Recently I’ve tried to install new vmware tools in Ubuntu 14.04.1 after upgrading VMware Workstation to version 10, and the build process crashed with errors like
Unknown job: vmware-tools or
Unknown job: vmware-tools-thinprint
After some debugging, I’ve found out that the problem was due to the fact that I was running the build process using sudo -s -E command, which gave me administrator rights, but kept some environment variables that messed initscripts-related commands (service, status and other from upstart package), on which build process relies. The solution is to build vmware-tools under clean environment for root user. To do that, gain superuser rights with sudo su - command, and then build vmware-tools as usual.
The tip above applies to general “unknown job” problem with starting/restarting services, not only to the vmware-tools build process.