I have been installing open-vm-tools for a little while in my Ubuntu Server virtual machines. A quick apt-get install is much simpler than manually installing VMware Tools – it gets the job done, and there is no need to reboot after the install!
I should have read the community documentation sooner though as it details a simple command line switch for installing open-vm-tools in a headless installation.
sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends open-vm-tools
Using this Ubuntu Server downloads 21Mb of packages instead of 250Mb. Taking a snapshot of a virtual machine after the install is also much much quicker – so it is well worth the effort.