Can I use scripts that require SourceGuardian Loader?

Some PHP scripts are copy-protected ("encoded") using a system called SourceGuardian PHP Encoder.

These scripts aren't like normal PHP scripts. In particular, it isn't possible to look at them and see how they work. Some software authors encode their scripts this way to prevent people from copying the script "code".

These kinds of scripts require a special, nonstandard piece of software (called "SourceGuardian Loader") to be installed on the server. Our servers have SourceGuardian Loader available for PHP, and you can enable it for your account so you can use encoded PHP scripts.

On this page:

Limitations of SourceGuardian Loader

Before you enable SourceGuardian Loader, we should explain these things:

  • SourceGuardian Loader is not "open source". That means that nobody can view how it works, making it difficult to tell what's wrong if it doesn't work. If you have trouble with PHP scripts after enabling it, we probably won't be able to help you figure out the cause of the problem, unfortunately. You'd need to contact SourceGuardian or the script author.
  • Similarly, when you install an encoded PHP script that requires SourceGuardian Loader, we won't be able to see how that script is supposed to work, either. If you have trouble, your only option would be to contact the company that sold you the script.
  • When PHP is updated, the existing SourceGuardian Loader software will not work with newer versions of PHP. Your script will stop working and you'll have to upgrade it.
  • Finally, by using these kinds of scripts, you're tying yourself to the company that makes SourceGuardian. Your script will only work as long as they continue to create versions of SourceGuardian Loader that work with new versions of PHP.

In short: encoded scripts will probably stop working occasionally until you fix them, and if they have problems, it may be more difficult for you to get help with those problems. You should not use these scripts if you care about the reliability of your site. We (Tiger Technologies) don’t use such scripts on our own web site under any circumstances, no matter how useful they are.

However, we do recognize that sometimes there is no alternative to a particular script, and we provide a copy of SourceGuardian on our servers for such situations.

Enabling SourceGuardian Loader for PHP scripts on your account

You can enable SourceGuardian Loader in your account management control panel:

  • Login to the control panel
  • Click PHP Settings
  • Make sure you’re using the PHP 5.6 series or later
  • Add extension = ixed.lin to the “Custom php.ini Settings” section.

Uploading SourceGuardian files using FTP

Unlike normal PHP files, SourceGuardian encoded files may need to be uploaded with your FTP program set to “binary” mode, not “ASCII” or “text” mode. You may need to manually override your FTP program’s settings while uploading to do this. The instructions for your FTP program should explain how to change the mode.

Testing whether SourceGuardian is enabled

If you want to know whether SourceGuardian is correctly enabled, you can create a simple PHP script that shows the output of phpinfo() on your site. It should display a new “SourceGuardian” section that includes “SourceGuardian Loader Support enabled”.

Compatibility with phpSHIELD

The company that makes SourceGuardian bought another company that made a similar product called phpSHIELD. Enabling SourceGuardian on your site also allows it to load files encoded with phpSHIELD.