Free PHP Encoders, Accelerators and Obfuscators

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Free PHP Encoders, Accelerators and Obfuscators

If you write PHP scripts for clients, or perhaps sell PHP scripts, you may want to encode your PHP code or even just somehow obfuscate it so that others who have a copy of your script cannot modify them or copy your code or otherwise adapt it for use on machines that are not licensed to do so. Or perhaps you want to distribute a demo script that times out after a period of time. It is for such purposes that the PHP encoders and obfuscators listed here are useful.

PHP encoders precompile your PHP source code into a binary code for execution with the help of an intermediate code interpreter. They are sometimes also called PHP accelerators, since they speed up the execution of your script by precompiling and caching it. PHP obfuscators, on the other hand, merely take your source code and change the names of your variables, constants and user-defined functions to obscure strings of characters. With obfuscators, your code remains in source code form and are actually fairly easily deciphered.

Update: most of the software formerly listed on this page appear to have gone extinct. Sorry. For some reason, there doesn't seem to be much interest in developing and maintaining such software. Although, they are not the same thing and serve a different purpose, you may want to take a look at the Free PHP Compilers page, which lists compilers that translate PHP code to either native machine code, .NET or Java bytecode.

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Free PHP Encoders, Accelerators and Obfuscators

Turck MMCache and TurckLoader (Windows, Linux)

This is an open source PHP accelerator, optimizer, encoder and dynamic content cache. It precompiles your script to binary form, and with the help of its loader, executes the binary version at runtime. The software has been tested under PHP 4.1 to 4.3.x, and requires an Apache web server with the Zend Optimizer preinstalled. You also have to either modify your server's php.ini to install the Turck MMCache software or use its standalone loader, TurckLoader. This program was last updated in 2003, and does not appear to be maintained any more.

POBS PHP Obfuscator (installed on server) (no longer available)

(Update: this software is no longer available.) This PHP obfuscator changes the names of user-defined functions, variables and constants with cryptic 8 character names (obtained from MD5 keys). In addition, it can also concatenate lines, remove comments and indentation to make it look messier (although of course this change is easily reversible using an appropriate source code beautifier). This program is no longer being maintained. Cauton: as with the other obfuscators listed on this page, your program can still be fairly easily read and understood, since it's not actually changed into binary form.

Raizlabs' PHP Obfuscator and Encoder (Windows) (no longer available)

(Update: this software is no longer available.) This open source PHP obfuscator and encoder obfuscates things like function names and variables so as to make your PHP source code harder to read and decipher. You can mark portions of your code where you don't want the obfuscator to modify. All of your PHP code remains in source code form, but with long strings of meaningless characters for user-defined function names and variables. The program works only on Windows XP and higher, and may be used to produce free and commercial programs. (Note though that your program can still be read fairly easily, since it is not actually changed into binary form.)

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