I had Matlab R2007a installed on my computer, running Ubuntu 8.04 Beta. But matlab can't display the toolbar, nor can the Matlab editor show up correctly. A solution can be found at: http://www.mathworks.fr/matlabcentral/newsreader/view_thread/152223
If you are running Matlab on Linux, and with Compiz installed. You should add up one line in bash before running Matlab.
$ export AWT_TOOLKIT=MToolkit ; matlab