In short: If you want Google Earth on Ubuntu 13.10 64-bit, you should actually (at present) download the 32-bit version! (tested with Google Earth version 188.8.131.528)
ia32-libs is no longer available for Ubuntu 13.10 (which is what Google Earth 64-bit wants). As an aside, you can install individual 32-bit packages, typically by appending
:i386 to the package name.
But in this case, it appears that just downloading 32-bit Google Earth doesn’t require ia32-libs, and it “worked for me”.
Coincidentally, there was another issue on Ubuntu 13.04 with Google Earth 64-bit that also was solved by installing 32-bit Google Earth.
Many have reported problems with Google Earth 7.1 under Ubuntu (as of July 2013). An
strace of google-earth was not very revealing.
I noticed that I had installed the 64-bit .deb package from the Google website–this version crashes when typing a search query into the Google Earth search box.
To remedy this (for my PC at least) here’s what I did.
1) Uninstalled Google Earth 7.1 64-bit by typing in Terminal
sudo dpkg -r google-earth-stable
2) Delete the entire ~/.googleearth directory
3) download the 32-bit .deb package from Google and install
Then I could make searches without Google Earth 7.1 crashing.