During startup of a Linux machine under VMware, you might receive the following error:
vmnics device eth0 does not seem to be present, delaying initialization.
To fix this, you will need the VMware tools installed. You can do this by selecting ‘Install VMware Tools’ from the Tools menu. This will mount a virtual CD in /media/cdrom (or wherever your CD mountpoint is). There are RPM and tarball packages, install whichever one best fits your distro. Then run the command vmware-config-tools.pl. This will scan your system and update some config files to point to the proper drivers for the hardware & kernel.
After the config tool has run, it will have a list of commands that you need to type in for the changes to take effect (some rmmod and depmod basically). Run these commands, then reboot.
On rebooting, I ran into a kernel panic about a faulty APIC timer. If you run into this, restart the guest OS, and edit the kernel command line (press A at the GRUB screen), and append noapic to the end. Boot the system, and after it has finished rebooting, reboot once more. This seems to have fixed it, at least for me.