How to Install Ioncube Loaders – Simple Steps for Various Hosting Types

IonCube Loader is a full-scale PHP extension used to read and execute files encoded at run time. It manages the software written using PHP programming language. The source code of the software is protected by the ionCube loader. It prevents unlicensed views, changes, and running of code on unauthorized computers. Encoding is done after compiling it to byte code to reduce the burden and drop the source code.

Are you using any open source software, extension or plugin, or module?

Consider using ionCube Loader to protect your website by encoding all codes. The open source code will not be visible to the hackers anymore. IonCube Loader is completely free to use. If your website does not have this, then you might probably think that if you're paying for the right web hosting.

how-to-install-ioncube-loaders

What is Ioncube Loader, and How is it Useful?

IonCube keeps your PHP source code away from cybercriminals by compiling it to byte code. Install ionCube loader to execute the encrypted files and speeds up the web pages. It provides two tools – Encoder to compile PHP files and Loader to decode scripts written in PHP.

You can use the online version of the ioncube encoder for free to encrypt your PHP code, but it’s for testing purposes. And there is no need to pay for IonCube Loader, it’s completely free to download and install on your server. You need to purchase the IonCube Encoder to encode your PHP files.

Encoding your application sources offers many benefits:

  • Helps Developers in protecting and licensing your application sources.
  • Hides sensitive information and protects scripts from unauthorized changes for Website Owners.
  • Guards creative work and revenue stream of Website Designers against future script updates.

Now we get to know about ioncube and its benefits, what’s next? Installation, now many questions pop up on our mind, How to go ahead with this? What version should I use? Is the installation that much harder? The list goes on.

How to Install ionCube loader, what’s Really Involved?

Installing an ioncube loader is not like you think is difficult but an easy process to do. We can get it done under few simple steps:

  • 1. Download IonCube Loader.
    You can download ionCube Loader from
    https://www.ioncube.com/loaders.php
  • 2. Extract and install the ionCube extension file.
  • 3. Find the PHP.ini file (configuration file)
  • 4. Enable the IonCube Loader.
  • 5. Configure IonCube Loader.
  • 6. Verify the installation.

Find Out your PHP Version

Before installing the ionCube Loader, ensure to choose the right IonCube version. The version must match your system settings. That is, you need to find your PHP version to install the IonCube Loader that matches your PHP version. To know about your hosting system and environment, follow the steps below:

  • Create an info.php file in the root directory of the web server and add the following code:
phpinfo-php
  • Visit {yourdomain.com}/phpinfo.php, gives you the required details.
PHP-7.4.23-phpinfo

From the above image, You can get the PHP version and server OS details from the top header. Here in this image PHP version is 7.4.23 and the OS is Ubuntu18.04
The next highlighted line gives the system processor type, which is useful in deciding the appropriate loader. Here, the system has x86_64. We’re running 64-bit PHP, if it ends with i686, then it’s 32-bit. And the next one shows that the threat of safety is disabled.

Download IonCube Loader

  • Using Terminal

Run the following commands in the terminal,

  • Download & extract the IonCube Loader

Before downloading the IonCube Loader, check whether your system is running on 32-bit or 64-bit architecture.
For that, run the command:

uname -a

Next, we have to download the Ioncube Loader using wget command and unpack it.

  • For 64-bit system or 32-bit system

       Use the command:
wget https://downloads.ioncube.com/loader_downloads/ioncube_loaders_lin_x86-64.tar.gz
tar xfz ioncube_loaders_lin_x86-64.tar.gz

  • Choosing the right one and install

After downloading and extracting the Loader on your server, Now Install the Ioncube loader that matches your PHP version. If you want to know the version of the installed PHP,

       Use the command:
php -v

Next, find where the extension directory of the PHP version is, by running the command php -i | grep extension_dir

Note: The directory name is different for each PHP version and Linux distribution.

Configure PHP For the IonCube Loader

Now copy the ioncube loader for the version of your PHP to PHP extension directory. For an example,
sudo cp /ioncube/ioncube/ioncube_loader_lin_7.4.so /usr/lib64/php/modules,

Activate the extension by including the following line at the top of your php.ini file.

