I'm running Arch linux and when I run any of the simulators either with the shell scripts or my own java command with different tweaks to the classpath even I just get a blank grey window and no error message.
Here's some more information that might help:
Linux GLaDOS-Arch 3.9.8-1-ARCH #1 SMP PREEMPT Thu Jun 27 21:37:31 CEST 2013 x86_64 GNU/Linux
java version "1.7.0_25"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_25-b15)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 23.25-b01, mixed mode