Once you've decided that Wine is right for your needs, the next step is to decide how you want to install it. There are three methods for installing Wine from WineHQ, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
By far the easiest method for installing Wine is to use a prepackaged version of Wine. These packages contain ready-to-run Wine binary files specifically compiled for your distribution, and they are tested regularly by the packagers for both functionality and completeness.
Packages are the recommended method for installing Wine. We make them easily available at the WineHQ downloads page, and these are always the latest packages available. Being popular, Wine packages can also be found elsewhere in official distribution repositories. These can, however, sometimes be out of date, depending on the distribution. Packages are easily upgradable as well, and many distributions can upgrade Wine seamlessly with a few clicks. Building your own installable binary package from a source package is also possible, although it is beyond the scope of this guide.
Sometimes the Wine packages don't fit your needs exactly. Perhaps they're not available for your architecture or distribution, or perhaps you want to build Wine using your own compiler optimizations or with some options disabled, or perhaps you need to modify a specific part of the source code before compilation. Being an open source project, you are free to do all of these things with Wine source code, which is provided with every Wine release. This method of installation can be done by downloading a Wine source archive and compiling from the command line. If you are comfortable with such things and have special needs, this option may be for you.
Getting Wine source archives is simple. Every release, we put a source package in compressed tar.bz2 format at the WineHQ downloads page. Compiling and installing Wine from source is slightly more difficult than using a package, however we will cover it in depth and attempt to hold your hand along the way.
If you wish to try out the bleeding edge of Wine development, or would even like to help develop Wine yourself, you can download the very latest source code from our Git repository. Instructions for downloading from the Wine Git repository are available at http://www.winehq.org/site/git.
Please take note that the usual warnings for using a developmental version still apply. The source code on the Git repository is largely untested and may not even compile properly. It is, however, the best way to test out how Wine will work in the next release, and if you're modifying source code it's best to get the latest copy. The Git repository is also useful for application maintainers interested in testing if an application will still work right for the next release, or if a recent patch actually improves things. If you're interested in helping us to get an application working in Wine, see the HowTo.