Google Earth gets packaging wrong

A while back, I needed to install Google Earth on my 64-bit Fedora 15 machine. Being a smart guy, I grabbed the 64-bit RPM and installed it. When I launched it, it failed because it needed a library provided by the redhat-lsb package. After installing redhat-lsb, I expected Google Earth to work. But instead, I was greeted with the same error. That’s when I began to realize that it was looking for /lib/ld-lsb.so.3 not /lib64/ld-lsb.so.3. So I checked the binary. It’s 32-bit.

To me, this seems like the exact wrong way to package this. The best way would be to build a 64-bit version and package that for 64-bit machines. The acceptable way would be to say “sorry, we only offer 32-bit builds of Google Earth”. The bad way is to pretend the 32-bit package is really 64-bit. This does not make installation more convenient, as Google says, it makes it less convenience because it breaks dependency solving. yum dutifully installs the 64-bit redhat-lsb because that’s what the package says it needs. It’s only after the binary is in place that it becomes evident that the 32-bit redhat-lsb package is needed.

If this bothers you, too, I’ve left feedback for Google. Feel free to pile on.

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