Install VMware Tools for Ubuntu guest on ESXi host

1) Connect to the server with your vSphere Client.
2) Ensure you have CDROM hardware connected to your VM.
Select your VM, then click on Edit Settings|Hardware tab|CD/DVD Drive 1 and ensure it is set to connect at power-on:

3) Start your Ubuntu VM.
4) Ensure you have the proper prerequisite packages:
Ubuntu installs in a very stripped-down configuration. You will need to install kernel headers and the GCC compiler to be able to build VMware tools.  Login to Ubuntu and issue the following commands:
# sudo apt-get install gcc
# sudo apt-get install build-essential binutils linux-headers-$(uname -r)
5) Connect VMware Tools
Once these packages are installed, select your Ubuntu VM in the vSphere Client and right-click on your VM. Select Guest – Install/Upgrade VMware Tools

This will transparently connect the VMware Tools CD into your virtual machine.
6) Mount the CDROM
# sudo mount /dev/scd0 /media/cdrom
7)  Copy the VMwareTools-8.3.2-257589.tar.gz on the CDROM to the /tmp directory
cp /media/cdrom/VMwareTools-8.3.2-257589.tar.gz /tmp
8)  Untar the VMware Tools package
# tar -zxvf VMwareTools-8.3.2-257589.tar.gz
9)  Change to the VMware tools directory.
# cd /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib
10) Run the installer
# sudo ./

Follow the instructions presented in the install script.

UPDATE:  Or just type in “sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools” or “sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends open-vm-tools"