In case it is not already obvious...yes, I work for Esri and I like to tinker with as much of the software as possible. Most recently this has included trying to get the database (SDE technology) and application server (ArcGIS for Server) running on Linux virtual machines. This has proven quite interesting (and sometimes infuriating) as it has been at least 10 years ago since I played with Linux.
It does not help I was not very good at it to begin with and even then, I did not work much with Red Hat flavored distributions using rpm for package management. I have always been much more of a Debian and Ubuntu guy, able to decently navigate my way around apt and aptitude.
Alas, Esri does not support Debian or Ubuntu and I am not good enough with Linux to understand the differences and how to possibly get any of this running on my personal favorite distro, Ubuntu. This means I am attempting to learn the world of Suse, using OpenSuse 11.4. This is the closest community edition distro to Esri's officially supported distro, Suse Linux Enterprise 11.
Although I have yet to get one running I am satisfied with, I have begun to get more familiar with Yast2, even discovering there is a way to get into it from the command line. This makes working through a secure shell connection much easier. Esri's software, unless using a silent install, requires an X-Windows environment, so I have settled on using LXDE, since it requires comparatively little hardware overhead.
Finally though, I am getting to where I may be able to get a stable Suse Postgre SQL with SDE running. Next will be getting a VM configured with ArcGIS for Server as a single machine. Following the interesting challenge will be getting it running with a multi-server site installation. Finally, once a public installation is available for Portal for ArcGIS, I would like to work with getting this installed on a Linux virtual machine and working with an ArcGIS for Server site. This should be interesting...