Read carefully falko's How to Install VMware Player on Ubuntu and Linux Mint. My first attempt with v. 5 (latest) failed with error message "One or more of your processors does not have the necessary 64 bit extensions to run VMware virtual machines." I downloaded the 32 bit version for Linux. see screenshot
Went back and download and installed v 3.1.6 which went without a hitch, but when I started the program I was informed of a need to install necessary pieces so it would work. Failed on the first of about six listed items. Found a command line uninstall which succeeded.
Tried v. 4.0.4 which gave me the same error as v. 5. Joined forums rather than complain in the comments section of "How To Install VMware Player On Ubuntu 11.04/Linux Mint 11"
Next step I have re-installed v. 3.1.6 and when/if I get the same error message I will try to make note of what the Player is trying to install. It's called the VMware Kernel Module Updater. Below I am posting the contents of the setup.log file
Nov 03 22:16:16.759: app-3078256320| Log for VMware Workstation pid=23809 version=7.1.6 build=build-744570 option=Release
Nov 03 22:16:16.759: app-3078256320| The process is 32-bit.
Nov 03 22:16:16.759: app-3078256320| Host codepage=UTF-8 encoding=UTF-8
Nov 03 22:16:16.759: app-3078256320| Logging to /tmp/vmware-root/setup-23809.log
Nov 03 22:16:17.014: app-3078256320| modconf query interface initialized
Nov 03 22:16:17.015: app-3078256320| modconf library initialized
Nov 03 22:16:17.043: app-3078256320| Your GCC version: 4.6
Nov 03 22:16:17.051: app-3078256320| Your GCC version: 4.6
Nov 03 22:16:17.062: app-3078256320| Your GCC version: 4.6
Nov 03 22:16:17.103: app-3078256320| Your GCC version: 4.6
Nov 03 22:16:17.114: app-3078256320| Your GCC version: 4.6
Nov 03 22:16:17.174: app-3078256320| Trying to find a suitable PBM set for kernel 3.2.0-23-generic.
Nov 03 22:16:17.179: app-3078256320| Trying to find a suitable PBM set for kernel 3.2.0-23-generic.
Nov 03 22:16:17.183: app-3078256320| Trying to find a suitable PBM set for kernel 3.2.0-23-generic.
----redundant entries snipped----
/tmp/vmware-root/modules/vmmon-only auto-build SUPPORT_SMP=1 HEADER_DIR=/lib/modules/3.2.0-23-generic/build/include CC=/usr/bin/gcc GREP=/usr/bin/make IS_GCC_3=no VMCCVER=4.6
Nov 03 22:16:19.816: app-3078256320| Failed to compile module vmmon!
Googled the phrase "Trying to find a suitable PBM set for kernel 3.2.0-23-generic" which led me to
Scroll down a bit and there's a link marked "here" in red. That link carries you to the site which has posted two different bash scripts
to repair the kernel module.
I downloaded the second one listed which is for VMware Workstation 7.15 or Player 3.15. Extract the files to a convenient place such as /home/username/Desktop and open that location in a terminal.
I had to edit line 10 of the file patch-modules_3.2.0.sh to reflect the version of VMware Player that I installed (3.16). Note that this script will apparently work for Workstation installs as well.
Then run sudo ./patch-modules_3.2.o.sh and watch it do its thing. After this the VMware Player not only opens but works....BUT not to create a Win8 VM. I'm still looking for help to overcome the 64 bit issue.