readesm 2011 with Qt user interface

The old version of readesm was using a command-line interface to convert the tachograph data into html. If one wanted it shown in the browser, there was a script to convert the file, write it to a temporary directory, and then open that file in the browser. However, this approach turned out to be not portable at all.

There were other problems: readesm was using custom Makefiles, which apparently made compiling the source difficult. I was amazed to discover this wiki entry for fahrlinx, which contained information on how to install the windows version of readesm using wine. As the windows version at that time was cross-compiled in linux and lacked some features, readesm was clearly too difficult to compile.

In readesm versions since march 2011, both problems are solved. Readesm now uses cmake for the build process, and Qt to display the generated html pages in a webkit browser.


The idea behind readesm is to show you exactly what is in the tachograph file.

Using readesm

Usually you will either associate readesm with a file extension, and have your file manager open readesm for you. Or you can open a file from readesm’s menu.
Alternatively you can use the command line:

readesm tachofile.ddd

will open the file in the gui, and

readesm tachofile.ddd tachofile.html

will convert the file into html format and save it as tachofile.html.


link to photos/screenshots/readesm/2011.11/card1.png link to photos/screenshots/readesm/2011.11/vu1.png link to photos/screenshots/readesm/2011.11/vu2.png

Free software toolchain for tachographs

With readesm, fahrlinx and loadvu, a linux laptop can now connect to vehicle units, read out driver cards and visualize the contents of the files.

To install all three programs in ubuntu:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:k-2005
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install readesm fahrlinx loadvu

It’s a bit more difficult in Windows, but should be possible nevertheless.

Download readesm

Download the latest files from the project page at sourceforge.

  • Use the windows-installer (readesm-XX-win32.exe) to install. The latest version should also associate tachograph files with itself.
  • If you cannot or do not want to install readesm, use
  • Ubuntu users should either use my ppa or compile from source.
  • Users of 64 bit windows might be able to run the 32 bit windows version. Unfortunately, I do not have access to a single 64 bit windows pc.
  • For other operating systems, download one of the source packages and compile it yourself.
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24 Responses to readesm 2011 with Qt user interface

  1. Dencel says:

    Hello Andreas,

    Really cool software, great work. Are you planning to add a XML export to the tool?



  2. DEK says:

    Andreas, Thank you for Readesm!
    There is a Russian translation:
    Please use the translation.

  3. DEK: thanks, that is a nice improvement :)
    I added the translation to the subversion repository, ubuntu packages are building, and it is included in the 2011.12pre1 release. Should I thank someone in particular, or just link to the company website mentioned in your Readme-file?

    Dencel: writing code to give xml output would not be to difficult. I did that before to add some post-processing for a customer. However, I’m not sure which information should be in the produced xml file(names of tags, should event numbers etc. be decoded to strings, …).
    It might make sense to keep this compatible with the xml format used by opendtacho, although so far I could only use their online demo.
    Do you have any suggestions on this?

  4. DEK says:

    Hello Andreas!

    Very fast work. Thanks for the link to my site.

    Please use the greeting_ru.xhtml:
    “Добро пожаловать в программу readesm
    readesm может открывать файлы цифровых тахографов, используемых в Европейском Союзе для грузовиков массой более 3,5 т. Эти файлы обычно имеют имена, заканчивающиеся на “.esm”, “.tgd” или “.ddd”.
    Начни с выбора “Файл – Открыть” в Меню.”

    And one more question. When I start the associated file ***. ddd without readesm, I see template.html (Esm Data Content Report generated with Readesm (readesm 2011.12pre1 (2011-12-01)). – But not the contents of the file. This is correct?

  5. Andreas Goelzer says:

    doesn’t sound correct, no. Is the file shown correctly when opened from readesm’s “file->open” menu?

  6. Daniel Frade says:

    Ispiring work!! Thanks again Andreas, I am folowing your work since last year !,7896.msg156199.html#msg156199

    (Portuguese truck driver forum)

  7. Simon Lopez says:

    Hello Andreas, thank you for sharing your excelent work!
    A xml output for post-processing the data would be a good improvement.

  8. Yannick says:

    Very nice work !

    With this soft we are able to read esm file.
    But do someone know a library or a way to create this file in reading the smart card with a standard reader (like omnikey datacard 3121) ?

    Google give me no results.


  9. Andreas Goelzer says:

    Yannick: try for example fahrlinx. It has some bugs, but works here (most of the time).

