Install the PHP Extension (ionCube Loader) Required by Watch My Domains SED

Install the PHP Extension (ionCube Loader) Required by Watch My Domains SED

What is ionCube Loader?

ionCube loader is a PHP extension for decoding encrypted PHP files at runtime. It is free and you can install it quite easily.

Requires Root Access

The following instructions assume that you are logged in as root. This is because this article is part of a tutorial for setting up a Ubuntu Server from scratch.

Many shared hosting environments found on websites like already have ionCube loader pre-installed.

It may be possible to install ioncube into a normal user account. To do this, download the ionCube loader package, unzip into the public html folder at your web server. Then run the loader-wizard.php script from a browser and follow instructions.

What is Really Involved

Installing the ionCube loader simply involves adding a single line to the PHP configuration file to load the corresponding extension for ionCube. So this involves two steps…

  • Download the ionCube extension file.
  • Include the line in php.ini to load the extension when apache starts.

Download ionCube

Login to the server as root or use su to change to root.

Issue the following command and change to a convenient folder for unzipping the ionCube loader.

cd /usr/local/src

Issue the following three commands to download and unzip the ionCube loader. These commands assume that you are using a 64 bit OS. If not, download the 32 bit version of the ioncube loader (ioncube_loaders_lin_x86.tar.gz).


tar zxvf ioncube_loaders_lin_x86-64.tar.gz

cd ioncube

Make a folder to hold the extension file.

mkdir /usr/local/ioncube

Below is a screen-shot showing the above commands.

Download ionCube

We need to find the right ionCube extension file to load. This depends on the PHP version.

Run the following command to find the version number of PHP on your server.

php -v

You will see an output similar to the following.

Finding PHP Version

We now know that the PHP version is 5.5. So we need the file If the PHP version were 5.3, we would have selected

cp /usr/local/ioncube

The required loader file is now at


Copy ionCube Extension File

Modify PHP.ini

We now need to insert the following into the PHP.ini file and restart the apache server.

zend_extension = /usr/local/ioncube/

In Ubuntu (and Debian) the PHP.ini file is located at /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini. Issue the following commands to edit it.

In CentOS, the php.ini is at /etc/. So if you are using CentOS, do nano /etc/php.ini

cd /etc/php5/apache2/

and then,

nano php.ini

Edit php.ini

Press Ctrl-W and search for .so. This will take you to the part of php.ini that mentions dynamic extensions. Insert the following line there.

zend_extension = /usr/local/ioncube/

Editing php.ini

Repeat the above for the PHP CLI mode.

nano /etc/php5/cli/php.ini

… and insert the zend_extension entry into php.ini.

Restart apache by issuing the following command.

service apache2 restart

If you are using CentOS, you can restart apache with the following command.

apachectl restart

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