ionCube was founded in 2002, and introduced tools to protect software written using the PHP programming language from being viewed, changed, and run on unlicensed computers. The encoding technology grew out of earlier work on the PHP Accelerator project, and at first launch included an online encoding service where PHP scripts can be uploaded and an encoded version downloaded in return, and a command line tool for Linux soon after. The tools use the technique of compiling to bytecode prior to encoding so that source code is eliminated, and runtime overheads are reduced. A PHP extension called the ionCube Loader handles the reading and execution of encoded files at run time.
This post will explain how to install IonCube Loader, a common PHP encoder. If your VPS has cPanel installed, IonCube setup is easy:
1. From WHM, run the EasyApache tool. Enable IonCube Loader in the “Tweak Settings” configuration. Let Apache and PHP recompile. Done!
2. Login to your VPS via SSH as the root user. Run the following command:
/scripts/phpextensionmgr install IonCubeLoader
INSTALLING IONCUBE LOADER
1. Download IonCube files to your VPS using wget or FTP:
2. Decompress the package:
tar -zxvf ioncube_loaders.tar.gz
3. cd ioncube
4. Copy ioncube-install-assistant.php to a web directory (default for CentOS is /var/www/html, or /var/www in Debian) and navigate to it with your browser:
cp ioncube-install-assistant.php /var/www/html/
Then navigate to it, ex. http://xx.xx.xx.xx/ioncube-install-assistant.php (replace xx.xx.xx.xx with your IP address or domain).
You should see a message like this:
Analysis of your system configuration shows:
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
5. Move the IonCube directory to a permanent location:
cd .. mv ioncube /usr/local
6. Find your php.ini file, then edit it:
find / -name php.ini
At the bottom of the file, paste:
zend_extension = /usr/local/ioncube/ioncube_loader_lin_4.3.so
7. Save the changes by entering : (colon), then typing wq and enter.
8. Restart Apache to load the new extension:
IonCube Loader should now be installed. You can double-check by creating a file called info.php in /var/www/html/ with the following content:
Save the file and access it at http://xx.xx.xx.xx/info.php. You should see a section similar to:
Module Name ionCube Loader