To install the VMware server on CentOS 5 you have to install the CentOS 5 first. I’ve installed it with the option “server” (no GUI) on top of a logical volume. Once this is done I’ve modified the yum repository to fit my needs (installation on DELL server hardware).
Keep in mind, you have to perform most of the steps as root. To become root you have to use “sudo su -“ or sudo in front of each command.
After an upgrade of the entire system (yum update) I installed the DELL server tools first. This done by the command:
> yum install dell-repository dellhw-repository firmware-addon-dell
Next, the development components need to be installed:
> yum groupinstall 'Development Libraries' > yum groupinstall 'Development Tools' > yum install kernel-devel > yum install compat-db
Now the server is ready for the VMware server installation. First, you need to download the RPM from the web site of VMware. You need also to request a license for the installation (follow the instructions on the web site). When the download is done you can install the server:
> rpm -Uvh VMware-server-1.0.4-56528.i386.rpm
Now it’s time to configure the VMware server:
Press [return] at any question except:
Do you want to be able to use NAT networking in your virtual machines? (yes/no) [yes] no The default port : 902 is not free. We have selected a suitable alternative port for VMware Server use. You may override this value now. Remember to use this port when connecting to this server. Please specify a port for remote console connections to use  902 In which directory do you want to keep your virtual machine files? [/var/lib/vmware/Virtual Machines] /srv/vmware
To add the server to the firewall rules you need to add the following lines to /etc/sysconfig/iptables:
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 902 -j ACCEPT -A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 8222 -j ACCEPT -A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 8333 -j ACCEPT -A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 5900:5910 -j ACCEPT
Now, the VMware server is configured and ready to be used. To get a clean system state and to see if everything come up after booting, do a reboot now.
If you install CentOS inside a VM you might see time problems. This could be solved by using ntpd:
> /sbin/service ntpd stop > /usr/sbin/ntpdate -s 0.de.pool.ntp.org > /sbin/hwclock --systohc --utc > /sbin/service ntpd start
I will update this post from time to time if a new task needs to be done.