If you don't want your .wine folder altered while trying software out with Wine, you can tell Wine to use a different folder. This is very handy for testing. The way this is done is by setting he WINEPREFIX environment variable.
Originally Posted by ethana2
If .winetest doesn't exist it will be created. Note that Software installed under the .winetest tree does not share the same registry or memory space so programs installed this way cannot directly interface with software installed under the default .wine directory.
WINEPREFIX=~/.winetest wine installer.exe
WINEPREFIX=~/.winetest wine someprogram.exe
This works great for testing software because 1) You start with a clean Wine configuration and 2) If the software doesn't work you can remove it easily and completely by deleting the newly created wine prefix (eg rm -rf ~/.winetest). (Uninstallers do not always work right with Wine and often will leave things behind even under MS Windows.)
I understand that this may not be a "Just works" solution, but I'll take what I can get if you know what I mean.