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Analysis of CAN networks under Linux with Wireshark

by Norbert Binder | Nov 07, 2016

Posting from
Dr.-Ing. Norbert Binder    
Technical Services Manager 

For Windows based systems many tools are offered for analyzing CAN networks – but under Linux it looks different. The Wireshark tool, which is especially known from Ethernet network analysis, has been offering the possibility to display CAN messages for some time. It uses the SocketCAN driver interface, which has become a standard for Linux systems.


WireShark SocketCAN 


HMS offers a SocketCAN driver for the IXXAT CAN interfaces of the CAN-IB and USB-to-CAN V2 series.
Everything a user has to do is:

  1. Download and install the SocketCAN driver from the IXXAT homepage
    Detailed instructions can be found in the corresponding readme file.
  2. Install Wireshark (for example, using the Linux Packet Manager)

A connected interface can then be configured and started using the IP tools. E.g.:

sudo ip link set can0 type can bitrate 1000000
sudo ip link set can0 up

Wireshark offers now the CAN bus as an available input channel. CAN messages on the bus are displayed directly in raw format.

CAN messages recorded with Wireshark can also be displayed on any other Wireshark tool (including Windows). In addition, there is a conversion tool available that converts the data from Wireshark into the IXXAT canAnalyser format, so it can be further analyzed there. If higher CAN protocols are used (CANopen, SAE J1939 or DeviceNet), these can be interpreted with the corresponding canAnalyser modules.