With VMWare Server 2 using a web based console, there is no need to even install X on your server. The result is more memory and processing power available for your VMs. This was tested on Hardy Heron. **Note: This method does not install a sound card in the VM.
Visit http://www.vmware.com/go/getserver. Create an account and get your serial number for the installation. Print your registration code as you will need it later. Don't download it yet.
Start with a minimal Ubuntu Server install.
You won't need to add any additional server roles.
Add additional packages.
After you have booted into the console, enter
Download VMWare Server 2.
sudo apt-get install psmisc libxrender1 libxt6 build-essentials linux-headers-`uname -r` links2 openssh-server
Unfortunately there seems to be no way to use WGET to get the package from the command line, so we'll roll back the clock to the early 80's and browse the web in text mode!
Use the up and down arrows to move between fields. Log in with your email address and password you created on your first visit (if you mistyped the URL, hit G and re-enter). Highlight [Submit] and hit Enter to get to the download page. Your serial numbers should show again... scribble them down if you haven't already. Use the down arrows to find the 32 bit or 64 bit TAR image you need. Hit Enter and the download will proceed.
sudo links2 http://www.vmware.com/go/getserver
Stretch your legs.
The toughest part is behind you. The download is 500MB. When the download is complete, hit Q to exit links2.
Extract the tarball.
Install and configure VMware Server 2.
sudo tar -xvzf VMware*
Blast through the defaults. After you have configured networking, be sure to set yourself as the administrator. Finally, when entering the serial number DO IT IN CAPS or you'll have to enter it all over again.
Set a static address.
You'll probably want to set your server to a static IP address.
Here is a sample configuration with the server at 192.168.1.19, submask 255.255.255.0 and gateway of 192.168.1.1
sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces
Now, restart networking for the changes to take effect
iface eth0 inet static
sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
We've eaten up over a gig in space in the /tmp directory which we won't need anymore.
sudo rm VM*
sudo rm vm* -R
Go to another machine on your network and browse to https://SERVER_IP_ADDRESS:8333. Accept the certificate (you'll likely have to make an exception for it) and you'll see the VMWare web console! You can create a VM and install a graphical OS without having a GUI on the server!
SSH was included to manage the server. If you prefer ftp, install your preferred ftp server to add .iso images, or create a datastore on another machine that holds those files for you.