do you remember what you did to solve this issue?
I'm having the same problem while running a cucumber suite in linux, in my hudson CI environment, and I've seen nothing about it on the net =/.
yeah, getting this going was kinda silly.
I think the missing piece in this gist was making sure tightvnc was running and:
export DISPLAY=:1 &&
without the export your tests wont be able to run properly, this link might help you out too: