YakYak is my favorite desktop client for Google Hangouts.

It has a clean and familiar UI (with different themes), is cross platform and usually runs pretty well. It’s an Electron app, so if that’s a problem for you, this may not be the client for you.

I currently run the yakyak-git version because at some point one of the dependencies got borked and required some manual tweaking of code to get the client to passed the connect screen.

Now I remember having issues getting things working back when I was setting it up on my Debian stable machine, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember what the hell I had done.

This came up recently when I was setting up my new laptop and was experiencing blocking errors with both the yakyak and yakyak-git versions.

Fortunately, I did finally remember what I had done to get things working. As it turns out, YakYak was built for either Node.js v4 or v6 and I like to keep fairly up to date locally and am on v10 at present.

Previously I had used Docker to build YakYak but figured since I had recently reintroduced nvm (Node Version Manager) back into my toolbox, I could very well use that.

Please note, the following examples are using yay to install from the Arch User Repository (AUR). You can sub in the AUR helper of your choice or build things manually. It’s your call and I’m going to assume as an Arch user you got this under control ;)

All right, so on Arch Linux, you first need to install nvm:

yay -S nvm

And once that’s installed, you will need to source the initialization script:

source /usr/share/nvm/init-nvm.sh

Keep in mind that you could source that script in your shell’s rc file and have nvm available at all times. For me personally, I prefer to lazy load nvm when I need it

Next up, we will need to install a version of Node.js that will play nice with YakYak:

nvm install v6

Probably should mention this, all of these steps absolutely have to be done in the same terminal as they are to set up a local environment and not a global one.

With a YakYak friendly version of Node.js installed and available, simply install yakyak or yakyak-git as you normally would:

yay -S yakyak
# or
yay -S yakyak-git

Everything should install as expected without being greeted by Failed to load external module coffeescript/register or anything else that’s weird.

Once it’s done installed, you can run it as you would any other app and you should be off to the races!