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Copyright is a crucial issue online — especially in website development. Your code will be available to any user when you build a site: all they need to do is click on the “view source” option to view the code in their web browser. Alternatively, they could download your files and explore your code, entirely, for free. What can you do to prevent this? Many businesses choose to utilize tools designed to make your code obscured, so outside users will be unable to see it or affect your hard work in any way. These special tools are known as Encoders. One of the most well-known, widely-used combinations is the ionCube Loader with Encoder. Let’s take a deeper look into it.

What is ionCube Loader?

This software tool can help you run files that have been encoded using the ionCube PHP Encoder. It defends the PHP 4 and PHP 5 source code, along with additional website files, to protect them from unauthorized modifications made without your knowledge.

On top of this, those encoded files will run smoothly and perform to a high standard on any web server supporting ionCube.

ionCube Encoder

You need to use two specific tools when using web pages that have been encrypted: the decoder and Encoder.

The decoder is a server-based tool for decoding encrypted pages, and enables the user to view them online. As for the Encoder, you should have this on your machine to encode the files.

The ionCube Encoder will perform this action for you, and defend your files from unauthorized modifications.

How to find out if ionCube has been installed on a server

A simple way to find out if the ionCube Loader is on your web server already is to utilize a phpinfo(). 

How to take advantage of ionCube

If you want to try ionCube, you’ll need to find a web hosting provider offering services that support it. It’s crucial to have a PHP hosting platform of the highest quality, which has been optimized to execute ionCube Loader encoded applications, with a hosting environment that’s reliably secure.

Installing ionCube on a Linux server

If you’re looking to complete ionCube installation on a Linux server, or you have root access to your current server, you’ll just need access to the command line.

So, let’s get started. The first step is to download the ionCube Loader’s most recent version. You may download this from the ionCube site directly and upload it onto your server manually, or you can use “wget” from the command line to download it on the server instead.

Getting ionCube from the server’s command line:

wget ioncube_loaders_lin_x86.tar.gz

You’ll need to extract the file’s contents once you’ve downloaded it.

ionCube Loader extraction:

tar -zxvf ioncube_loaders.tar.gz

Next, navigate to ionCube’s folder and copy the ioncube-install-assistant.php file to an online accessible folder on your server.

Transfer the install assistant file to an online folder:

cd ioncube

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

Next, with your browser, open the install assistant file. Expect to see the following output:

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

Let’s transfer the ionCube folder to its permanent position, so we can integrate it with your system.

Relocate ionCube to a permanent folder:

cd ..

mv ioncube /usr/local

So, now that the ionCube is in its permanent spot, you can integrate it into your system. You can do that through the php.ini file: use your preferred editor to open it, then add this line to the other Zend Extensions: “zend_extension = /usr/local/ioncube/”

pico /usr/local/lib/php.ini

Ctrl + w: zend_extension to identify the location of the rest of the Zend Extensions

zend_extension = /usr/local/ioncube/

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

You have modified the php.ini file effectively. The only thing to do now is restart the Apache web server.

Restarting the Apache server:

/etc/init.d/httpd restart

That’s it. Whenever you access your phpinfo.php file, you’ll notice that ionCube is in place among the other Zend Extensions.