thought I would put down the steps I had to go through to install the VMTools for ESXi to work on my latest Debian Squeeze deployments, as by default ESXi doesnt recognise the OS as a Debian distro, I initially posted this in the forums.itrc.hp.com site, but figured I would put it here too.
Ok, here goes, on your Debian Squeeze guest:
apt-get install make
apt-get install gcc
apt-get install libc-dev
uname -a and find out what your kernel version is then apt-get install the relevant kernel headers as follows…
apt-get install linux-headers-2.6.32-5-686
(All of the above apt-gets are needed as they will allow you to compile the VMTools programs contained in the .tar.gz file, as some of the programs replace some system defaults like network adapter drivers and replaces the NIC driver with the vmxnet3 driver (for example)).
mount /dev/sr0 /mnt
cp VMwareTools-4.0.0-xxxxx.tar.gz /usr/local/src
tar zxvf VMwareTools-4.0.0-xxxxx.tar.gz
Follow all of the usual on-screen prompts for the rest of the VMTools install.
Once the install has completed, you’ll be able to log into your ESXi console using VI client and observer that there is now more granular information available for your guestOS.