  10. Yannick says:


    With the help of Matija and his soft (, I was able to understand the protocol and read the information which interrested me in the smart card.

    I used also your soft to validate the data I read.

    Thank you for all.


  11. Yannick says:

    Hi Andreas,

    Could you please explain to me why readesm does no more provide plain text output ?

    Thank you.


  12. hans says:

    Hi Andreas;
    Do you ever think to make this program running under mac os x??? It shows a lot more than other programs
    thanks anyway

  13. Tobias says:


    I trie to rebuild the whole thing on mac.
    There are some difficulties with the libraries.
    BOOST is working under OS X, but not on iOS. So I think I need to rewrite everything.

  14. Darko says:


    I’ve just found your program, and it is really good. Thanks for sharing it! I have one question for you, regarding the charts; how could I make them in excel or something? Do this type of chart has a name? Thanks!

  15. Artur says:


    I am wondering if you display “VuDataBlockCounter” correctly.
    In the UE documentation is written:
    VuDataBlockCounter::= BCDString(SIZE(2))

    so, IMHO value for 0×0201 would be 201. Your application display “513″.

    I suppose that you interpret this as regular integer.

    Is it correct?

  16. Luca says:

    I’ would like to translate reaedesm in italian laguaguage. Please haw I can to do this?

  17. Andreas Goelzer says:

    Yannick: I did remove the text output with the intend to put it back in after some rewrites, but then i got a new job, so the text output never really got back in, i have some half-finished xml output as well.

    Artur: Yes, I interpret it as a regular integer. And that is probably wrong, though it seems strange they use a bcdstring for a counter. I’ll check if I get around to it.

    Luca: You’ll need qt-linguist or another program that handles .ts files. If you’re still interested, send me a mail, I’ll send you the .ts-file to translate.

    Hans, Tobias: The last versions should no longer depend on boost, because I could never get boost to work in windows. I’m unsure if qt is available on mac os, but if it is, compiling readesm for mac should be possible. As I do not have access to a mac, I cannot test this.

  18. hans says:

    Hi Andreas;
    Did I see it wrong, or is there something else the matter. Because when opening the .ddd download files from a VU of a new type (late 2012) of a Stoneridge tacho gives an error in line 12061 column 33: premature end of document. VDO tacho’s don’t have these problems, only the Stoneridges.
    OH and by the way; thank you for trying to convert readesm to OS X it’s so sorry it didn’t work well.
    thanks in advance for your answer

  19. Salva says:


    First of all congratulations for your work.
    I’m trying to develop a analyser of tachograph data so i need to read “Driver activity Data”. I’ve seen that you achieved it. Is there any document that explains the protocol for that field? (Driver activity Data). Other fields like “Identification” or “Driving license info” are quite easy to parse but i haven’t found a clear document that explains the “0504” field.

    Thank you.

  20. Graham says:


    I used to have this working great on my old Ubuntu PC -now I’ve upgraded to 14.04.2 “Trusty” and I get this from apt-get update:
    W: Failed to fetch 404 Not Found

    If the packages work on Trusty could you update launchpad or tell me how to fool apt-get 😉



  21. Andreas says:

    Hallo Herr Gölzer

    Ich versuche *.DDD Dateien auszuwerten. Leider habe ich keinen Erfolg die Dateien in irgendeiner Form lesbar darzustellen. Können Sie mir einen Tipp geben wie die Daten verschlüsselt sind und was ich machen muss um sie wenigstens “zu sehen”?
    Sinn und Zweck ist es, die Daten in ein Format zu bekommen, dass ich in eine Datenbank schreiben kann.

    Vielen Dank schon mal


  22. Andreas says:

    Hallo Herr Gölzer

    Ich versuche *.DDD Dateien auszuwerten. Leider habe ich keinen Erfolg die Dateien in irgendeiner Form lesbar darzustellen. Können Sie mir einen Tipp geben wie die Daten verschlüsselt sind und was ich machen muss um sie wenigstens “zu sehen”?
    Sinn und Zweck ist es, die Daten in ein Format zu bekommen, dass ich in eine Datenbank schreiben kann.

    Vielen Dank schon mal


  23. sabrina says:

    I’ would like to translate reaedesm in italian laguage. Please haw I can to do this?
    thank you

  24. Jose Maria says:

    Buenos Días.
    hay alguna versión nueva?
    ya hay muchos archivos que no los lee.

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