Designer does not let me enter a project name, seems frozen

Hi all,
I installed Ignition on Debian Jessie, with oracle java 8.
Gateway starts fine. I can connect to mysql (empty database) and to the Dairy demo.
When I start designer, I can login, I get an Open/Create dialog, but it appears complety frozen. I cannot enter a project name, I cannot close the dialog (except using kill-kill).
The Gateway reports an open Designer session.
If i launch Designer.jnlp from the command line, I get this:

len@lendeb:~/.local/share/applications$ /usr/lib/jvm/java-8-oracle/jre/bin/javaws -localfile -J-Djnlp.application.href=http://localhost:8088/main/system/launch/designer/designer.jnlp /home/len/.java/deployment/cache/6.0/50/776c0f72-1ee0edef
len@lendeb:~/.local/share/applications$ Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM warning: ignoring option MaxPermSize=128m; support was removed in 8.0

Exception: java.lang.NullPointerException thrown from the UncaughtExceptionHandler in thread "AWT-XAWT"

Some version info:

What can I do?

This is a known issue with webstart on linux. I think the workaround is to use the native client launcher.