I am in the process of reinstalling VMware Server 1.0.8 on my Ubuntu 9.04 box. These are the same procedures I used to install it on 8.10.
sudo apt-get install build-essential
This will install the kernel headers and the compilers needed to build the vmmon module required by VMware Server.
Download the *.tar.gz file. tar -xvzf it.
This will run and install all the basic stuff. At the end of this, you will be asked if you want the installer to run the configuration script for you. If you say yes, it will attempt to compile the vmmon module and fail. Might as well say no.
You need to download the VMware Patch to a separate folder. tar -xvzf it.
cd ./vmware-update-2.6.27-5.5.7-2 (or whatever it’s called).
This will go ahead and apply the patch. Once the patch is done applying, it will give you the same prompt you got from the initial installer to run the configuration script. You can say yes here.
From here on out, the rest of the VMware install is stock.