How to install YakYak on Arch Linux

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/

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

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

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!

Josh Sherman - The Man, The Myth, The Avatar

About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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