Symptom: Various keys not working in VMware Workstation, Player and probably other produtcs.

In my case the cursor keys (left, right, up, down) didn’t work. In fact pressing up or down in a Linux/GNOME session brought up the screenshot application.

Solution: Add the following line to VMware’s configuration (~/.vmware/config):

xkeymap.nokeycodeMap = true

or as a one-liner:

echo 'xkeymap.nokeycodeMap = true' > ~/.vmware/config

that fixed it for me.

More information.