The instructions are outlined by VMware here.

These are my notes.

To install VMware Tools in a Linux guest operating system using Compiler:
  1. Ensure that your Linux virtual machine is powered on.
  2. If you are running a GUI interface, open a command shell.Note: Log in as a root user, or use the sudo command to complete each of these steps.
  3. Click VM in the virtual machine menu, then click Guest > Install/Upgrade VMware Tools and click OK.
  4. To create a mount point, run:mkdir /mnt/cdrom
  5. To mount the CDROM, run:mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
  6. To copy the Compiler gzip tar file to a temporary local directory, run:cp /mnt/cdrom/VMwareTools-<version>.tar.gz /tmp/Where <version> is the VMware Tools package version.
  7. To change to the tmp directory and extract the contents of the tar file into a new directory called vmware-tools-distrib, run:
    • cd /tmp
    • tar -zxvf VMwareTools-<version>.tar.gz
  8. To change directory to vmware-tools-distrib and run the vmware-install.pl PERL script to install VMware Tools, run:
    • cd vmware-tools-distrib
    • ./vmware-install.plNotes:
      • Follow the screen prompts to install the VMware Tools. Options in square brackets are default choices and can be selected by pressing Enter.
      • To compile VMware Tools successfully, you need gcc Compiler and Linux Kernel sources provided by your Linux distribution. Consult your Linux distribution documentation for details on how to install these packages.
      • It is normal for the console screen to go blank for a short time during the installation when the display size changes.
      • Some warnings or errors are normal, like when a files does not exist.
      • Depending on the Linux distribution, your network service might restart after installation. VMware recommends that you invoke this command from the console and not remotely.

From my installation.

First, I grabbed GCC, Make and the Linux Headers

apt-get install gcc make linux-headers-`uname -r`

Installing VMware Tools.

In which directory do you want to install the binary files?
[/usr/bin]

What is the directory that contains the init directories (rc0.d/ to rc6.d/)?
[/etc]

What is the directory that contains the init scripts?
[/etc/init.d]

In which directory do you want to install the daemon files?
[/usr/sbin]

In which directory do you want to install the library files?
[/usr/lib/vmware-tools]

In which directory do you want to install the documentation files?
[/usr/share/doc/vmware-tools]

The path /usr/share/doc/vmware-tools does not exist currently. This program
is going to create it, including needed parent directories. Is this what you want? [yes]

The installation of VMware Tools 8.3.7 build-341836 for Linux completed successfully. You can decide to remove this software from your system at any time by invoking the following command: /usr/bin/vmware-uninstall-tools.pl.

Before running VMware Tools for the first time, you need to configure it by invoking the following command: /usr/bin/vmware-config-tools.pl. Do you want
this program to invoke the command for you now? [yes]

 

Initializing…

 

Stopping VMware Tools services in the virtual machine:
Guest operating system daemon: done
Virtual Printing daemon: done
Unmounting HGFS shares: done
Guest filesystem driver: done

 

Before you can compile modules, you need to have the following installed…

 

make
gcc
kernel headers of the running kernel

 

Searching for GCC…

 

Detected GCC binary at /usr/bin/gcc-4.3.
The path /usr/bin/gcc-4.3 appears to be a valid path to the gcc binary.

Would you like to change it? [no]

 

Searching for a valid kernel header path…
Detected the kernel headers of the running kernel at
/lib/modules/2.6.32-5-amd64/build/include.
The path /lib/modules/2.6.32-5-amd64/build/include appears to be a valid path to the kernel headers of the running kernel.
Would you like to change it? [no]

 

Using 2.6.x kernel build system.

[snip — bunch of compilation output]

After compilation, no errors, this is my output.

The module vmxnet3 has already been installed on this system by another installer or package and will not be modified by this installer. Use the flag –clobber-kernel-modules=vmxnet3 to override. The module pvscsi has already been installed on this system by another

installer or package and will not be modified by this installer. Use the flag –clobber-kernel-modules=pvscsi to override. No X install found.

 

Creating a new initrd boot image for the kernel.

update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-5-amd64

 

Checking acpi hot plug done
Starting VMware Tools services in the virtual machine:
Switching to guest configuration: done
Guest memory manager: done
VM communication interface: done
VM communication interface socket family: done
Guest operating system daemon: done
Virtual Printing daemon: done

The configuration of VMware Tools 8.3.7 build-341836 for Linux for this running
kernel completed successfully.

You must restart your X session before any mouse or graphics changes take
effect.

 

You can now run VMware Tools by invoking the following command:
/usr/bin/vmware-toolbox during an X server session.

 

To enable advanced X features (e.g., guest resolution fit, drag and drop, and file and text copy/paste), you will need to do one (or more) of the following:
1. Manually start /usr/bin/vmware-user
2. Log out and log back into your desktop session; and,
3. Restart your X session.

 

 

Enjoy,

–the VMware team

 

Found VMware Tools CDROM mounted at /mnt/cdrom. Ejecting device /dev/sr0 …

That is all.