If you’re running Ubuntu virtual machine on a VMware product, it’s recommended to install vmware tools to get advanced features and better performances. While installing Ubuntu guest OS, VMware will try to auto-install vmware tools but fail in most cases.
Here’s a manual way installing vmware tools after finish installing Ubuntu 12.04 guest os.

1. First, boot Ubuntu VM and log in. Head to Virtual Machine -> Install VMware Tools. It starts downloading (if need), and finally auto-mount the device and opens it.

2. When you get “VMwareTools-***.tar.gz” package, extract it and run the script “vmware-install.pl” to start installing. Extract the package to your user folder or you’ll get permission error.

Or do this in terminal:

cd /media/VMware\ Tools/
cp VMwareTools-*.tar.gz ~/Downloads/
cd ~/Downloads/
tar xvf VMwareTools-*.tar.gz
cd vmware-tools-distrib
sudo ./vmware-install.pl

3. You can press enter to set default for all questions while installing. After installation, log out and back in. You can run vmware tools by invoking ‘usr/lib/vmware-toolbox’ or ‘/usr/lib/vmware-toolbox-cmd’.