Install gcc (requires root permissions) if it is not installed already (try the command 'gcc --version' to check).
Install XView (optional, requires root permissions).
Download the current version of the WFDB software package as sources.
Unpack the archive of sources:
tar xfvz wfdb.tar.gz
This creates a directory with a name of the form wfdb-10.m.n.
Enter this directory, configure, and install the package:
cd wfdb-10.m.n ./configure make install
The make command requires root permissions, and installs the package in subdirectories of /usr. If you do not have root permissions, you may install the package in any writable directory by adding an appropriate option to the make command above:
make install WFDBROOT=/path/to/another/directory
Note that in this case you will need to add WFDBROOT/bin to your PATH, and WFDBROOT/lib to your LD_LIBRARY_PATH.
(Optional) Check that the WFDB library and applications have been correctly compiled and installed:
This step compiles a short program that exercises the WFDB library, prints a summary of test results, and prompts you to press <Enter>. After you have done so, the WFDB applications are tested. The tests are very short (typically less than a second each), except that the last one (xform using NETFILES) may take up to a minute if you have a slow or inoperative Internet connection. If any application test fails, its output can be found in the checkpkg subdirectory of the WFDB source tree; compare this output with the files of the same names that can be found in the checkpkg/expected subdirectory.
If XView is installed, test WAVE with the command:
wave -r mitdb/200 -a atr
If you have not used WAVE before, you may want to follow through the tutorial material in the beginning of the WAVE User's Guide.
Read the manuals. Really! :-) If you want to write your own software to work with PhysioBank data, begin with the WFDB Programmer's Guide. To learn about the wide variety of existing software that can be used to study PhysioBank data, read the WFDB Applications Guide and the WAVE User's Guide.