Benefits of updating vmware tools
It is always recommended to upgrade VMware tools version to latest before upgrading the VM hardware version.
Also I would recommend to take the snapshot of the virtual machine before you upgrade the VM hardware tools.
"open-vm-tools" is the core package without any dependencies on X libraries and "open-vm-tools-desktop" is an additional package with dependencies on "open-vm-tools" core package and X libraries.
The open-vm-tools packages available with Linux distributions do not include Linux drivers because Linux drivers are available as part of Linux kernel itself.
You can now download them directly from the VMware site, but that still means you need to get the ISO ready for use.
Copying the ISO to every ESXi would be a time consuming task and luckily there is an alternative.
Prior to this change the ISO file that was downloaded with a new build would be placed on the local datastore of an ESXi host.Installing open-vm-tools from the Linux vendor's repository reduces virtual machine downtime because future updates to open-vm-tools are included with the OS maintenance patches and updates.