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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


I think this is due to the 3D-accelerated display.
I doubt't that it is possible to tunnel that properly, similiar to tunneling video.

Are there RDPable 3D games ?

The RDP mechanism is depending on a logical background screen-surface, intercepting and redirecting the drawing commands, what isn't possible here.

The 3D APIs are optimized to display the results pixelwise right on the physical display.

Just a thought....

Posted by: Volker on October 18, 2005 at 03:50 AM


Posted by: Andrzej on February 04, 2006 at 11:11 AM

I got the exact same problem. I access thru a dummy IP, and I get the same error message. ANy way i can make it work?

Posted by: Sriram Venkitachalam on March 18, 2006 at 07:06 AM

I don't think that it is possible to make Google Earth run through an RDP tunnel. I gave up trying.

Posted by: Peenie Wallie on March 18, 2006 at 08:51 AM

where do I use the login ? My computer is saying "Finishing google Earth server login"

Posted by: Nicoline Bruhn on April 11, 2006 at 11:25 PM

What is this RDP you are taking about i need to sort out this problem so i can use google earth? How best then can i use it.

Posted by: Nicholas on August 30, 2006 at 08:14 AM

its very interesting website.

Posted by: kumail on September 06, 2006 at 06:42 AM

How does one suppress the "Do you want to reload xyz.kml" prompt programmatically on Google Earth when reloading the same file?

Posted by: Sriram Raghavan on November 22, 2006 at 01:55 AM