If you want to run a headless VM under VMPlayer simply add the following to your vmware preferences file ($HOME/.vmware/preferences):
pref.vmplayer.exit.vmAction = “disconnect”
Restart VMPlayer and fire up your VM. When you quit that VMPlayer instance it will ask you if you are sure that you want to quit and leave the virtual machine running.
When you quit the player the VM will now be running headless.