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The server version is preferred because it the desktop version includes a load of software we do not need.
While they both work extremely well, there are cons to both, and so I cannot reconcile which I would like to install when I start my next job and get a brand new laptop.
The initial build process will consume at least 20-25GB of disk space.
If you are sizing a virtual machine we recommend allocating 60-80GB to avoid the need to constantly prune sources/caches and free up space.
Try following the steps on the wiki again and see if that helps, particularly steps 2 and 3.
It transforms the complex task of cross-compiling hundreds of interdependent source packages into a few simple commands, allowing experienced software developers and inexperienced hobbyist developers to create a bootable Libre ELEC image. It is possible to use other Linux distributions like Cent OS/Fedora and Debian to compile Libre ELEC images but Ubuntu is simple for less experienced Linux users and is the distro we use for building official Libre ELEC images.