I have been searching for A Desktop Chat client for Google Hangouts that runs on Linux, macOS, and Windows. All my searches came to an end when I met yakyak. Yakyak is a Desktop chat client for Google Hangouts with prebuilt binaries for macOS, Linux 32 / 64 and Windows 32 / 64.

Features of yakyak Desktop chat client for Google Hangouts

Below are the top features of yakyak Desktop chat client for Google Hangouts.

  • Easily send and receive chat messages
  • You can create and change conversations – i.e. rename, add people e.t.c
  • You can leave or delete conversation
  • Support for drag-drop/copy-paste or attach-button for images uploading.
  • You get notifications via the default OS notification
  • Toggle notifications on/off
  • Hangupsbot sync room aware (no bot name, proper user pics)
  • Show inline images
  • Send presence/focus/typing/active client to behave like a proper client
  • History scrollback
  • Video/audio integration (open in chrome)
  • Focus/typing indications (mainly a design issue. keep it clean)
  • Offer alternative color schemes
  • Translations in 22 languages so far

How to Install yakyak – Desktop chat client for Google Hangouts on Linux / macOS & Windows

We will start with the installation of yakyak Desktop chat client for Google Hangouts on Linux. As of this writing, the latest release is v1.5.1 . This is the version we will download and Install on our Linux Desktop.

Setup Pre-requisite

Export latest version number, check the latest release before setting the variable.

export VER="1.5.1"

Install yakyak on Ubuntu / Debian

Download and install the downloaded package

sudo apt-get -y install wget
wget https://github.com/yakyak/yakyak/releases/download/v${VER}/yakyak-${VER}-linux-amd64.deb

If you’re running a 32-bit system, download

wget https://github.com/yakyak/yakyak/releases/download/v${VER}/yakyak-${VER}-linux-i386.deb

Install the package using dpkg command line tool

sudo dpkg -i yakyak-${VER}-linux-amd64.deb

or

sudo dpkg -i yakyak-${VER}-linux-i386.deb

Install yakyak on CentOS / Fedora / RHEL

For RHEL family line of distributions, you need to download and install from an rpm package.

sudo yum -y install wget
wget https://github.com/yakyak/yakyak/releases/download/v${VER}/yakyak-${VER}-linux-x86_64.rpm

For 32-bit system, get

wget https://github.com/yakyak/yakyak/releases/download/v${VER}/yakyak-${VER}-linux-i386.rpm

After the download, install the package using rpm -Uvh

sudo rpm -ivh yakyak-${VER}-linux-x86_64.rpm

or for 32-bit:

sudo rpm -ivh yakyak-${VER}-linux-i386.rpm

Install yakyak on Arch Linux / Manjaro

For Arch Linux and Manjaro, you can install the package from AUR. You need an AUR helper for this, I recommend using yay – Best AUR Helper for Arch Linux / Manjaro

Once you install yay using the guide on the link above, download and Install yakyak on Arch Linux, Manjaro, Antergos or any other Arch derivatives by running:

yay -S --noconfirm --needed yakyak

To get the latest git release instead, run:

yay -S --noconfirm --needed yakyak-git

Sample output for a successful installation:

==> Leaving fakeroot environment.
==> Finished making: yakyak 1.4.3-0 (Sat 25 Aug 2018 12:47:54 PM EAT)
==> Cleaning up...
loading packages...
resolving dependencies...
looking for conflicting packages...

Packages (1) yakyak-1.4.3-0

Total Installed Size:  39.96 MiB

:: Proceed with installation? [Y/n] 
(1/1) checking keys in keyring                     [################] 100%
(1/1) checking package integrity                   [################] 100%
(1/1) loading package files                        [################] 100%
(1/1) checking for file conflicts                  [################] 100%
(1/1) checking available disk space                [################] 100%
:: Processing package changes...
(1/1) installing yakyak                            [################] 100%
Optional dependencies for yakyak
    emojione-color-font: Emoji support
:: Running post-transaction hooks...
(1/2) Arming ConditionNeedsUpdate...
(2/2) Updating the desktop file MIME type cache...

Install yakyak on macOS

For macOS,

wget https://github.com/yakyak/yakyak/releases/download/v${VER}/yakyak-${VER}-osx.zip

Extract the package

unzip yakyak-${VER}-osx.zip

Move the application folder to your macOS applications directory

sudo mv YakYak-darwin-x64/YakYak.app/ /Applications/

You should be able to launch the application from Apps launcher.

Install yakyak on Windows

Download Windows archive from Yakyak Downloads page. Once downloaded, extract the package with your favorite archive manager and run yakyak .exe installer.

On launching Yakyak, it will ask you to sign in to your Google account.

Provide the username and password and click “Next” to start signing in. You should now be ready to start enjoying Hangouts chats with Yakyak.