I use Workstation Pro 16.0 every day on a Pop!_OS 20.10 host (similar to Ubuntu). Yesterday when I tried to launch Workstation Pro 16.0, I got a "VMware Kernal Module Updater" window stating "Before you can run VMware, sever modules must be compiled and loaded into the running kernal.".
Then another window with a red exclamation mark appears stating:
Unable to install all modules. See log /tmp/vmware-drk/-vmware4287.log for details. (Exit code 1)
It was working fine the previous day. I'm not sure what happened. I did have a minor OS update but I get those 2-3 times per week. I was worried about something like this happening when I upgraded from Pop OS 20.0 to 20.1 but i wouldn't have thought a minor OS update would cause this.
I also had the same issue with version 16.0 in pop os 20.10 (kernel 5.11). Followed your advice and upgraded to version16.1.0 and then 16.1.1. The player launches now but new vms are not shown in the home menu and neither can I open existing vms. Creating new vms will created all the files in the vmware folder yet no vm is shown in the home menu and neither can I open them.
That sounds like your preferences.ini file is not owned by the user, but by root.
This can happen if you started vmware player with sudo.
I don't have a linux box with VMware Player handy, but IIRC then the preferences.ini file is located in:
Check who owns this file and/or if your normal user can make changes to it.
Alternatively... start vmware player as root (not recommended, but it probably works too)
Yes, I started the installer with sudo. But the thing is, you can't install it without root permissions and not even using fakeroot, as the installer wont let you to. And yeah, the user is the owner of the preferences.ini file inside of /home/user/.vmware