Couldn't get vasm to run inside X, from minimal install. Through strace's I found out I was missing Xdialog. Well duh, I should have thought of that right off the bat!
There's trouble installing xdialog though. It is looking for "gtk2" as a dependency. Of course gtk2 is in the repositories, but it is listed as "gtk+2".
In addition to xdialog, there is galculator with the same issue. I haven't actually tried installing galculator, but I did a grep of the package_data and this is the only other package I found that depends on "gtk2".