Install Google Hangouts Desktop Client in Ubuntu and Other Linux

Earlier, we have seen how to install Facebook Messenger in Linux and WhatsApp desktop client in Linux. Both of these were unofficial apps. I have one more unofficial app for today and it is Google Hangouts.

Of course, you can use Google Hangouts in the web browser but it is more fun to use the desktop client than the web browser one. Curious? Let’s see how to install Google Hangouts desktop client in Linux and how to use it.

Install Google Hangouts on Linux

Google Hangouts

We are going to use an open source project called yakyak which is unofficial Google Hangouts client for Linux, Windows and OS X. I’ll show you how to use yakyak in Ubuntu but I believe that you can use the same method to use it in other Linux distributions. Before we see how to use it, let’s first take a look at main features of yakyak:

  • Send and receive chat messages
  • Create and change conversations (rename, add people)
  • Leave and/or delete conversation
  • Desktop notifications
  • Toggle notifications on/off
  • Drag-drop, copy-paste or attach-button for image upload.
  • Hangupsbot sync room aware (actual user pics)
  • Shows inline images
  • History scrollback

Sounds good enough? Let’s see how to install YakYak.

Using Snap packages

Good thing is that YakYak is available as Snap package now. You can easily install it on Ubuntu 16.04 and above with the following command:

sudo snap install yakyak

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Using Source code

If you don’t want to use Snap, you can download the installation files from the link below:

Download Google Hangout client yakyak

The downloaded file would be compressed. Extract it and you will see a directory like linux-x64 or linux-x32 based on your system. Go in to this directory and you should see a file named yakyak. Double click on it to run it.

Run Google Hangout in Linux

You’ll have to enter your Google Account credentials of course.

Set up Google Hangouts in Ubuntu

Once you are through, you’ll see a screen like the one below where you can chat with your Google contacts.


If you want to show profile pictures of the contacts, you can select View->Show conversation thumbnails.

Google hangouts thumbnails

You’ll also get desktop notification for new messages.

desktop notifications for Google Hangouts in Ubuntu Linux

Worth a try?

I let you give it a try and decide whether or not it is worth to install Google Hangouts client in Linux. If you want official apps, take a look at these instant messaging applications with native Linux clients. Don’t forget to share your experience with Google Hangouts in Linux.

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  • Nope….just nope. First thing in the instructions after decompressing the .zip file: “Go in to this directory and you should see a file named yakyak”. Guess what does NOT exist?!!

    • On the GitHub page, in the left column there is a section titled “Releases”. Pick the release you would like and it will download as a deb package… don’t know why they’re having you do it the way they did.

  • Thanks for this amazing blog!

    > take a look at main features of yakyak

    I guess it would be helpful to state that unfortunately no video conference available as these days it seems a subset of users is using Hangouts for video.