HOWTO – Vanilla Kernel, VMware Server 1.0.8, and Kubuntu 8.04…

First off, this was a mild pain, to put it royally.  The steps from my previous post are the same, but when stepping through the new features in the “make oldconfig” or “make menuconfig” portions, two things stand out:

  1. When prompted about firmware blobs in the kernel, one of the questions does not have a (Y,m,n,?) option – it is just blank.  Press enter and keep on moving (don’t type anything in if you don’t know what to do).  I typed “n” for no, and it failed at compiling the firmware module for n.ko.  The error looked like this:  “No rule to make target `firmware/n””
  2. When prompted, or if not, under Kernel hacking (make menuconfig step), be sure to check the box to include obsolete symbols, or you will have problems with VMware Server later on.  Like, it won’t compile the modules.  Be aware – the default action is “no”, so if you blow through the make oldconfig portion, obsolete symbols will not be included.

Once you are booted on your new kernel, extract the file VMware-server-1.0.8-126538.tar.gz, after downloading it from the VMware site.  This will make a new folder called vmware-server-distrib.  To run on 2.6.27 kernels or higher, you need to patch the vmware files.  If not, the errors you get will look like this:

“error: asm/semaphore.h: No such file or directory”

Searching around led me to this site with a patch (vmware-update-2.6.27-5.5.7-2.tar.gz).  Extract, cd, and run the file as root (sudo ./ to patch and install.

The error message I tracked down leading me to including obsolete symbols was:

“insmod: error inserting ‘/tmp/vmware-config1/vmmon.o’: -1 Unknown symbol in module”

The fix was documented at this site (translated from German).

Finally, everything compiled and completed.  Not out of the woods yet, though.  Starting vmware in the console gave me errors – the errors and the simple fix are on this page at David’s blog.

And now it works.  I started my VM, installed VMware Tools to update the previous version (1.0.4, I think), and everything is smooth again.

I upgraded my kernel from because a need arose to be able to mount DVDs using the UDF 2.5 filesystem – I guess kernels 2.6.26 and later support this.  Anyway, I did, and I was able to mount the DVD media just fine after that.

Hope this helps!