Found the knowledge topic “Running mobile module under Linux” in the knowledge-base.
Is this only necessary if running a headless server based distribution?
I installed the “Ignition demo machine” vm in virtualbox for test purposes and can run the moblile project by changing the DISPLAY=:8 to DISPLAY=:0 in the mobile settings environmental settings. It looks like whoever made the demo machine did all the steps in the knowledge-base article except step 5 which starts xvfb in display 8.
I also installed Ubuntu 14.10 Mate edition in VB with Ignition 7.7.4 and can run the mobile module without any of the steps of the knowledge-base article, only needing to put DISPLAY=:0 in the mobile settings.