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This interesting set of circumstances actually exists, and quite frequently, evidently.

I recently began running Kubuntu on my laptop and started sharing the NTFS partition between Kubuntu and Windows. Unfortunately, after installing VMWare, I found out that VMWare wouldn’t start any of my virtual machines.

I was quite confused. I’d done this so many times on CentOS, I didn’t really expect Kubuntu/Ubuntu, a more user-friendly Linux distribution, to have any issues.

Well, I was wrong. It turns out that adding

mainMem.useNamedFile = "FALSE"

to the given virtual machine’s .vmx file fixes the problem.

This option forces VMWare to actually use the OS’s swap partition rather than making a swap file. Creating the swap file on NTFS seems to be an issue with NTFS on Kubuntu.