Using Debian unstable, I've installed xmame.SDL and xmame.x11. I downloaded the gxmame 0.34b deb package and installed it, too. I updated the paths to point to the two executables; gxmame reports 0.106 (July 8 2006) for each of them. I updated the paths to point to my roms (which I keep in /usr/share/roms/mame/).
When I rebuild the game list, gxmame reports:
** Message: creating game list, Please wait:
** Message: Loading gamelist
** Message: Loaded 0 roms by 0 manufacturers covering 0 years.
** Message: with 0 games supporting samples.
Then I'm stuck with a completely blank game list. Nothing in "All Games", nothing anywhere. When I run "Audit All Games", it checks 6200 or so roms, finds 50 or so good ones, and returns me to a blank game list.