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mac-can/MacCAN-KvaserCAN v0.1.1
macOS® Driver and SDK for CAN Leaf Interfaces from Kvaser
⭐️ 2
🕓 27 weeks ago
.package(url: "https://github.com/mac-can/MacCAN-KvaserCAN.git", from: "v0.1.1")

macOS® User-Space Driver for CAN Leaf Interfaces from Kvaser

Copyright © 2020-2021 Uwe Vogt, UV Software, Berlin (info@mac-can.com)

Running CAN on Mac®

Running CAN on Mac is the mission of the MacCAN project. The macOS driver for CAN Leaf interfaces from Kvaser is based on MacCAN-Core which is an abstraction (or rather a wrapper) of Apple´s IOUsbKit to create USB user-space drivers for CAN interfaces from various vendors under macOS.


This repo contains the source code for the MacCAN-KvaserCAN driver and several alternatives to build dynamic libraries for macOS, either as a C++ class library (libKvaserCAN), or as a CAN API V3 driver library (libUVCANKVL), as well as my beloved CAN utilities can_moni and can_test, and some C/C++, Swift, and Python example programs.

CAN API V3 is a wrapper specification to have a uniform CAN Interface API for various CAN interfaces from different vendors running under multiple operating systems. See header file CANAPI.h for the CAN API V3 wrapper specification.

Note: This project does not aim to implement Kvaser´s CANlib library on macOS.


/// \name   KvaserCAN API
/// \brief  CAN API V3 driver for Kvaser CAN interfaces
/// \note   See CCanApi for a description of the overridden methods
/// \{
class CKvaserCAN : public CCanApi {
    // constructor / destructor

    // CCanApi overrides
    static CANAPI_Return_t ProbeChannel(int32_t channel, const CANAPI_OpMode_t &opMode, const void *param, EChannelState &state);
    static CANAPI_Return_t ProbeChannel(int32_t channel, const CANAPI_OpMode_t &opMode, EChannelState &state);

    CANAPI_Return_t InitializeChannel(int32_t channel, const CANAPI_OpMode_t &opMode, const void *param = NULL);
    CANAPI_Return_t TeardownChannel();
    CANAPI_Return_t SignalChannel();

    CANAPI_Return_t StartController(CANAPI_Bitrate_t bitrate);
    CANAPI_Return_t ResetController();

    CANAPI_Return_t WriteMessage(CANAPI_Message_t message, uint16_t timeout = 0U);
    CANAPI_Return_t ReadMessage(CANAPI_Message_t &message, uint16_t timeout = CANREAD_INFINITE);

    CANAPI_Return_t GetStatus(CANAPI_Status_t &status);
    CANAPI_Return_t GetBusLoad(uint8_t &load);

    CANAPI_Return_t GetBitrate(CANAPI_Bitrate_t &bitrate);
    CANAPI_Return_t GetBusSpeed(CANAPI_BusSpeed_t &speed);

    CANAPI_Return_t GetProperty(uint16_t param, void *value, uint32_t nbyte);
    CANAPI_Return_t SetProperty(uint16_t param, const void *value, uint32_t nbyte);

    char *GetHardwareVersion();  // (for compatibility reasons)
    char *GetFirmwareVersion();  // (for compatibility reasons)
    static char *GetVersion();  // (for compatibility reasons)

    static CANAPI_Return_t MapIndex2Bitrate(int32_t index, CANAPI_Bitrate_t &bitrate);
    static CANAPI_Return_t MapString2Bitrate(const char *string, CANAPI_Bitrate_t &bitrate);
    static CANAPI_Return_t MapBitrate2String(CANAPI_Bitrate_t bitrate, char *string, size_t length);
    static CANAPI_Return_t MapBitrate2Speed(CANAPI_Bitrate_t bitrate, CANAPI_BusSpeed_t &speed);

    static uint8_t Dlc2Len(uint8_t dlc) { return CCanApi::Dlc2Len(dlc); }
    static uint8_t Len2Dlc(uint8_t len) { return CCanApi::Len2Dlc(len); }
/// \}

Build Targets

Important note: To build any of the following build targets run the build_no.sh script to generate a pseudo build number.

uv-pc013mac:~ eris$ cd ~/Projects/MacCAN/KvaserCAN
uv-pc013mac:KvaserCAN eris$ ./build_no.sh

Repeat this step after each git commit, git pull, git clone, etc.

