I've installed debian Squeeze with kernel 2.6.32-5 and I need to install Vmware on it. The problem is that I can't compile the kernel module that is needed to run vmware. I've dug through every possible bit of information on how to install vmware-server on squeeze, but nothing seems to work.

I've decided to get rid of squeeze and install lenny, but I can't really do that because of unsupported ethernet card, so I thought of changing squeeze kernel for some other version and then trying to install Vmware-server.

The problem is: how to change the kernel? Can it be done using aptitude? Or do I have to compile some kernel? Which one to choose? What impact will that make on the system?

  • If your reason not to install Lenny is that Lenny's kernel doesn't support your ethernet card, why do you believe that an even older kernel is going to support it? – Steven Monday Nov 16 '10 at 18:20
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    vmware-server is pretty much a dead product from what I have read. Are you sure it isn't time to start looking at alternatives? – Zoredache Nov 16 '10 at 19:59
  • Also, wouldn't it be easier to just spend the extra $10-15 and buy a supported Ethernet Controller? – Zoredache Nov 16 '10 at 20:02
  • Currently I've given up and I'm using kvm. It works well. – kubal5003 Nov 17 '10 at 20:30
  • I thought vmware was something "commercial and big", but I can see clearly now it is indeed a big.. crap. I've had problem with it on windows too - it broke down and even reinstalling/installing newer version did not help. No support, no nothing. – kubal5003 Nov 17 '10 at 20:38

Someone seems to have figured out how to patch vmware workstation's host module to work in 2.6.32, at least on Ubuntu.

As for downgrading the kernel, it can be done using preferences/pinning, but if you downgrade to the Debian Lenny kernel package, the ethernet card would be unsupported (what card is it?). You would have to find the most recent kernel that supports both your ethernet card and vmware, and build it by hand.

  • Downgrading the kernel seems too much overhead now. AFAIK apt preferences/pinning can be used to keep current version not to downgrade. (I've seen a post about downgrading from sid to squeeze just by pinning current versions and upgrading when upgrades are included in squeeze) – kubal5003 Nov 17 '10 at 20:34

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