More complete build documentation is available on the libarchive Wiki: http://libarchive.googlecode.com/ On most Unix-like systems, you should be able to install libarchive, bsdtar, and bsdcpio using the following common steps: ./configure make make install If you need to customize the target directories or otherwise adjust the build setting, use ./configure --help to list the configure options. If you are developing libarchive and need to update the configure script and other build files: /bin/sh build/autogen.sh To create a distribution, please use the 'distcheck' target: /bin/sh build/autogen.sh && ./configure && make distcheck On non-Unix-like systems, use the "cmake" utility (available from http://cmake.org/) to generate suitable build files for your platform. Cmake requires the name of the directory containing CmakeLists.txt and the "generator" to use for your build environment. For example, to build with Xcode on Mac OS, you can use the following command: cmake -G "Xcode" ~/libarchive-download-dir/ The result will be appropriate makefiles, solution files, or project files that can be used with the corresponding development tool. See the libarchive Wiki or the cmake site for further documentation.