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More for quick reference as I don’t generally manage too many Linux boxes (yet anyway ;)). Have recently done a few P2V migrations on to an ESXi 5 platform so the below helps get the tools installed inside a RedHat based VM, commands of course may vary slightly depending on distribution –

  1. As root (su -) mount the VMware Tools virtual CD
  2. Run the following commands:
    mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
    cd /tmp
    tar zxpf /mnt/cdrom/VMwareTools-5.0.xxxxxx.tar.gz (version number will differ depending on release)
    cd vmware-tools-distrib
    ./vmware-install.pl
  3. Run through the install prompts and job done!

As a side note, if you update the linux kernel (yum update etc) then just run vmware-config-tools.pl to get the tools running again.

For full guides check VMware links below:

VMware Operating System Specific Packages

VMware Tools for Linux Guests