With the installation of udev a tmpfs file system is mounted on top of /dev at boot. Device nodes are created automatically by udev as the devices appear, but in the case of vmware it doesn’t work.
Vmware needs some device nodes that are created when vmware is configured, so they aren’t there when /dev is taken over by udev.
The solution is to created them each time the vmware services are started at system boot.
It is done by editing the file /etc/init.d/vmware, adding these lines to the ‘start’ section:
for a in `seq 0 9`; do mknod /dev/vmnet$a c 119 $a > /dev/null 2>&1 done mknod /dev/vmmon c 10 165 > /dev/null 2>&1
This will recreate the device nodes each time.
There’s probably some clever way to automate this with some udev rules, but I still haven’t figured out how.