It is a really good idea to do a backup before you install new software on your computer, especially if the software to be installed software is alpha (like Wine) or beta.
Note: There is a section the Section called Wine Without a Windows Partition. If you have no Windows partition, you should read it first and return here later.
Wine is designed to run on any x86 Computer. A minimum of 32 MB real memory is recommended (64MB really would be better) and a minimum of 64 MB swap space. This can be reduced, if more than 64 MB real memory is available. How much disk space is needed depends on your choice of installation. Wine itself as an unstripped version needs 70 MB disk space. If you have to download packages you need additional disk space so you will need a minimum of 140 MB free space on hard disk. To compile Wine, the minimum you will need is 250 MB.
You need an installed Linux, FreeBSD or Solaris on your system with X Window System. You do not need any Windows on your system to run Windows applications. But perhaps all the needed Windows functions are not included in Wine yet. It is highly recommended to have libc6 installed on your system. But Wine runs with the runtime modules, too, if compiled with libc6. As an alternative you may get precompiled packages for libc5 or compile Wine against libc5 yourself.
The first time I installed Wine, it was from precompiled packages for Debian Linux. In addition to the three packages (wine, libwine and wine-doc), I had to install a new libc6 and some other files.
Here is a list of packages you need. If you install Wine as binaries, you do not need the development packages (-dev) and the compiler.
Linux Kernel and Kernel Headers at a minimum of 2.0.38 or FreeBSD-current or FreeBSD 3.0 or later Solaris x86 2.5 or later
gcc version 18.104.22.168 or egcc (egcs), binutils, flex version 2.5 or later and yacc
xlib, xlib6g, xlib6g-dev 22.214.171.124
xpm4.7, xpm4g, xpm4g-dev 3.4j
glibc: libc6, libc6-dev 2.0.7u 1.9.9g
ncurses3.4 and ncurses3.4-dev 1.9.9g
XFree86 version 126.96.36.199, eg svga-server
Sometimes you have to take packages from unstable or frozen versions of your distribution. If you are a system administrator, please be aware that this may cause security problems!
Mesag3 is only needed if you want to compile with direct 3d support or if you got a binary compiled with it. For compilation errors refer to the troubleshooting section Chapter 13.