Installing Zend Guard Loader

The Zend Guard Loader is a PHP extension that runs PHP scripts encoded by Zend Guard. The Guard Loader extension must be installed on each Web server that runs files that were encoded with, or use, Zend Guard licenses. The Zend Guard Loader translates encoded files to a format that can be parsed by the Zend Engine. This runtime process uses the Zend engine as a trigger to start the Zend Guard Loader component.


This procedure pertains only to users attempting to run files that were encoded with Zend Guard, and who do not have Zend Server installed on their machine.



Instructions on how to complete a procedure

To install the Zend Guard Loader:

  1. Download and extract the Zend Guard Loader (Runtime for PHP 5.5 or 5.6) package from at:
  2. Locate and extract the (Linux) or ZendLoader.dll (Windows) that corresponds to your PHP version.
  3. Add the following line to your 'php.ini' file for loading the ZendGuardLoader:
    • Linux and Mac OS X:



    • Windows non-thread safe (TS is not supported):




The supplied OPcache replaces your current OPcache binary to allow correct extension loading. Loader line should be executed first.

  1. Optional: Add an additional line to your 'php.ini' for enabling ZendGuardLoader:

    ; Enables loading encoded scripts. The default value is On

  2. Optional: the following lines can be added your 'php.ini' file for ZendGuardLoader configuration:

    ; Disable license checks (for performance reasons)


    ; The Obfuscation level supported by Zend Guard Loader. The levels are detailed in the official Zend Guard Documentation. 0 - no obfuscation is enabled


    ; Path to where licensed Zend products should look for the product license. For more information on how to create a license file, see the Zend Guard User Guide


  3. Restart your web server.

  4. Check that the loader and OPcache are both loaded (using phpinfo() or php -v).

  5. Run your encoded files.