I tried the following instructions for getting Ubuntu working on VMwware Player
Instructions are for Ubuntu Hoary but worked fine for me. I installed this at work under Windows XP. Now I enjoy Linux goodness on the desktop at work :-). Hopefully this will annoy desktop support services a bit less than me repartitioning the disk and installing Ubuntu directy on the hardware. The downside is that it’s a bit sluggish. I haven’t tried Eclipse yet - still using my Windows version. The upside is that I can still read my Outlook based email and doing event/calendaring there and also access IE only intranet and Windows/IE only software like Mecury TestDirector.
Note that in order to install VMware toolbox to get copy/paste between host and guest working I have since installed a evaluation version of VMware workstation 5.5. Use the following instructions to get VMware toolbox installed.
Now that the tools are installed I should be able to go back to the free VMware Player - however I haven’t tried it yet!