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The latest VMware Player 4.0.3 fails to install in Ubuntu 12.04 (with Linux Kernel 3.2.x) due to a Virtual Network Device error, but you can get it to work using a patch. Here's how to do it.

Install VMware Player in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin (Linux Kernel 3.2)

1. Download VMware Player in your home folder. You'll have to register before downloading (or search for some alternate download link).

Note: if you're using Google Chrome, the downloaded file will have ".txt" extension - rename the extension to ".bundle".

2. Now let's install the required dependencies and run the downloaded VMware .bundle file:
sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r`

chmod +x VMware-Player-4.0.3-703057.i386.bundle
sudo ./VMware-Player-4.0.3-703057.i386.bundle

chmod +x VMware-Player-4.0.3-703057.x86_64.bundle
sudo ./VMware-Player-4.0.3-703057.x86_64.bundle

The filename in the commands above may be different, depending on the VMware version you've downloaded (at the time I'm writing this post, version 4.0.3 is the latest).

At this point, a window will pop-up - click "Next", etc.:

3. Patch VMware 4.0.3 to work with Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

Don't try to run VMware player in Ubuntu 12.04 yet because it won't work due to the following Virtual Network Device error: "Unable to start services. See log file /tmp/vmware-root/mdconfig-23331.log for details".

We'll have to patch it to get it to work, using the commands below:
sudo apt-get install patch
wget http://webupd8.googlecode.com/files/vmware802fixlinux320.tar.gz
tar -xvf vmware802fixlinux320.tar.gz
sudo ~/vmware802fixlinux320/patch-modules_3.2.0.sh

Update: for other versions like VMware Player 4.0.4, edit the "patch-modules_3.2.0.sh" file (from the archive downloaded by the second command above) and change the "plreqver" version to the VMWare Player version you're using.

The commands above download the patch and run it but if you want, you can also manually download the patch from HERE.

If you've had an earlier VMware version installed and used the patch for it, you'll get an error like this:
/usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/.patched found. You have already patched your sources. Exiting
To fix it, simply remove the ".patched" file and try again:
sudo rm /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/.patched

VMware Player 4.0.3 should now work under Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin:

vmware player ubuntu

The patch should work with both VMware Player and VMware Workstation, but I've only tested it with VMware Player (under Ubuntu 12.04).