.  Most involved downloading and reinstalling the program.  Some involved clearing the cache.

Clearing the cache inside GoogleEarth was a lost cause.  Crashed the program.  But I had a look in /home/my-account-name/.googleearth
Inside that folder there's a cache file.  Messing with that eventually fixed stuff.

I also discovered the .googleearth folder is created fresh whenever it is not present and Google Earth is run.

So the quick and dirty fix is to simply:
Open your home folder.
Turn ON Show Hidden Files.
Find the folder called   .googleearth
Start Google Earth.

If all went well, you now have Google Earth running again and zooming in to detailed levels.
You will have lost all your placemarks and personal notes.   But at least the program runs.

The long and painful approach is to make a copy of the .googleearth  folder and then in the original, delete cache.

If that doesn't work you then need to go through and play with every folder and file until you find the problem one.

Personally I would rather just redo all my placemarkers :-)