  • For CentOS:
       zend_extension = zend_extension = /usr/lib64/php/modules/ioncube_loader_lin_7.4.so
  • For Ubuntu, Debian:
      zend_extension = /usr/lib/php/ioncube_loader_lin_7.4.so
  • For Windows:
       zend_extension = c:\php\ioncube\ioncube_loader_win_7.4.dll
  • For FreeBSD:
      zend_extension = /usr/local/lib/php/ioncube_loader_fre_7.4.so

Note

  • Make sure to give the extension directory of your PHP version and mention the version of the ioncube loader that matches your PHP version.
  • After installing the extension, restart your server.
  • Ensure that ionCube is activated in all suitable php.ini configuration files.

Test ioncube loader installation

Now, verify the ionCube Loader is properly installed and configured on your server. You can verify just by checking the PHP version.

In your terminal, use the command: php -v to test the ioncube loader installation.

You can also run the URL along with phpinfo.php and verify the ioncube installation.

Installing with the Loader Installer or Loader Wizard

A Loader Wizard PHP script can be helpful with installation, when it is available in a Zip and tgz archive. Download and install the script into your webspace. Then launch the script in your browser for guidance on installation and selection of the correct Loader package. The Wizard is also provided within the Loader packages below.

For more info you can refer to http://www.ioncube.com/loader_installation.php and to download the package http://www.ioncube.com/loaders.php.

Installing Ioncube in Hosting Providers

Ioncube loaders are supported/installed already on all hosting providers. The easy and speedy process is to contact your hosting support to enable ioncube for your account. Otherwise, consult yourself hosting support forums and FAQ.

In general, creating a custom PHP ini to enable ioncube for your hosting is sufficient. Here you can find steps that are shared by various hosting types to make it easy for our users without searching for the supported content.

Shared Hosting Support

  • Search for 'ioncube'. If it's not found, then it is not enabled.
  • Search the hosting FAQs, forum to find any instruction to enable ioncube.

Note :

You should have appropriate loaders, which will be in format of ioncube_loader_os_type_phpversion.ext.

Os_type – (linux or windows) | phpversion – (7.3, 7.4) | .ext – (so – Linux, dll – Windows)

For Server Side Install

The Loader can be enabled automatically in web servers without changing the php.ini file or server restart. In some cases, you need to add a Zend extension line to the php.ini file to enable the Ioncube. To add this line, take a look at the above.

Installation with Various Hosting

  • Log into your HostGator cPanel.
  • Go to the Software → Services in cPanel.
  • Click on the “PHP Config” and select “PHP5 (Single php.ini) and save the changes.
  • You will be directed to Install the Default php.ini page.
  • Click on the option to install IonCube, check “IonCube” and click “Install”.
  • Once it is done, go to “File Manager”.
  • Select Web Root (public_html/www) to load in file manager.
  • Browse and find newly created php.ini.default, then select and rename the file as php.ini.
  • Now the IonCube is enabled.

Blue Domino:

  • Login to the Control Panel.
  • Click the CGI and Scripted Language Support under Scripting and Add-Ons.
  • Next, click PHP Scripting.
  • Add the line:
    zend_extension = /usr/local/lib/ioncube/ioncube_loader_lin_x.x.so (Where x.x is the version of your php).
  • Click Save.

OVH Hosting:

Add the below line to the custom .htaccess file:

SetEnv IONCUBE 1
SetEnv PHP_VER 5

Or create a file called .htaccess, and using the text editor put the above code lines in it. Then save the changes and upload it to the root of the store files.

  • Ktools – Use a local php.ini to configure the ioncube loaders, which need to be in the ioncube directory. Aruba – Ioncube is not supported according to Ktools customers (1).
  • Glow Host – Request the support for Ioncube support. Click Here to check their KB or create tickets
  • Godaddy – On PHP5 linux accounts, php.ini must be named as php5.ini.
  • IX Web Hosting / Host Excellence – Ioncube is installed already by default. The php.ini had to be put in the cgi-bin directory one time.
  • Jacobson Hosting – Some servers have Ioncube. You can a open support ticket for installation or configuration requests.
  • Network Solutions – It appears as if Ioncube is not supported.
  • Web Hosting Pad – Already installed by default. If you use a local php.ini, ioncube will not work.
  • Yahoo – It appears, if Ioncube is not supported.

Below, we have listed the top 30 hosting providers.

Loader Downloads

Conclusion

Encoding the application codes becomes common practice to protect/license the source code. This ensures accuracy, minimizes the storage space, and more. IonCube loader is used by 90% of servers and chosen by most of the program developers. It provides safety to PHP code and websites from unsanctioned access. IonCube loader decodes your encrypted PHP scripts and keeps your site to be secured.

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