Then you can build all targets by typing the usual commands:

uv-pc013mac:~ eris$ cd ~/Projects/MacCAN/KvaserCAN
uv-pc013mac:KvaserCAN eris$ make clean
uv-pc013mac:KvaserCAN eris$ make all
uv-pc013mac:KvaserCAN eris$ sudo make install
uv-pc013mac:KvaserCAN eris$

(The version number of the library can be adapted by editing the appropriated Makefile and changing the variable VERSION accordingly. Don´t forget to set the version number also in the source files.)


libKvaserCAN is a dynamic library with a CAN API V3 compatible application programming interface for use in C++ applications. See header file KvaserCAN.h for a description of all class members.


libUVCANKVL is a dynamic library with a CAN API V3 compatible application programming interface for use in C applications. See header file can_api.h for a description of all API functions.


can_moni is a command line tool to view incoming CAN messages. I hate this messing around with binary masks for identifier filtering. So I wrote this little program to have an exclude list for single identifiers or identifier ranges (see program option --exclude or just -x). Precede the list with a ~ and you get an include list.

Type can_moni --help to display all program options.


can_test is a command line tool to test CAN communication. Originally developed for electronic environmental tests on an embedded Linux system with SocketCAN, I´m using it for many years as a traffic generator for CAN stress-tests.

Type can_test --help to display all program options.

Target Platform

  • Apple´s macOS (x86_64)

Development Environment

macOS Big Sur

  • macOS Big Sur (11.4) on a MacBook Pro (2019)
  • Apple clang version 12.0.5 (clang-1205.0.22.11)
  • Xcode Version 12.5.1 (12E507)

macOS High Sierra

  • macOS High Sierra (10.13.6) on a MacBook Pro (late 2011)
  • Apple LLVM version 10.0.0 (clang-1000.11.45.5)
  • Xcode Version 10.1 (10B61)

CAN Hardware

  • Kvaser Leaf Light v2 (EAN: 73-30130-00685-0)
  • Kvaser Leaf Pro HS v2 (EAN: 73-30130-00843-4)

Note: Leaf Pro HS v2 devices can currently only be operated in CAN 2.0 mode!


The XCode project for the trial program includes a xctest target with one test suite for each CAN API V3 C interface function. To run the test suites or single test cases two CAN devices are required. General test settings can be change in the file Settings.h.

Known Bugs and Caveats

  • For a list of known bugs and caveats see tab Issues in the GitHub repo.

This and That

Wrapper Library for Windows®

A CAN API V3 compatible Wrapper Library for Windows is also available. It is build upon Kvaser´s CANlib DLL and can be downloaded from / cloned at GitHub.

MacCAN-Core Repo

The MacCAN-Core sources are maintained in a SVN repo to synchronized them between the different MacCAN driver repos.


This work is dual-licensed under the terms of the BSD 2-Clause "Simplified" License and under the terms of the GNU General Public License v3.0 (or any later version). You can choose between one of them if you use this work in whole or in part.

SPDX-License-Identifier: BSD-2-Clause OR GPL-3.0-or-later


Mac and macOS are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.
All other company, product and service names mentioned herein are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

Hazard Note

If you connect your CAN device to a real CAN network when using this library, you might damage your application.


E-Mail: mailto://info@mac.can.com
Internet: https://mac-can.github.io


Stars: 2
Last commit: 4 days ago
jonrohan Something's broken? Yell at me @ptrpavlik. Praise and feedback (and money) is also welcome.

Release Notes

Service release of July 10, 2021
27 weeks ago

Major changes:

  • Added a CAN API V3 compatible Swift wrapper and two Swift examples
  • Added Swift Package Manager (SPM) configuration and test template
  • Moved CAN API wrapper code from C++ class to C interface (can_api.c)
  • Added abstract class CCanApi (as replacement for class CMacCAN)
  • Fixed a bug with checking for valid handle in function can_init
  • Fixed a bug with uncleared receive queue after re-start
  • Fixed a bug when teardown all channels (CANEXIT_ALL)
  • Fixed a bug with reading device independent properties
  • Fixed some bugs with getting properties from device and from library:
    • accept NULL pointer for SET_FIRST_CHANNEL and SET_NEXT_CHANNEL
    • getting device properties requires a valid handle
    • string values must be at least one byte in size
  • Temporary fix for investigation of issue #5

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