This is a cleaned up copy of the instructions for installing the VMWare Server from tar.gz found at http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=613976 with a correction thanks to forrestallen. Since the Hardy Beta forums are now locked I thought it might be best to make a copy here to allow further discussion if needed.
First install the packages needed by vmware.
for 64bit installs also install the ia32-libs
sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r`
sudo apt-get install xinetd
Additionally I recommend installing the linux-header metapackage appropriate to your kernel. "sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic" for desktops in the standard kernel and "sudo apt-get install linux-headers-server" for server installs. This makes it easier down the road, automatically pulling down the headers if the kernel gets updated.
sudo apt-get install ia32-libs
next download vmware server and expand it out somewhere
then do the install
tar -xvzf VMware-server-1.0.6-91891.tar.gz
Answer the questions, the defaults are fine, though you may want to customize the network config.
once installed I received an error trying to launch vmware so I cheated and copied the libraries over, which seems to have resolved that issue.
(I found this tip online as well but now I can not find the link.)
sudo ln -sf /lib/libgcc_s.so.1 /usr/lib/vmware/lib/libgcc_s.so.1/libgcc_s.so.1
sudo ln -sf /usr/lib/libpng12.so.0 /usr/lib/vmware/lib/libpng12.so.0/libpng12.so.0
if you get an error like this at the end of the compile step:
then create the key and cert files for vmware. (I think, though I am not certain, this came up because I had not yet installed the ia32-libs on my 64-bit machine prior to doing the initial install.)
Unable to get the last modification timestamp of the destination file
If you want to install on a Hardy server without X you will still need to install a few X libraries in order for the install to work:
sudo touch /etc/vmware/ssl/rui.key
sudo touch /etc/vmware/ssl/rui.crt
Also note that I had a number of issues on one upgraded machine where I was using the partner repositories debs prior to the upgrade. I would recommend backing up your VMs and then removing the VMWare install completely prior to upgrading.
sudo apt-get install libx11-6 linxtst6 libxt6 libxrender1
EDIT 28 Apr 2008: Removed the rewriting of the libgtk2.0-0.loaders file since the incorrect lines were corrected around Hardy final.
EDIT: 30 May 2008: Update instructions to VMWare Server 1.0.6. 10.06 does not require the any-any patch so I highly recommend it.