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VMware Player 16.2.3 won't launch guest, double-clicking .vmx file will.

On a fresh install of Ubuntu Desktop 20.04.04 (GNOME3) and VMware Player 16.2.3 in recent days, Player opens but selecting "Open a Virtual Machine," navigating to and selecting the machine's .vmx file, and either double-clicking it or clicking "Open" has no effect.  Effectively, Player doesn't execute the .vmx file.


Nevertheless, navigating to, selecting, and double-clicking the .vmx file in Nautilus does execute the file and open the guest.



  • The guest machine's directory is a known-good copy from backup.
  • Un-installing and re-installing Player (while keeping the configuration files) has no effect.
  • VMware Player 16.2.3 was similarly installed on Ubuntu 20.04  (Server, with gdm, gnome-session, etc. added) before the hardware failure that necessitated the OS re-installation, and had no such difficulty.
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