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The can package provides controller area network support for Python developers
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The Controller Area Network is a bus standard designed to allow microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other. It has priority based bus arbitration and reliable deterministic communication. It is used in cars, trucks, boats, wheelchairs and more.

The can package provides controller area network support for Python developers; providing common abstractions to different hardware devices, and a suite of utilities for sending and receiving messages on a can bus.

The library currently supports Python 3.6+ as well as PyPy 3 and runs on Mac, Linux and Windows.

Library Version Python
2.x 2.6+, 3.4+
3.x 2.7+, 3.5+
4.x (currently on develop) 3.6+


  • common abstractions for CAN communication
  • support for many different backends (see the docs)
  • receiving, sending, and periodically sending messages
  • normal and extended arbitration IDs
  • limited CAN FD support
  • many different loggers and readers supporting playback: ASC (CANalyzer format), BLF (Binary Logging Format by Vector), CSV, SQLite and Canutils log
  • efficient in-kernel or in-hardware filtering of messages on supported interfaces
  • bus configuration reading from file or environment variables
  • CLI tools for working with CAN buses (see the docs)
  • more

Example usage

# import the library
import can

# create a bus instance
# many other interfaces are supported as well (see below)
bus = can.Bus(interface='socketcan',

# send a message
message = can.Message(arbitration_id=123, is_extended_id=True,
                      data=[0x11, 0x22, 0x33])
bus.send(message, timeout=0.2)

# iterate over received messages
for msg in bus:
    print("{:X}: {}".format(msg.arbitration_id,

# or use an asynchronous notifier
notifier = can.Notifier(bus, [can.Logger("recorded.log"), can.Printer()])

You can find more information in the documentation, online at


If you run into bugs, you can file them in our issue tracker on GitHub.

There is also a python-can mailing list for development discussion.

Stackoverflow has several questions and answers tagged with python+can.

Wherever we interact, we strive to follow the Python Community Code of Conduct.


See doc/development.rst for getting started.

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