Linux / Gentoo Linux

VMware Server 2.x on Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala)

Many have taken the plunge and updated to the new Ubuntu due for release late October: Ubuntu 9.10 code-name Karmic Koala. And even on my my 64-bit system pretty much everything updated without a hitch. Sure, I had to reinstall the nVidia drivers again for the new kernel but besides that – all was well.

Until I noticed my virtual machines were down. A manual start gave the dreaded ‘vmware is not configured for your system’ message and after invoking I found myself looking at some compile errors about the ‘vmmon’ module.

As usual, the guys at VMware haven’t released a single update for their free flag ship in half a year now. Hence they have no support for newer kernels found on Ubuntu 9.10 but also for example in Gentoo Linux.

Luckily, someone has put together a fix that you can find here. Basically it is a patch set derived from a long thread on a forum somewhere but hey – it does the job.

It does make me seriously consider moving to an alternative visualization platform like Xen or KVM which seems to be part of the kernels and as such will always work after an upgrade…

Update: this did not work for me. Either the virtual machine does not start at all and the control panel is broken as well or the entire system goes down with a kernel crash after a few minutes… Guess I am migrating to KVM after all, good bye VMware, it was fun while it lasted…

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