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I have tried all sorts of things to get sound out of VMware but it just throws up an error about /dev/dsp being in use. VMware only uses the old OSS system so only 1 application can use the sound card. On Dapper I can't get it to work even when aRts (I'm using Kubuntu) is suspended. However, I'm testing Edgy (next version of ubuntu) on the same system and I can get sound on that, so maybe you'll have to wait until October
I'm using ALSA with OSS compatibility stuff - KDE/ARTS is able to co-operate with VMWare and both can play sounds at the same time. It sounds more like configuration - if you're using ALSA did you compile the OSS compatibility stuff into the kernel (or the ALSA driver, if you compiled it separately)?