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When I zoom in at a certain zoom level, Google Earth makes my system freeze completely so that I have to power off or reboot

I use Kubuntu 12.04 and my laptop has an Intel(R)Core(TM)i3-2310M CPU @2.10GHz with HD3000 graphics.

I installed intel-gpu-tools and tried to fix it with sudo intel_reg_write 0x2120 0x1206800 as explained here, but that didn't work.

I wonder if there any other solution out there...

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The best option is to patch the Intel Graphics driver for your current kernel

This occurs in OpenGL applications because of a bug in the kernel's i915 Intel GPU driver.

The best option is to patch the i915 module for your existing kernel using the solution in comment #12 of that bug report.

It will take a little time and effort...

Here's how...

  1. Open a terminal with Ctrl-Alt-T (or open Konsole for Kubuntu)
  2. Type or paste sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get distupgrade -y, press enter, type your password and let it finish.
  3. Then type/paste these, one after the other:

    sudo apt-get install build-essential patch
    mkdir ksrc
    cd ksrc
    apt-get source linux-image-$(uname -r)
    cd linux-3.2.0
    wget -O- | patch -p1
    make oldconfig
    make drivers/gpu/drm/i915/i915.ko
    DIR915=/lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/drivers/gpu/drm/i915
    sudo mv $DIR915/i915.ko $DIR915/i915_old.ko
    sudo cp drivers/gpu/drm/i915/i915.ko $DIR915/i915.ko
  4. Reboot, and hopefully your Google Earth problem should be fixed. In that case, you can remove the linux source by going into the terminal and typing rm -rf ksrc. If there are any graphics problems, you can revert to the old driver with:

    DIR915=/lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/drivers/gpu/drm/i915
    sudo cp $DIR915/i915_old.ko $DIR915/i915.ko
  5. You will have to re-do this procedure whenever a new 3.2 kernel is released, which thankfully isn't often! There is also the chance that the patch will be included (backported) in one of these upgrades.
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I've followed your instruction till Step #3 and then reboot. On my first attempt to run Google Earth, it did freeze for one moment and then the Google Earth just disappear. But my system did not freeze. I restarted the system and made second attempt. This time, Google Earth did freeze completely along with my system. I had to have it power off. I haven't remove the linux source but tend to revert to the old driver as explained in Step #4. But, it didn't work and said cp: cannot stat ... No such file or directory. Do I need to repeat un-install and re-install Google Earth? – zigma80 Jun 8 '12 at 5:56
Sorry, in Step 4 it is an underscore _ in i915_old, I edited it. I have an i7-2620 (also HD Graphics 3000), I'll try to see why the patch doesn't fix this. – izx Jun 8 '12 at 5:58
Thank you mate. Do I need to un-install and re-install Google Earth? I intended to but couldn't find the uninstall command in terminal cause sudo apt-get remove google-earth*.* didn't work. – zigma80 Jun 8 '12 at 6:03
You can uninstall with sudo dpkg --remove google-earth-stable – izx Jun 8 '12 at 6:05
Hello mate, I repeat Step #3 from the make oldconfig command to sudo cp drivers command. Then, I did un-install and re-install Google Earth. Restart the machine and run Google Earth. It does works flawlessly! Thank you very much mate, you're a hero. – zigma80 Jun 8 '12 at 6:37

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