I don't question that earlier kernels booted on VMware (but probably not Fusion) without initrd. And I'm getting it to boot on 2.6.28.x no problem. I'd like to use the exact versions as specified in the Book first, so I'm asking if kernel 188.8.131.52 works out of the box.
I do have CONFIG_SCSI_BUSLOGIC set to compile support directly into the kernel and not as a module, which is also why I'm asking.
VFS: Cannot open root device "sda1" or unknown-block(2,0)
Please append a correct "root=" boot option; here are the available partitions:
Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(2,0)
I don't think it's a GRUB issue, since the only differences between the GRUB configuration that boots and one that doesn't is "kernel /boot/kernel-2.6.2x.x root=/dev/sda1". And the lack of "initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.2x.x".
I think it's relatively all right to use a kernel version later than what's in the Book but not earlier.