VMware Workstation Pro 16 for Linux – Unable to Compile modules

So I recently revived an old laptop to run Ubuntu and the first thing I installed was VMware Workstation. When first starting VMware Workstation I was asked to compile the vmmon and vmnet modules.

Unfortunately, it failed, when reviewing the output (stored within the /tmp/ folder) I found the following key lines (collated below):

Failed to find /lib/modules/5.11.0-40-generic/build/include/linux/version.h
"/sbin/modinfo" exited with status 256"
/tmp/modconfig-05uFCk/vmmon-only/common/crosspage.c:55:16: fatal error: linux/frame.h: No such file or directory
    55 | #      include <linux/frame.h>
       |                ^~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
compilation terminated.
make[2]: *** [scripts/Makefile.build:288: /tmp/modconfig-05uFCk/vmmon-only/common/crosspage.o] Error 
make[1]: *** [Makefile:1849: /tmp/modconfig-05uFCk/vmnet-only] Error 2
make: *** [Makefile:117: vmnet.ko] Error 2
Unable to install all modules.  See log for details.

The answer to this was actually really simple and I wasn’t the only one that was having this problem it seems!

Turns out that as I have a VMUG Advantage, I downloaded the bundle when I got my license key, this gave me the original 16.0.0 release! When I found this post, I grabbed the latest bundle directly from VMware (16.2.1 at the time of writing) and after installing, the modules compiled successfully!

I did review the release notes for each patch since 16.0.0 and couldn’t find any reference to this issue.

But the update has fixed the issue and now I’m onto building some VMs! Hope this helped.

By micoolpaul

Technical Consultant at Nexus Open Systems. Focusing on Veeam, VMware & Microsoft Productivity and Infrastructure stacks.

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