For Linux Web Hosting packages

Learn how to install the ionCube Loader in your web hosting package.

ionCube Loader is a free tool for executing pre-compiled PHP code. The code must have been pre-compiled using the ionCube PHP Encoder for the ionCube Loader to be able to execute it. The advantage of pre-compiled code means that the code has already been slightly processed and is no longer human readable. The PHP code will also execute faster since it has already been pre-compiled.

Many web applications (such as content management systems) that can be purchased online may be pre-compiled using ionCube PHP Encoder or other similar tools to prevent reverse engineering or tampering of the PHP code.

To be able to install a web application that has been pre-compiled using ionCube PHP Encoder, you will need to install ionCube Loader in your webspace before the code will execute properly.


  • Visit and download the Linux 64 bit zip file.
  • Extract the files using Windows or with a ZIP program (e.g. WinZIP).
  • After extraction, you should be left with an ioncube folder. We will upload this folder later. Continue with the next steps.
  • Open a basic text editor such as Notepad, and write <?php phpinfo(); ?> in the text file. Save the file to your desktop as phpinfo.php
  • Using an FTP program, upload only the phpinfo.php file to the folder in your webspace where you website files are located.
  • Access the phpinfo.php page from the browser on your computer (such as Mozilla Firefox) using your domain e.g.
  • First check the version of PHP being used at the top of the screen and write it down.
  • Now, scroll down the page until you see the Environment heading. Copy the path in the table cell to the right of DOCUMENT_ROOT.
  • Open your text editor again to create a new text document:
    • Copy and paste the DOCUMENT_ROOT value into it, e.g. /kunden/homepages/01/d123456789/htdocs
    • Now add the text /ioncube/ to the end of the line. You may need to replace the version number to match the version of PHP you are running. For instance, if the version of PHP you are using is 7.1, you would change the 7.3 above to 7.1
    • At the beginning of the line, add the text zend_extension=

    The line should now look similar to: zend_extension=/kunden/homepages/01/d123456789/htdocs/ioncube/

  • Save the file to your desktop as php.ini
  • Using your FTP program:
    • Upload the php.ini file to the folder than contains your website files and phpinfo.php page.
    • Upload the ioncube/ folder you extracted from the zip file to the same folder with your website files.
  • Access the phpinfo.php page again (or refresh the page) in your browser and press Ctrl + f on your keyboard. Type ioncube and you should now see that the ionCube Loader has been installed and recognized by PHP.

ionCube Loader should now be successfully installed and you can check your site made using ionCube PHP Encoder to verify that it is functioning.

For your security, it is important to delete the phpinfo.php file after verifying that ionCube Loader has been installed successfully. The information output by the phpinfo.php page can be accessed and used by others to assess whether your site may be vulnerable to certain kinds of attacks.