Translator for several Controller Area Network (CAN) description formats
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CANBabel is a conversion tool for CAN database files. It was created because most CAN databases are stored in proprietary formats that are not documented and can not be used for free. The open source CAN analysis tool Kayak introduced a new and well documented XML based format: KCD (file suffix .kcd). KCD is the acronym for Kayak CAN definition. Initially CANBabel supported only conversion from the .dbc format to the .kcd format but the goal is to provide a tool that supports many formats.

Supported formats

Currently the following formats are supported (Read/Write):

  • Kayak CAN Definition (.kcd) (Read/Write)
  • Vector (.dbc) (Read)

Build instructions

You will need a current Java JDK and Maven to build CANBabel. After cloning the repository just type $ mvn clean install and maven will fetch all dependencies and build a CANBabel jar-file in the /target folder of your workspace. You can also just add the repository in your favorite Java IDE as a new maven project.

Run CANBabel

In most environments it's simply required to doubleclick the jar-file in a file browser. If not try the commandline java -jar CANBabel-1.3.jar

KCD Example

<NetworkDefinition xmlns="">
    <Document name="kcdexample.dbc" date="Tue Aug 18 09:27:40 CEST 2015">Converted with CANBabel (</Document>
    <Node id="15" name="ECU_Clima"/>
    <Bus name="Comfort" baudrate="125000">
        <Message id="0x21C" name="Temperature">
            <NodeRef id="15"/>
            <Signal name="InsideTempC" offset="0" length="12">
                <Value type="signed" unit="Cel"/>
            <Signal name="OutsideTempC" offset="12" length="12">
                <Value type="signed" unit="Cel"/>