VMware Player on Debian

For various reasons, having vmware running on my desktop would be kind of useful.  VMware provide a Free (as in beer) version of their software called VMware Player. I downloaded the file VMware-Player-4.0.2-591240.x86_64.bundle off their website and tried to build it.

It failed to build. Given my previous lack of success with VMware server, I wasn’t too surprised.  What was surprising was it wasn’t too hard to fix it.  The problem was that the vmnet module would not compile and that was due to three things:

  • net device ops no longer has set_multicast_list (in netif.c)
  • the linux module header needs to be included to define THIS_MODULE
  • skb_frag_t has been redefined and needs an adjustment

The patch is only a few lines and means I can compile vmware on my Debian sid computer running kernel 3.2.0-1


To use it, you will need to find where the modules are built, for me it is /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source

  1. mv vmnet.tar vmnet2.tar
  2. tar xf vmnet2.tar
  3. patch -p0 < vmnet.patch
  4. tar cf vmnet.tar vmnet-only

With that you can run the player which will try to build the modules and you’re done!



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