Tag Archives: google sky

Installing Google Earth on Red Hat Linux

Installing Google Earth on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

The Google Earth client is available for download from Google for PC, Mac and Linux and can be found here:


Installing it may require a few extra steps if you don’t already have the correct xdg-utils package installed on your system.

I tried using the xdg-utils that Red Hat has available through the Red Hat subscription, but they are too new and for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. I’m using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 in this case to preserve compatibility with some older software packages that we use.

The various xdg-utils packages installed fine but Google Earth wouldn’t install.

You’ll get an error resolving dependencies like this:

Error resolving dependencies from the linux Google Earth rpm, needed to revert to an earlier xdg-utils package for the install to work.

I tried a few different versions of the xdg-utils package but the Google Earth install always failed with the same error until I used this one:

xdg-utils-1.0.2-2.el5.noarch.rpm that I found at this link:


Finally Google Earth installed successfully on linux and I could spin the globe and use all the features of Google Earth on a powerful Red Hat linux workstation.

You may have to try a few different xdg-utils packages to find the one that will work with your Linux operating system and version of Google Earth.

Running Google Earth from your Red Hat Linux Desktop

The Google Earth linux package installs by default in the /opt/google/earth/free directory.

[root@linuxbox free]# pwd

You can navigate to the “free” directory and then click on the Google Earth icon to open the application:

Some quick notes on Google Earth controls

Besides scrolling around with the mouse, you can use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out of the globe.

You can also use keyboard controls to move around the globe.

Use the plus and minus keys (+, -) to zoom in and out.

If you hold down the shift key while scrolling, you can tilt the earth down to a ground-level view.

Pressing the “u” key on the keyboard resets your view to a top down bird’s eye view.
Pressing the “n” key resets the North orientation to North up.

 A few screenshots of Google Earth running on Red Hat Linux




The extreme terrain of the Himalayas has many peaks over 6000 meters like this one as well as a few really tall peaks over 8000 meters.
Google Earth has the option to show current weather conditions around the globe.

 The many faces of Google Earth

Google Earth showing sun shading of the day and night sides of planet Earth
Google Mars
Google Mars view of Olympus Mons, the tallest peak in the Solar System.
Google Moon
Google Sky view of the Owl Nebula or M97

All of the different globes can be selected in Google Earth using the yellow icon that looks a little like the planet Saturn:


Have fun exploring the Earth and the rest of the galaxy with the many faces of Google Earth!


NASA Spots Old Mars Landers

On  Jan. 29, 2012, using the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the space agency spotted the lander from the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit mission. The rover drove off after landing and explored its corner of the red planet for 6 years! The little rover is quietly resting now on the surface having done it’s duty. The Phoenix Lander was also found by NASA. Check out NASA’s site for some amazing color Mars images. (link below)

Spirit Mars Lander spotted from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter--Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
Phoenix Mars Lander spotted from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter--Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Where is the planet Mars now you ask? Look up tonight to the left and above the bright Moon and you’ll see the red planet shining a bright, ruddy red in the night sky. Mars will be getting closer to Earth these next few weeks and will be at it’s closest in early March. Be sure to check it out!

The Moon and Mars high in the sky on Google's Sky Map app in ICS--Image credit: SiliconCali.com

Full image from NASA at the link. Full story from NASA here.