VMware Server 1.0.9 & Fedora 11 almost copasetic

VMware Communities How to install and run vmware server 1.0.9 on kernel 2.6.30 gives a pretty good recipe for getting VMware Server going on Fedora 11. (It’s terse, and doesn’t give some needed warnings, e.g., runme.pl shouldn’t run vmware-config.pl but it is harmless for it to try.)

Other recipes I’ve found don’t work, and at first I couldn’t get this one to work because it requires building a kernel from source.

The change to the kernel source is only one line, a directive at that, so the source changes aren’t intimidating, but the kernel build and install process are intimidating, at least for someone like me who last built a kernel in 1989 (BSD 4.2 if I recall correctly). Things were certainly simpler then, but things we take for granted today, like VMware, weren’t available, either.

I followed the instructions at Building a custom kernel – FedoraProject first with That never worked. I’m not sure if there was a problem in the source RPM or, more likely, that I skipped a critical step. I was using very slow, old iron, a 733MHz Pentium III with only 512M of physical memory.

Busy with other things and frustrated with the process, I let that machine sit until Fedora 11 updated to Then I tried again, followed the instructions more carefully, pruned away unnecessary processes that were gobbling memory, and got a successful build. Successful builds took about 10 hours. I had neglected to build kernel-firmware the first time so repeated the process with better build parameters.

After installing the kernel and firmware RPMs and rebooting, things were ready for the VMware install and configuration. The main remaining glitch was that installing the kernel had not setup paths that vmware-config.pl is used to looking for, mainly /lib/modules stuff. With a kludgey symlink, that seems adequately resolved for making VMware Server work OK. (I have a Fedora 1 virtual machine running on that underpowered hardware, seemingly running OK.)

However, my kludges don’t seem weren’t sufficient to make Asterisk (really DAHDI) build and install properly. So I need to better understand how to get them going. I have a guess, but need to follow up. Update August 16: All that seems needed is this symlink:

ln -s ~/rpmbuild/BUILD/kernel-2.6.29/linux-2.6.29.i686/ /usr/src/kernels/`uname -r`

The equivalent of that probably gets instantiated by the kernel-headers RPM, but I didn’t think to build that one.

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