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Creating License with Ioncube

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Shobin Markose's picture

Creating License with Ioncube

      In this article we will talk about making license files using Ioncube PHP encoder. Ioncube Encoder Pro or Cerberus is required to generate license files that can be distributed to your customers.The entry level version of Ioncube Pro cannot generate licenses,pro/cerberus eliminates the re-encoding and redistributing the project for each customer.

      First we need to look at how to prepare a project to be used with a license.

Preparing Project:

      Let us say that we have our project in a folder called 'testproject', the simplest way to encode such would be to use the following command (ioncube_encoder5 is for PHP 5.x, ioncube_encoder is for PHP 4.x)

/ioncube_encoder$ ioncube_encoder5 /projects/testproject --into /encoded-project

     The above will encode testproject into a new folder located under /encoded-project, no licensing or restrictions has been applied. To encode the project so that a license file is required you add:

/ioncube_encoder$ioncube_encoder5 --with-license testproject_lic.txt --passphrase yourpassphrasehere /projects/testproject --into /encoded-project

      Note that there is a passphrase used, you must use a passphrase when specifying a license file to be searched, you will use the same passphrase when generating a license with make_license. With the options above the encoded files will search for a file called testproject_lic.txt, and will check the parent folder recursively until it finds it. If it is a valid license the script will execute normally. If it is not, you will get a simple error stating that the code has an invalid license.

      Now you have a very brief explanation of how to encode a project to use with a license file. Next we have to make a license file (For example 'testproject_lic.txt').

Generating a License file with make_license:

     The ionCube encoder folder has a make_license binary. To make the file:

 /ioncube_encoder$ ./make_license --passphrase yourpassphrasehere --header-line 'testproject Expires-on:2011-07-31' --property "UserName='some username'"

     Your passphrase can be something like: 'testproject'. Then you will get the following encoded data in the command line. Use it within the file: 'testproject_lic.txt':

testproject Expires-on:2011-07-31

------ LICENSE FILE DATA -------


      Now you have the license file for the 'testproject'. To add a domain restriction such as '' we would add --allowed-server option:

/ioncube_encoder$ ./make_license --passphrase yourpassphrasehere --header-line 'testproject Expires-on:2011-07-31' --property "UserName='some username'" --allowed-server

     The above will make it so that the license is only valid on ''. Time-based restrictions can be applied with --expire-in and --expire-on:
--expire-in 5d
--expire-in 4h
--expire-on 2012-07-31

     The first would expire in 5 days, and second in 4 hours, the last one would expire on July 31st 2012.
     Now you know how to make a license file with ioncube encoder for a php project. Try this and enjoy the licensing functionality with ioncube!

Anonymous's picture

Hi, We are trying to make


We are trying to make license magento extension with Ioncube encoder using domain restriction. But when we run the magento with encoded extension without license file. It is give magento error for

ERROR: license.txt is missing.

Fatal error: Class 'Namespace_Modulename_Model_Mysql4_Setup' not found in

So is there any way to handle this without braking store.


Milind's picture

This is a topic that's near

This is a topic that's near to my heart... Many thanks!
Where are your contact details though?

Neethu's picture

Hi shobin, I need some help.

Hi shobin,

I need some help. I need to license a software.I found some licensing software like ioncube.
I obtained the trial version of ioncube and using it I was able to encode my application.And also generated the license key.Using this license key what should I do further inorder to make the application asking for the license key.Do I have to write any additional code inorder to trigger a window that asks to enter the license key?So is it something like after you enter the license key the application gets decoded and will be working