Here is a HOWTO which I found comprehensive and invaluable. Uses Webmin to allow your browser to connect and modify your server settings.
You could also install the Desktop and run the server as a virtual machine using Virtualbox.
And on your server..........
Are you using the most current version of this how-to?
Version numbers are located @ top right of this page. Latest versions are available at my homepage http://woodel.com
Under the Solutions tab
"Setting up a Linux Server, Start to Finish, using Webmin". By Kevin Elwood
Logon to your server and download from your server with :
sudo wget http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/webadmin/webmin_1.550_all.deb
Install with :
sudo dpkg -i webmin_1.550_all.deb
Add extra libraries with :
sudo apt-get -f install