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ionCube Loader

In today's world, copyright is a very important issue, especially when talking about websites. By default, when creating a website, your code is publicly available for everyone - all they have to do is use the “View Source” option to check the code with their web browser, or download your files and review the product of your hard work for free. To prevent this, a lot of companies have created special tools, which can obfuscate your code and make it impossible for anyone but you to view it, not affecting your website work at all. They are called Encoders, and one of the most popular combinations is the ionCube Loader and Encoder.

ionCube Loader

ionCube Loader is a software tool, with the help of which you can run files encoded with the ionCube PHP Encoder. It protects the PHP 4 and PHP 5 source code, as well as other files in your website, and prevents them from stealth and unauthorized modification. What is even more, the encoded files run smoothly, showing excellent performance on any web server having ionCube support.

ionCube Encoder

When using encrypted web pages, there are always two tools that you need to use. The first one is the decoder, which is server based and will decode the encrypted web pages, allowing the user to actually see them online. The second one is the actual Encoder, which is software you need to have on your machine in order to encode your files. The ionCube Encoder will do that for you, protecting your files from unauthorized changes and modifications.

How to check if ionCube is installed on the server

There is an easy way to check if the ionCube Loader is already present on your web server - by using a phpinfo.php file. This is a simple file, which makes usage of the "phpinfo()" function. When accessed online, this function will show you complete information about the PHP settings on the server, alongside with the installed modules.

In order to create this file, simply create a new file named "phpinfo.php" and put the following code in it:

How a phpinfo file looks:


Then, when you access the file online, if the ionCube Loader is present on the server, the output of the file will look like this:

ionCube Loader

ionCube with NTC Hosting

If you wish to take advantage of this software, the first thing you need is a web hosting provider that provides services including ionCube Loader support. We, at NTC Hosting, boast a highest quality PHP hosting platform, optimized for executing ionCube Loader encoded applications, which provides the customers with a reliable, fast and secure web hosting environment. Our last generation multi-core servers are capable of running robust, heavy ionCube encoded web pages and dynamic web applications with ultimate ease and guaranteed uptime!

How to install ionCube on a Linux based server

If you have your own Linux server, or if you have a root access to the server you are using, and you want to install ionCube, here we will show you how to do this. What you need is simply access to the server's command line.

The first thing we will have to do is download the latest version of the ionCube Loader. You can either download it directly from ionCube's site and upload it on your server, or use “wget” from the command line to download it on the server directly.

How to get ionCube from the server's command line:

wget http://downloads2.ioncube.com/loader_downloads/ ioncube_loaders_lin_x86.tar.gz

Once downloaded, we will have to extract the contents of the file.

Extract the ionCube Loader:

tar -zxvf ioncube_loaders.tar.gz

Now, go into ionCube's folder and copy the ioncube-install-assistant.php file to an online accessible folder on your server.

Move the install assistant file to an online accessible folder:

cd ioncube
cp ioncube-install-assistant.php /home/userdirectoryhere/www

Now open the install assistant file with your browser. The output should be like this:

ionCube install assistant output

PHP Version 4.3.3
Operating System Linux
Threaded PHP No
php.ini file /usr/local/lib/php.ini
Required Loader ioncube_loader_lin_4.3.so

It is time to move the ionCube folder to its permanent location, in order to integrate it with your system.

Move ionCube to a permanent folder

cd ..
mv ioncube /usr/local

Now that we have ionCube in its permanent location, it's time to actually integrate it in our system. We will have to do that via the php.ini file. Open it with your favorite editor and add the following line “zend_extension = /usr/local/ioncube/ioncube_loader_lin_4.3.so” to the rest of the Zend Extensions.

pico /usr/local/lib/php.ini

ctrl + w: zend_extension to find the location of the rest of the Zend extensions

zend_extension = /usr/local/ioncube/ioncube_loader_lin_4.3.so

ctrl + X to save the file and Y to confirm the changes.

You have successfully modified the php.ini file. Now all that is left to do is restart the Apache web server.

Restart the Apache server

/etc/init.d/httpd restart

And you are done. Now, when you access your phpinfo.php file, you will see that ionCube is present among the rest of the Zend Extensions.