I am wondering if there is any difference between the installation methods of Ubuntu minimal and server.
The Minimal CD will download packages from online archives at installation time instead of providing them on the install CD itself. Downloading packages at install time reduces the size of the install CD to approximately 5 to 20MB depending on architecture, as well as providing only the packages needed for installation. The download time savings achieved by using a Minimal CD can be significant, as only current packages are downloaded, so there is no need to upgrade packages immediately after installation. The Minimal CD uses a text-based installer like the Alternate CD, making the CD image as compact as possible.
Basically you get whatever is needed to get you to command line and you will need to install anything else yourself: so next you install a window manager if you want.
You can use
The Server Edition provides a common base for all sorts of server applications. It is a minimalist design providing a platform for the desired services, such as file/print services, networking, dns, web hosting, email hosting, wiki server, version control server.
Basically you get to choose at installation what server applications you want.
Regarding the kernel these should be the basic differences between a server and other installs:
A minimal install where you install a desktop afterwards will get you an Ubuntu desktop version. A minimal install where you install servers afterwards will get you an Ubuntu server but you will need to optimize the kernel yourself. Basically you would be better of choosing the desktop or server version if you intend to end up with a normal version of Ubuntu.
Ubuntu server gives you the choice (at install time) to install packages like
On Minimal, you are on your own and you have to install everything you need manually (with the aid of
Besides using different kernels, I don't believe there is. If your going to install a Desktop stick with minimal.