I run a few Linux VMs without Xwindows, and as such there is no convenient check box to enable time sync with the ESX server. It turns out there are two ways to set up time synchronization: the first is from the service console, the other is from the VM itself. Either way, it boils down to a setting in the VM’s VMX file, the difference is how we install that setting.
The following were found in the VMware communities forum here.
From the Service Console command line:
# vmware-cmd /vmfs/volumes/datastore/VMname/VMname.vmx setconfig tools.syncTime TRUE
From the VM’s console (include the double-quotes in the command):
(to turn it on)
# vmware-guestd –cmd “vmx.set_option synctime 0 1”
(and to turn it off)
# vmware-guestd –cmd “vmx.set_option synctime 1 0”