If you're using IlmBase from CVS, you should run the bootstrap script to create the auto* files. It's a good idea to run this whenever you update IlmBase from CVS. Then run './configure' and make. Note that the configure.ac file requires a fairly new version of automake. If you get this error message: running aclocal ... aclocal: configure.ac: 142: macro `AM_CFLAGS' not found in library aclocal: configure.ac: 143: macro `AM_CXXFLAGS' not found in library failed! you should upgrade your automake to version 1.6 or better.