Workaround for bad fonts in Google Earth 5 (Linux)

Update Jan 2010: The following may not work anymore. Use with caution. See relevant discussions at and especially

Older post follows:

So you just installed Google Earth 5 and you can’t figure out what’s wrong with the fonts? If your language does not use the Latin script, you cannot see any text?

Here is the workaround. The basic info comes from this google earth forum post and the reply that suggests to mess with the QT libraries.

Google Earth 5 is based on the Qt library, and Google is using their own copies of the Qt libraries. This means that the customisation (including fonts) that you do with qtconfig-qt4 does not affect Google Earth. Here we use Ubuntu 8.10, and we simply installed the Qt libraries in order to use some Qt programs. You probably do not have qtconfig-qt4 installed, so you need to get it.

So, by following the advice in the post above and replacing key Qt libraries from Google Earth with the ones provided by our distro, solves (read: workaround) the problem. Here comes the science:

If you have a 32-bit version of Ubuntu,

cd /opt/google-earth/
sudo mv
sudo mv
sudo mv
sudo mv
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/

If you have the 64-bit version of Ubuntu, try

cd /opt/google-earth/

sudo getlibs googleearth-bin
sudo mv
sudo mv
sudo mv
sudo mv
sudo ln -s /usr/lib32/
sudo ln -s /usr/lib32/
sudo ln -s /usr/lib32/
sudo ln -s /usr/lib32/

Requires to have getlibs installed, and when prompted, install the 32-bit versions of the packages as instructed.

Now, with qtconfig-qt you can configure the font settings.

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  1. Δοκίμασα τη λύση σου. Όντως λύθηκε το πρόβλημα με τα fonts αλλά πλέον
    to Google earth δεν εμφανίζει φωτογραφίες…

  2. Αν δεν εμφανίζει φωτογραφίες, τότε είναι πρόβλημα με τη βιβλιοθήκη του QtWebkit.

    Έχεις σύστημα 64-bit;

    • Spyros K on March 27, 2009 at 19:03

    I also encountered the same problem as Manolis but in a slightly different way. Namely, panoramio would not show the photos within Google Earth 5 but call Firefox instead. Replacing the original version of QtWebKit (that which was renamed with the .bak extension) makes the problem worse in that the photos do not open at all. I am running Ubuntu 8.10 64-bit. What is happening?
    By the way, excellent solution, for me the font resolution was much more annoying than this persisting inconvenience. Thanks!

    • Sotiris on May 3, 2009 at 12:04

    Παιδία η λύση για να εμφανίζονται οι φωτογραφίες είναι εδώ ->

    Το μόνο πρόβλημα πια είναι οτι δεν παίζει τα video στο youtube αλλά ελπίζω στην επόμενη εκδοση να το διορθώσουν.

    • angelohp on November 6, 2009 at 07:40

    Thank you for your post!
    With Ubuntu 9.10 64 bit just install:
    1) qt4
    2) getlibs
    3) Google-Earth
    Bye bye

    • ΖΑΧΟΣ on November 15, 2009 at 11:16


    • Giwrgos91 on January 30, 2010 at 23:20

    euxaristw para polli 😀 doulepse

    • Αποστόλης Γκαρλιαρίδης on October 31, 2010 at 21:14

    Ευχαριστώ πολύ!!! και σε μένα δούλεψε!

    • Δημήτρης on November 6, 2010 at 19:28

    Εγκατέστησα το qt4 αλλά δεν ξέρω πως να αλλάξω τα font (ποιά να βάλω) για να έχω ελληνικά στο GoogleEarth.
    Καμιά ιδέα?

    • zzz on August 28, 2011 at 07:46

    Solved in LUCID 64 bit

    • nerut on November 19, 2011 at 09:22

    after try this tutorial my google earth always close itself.. there is any solution??

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