How to install Ioncube Loaders – simple steps for various hosting types

Nowadays encoding application sources is a common practice, when it comes to protecting/licensing source code. Not only for licensing but, it also ensures increased accuracy, minimizing the storage space and much more. Today, Ioncube is one of the most popular and widely used solutions to prevent unauthorised access to your source code.


Ioncube Loader, What is it and how it is useful ?

Ioncube, a PHP extension provides two tools – Encoder to compile PHP files and Loader, which handles the execution of such encrypted files and speeds up the web pages. Ioncube makes it easy to protect your PHP source code from easy observation, theft and unauthorized modifications by compiling to bytecode.
To encode your PHP files, you need to purchase the IonCube Encoder. You can use the online version of the 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.

Encoding your application sources offers many benefits:

  • For Developers: Helps in protecting and licensing your application sources.
  • Website Owners: Hides sensitive data and protect scripts from unauthorised changes.
  • Website Designers: Protect your creative work and a revenue stream from future script updates.

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

But what’s really involved?

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

  • Download, extract and install the ioncube extension file – you can download ioncube loader
  • Include the line in php.ini to load the extension.

Download IonCube Loader

For Ubuntu, Debian, Windows :

It is important to choose the correct Ioncube version that suits your system settings. To know about your hosting system and environment follow the below steps:

  • Create a info.php in the root directory of your web server and add the following code :
  • Visit {}/phpinfo.php, gives you the required details.

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 5.3.10 and the OS is Ubuntu3
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.

Using Terminal :

Run the below 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

Use the command:
tar xfz ioncube_loaders_lin_x86-64.tar.gz

For 32-bit system

tar xfz ioncube_loaders_lin_x86.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
Now copy the ioncube loader for your php version to the PHP extension directory. For an example, sudo cp /ioncube/ioncube/ /usr/lib64/php/modules
Now activate the extension by adding the following line at the top of your php.ini file

  • For CentOS : zend_extension = zend_extension = /usr/lib64/php/modules/
  • For Ubuntu, Debian : zend_extension = /usr/lib/php/
  • For Windows : zend_extension = c:\php\ioncube\ioncube_loader_win_7.2.dll
  • For FreeBSD : zend_extension = /usr/local/lib/php/


  • 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.
  • Make sure that ionCube is activated in all relevant php.ini configuration files.

Test ioncube loader installation

To check that the ioncube loader has been successfully installed in your server or not. 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 web space, and 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 and to download the package

Installing Ioncube in Hosting Providers

Nowadays Ioncube loaders are supported/installed already with all hosting providers. The easy and speedy process is to contact your hosting support to enable ioncube for your account or to yourself consult your 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 search for the supported content.

Shared Hosting Support

  • Search for ioncube, if you can’t find anything similar, then it is not enabled.
  • Search the hosting FAQ, forum for 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 – (7.1, 7.2) | .ext – (so – Linux, dll – Windows)

For Server Side Install

In general the Loader can be enabled automatically in web servers without changing the php.ini file or server restart. In some cases, Zend extension line can be added to the php.ini file to enable ioncube. To add the line refer to 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 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:

  • Log into the Control Panel
  • Click on CGI and Scripted Language Support under Scripting and Add-Ons.
  • Click on PHP Scripting.
  • Add the following line: zend_extension = /usr/local/lib/ioncube/ (Where x.x is the version of your php)
  • Click on the Save button

Installation with Various Hosting

Add the following line to a custom .htaccess file:
SetEnv PHP_VER 5
Or create a file called .htaccess, and using a text editor put the above code lines in it, save 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
  • Godaddy – On PHP5 linux accounts, php.ini must be named php5.ini
  • IX Web Hosting / Host Excellence – Already installed by default. One time the php.ini had to be put in the cgi-bin directory.
  • Jacobson Hosting – Some servers have Ioncube. Open a 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 as if Ioncube is not supported.

Below listed are some hosting providers along with a link for the installation procedure

Loader Downloads

OS/Platform Tar file Zip file
Windows VC9 (32 bits) tar.gz zip
Windows VC9 (Non-TS) (32 bits) tar.gz zip
Windows VC11 (32 bits) tar.gz zip
Windows VC11 (Non-TS) (32 bits) tar.gz zip
Windows VC11 (64 bits) tar.gz zip
Windows VC11 (Non-TS) (64 bits) tar.gz zip
Windows VC14 (32 bits) tar.gz zip
Windows VC14 (Non-TS) (32 bits) tar.gz zip
Windows VC14 (64 bits) tar.gz zip
Windows VC14 (Non-TS) (64 bits) tar.gz zip
Windows VC14 (32 bits) tar.gz zip
Linux (32 bits) tar.gz zip
Linux (64 bits) tar.gz zip
Linux Armv7l tar.gz zip
FreeBSD 6 (32 bits) tar.gz zip
FreeBSD 6 (64 bits) tar.gz zip
FreeBSD 7 (32 bits) tar.gz zip
FreeBSD 7 (64 bits) tar.gz zip
FreeBSD 8 (32 bits) tar.gz zip
FreeBSD 8 (64 bits) tar.gz zip
FreeBSD 9 (32 bits) tar.gz zip
FreeBSD 9 (64 bits) tar.gz zip
FreeBSD 11 (32 bits) tar.gz zip
FreeBSD 11 (64 bits) tar.gz zip
OpenBSD 4.5 (32 bits) tar.gz zip
OpenBSD 4.6 (32 bits) tar.gz zip
OpenBSD 4.7 (64 bits) tar.gz zip
OS X (32 bits) tar.gz zip
OS X (64 bits) tar.gz zip
Solaris (32 bits) tar.gz zip
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