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pnwlogin - provide direct access to PhysioNetWorks for WFDB applications




pnwlogin is a bash shell script that collects user credentials needed to access files in PhysioNetWorks projects, and provides them to WFDB applications. It also provides convenience functions, including validation of credentials and modification of the WFDB path (see setdb(1) ) for convenient access to your private PhysioNetWorks projects as well as any active (shared) projects to which you belong.

After prompting for your PhysioNetWorks user name and password, pnwlogin starts a shell, making the login credentials available to any commands run within the shell. Applications that use WFDB library version 10.5.14 or later and libcurl 7.12.0 or later can make use of these credentials automatically with no modifications; you will not be prompted to enter them again while running within pnwlogin’s shell. Exit from the shell by typing a control-D or exit (as for any bash shell). Your credentials are never written to permanent storage, and pnwlogin’s in-memory copy of them is destroyed on exit.

First-time use:

You must be a member of an active project, or you must have created a private project, in order to use pnwlogin successfully. You cannot create a PhysioNetWorks account or join a PhysioNetWorks project using pnwlogin.

To get started, use your web browser to go to, click on "Create account", and follow the instructions. The process can be completed in a minute or two. Once you have an account, you will need to join an active project (follow the links on your PhysioNetWorks home page to visit the main pages of projects of interest for further information), or create a private project before you will be able to use pnwlogin.


Your PhysioNetWorks user name (your email address).
Your PhysioNetWorks password.
The database path: a list of locations (which may include names of local directories as well as URL prefixes) where WFDB-compatible input files may be found.


George B. Moody (


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Updated 8 March 2019