This is an updated (as of 6. July 2008) howto on how to install vmware server on top of a fresh install of Debian Linux.
First, make sure you have all the required libraries. If you're on a console-based installation, you may need to "apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r` libx11-6 libx11-dev x-window-system-core x-window-system xspecs libxtst6 psmisc build-essential" or you'll get the dreaded "The correct version of one or more libraries needed to run VMware Server may be missing" message during the next few steps.
Dig through the horribly designed vmware.com to find http://register.vmware.com/content/registration.html (or just copy & paste
Fill in a bullshit name, address and all the other crap, and put in an email address like <something>@mailinator.com. I used "email@example.com". Request at least one serial number.
This time, they actually gave me the serial number on the following page, however, if they send it to the email address, go to www.mailinator.com, input the username you entered (no need for a password) and fetch the serial(s).
Download the server and the management interface with wget. The links to these, if outdated, can be found at http://register.vmware.com/content/download.html
(as root) cd /usr/src mkdir vmware cd vmware wget http://download3.vmware.com/software/vmserver/VMware-server-1.0.5-80187.... wget http://download3.vmware.com/software/vmserver/VMware-mui-1.0.5-80187.tar.gz
Extract, compile and install vmware. Follow the on-screen instructions. If unsure, just press <enter>. It'll work. Enter your serial number when asked.
tar zxvf VMware-server-1.0.5-80187.tar.gz tar zxvfVMware-mui-1.0.5-80187.tar.gz cd vmware-server-distrib/ ./vmware-install.pl cd .. cd vmware-mui-distrib/ ./vmware-install.pl cd ..
vmware should now be set up and configured, ready to go