Installing VMWare-server on Fedora

Falko Timme has an excellent article on about setting up VMWare-server on Fedora. However, his version is for Fedora 7 and as my Fedora 8 experience has been a bit different, I figured I would write this in the hope that it saves some people a bit of time. To get VMWare-server, version 1.04 something at time of writing, one has to register to get a serial number. However, it is free as in Free Diet Mountain Dew. It can be downloaded here. Note that at the top of that page, they mention that you have to register to receive your serial number.

You will need the developer tools, even if you take the rpm. So, if you don't have them installed, first install them.
yum groupinstall "Development Tools" "Development Libraries"
yum install xinetd

(You can use the graphical pirut if you prefer, go to the Development section and choose the Development Tools and Development Libraries groups).

Contrary to Falko's experience, I had no trouble with the rpm. I downloaded it and installed it with rpm -Uvh.

After it's installed, you then have to run, as root or with root privilege,, which is done by just typing the command.

This will take awhile. There's a good chance, at time of writing, that it will abort with
make[2]: *** [/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only/linux/driver.o] Error 1
make[1]: *** [_module_/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only] Error 2
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/kernels/2.6.21-1.3194.fc7-i686'
make: *** [vmmon.ko] Error 2
make: Leaving directory `/tmp/vmware-config2/vmmon-only'
Unable to build the vmmon module.

For more information on how to troubleshoot module-related problems,
visit our Web site at
"" and

Execution aborted.

I'm not sure of the exact cutoff point, but Falko's article mentions that VMWare-server wasn't ready for the 2.6.21 kernel. Since then, I think server has updated, but I'm still finding that it breaks with that error. There are various types of errors before the few lines I printed above, but rather than print the three or four different ones I've found, let me just say that it's possible will fail and be unable to build the vmmon module.

Fear not. Another kind soul has created a patch. Go to and from the list of files there, get the latest version of vmware-any-any-update--at time of writing it's vmware-any-any-update115.tar.gz. Download it and untar it. (We'll use version 115 for this example.)
tar zxvf vmware-any-any-update115.tar.gz

After untarring it, cd to the directory that has been created.
cd vmware-any-any-update115

The script continues the installation. However, the vmnet.tar file it creates also breaks bridge wireless networking. Fear not, we'll deal with that shortly.

Among other things, you will be asked for your serial number during installation, so have it ready.

After installation, you'll see that both xinetd and vmware are scripts in /etc/init.d. They will automatically be set to run at boot. If you don't want that, the following command will do it.
for i in vmware xinetd; do /sbin/chkconfig $i off; done
You can bring up vmware with the command
You may see error messages similar to
/usr/lib/vmware/lib/ no version information
available (required by /usr/lib/
/usr/lib/vmware/lib/ no version information
available (required by /usr/lib/

However, I get those and everything works without problem, so I ignore them.

There may be a way around this next one, but I've never looked into it. Each time you upgrade your kernel, you will have to rerun (This is one reason I don't like it running at startup, if I upgrade the kernel, then reboot, I'll get the error message.) However when running this time you can just hit enter to accept all defaults. They will ask if you want to enter a serial number, but you can just hit enter for the default of no, for they already have the number.

As mentioned above, the any-any patch seems to have broken bridged wireless networking. You can use NAT without problem. There is a fix for the bridged network as well.

Download a patched vmnet.tar file from The file, at time of writing can be gotten here. Copy the file over to /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source. There's already a vmnet.tar file in there, you might want to back it up first. So go to where you put the downloaded tarball. (In Fedora, most people seem to use firefox which by default, downloads to the Desktop directory, so we'll use that.)
cd Desktop
mv /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/vmnet.tar /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/vmnet.tar.bak
cp vmnet.tar /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/

Now run again. After that, bridged wireless networking should work.

For more details about actually creating virtual machines and the like, I refer you to Falko's article that I mentioned at the beginning of this page.

These days, I've found that VirtualBox seems much faster for me, at least on my hardware. There are various articles on howtoforge about installing it. Unlike VMWare, which uses bridged networking by default, VirtualBox uses NAT. However, getting bridged networking going is not terribly difficult. I have a brief article on it that might be useful.