Ah right, I use 5.8. My local Linux supplier in the UK doesn't have 5.9 yet. maybe it's time I gave him a "wake up call."
Last night I managed to get Google Earth working on 4.3, oddly enough. Just shows that it pays to keep your old Vector CDs.
As far as I'm concerned this one's solved now unless anyone has had problems installing Google Earth on 5.9.