HOWTO: Setup VMWare-server

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You will need a free serial key from VMware to finish.

Additional Requirements - I found that trying to install vmware-server on an fresh install of the full edition of sabayon 3.3b that some of the packages failed to emerge. This is because it was unable to locate the kernel configuration. I followed the HOWTO: Upgrade kernel using genkernel guide, and then was able to emerge and the vmware-config also worked.


These instructions assume you are root, if you are not, su to root, or research the sudo package.

First, make sure we have layman installed (skip this if already installed):

emerge layman
echo "source /usr/portage/local/layman/make.conf" >> /etc/make.conf

Second, remove all previous traces of VMware:

emerge -Cavt vmware-server
emerge -Cavt vmware-modules

Third, add VMware to your layman configuration:

layman -a vmware

Fourth, be certain you are using the very latest software versions:

vi /etc/portage/package.keywords:
 app-emulation/vmware-server ~amd64
app-emulation/vmware-modules ~amd64

People using the x86 architecture should change the ~amd64 to ~x86 respectively.

Fifth, Install VMware and its dependencies:

emerge -avt vmware-server

Sixth, Install VMware's modules. emerge --oneshot vmware-modules

You will most probably get an error something like this at the end of the merge:

* Removing app-emulation/vmware-modules- from moduledb.
* >>> Original instance of package unmerged safely.
* Updating module dependencies for 2.6.20-sabayon-r3 ...
* /lib/modules/2.6.20-sabayon-r3/build/ not found.
* You must manually update the kernel module dependencies using depmod.     [ !! ]
* Adding module to moduledb.
>>> app-emulation/vmware-modules- merged.
>>> No packages selected for removal by clean
>>> Auto-cleaning packages...
>>> No outdated packages were found on your system.
* GNU info directory index is up-to-date.

Just run "depmod" at the command-prompt, and, if necessary, run "emerge --oneshot vmware-modules" again.

Then, please proceed with the steps following with regard to /opt/vmware/server/bin/


First, you need root and your other users to be members of the VMware user group in order to use it:

usermod -aG vmware root

Second, you need to run the VMware configuration script to finalize and setup your installation:


This is the most complicated part of the install setting up the networking and system integration. This is also where you need the free VMware Serial Key from the requirements. If you need more assistance with what each setting means, consult the VMware documentation. For the average case, the default choices should suffice.


1. When I installed I ran into a problems in the finishing automated steps. It refused to build the network drivers correctly. While I don't understand why this happens, if you just rerun the script once again, it seems to fix the problem.

2. When you attempt to start a new VM in your new VMware installation, you may see something to the effect of "The VM failed to start due to an error: Error-type unknown error" or something similar (and equally uninformative). The error appears to be caused by an unnecessary execute flag on the VMware .vmx file. The file is created with the flag rwxr-xr-x (octal 755) Please change the file permissions so that the last -x is omitted, whilst the other flags are kept the same, e.g. chmod 754 prudence.vmx for a VM called prudence. Then try restarting the VM. If this doesn't work, rerun the script.


I give lots of credit to the gentoo community for their assistance.

I also give lots of credit to (this is where most of this guide came from)