How To Install VMware Server 1.0.x On An Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme

This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to install VMware Server 1.0.x (1.0.8 at the time of this writing) on an Ubuntu 8.10 desktop system. This is for those who prefer VMware Server 1.0.x over VMware Server 2.

With VMware Server you can create and run guest operating systems ("virtual machines") such as Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, etc. under a host operating system. This has the benefit that you can run multiple operating systems on the same hardware which saves a lot of money, and you can move virtual machines from one VMware Server to the next one (or to a system that has the VMware Player which is also free).

Also, with VMware Server you can let your old Windows desktop (that you previously converted into a VMware virtual machine with VMware Converter, as described in this tutorial: run under your Ubuntu desktop. This can be useful if you depend on some applications that exist for Windows only, or if you want to switch to Linux slowly.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


Installing VMware Server 1.0.x

To download VMware Server, go to and click on the Download link of the latest release of the VMware Server 1.0.x series (not VMware Server 2!):

Accept the license agreement by clicking on Yes:

Then download the VMware Server for Linux .tar.gz file (not the rpm file!) to your desktop (e.g. to /home/falko/Desktop):

To get the serial number that you need to run VMware Server, go to Fill in your personal details. Afterwards you will get a page with a serial number for VMware Server. Write it down or print it out:

Then open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal):

Run the following command to install some necessary packages:

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r` build-essential xinetd

Then go to the location where you saved the VMware Server .tar.gz file, e.g. /home/falko/Desktop (replace falko with your own username!):

cd /home/falko/Desktop

Unpack the VMware Server .tar.gz file and run the installer:

tar xvfz VMware-server-*.tar.gz
cd vmware-server-distrib
sudo ./

The installer will ask you a lot of questions. You can always accept the default values simply by hitting <ENTER>. Answer the following question with no...

Before running VMware Server for the first time, you need to configure it by
invoking the following command: "/usr/bin/". Do you want this
program to invoke the command for you now? [yes]
<-- no

.. because you'll get an error otherwise when the installer tries to compile the kernel modules needed by VMware. (If you answer with yes and get the errors, that's no problem either - just read on).

We need to patch VMware as follows:

cd /home/falko/Desktop
wget -c
tar xvfz vmware-update*.tar.gz
cd vmware-update*/
sudo ./

This will patch the VMware installer and continue the installation.

Answer the following question with yes:

Before running VMware for the first time after update, you need to configure it
for your running kernel by invoking the following command:
"/usr/bin/". Do you want this script to invoke the command for
you now? [no]
<-- yes

Afterwards you can accept the default values simply by hitting <ENTER>.

When the installer asks you

In which directory do you want to keep your virtual machine files?
[/var/lib/vmware/Virtual Machines]

you can either accept the default value or specify a location that has enough free space to store your virtual machines.

At the end of the installation, you will be asked to enter a serial number:

Please enter your 20-character serial number.
Type XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX or 'Enter' to cancel:

Fill in your serial number for VMware Server.

After the successful installation, you can delete the VMware Server download file and the installation directory:

cd /home/falko/Desktop
rm -f VMware-server*
rm -fr vmware-server-distrib/
rm -fr vmware-update*

You will now find VMware Server under Applications > Other > VMware Server Console:

When you start it, select Local host:

Afterwards, you can create virtual machines (or import your virtual Windows machine that you created with VMware Converter):


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10 Comment(s)

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By: Anonymous

I'm not sure if this is the best way to go about this,  but in order to get this to work on my server, I had to also install the following missing libraries.  sudo apt-get install libXtst-dev

sudo apt-get install libXt-dev

sudo apt-get install libXrender-dev

sudo apt-get install libSM-dev

sudo apt-get install libICE-dev

I might not have needed all of these but they were what was missing when the installer showed the list.  It would not except the serial number until I installed libXst-dev.  I just followed everything after Falko says to open the terminal and went from there.  It all works fine!

By: Wainer Moschetta

I'm getting following message when trying to connect to vmware server from console gui:

"The local VMware Server is not installed, or is not currently running."

I know that VMware Server is up since I can log in via web management interface.

System profile:

- Ubuntu 8.10

- VMware server 1.0.9

- VMware server console 1.0.9

Somebody has any clue what might be this problem?


By: nerd

VMware server 2.0 user interface just plain sucks!  It has the worst user interface of all the applications I used.  Avoid it if you can.



By: VMware sucks

All this is actually really pointless. VMware is proprietary shit. I have run it for a couple of years and there were always some problems with it - keys on the keyboard not getting interpreted correctly, numerous problems with new kernels, ...

For the very nature of it depending closely on interoperation with the kernel but VMware not being opensource, it will never work great with the latest release of your distro.

I am happy to have tried out VirtualBox yesterday, which is opensource, and equally happy to announce that it really really works great. Much better compared to VMware, and I even had the commercial Workstation version installed.

If you need Desktop Virtualization VirtualBox is your choice, go for it!


I agree that version 2 acts strange sometimes.

There's a simple solution for Your keyboard problems with VMWare Client:

By: Anonymous

I have so many issues with v2 I started a thread on their forum:;jsessionid=26441363A006057B986AD07F21C5DE91?start=0&tstart=0


See there how much v2 blows. Been running it now since it came out and still cannot find one reason to keep it except that I'm too lazy to change back. But 1.0.8 is still awesome. Funny how VMWare haven't bothered to comment on the thread once. :(

By: Anonymous

Try out 2.0 - then you'll know why

By: Jeff

I don't know why VMWare only make it available as an RPM and tarball but not a DEB archive as well. And installing it, even with the great tutorial here, is cumbersome. Even the Windows version I use at work is clunky to say the least. Personally I'd plump for Virtualbox - it's faster and easier to use (especially doing the intial install), on both Windows and Linux, and it can read VMWare images too.

By: Anonymous

At least he addresses that 2.0 is out.  Why would someone prefer 1.0.8?  Were there features removed?

By: Felippe Castro

Thanks very much, you save my life!!!


I had to install VMware-server 1.0.9 on Ubuntu 9.04(in my dual boot MacBook 4,1).

 Doesn exist a VMware server for Mac, only VMware fusion that's have to paid for.

 But I have to use the VMware server for one academic homework, I'm fighting to find a good explanation have 2 days.