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October 18, 2005

Finishing Google Earth Server Login - Google Earth Bug

For what it's worth, there's a bug in Google Earth. Because of the bug, Google Earth won't run through an RDP(Remote Desktop Protocol) encrypted tunnel. Not sure why this is. It runs fine on my server, but when I try to control the server remotely via RDP, it just hangs while attempting to sign into the Google Earth server. It also generates a spurious message about 'Google Earth could not start in Direct X mode." And then, when I force shut it down, it warns me that I may want to delete my Google Earth cache file when I reboot. Again, this is all caused by running it through an RDP tunnel. If I'm sitting on the server, it runs fine.

Update: OK. So, I think it's possible, as Volker points out in the comments below, that this problem is related to the 3D-accelerated display, and that it may not be possible to tunnel that properly. However, I routinely tunnel video through an RDP channel on a fast-ethernet LAN, with no problems. Also, although I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see problems related to the 3D-accelerated display, to see this problem manifest itself as an error logging into the Google Earth server from the remote RDP server strikes me as odd. Plus, I should further point out that, if you go to this website, they go into excruciating detail about every condition known to man related to why Google Earth may not work, from Direct X, video cards, 3D graphics capabilities, etc., but RDP isn't mentioned as a potential problem. Google Earth is optimized to be run under Windows XP with Direct X, but doesn't support RDP, a delivered Windows XP protocol. So, it might make sense for Google to just include a line on their web page that says the following:

Although Google Earth is optimized to run under Windows XP using Direct X, Google Earth will not work with RDP, a delivered Windows XP protocol. Furthermore, if you try to run Google Earth through an RDP tunnel, instead of it saying 'RDP not supported', the system will just hang and then generate a perplexing series of misleading messages, including, but not limited to, "Finishing Google Earth Server Login", "Can't initiate using Direct X - try using Open GL", and "Try deleting your Google Earth cache", whatever in God's name that is.

Update 2: Somehow this site Ogle Earth found me, probably via Technorati. Apparently, I'm a nerd...I guess I'm OK with that.

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Posted by Peenie Wallie on October 18, 2005 at 12:42 AM