Google Earth kept killing my X server whenever I tried to launch it, just after the Splash screen appeared. Apparently this is a common problem with a common solution. Here’s how I got it to work using software OpenGL emulation:
sudo apt-get install googleearth-package
sudo dpkg -i googleearth_4.3.7204.836+0.5.2-1_i386.deb
(source and source) sudo wget http://librarian.launchpad.net/7037027/libGL.so.1 -O libGL.so.1
(source) DISPLAY=:0 ~/google-earth/googleearth %f
I was able to enable my hardware drivers and run Google Earth from my desktop icon without any problems at all.
System -> Admin -> Hardware Drivers -> NViDIA : Enable