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Kayak - FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Kayak. Have a question you found no answer for? Send mail to kayak (at)

Does Kayak have .dbc support?

No it does not and probably will never have. The .dbc file format is a proprietary format of the Vector Informatik GmbH and they want to make money with it. I don't want to be sued for reverse engineering the format. Kayak is open source so if you need support for .dbc develop a plugin on your own.

How do I write my own network definitions?

Kayak uses the .kcd file format for network definitions. There is not yet an editor in Kayak but they can be written by hand using the schema and the example as a reference.

Which CAN hardware is supported?

Kayak supports all hardware that is supported by SocketCAN. The list is quite large and constantly changing. You can find some information in my blog post or in the Linux kernel source.

Why didn't you use Java JNI?

I think JNI is something that should be avoided if possible. Your code tends to get ugly and you can easily run into various problems.
The new attempt in Kayak was choosen because it has some advantages and creates new possibilities how you can set up your infrastructure.

Can the socketcand be extended with high level protocols like ISO-TP?

Yes this is possible. Currently there are no attempts in this direction but it should be quite simple to implement.

Does the .kcd network definition format handle multiplex messages?


Is it possible to use Kayak and the socketcand on a Windows only machine with a VM?

It is possible to run the socketcand and the SocketCAN backend in a virtual machine and connect to this machine with Kayak. The performance may not be the best but you can do this...

Is Kayak able to send messages on the CAN-bus

Yes sending is possible via the Send view

Does Kayak support filtering (or event triggering) by frame content (e.g. vehicle speed > 100km/h)

No this is not yet possible but it should be fairly simple to implement in a plugin.