This article is from the WINE WINdows Emulator FAQ, by Dave Gardner firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Unlike WABI, you do not need a licensed and installed copy of DOS or MS
Windows to install, configure and run Wine. However, Wine has to be able
to 'see' an MS Windows binary if it is to run it.
Some folks have successfully installed and run some small programs in
their UNIX filesystem without having a DOS partition or MS Windows.
However, not all programs will work this way yet. Some applications'
installation programs want to distribute some of the package's files into
the /windows and /windows/system directories in order to run, and unless
these exist on your UNIX filesystem, those programs will not install
correctly and probably will not run well, if at all.
If you have a DOS partition with MS Windows installed in it, make sure
that your UNIX system can 'see' this partition (check your /etc/fstab file
or mount the partition manually) so that Wine can run the MS Windows
binaries located in the DOS partition.
When it is finished, Wine will not require that you have a DOS partition
on your system at all, meaning that you will not need to have MS Windows
installed either. Wine programmers will provide an application setup
program to allow you to install your MS Windows programs straight from
your distribution diskettes or CDs onto your UNIX filesystem, or from
within your UNIX filesystem if you ftp an MS Windows program over the
To run without a DOS partition, you need to set a UNIX path to be your
drive C:, and make sure that the /windows and /windows/system directories
point to some place that actually exist. Here's an example, copied from a
machine which has no DOS partition but successfully runs Wine:
In /var/lib/wine/windows, you will need to install a win.ini config file
that you might find on a typical MS Windows 3.1 machine. The directory
/var/lib/wine/windows/system should exist, but doesn't need to contain
anything. However, to use MS DLLs, you can copy them into that directory.
If you have DOS/MS Windows installed on your system, you can mount that
partition at bootup by modifying the file /etc/fstab in your UNIX
partition. If you edit this file by hand, it should contain something
similar to the following:
/dev/hda1 /dosc msdos uid=0,gid=100,umask=007 0 0
This will allow you to read and write to the DOS partition without being